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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Moths that Braved the Rain

There were quite a few of them about last night, which was not too surprising in view of the mild damp conditions. The south-easterly wind allowed me to put two traps out in sheltered places, and they attracted 25 species, about 50 individuals.  First arrivals of Poplar Hawk, Green Carpet and Foxglove Pug.  Worthy reappearances of Puss Moth, Oak Hook-tip and, dare I suggest, Tawny Pinion - the photos below show, hopefully, the trade-mark dark dorsal crest and forewing bar, albeit that the moth was paler overall than the others I have seen.  The catch included the two micros shown below, which look to me like Scoparia ambigualis (have I got it right this time?) and Mompha raschkiella, but once again I'm willing to stand corrected.

 Scoparia ambigualis?
 Tawny Pinion? - two views
another view of today's moth...
and (below) a Pale Pinion caught on 31.05.13 for comparison

Mompha raschkiella?


  1. Chris - in tawny pinion, the dark areas are supposed to show a blue-green iridescence. Has it got that? Tawny has also got more arched costa, with more protruding `shoulders` seen in a view from above.

  2. Ian, if you enlarge the photos by clicking on them I think that you will see the blue 'iridescence' on the dorsal crest. I have added another photo of today's moth which shows a better view of the dark-tipped 'shoulders', also a photo of the last Pale Pinion I had (May 31 last year) which was a thicker-set moth.

  3. Chris, I think that you are correct re the iridescence, and also the `shoulders` are markedly more protruding than in the photo of pale pinion that you`ve also added. I do think that it is a tawny pinion, albeit a `pale tawny pinion`, if you know what I mean!

  4. I agree with the Tawny Pinion but would be interested to hear Jon's views. The Scoparia ambigualis and Mompha raschkiella are correct.

  5. Thanks to all you guys for helping out here, the 'Matter of a Pinion' has got intense! One thing I hasten to mention, though, is that the photos I took of this moth (and the last one) have made it look a bit paler than it actually is. It was definitely tawny! Not that this is necessarily an issue, I understand that there are dark (tawny?) Pale Pinions.

  6. Loving 'a matter of a Pinion'! Looks perfectly good for Tawny to me, seems to have lost a lot of scales on the wings hence its pallid appearance, but thoracic markings etc, spot on for Tawny.

  7. Thanks for that, Barry. Sadly the phrase is not original, I used it in a blog last October when reporting a TP catch, I recall that Mat Ridley awarded it the 'pun of the year' accolade!