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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Strange Ermine

Amongst the numerous White and Buff Ermines scattered around the patio near my MV trap this morning was a white one that looked different from all the others: larger, bulkier and with very few spots.  Has anyone come across one like it?

The moth has just confirmed itself as definitely female by laying a string of white eggs.  I'm tempted to breed them and see what develops...

Apart from this one there was nothing out-of-the-ordinary amongst the catch, although I had a few FFYs, including Garden Tiger, Grey Arches, Bright-line Brown-eye and Brussels Lace.  Also, the Uncertain Rustic season has started,  So far the 5 examples I've had are all Uncertain - I think!


  1. It looks superficially like Water Ermine but the black spots on the hindwing would seem to indicate it is an extreme form of White Ermine (and probably a female, hence chunkiness). suggests there aren't any other confusion species in Europe (scroll down the species list on the left side).

  2. Thanks for the link Sam. Certainly all the info I've seen indicates that the hindwings should be plain white for Water Ermine, it's just such a coincidence that the characteristic forewing pattern of two discal spots should occur on a White Ermine in a location (here) where all previously recorded individuals have had the usual multi-spotted forewings. Apparently early entomologists recognised a moth named 'Dingy White' which had few spots on both fore- and hindwings (ref. Richard South). South also mentions that Water Ermine has been recorded in Pembrokeshire. Yes, I think that my moth is a female, not only is the abdomen bulky but the antennae are not feathered.