Search This Blog

Sunday, 21 October 2018

More Dark Chestnuts?

Of the 40 moths recorded as a result of last night's trapping, 8 were dark chestnut-coloured moths.  Here they are:

All of these bar one would go down as Dark Chestnuts in my book.  The 'odd one out' is the paler one in the centre which would cause me some difficulty, possibly a Chestnut but darker and not as strongly marked as the examples of this species that i normally see here.

Am I getting this right?  Advice would be very welcome!

The only other moth of particular interest this morning was this one:

My first thought was Turnip Moth, but I can see no sign of the characteristic dart mark.  It did have a thoracic crest.  Pearly Underwing?  Sadly I left the moth unguarded in the utility room for 5 minutes and it disappeared, so I haven't inspected the hindwings, hopefully it will reappear this evening and I will be able to do so.

The moth did reappear after dark yesterday and spent the night in the fridge.  For some reason, the wing markings seem a bit clearer this morning and I can make out the 'dart' marks, also the hindwings don't have a mother-of-pearl hue.  Hopefully the photos will illustrate these features:

Thank you for your comment, Adam, you were right.  It goes down as a Turnip Moth. It's a good result for me since I've only recorded it once before, in September 2015.  And, in the absence of any contrary comments, the eight moths in the top photo will be recorded as Dark Chestnuts!

The 'middle' moth


  1. It could well be a Turnip, with that wavy cross line at the first third and long shape.Is that a hint of a zig zag shoulder cross line?

  2. General comment: for an excellent article by Jon Baker re i/d of chestnut v dark chestnut see Newsletter No 4 (Aug 2006) - go to `Newsletter Archive` at the top R-hand side of this blog.

  3. Dark Chestnut seems to be having a good year throughout south Wales, and may be increasing - it certainly isn't the great rarity in Carms that it was in Jon's day. Your middle moth looks more like a Chestnut though.

    The other one is a troublesome Turnip, very similar to one I caught last week at Dingestow which went in my notebook as Pearly Underwing for a few hours before I corrected the mistake.

  4. Thank you all for your help. I'm adding another photo of the 'middle moth' and on balance I agree with Sam, this one doesn't have the same deep shade and glossiness as the others, probably a Chestnut and will record it as such.

  5. I'm inclined to favour Pearly Underwing - long narrow wings with pointed apex plus those tell tale white shoulder dots Pearly invariably shows. Not sure if Turnip ever does?

  6. The cat is amongst the pigeons, Barry. I had not noticed the white spots, but most of the images I have show them up and they appear to be a consistent feature. I've scrutinised plenty of online images and many of them have these spots, not so with the Turnip Moth. Prominent veins on the hindwings also seem to be a PU feature. Sam has come down in favour of Turnip so I'm not sure where to go from here!