Sunday, 6 September 2015

Friday night`s moths

On Friday evening (4/9), I set out the trap in my garden as the recent meagre results did n`t justify trapping away from home. The next morning, I was fairly pleased to note that there were a few moths, with some variety, in the trap. A Svennson`s copper underwing and a faded yellow-barred brindle were among the macros and there were half-a-dozen or more micro species, including Epinotia ramella, Cydia splendana and another Epinotia which seems to match E. cinereana as pictured in Chris Manley`s latest 2nd Edition of British Moths (see: p.152), where he notes that this moth was only recognised as a species in 2012. It is distinguished from the common E. nisella by the lack of a chestnut dorsal mark. Sterling & Parsons, however, only accord it the status of a form - f. cinereana, though they do state that it may actually be a separate species. It is said to feed on aspen (which grows not far from my garden). I attach some (poor) photos - `click` on them to enlarge, though they`re still not good photos, just bigger!  I`ll retain the individual until advised as to what to call this specimen. Advice please - I may, in any case, just be completely barking up the wrong tree!


                                       Above: two photos of the putative Epinotia cinereana.

                                             Above: Epinotia ramella (a birch feeder).
             Above: the willow-feeding Agonopterix ocellana - pretty when viewed close-up.

Another form of a common moth was also caught - f.gammina of the silver y; this is believed to be a phenotypic variation (rather than genetic), and resulting from a lack of food in the larval stage.

                                       Above: normal-sized and f. gammina of the silver y.

Postscript:  Sam has had a look at the Epinotia above (ie the photos and not the specimen) and thinks that it is just nisella. The specimen can be looked at again in the winter period. Also, a very useful article on cinereana has come to my attention which suggests that my specimen is too dark for that species (which has an overall greyish look).

1 comment:

  1. Interesting about reason for Silver Y variations Ian as I have had some of theses and initially got quite excited thinking it was a different species - soon realised it was just a Silver Y!

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