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Monday, 28 July 2014

Friday Night's Small Ermines

Attached are photos of four of these Ermines.  All of them had much the same features, being predominantly white (in spite of the more greyish appearance in some photos), with a greyish fringe at the termen and a very similar number and arrangement of black spots.  It seems from the literature that the white colour makes them more likely to be Yponomeuta malinellus than Y. padella, but if it's not possible to make a clear distinction on this basis is it safest to use the dual category 'Ermine Moth' for recording purposes?





4 comments:

  1. I think those wings and cilia are definitely grey, Chris, as they have a striking contrast with the white patch near the apex (leading edge of the wing). The white ermines are usually really white. I'd go with Y padella.

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  2. Hope this doesn't open up a can of worms, but these all look like rorrella to me? I've always though the largely unspotted grey front half he wing (with a white costal blotch near the termen) contrasting with the white rear half, made this one of the more distinct species in this group. As you intimated in an earlier post the id of this group isn't very clear cut and I guess interpretation of the MoGBI key can be ambiguous.

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  3. I thought rorella too, but further reading made me unsure as the dots along the wing seemed too few. Very tricky!

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  4. You're right of course, the moths themselves seemed white to me, but looking at the photos you can see a white apical patch. I should pay more attention to the washing powder adverts! It makes things particularly difficult for recording purposes, too, if Y.rorrella comes into the picture because the combined category only allows for padella/malinellus. Unfortunately I've only caught one more ermine since, last night, and this one is different - I will include it in a later blog.

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