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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Agonopterix spp. in abundance

The large actinic trap attracted a selection of macros and micros last night.  As usual, the latter were the most challenging, most of them (6) were A. heracliana, one I think is A. ocellana, but two I cannot put a name to - one of them has a broad white stripe along the costa:

 Agonopterix (or Acleris?) sp. with 'go-faster' stripes
Agonopterix ocellana ?
Agonopterix or Depressaria sp. ?

Help with identifying the two darker moths would be very welcome.  In the meantime, I will endeavour to obtain some better photos in due course if I can coax them out of their tubes.

Amongst the macros, Dotted Border, Oak beauty and Brindled Beauty were firsts for the year, i.e. I didn't get them on the previous night!

Further images of the two dark brown micros:

The above could be a form of Acleris hastiana (Ian's suggestion)

The white thorax/head combination may be distinctive, Acleris liturosa aand A.conterminella are two possibilities but the overall shape of the moth (rounded shoulders, blunt forewing apex) are more Tortrix-like, in which case I'm stumped! 

Another Agonopterix ocellana found on a crate near the trap site.


  1. The first one: to be honest, I`m NOT sure at all what it is but suggest perhaps one of the many forms of Acleris hastiana (see Chris Manley`s book at top of p 135) or even (but less plausibly) a fancy type of oak nycteoline that is unknown to me...I don`t know! I could well be `way off mark` to await a more knowledgeable verdict.

  2. Thanks Ian. After a lot of Googling etc I also have been homing in on Acleris hastiana for the moth with the 'go faster' stripes, I found an image with this sort of wing colouration on-line. Further photos are being posted.

  3. Chris, I think your second one is A. hastiana too - if you Google Acleris hastiana you can see several examples and also one like your "go faster stripes". I had a moth exactly like your second example in 28/2/2012 which I decided was hastiana - I don't think I can attach it here though - email me on rsroyle *at* if you want to see it.

    1. Thank you Rosemary, it would make sense, the shape and wing texture of the two moths are very similar and I know it to be a very variable species. I would very much like to see your image and will email you later on.

    2. Yes, as Rosemary says - two forms of A hastiana. Not a common sp though.

    3. Thanks Sam. Rosemary sent me some images which more or less confirmed it for me, but I'd already frozen the two moths with a view to taking them to Preston Montford in 3 weeks time, I'm attending one of Dave Grundy's dissection courses. Never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!!