Friday, 4 July 2014

Uncertainties and Wainscot wonderings....

Ran the trap again last night. I could tell it was going to be different when I checked before going to bed. It was clear for a start. This morning most noticible was the absence of Coronets - I had about 6 the night before.

Got my first Buff Arches though. And another Muslin Footman.

Pictures here from both nights - trying to sort out Uncertains / Rustics and Wainscots.

I think the first may be a Rustic due to the lack of a clear central dark band.

The second pic I think it's an Uncertain on the right with a clear central band - the one on the left could be either.

The next one again could be either.

The next one on the basis of the grey colour is a Rustic.

The final one might be a Mottled Rustic?  

The Rustic

Uncertain right - could be either left

could be either


Mottled Rustic?

Now onto the Wainscots. A couple turned up yesterday I though looked different. I hadn't checked the field guide re Smoky Wainscots but I did try and get a view of the hind wing of both.

One I thought showed a grey hindwing - I managed a pic but it had almost closed it's wings but I think you can see a sliver of grey.

The second one I thought looked darker on the upperside but I got the impression the hindwing was light when it showed it's displeasure at being prodded by flying off.

The final two are from this morning and I think are Common Wainsots.

So I'm not sure. They may all be Common Wainscots and as I've yet to see a Smoky Wainscot I've not got my eye in yet.Doesn't help that for some reason most pics came out blue yesterday!

Proper coloured top view

Blue cast - this one I thought looked grey underwing - can see perhaps a sliver of grey?

The one with the grey hindwing is the bottom one . The darker top one seemed to have light underwings

Probably a Common Wainscot?

Underside view of proceeding moth.

 Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.


  1. Hi Mark, you need to learn how to open up the forewing on these Wainscots to look at the upper side of the hindwing. White, or slightly tinted for Common and darker or smoky for Smoky Wainscot. They all look like Smoky from the images, but not 100% sure without checking the hindwing. As for Uncertain or Rustic. The Rustic is smooth scaled and appears a little shiny. The Uncertain is rough scaled. The Uncertain has usually a median band. The Uncertain is ochreous-brown whilst the Rustic is usually greyish-brown. So your only candidate for Rustic is the top one and the last one does look like a Mottled Rustic. You will find moths that are halfway in appearance and also tatty ones. These are too difficult to reliably separate. But both are common enough to get good examples to id by. The Uncertain appears a few days before the Rustic, which is coming out now.Hope that helps a little.

  2. Hello Mark, for the moths to lose a few scales while carefully handling them won't stop them from being able to fly or do their business and it is a quick and easy operation to check the hind-wing. An alternative in this particular case (Smoky/Common Wainscot) is to disturb the moth inside a large pot so that it starts to fly and you'll quickly get a good impression of the hind-wing colour.

  3. thanks both - actually as a postscript this morning I got a couple of wainscots and despite a trip to the fridge got a bit agitated and I managed some shots that I'll post.


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