Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Has anyone else noticed that the White Ermine has succeeded the Brimstone as top 'semi-detached' moth, that is to say, slumbering outside the trap but nearby rather than going in? Every day for the past week, I've found one or usually more with a peak of five last Friday. I've pondered similarities of which pale colouring seems the most obvious; and differences, because the chubby Ermines are most unlike the slender Brimstone. Maybe there's another D.Phil (Oxon) subject here. Or maybe it's just that I/we don't notice the darker-coloured outsiders. That's the least interesting explanation but perhaps the most likely one as other outsiders this morning included a Clouded Silver and a Chinese Character.

Meanwhile, can I ask the saintly Dave, Peter and other experts whether I am right in ID-ing these micros as, in order,  Phtheochroa rugosana, Aphomia sociella (the Bee Moth) and - although I am very very uncertain about this one - Ephestia unicolorella ssp woodiella.  Help greatly appreciated.

In the macro world, moths are pouring in and I need a prolonged rainy spell to catch up with things. A beautiful Small Elephant Hawk this morning took my hawk tally to four and three Scorched Wings joined a Puss Moth and a Peppered in a display of dazzle camouflage. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. Saintly, eh? I'm not sure that anyone who knows me would concur! However, as flattery will get you anywhere, I'll happily go along with your first two determinations. I always think that Phtheochroa rugosana looks so very sad, as if it has got the weight of the world on its shoulders, poor thing!

    You could well be correct with your third moth too but I'll leave a pronouncement on that one to St Peter...

  2. Saintly AND speedy - unlike myself. Many apologies for being late to thank you once again. I absolutely agree about the poor old baglady of a micro. Or is he a tufted rug? All v best and thanks again M


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