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!

2 comments:

  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). http://www.leps.it/indexjs.htm?SpeciesPages/SpiloUrtic.htm suggests there aren't any other confusion species in Europe (scroll down the species list on the left side).

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  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.

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