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Monday, 11 August 2014

Copper Underwing

Following Mel's capture of one of these on 3rd August, Cwmllwyd today produced our first since 2000. So it's an uncommon moth here.

The palps showing here suggest (I believe) Copper Underwing, not Svensson's.


  1. A couple of second generation Small Coppers flying today.

  2. Steve, I think the palps feature has been shown not to be 100% reliable, though it can provide supporting evidence. The key thing is the underside of the hindwing - in your middle photo you can see a pale straw-coloured patch just above the body, with a distinct coppery patch beyond it - as far as I know this is a clincher for Copper Underwing, as Svensson's has the whole area coppery and lacks the straw-coloured patch. I find you can usually see this feature with the moth viewed from below in a glass tube without having to fiddle with it.

    The well-marked forewing also suggests Copper.


  3. Thanks very much, George - that's really helpful. The moth did flutter about a bit just prior to release so, in fact, I caught a few brief glimpses of the underside with the wings open - but it was impossible to photograph it like that. I'm really pleased that there was enough evidence in the 2nd pic for you to support the ID.

  4. It would be interesting to know the relative frequencies of these two across S Wales. In Glamorgan, we have approx 1300 records of Copper and 160 records of Svensson's, so an 8:1 ratio. In my Cardiff garden I have 50 records of Copper and only one of Svensson's.