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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Quick update from Pwll

I too trapped over the weekend, hoping for that rare migrant that did n`t come! The only migrants recorded, on a rather rain-soaked Sunday night (2/8), were some silver y`s and a solitary rush veneer. There was, however, a good mix of resident moths such as FFY black arches, double kidney, backed up with multiples of yellow-tails, marbled greens, small wainscots, southern wainscots, scarce footman (only one of this species), silky wainscot and 4-spotted footman (x2). I also caught a fresh-looking Caloptilia rufipennella and the tiny Aproaerema anthyllidia (the latter det. by Sam).

                                            Above: Aproaerema anthyllidia (det. SDSB).
                                                 Above: Caloptilia rufipennella.
                 Above and below: four-spotted footman female (above) and male (below).

Above: when is a brown-tail NOT a brown-tail? I`ve had this issue before - a yellow-tail with a brownish tail, but the wing shape is that of a yellow-tail. I recall Jon Baker and I being slightly confused with the same problem almost a decade ago. It`s a yellow-tail in my opinion.
                Above: I suggest a provisional i/d of Pammene populana for this tort?


  1. The Pammene populana looks good. It's a species I have never seen, and there are only 2 previous VC44 records: Dave Slade at NBGW and Andrew Graham at Pembrey.

    The lack of a dark spot on the Brown/Yellowtail is interesting, but I agree the wing shape looks more like Yellowtail than Browntail. Is wing shape the best ID character though?

  2. I`m not absolutely sure, but in c 2006/7, I had a similar moth, which Jon photo`d and sent to Martin Townsend, who said it was a yellow-tail. Is it just the male yellow-tail which has the dark wing-spot, whereas the female lacks it? This is one scenario where I`d love to be wrong and it is a brown-tail! Another point: does the brown-tail stick its abdomen upwards, as the yellow-tail is prone to do?

  3. I honestly don't know - I have never caught Browntail as they are absent from my 3 main mothing areas. Expert input would be great, but if this one is identical to your last then I'm sure Martin is correct.