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Monday, 18 June 2018

NMN (Episode 3)

MV and Actinic traps in tandem on Saturday night brought an improvement on the previous two nights in terms of moth numbers, but it was still nothing like as busy as it had been during the warm conditions a week earlier.  The final tally for Saturday will probably be in the order of 160 moths of 55 species recorded.  Again, Elephant Hawk Moths were abundant (8), as were Double Line (10), a bumper year for this species.  FFYs were Peach Blossom, Light Emerald, Cinnabar, and Double Dart.

I can't ever resist posting a photo of the first Peach Blossom, such an ornate creature, it's difficult to see how its pattern could have arisen without the intervention of an inspired artist.  Cinnabars are scarce here, only a few previous records, which probably has something to do with a local purge on ragwort by horse-owners.  This one was photographed in the early hours, I had to be quick because it soon made good its escape (excuse for poor photo - it was dark, too!).

I can't remember seeing a Minor of this rich dark brown colour before, nevertheless it will have to go down as 'Marbled Minor agg'.  The Bramble Shoot Moth (Notocelia uddmanniana) was another FFY, as was Lathronympha strigana:

I'm hoping that someone is more familiar with Plume Moths than I am:

Looking at the markings at the base of the cleft in the forewing it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that it's a Twin-spot Plume.  However, I haven't seen any of the food plant, Scabious, hereabouts, whereas that of the closely related Brown Plume (Germander Speedwell) is abundant.


  1. Well done in the mixed doubles, Chris; 10 Double Line is rather special, plus Double Dart - I've never seen one of those.

  2. The shape of the plume isn't really right for a Stenoptilia...with those very blunt wing ends and smudgy markings I think this must be Platyptilia isodactylus. Feeds on Marsh Ragwort. It's an uncommon moth in the UK but probably quite frequent (though under-recorded) in Carms.

  3. I see what you mean by the blunt wing-ends, George, perhaps I was too influenced by the two spots. To be fair though the darker wing markings in the Field Guide illustration of isodactylus would have misled me, images in UK Moths are much more akin to mine so I should have looked there - I usually do.

  4. 'Tis a variable beast - I've never seen one with the two spots as prominent as yours.