Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Dog's Tooth and Barred Hook-tip

Hello all - I just thought I'd share these pics of the Dog's Tooth and Barred Hook-tip which overnighted here on Monday - see Comment thread below my previous post for more. All best, Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. Hi Martin, have you considered Pale-shouldered Brocade as an alternative for your first moth? No doubt one of the house experts will be able to tell you for sure but comparing to the T&W illustrations to my untutored eye it looks more like that than Dog's Tooth.

  2. I think this one is going to have to go for arbitration to an expert who's actually familiar with the species. As Adam says, the choice is between Pale-shouldered Brocade (now starting to fly) and Dog's Tooth. I thought the 'tooth' was sufficiently pronounced for there to be no doubt but more than one person has now suggested the opposite view. We can all learn from this - watch this space!!

  3. For what it's worth, if you look at the UK Moths photo for PSB it does seem to match Martin's photo pretty closely:

  4. Thanks v much both and to Marc who has been emailing with Dave and me since my initial post. I'm too inexperienced to do more than stand by but look forward to a decree in due course. I'm probably not trapping cos of rain for a day or two but will then hope to catch something similar. Alas, I only got the one photo but its a pretty cl ear one I guess. I can't overstate how grateful I am for all the expertise. All v best M

  5. Yes to Pale-shouldered Brocade :)
    I ave never seen one...but I have caught several Dog's Tooths over the year on the coast and yes they are generally greyer in appearance.


    1. Thanks, Ben - very helpful to hear from someone who has actually seen Dog's Tooth! The books do say, though, that there are two different colour forms, one of which is very similar to Pale-shouldered Brocade. I've asked an expert and await a pronouncement...

  6. Well, in fact Marc Botham and I ended up asking three experts (and not because we didn't get the answer we wanted first time around!!).

    Martin Townsend and Les Hill both came down on the side of Pale-shouldered Brocade (Lacanobia thalassina), with Les commenting that Dog's Tooth is "usually much lighter with less contrasting markings and a solid black calviform stigma which this specimen clearly has not". On the other hand, Colin Plant voted for Dog's Tooth (Lacanobia suasa) with the following reasoning: "The main reason is the acute tip to the claviform stigma (in thalassina it typically takes the form of a bar connecting the anti-median and post-median lines. These stigmata are also OUTLINED in black, something I have never seen in thalassina). Most suasa have the claviform infilled but some in my cabinet are outlined. It is a very variable species with a completely unmarked, unicolorous form (dissimilis) and may be overlooked. Of course, thalassina also varies and I would always prefer to handle the actual moths."

    Thanks very much indeed to the experts for offering an opinion and to everyone else who commented. I'm afraid, Martin, that your moth will have to go down as one that got away. It also highlights the difficulties which can arise when trying to identify moths solely from pictures. If you do get something unusual, it is always best to hang on to the specimen.


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