Thursday, 26 November 2015

Help needed on some dodgy IDs

I started trapping and identifying moths in the spring of 2013, before this marvellous site was up and running. As a result, I was reliant mainly on a couple of books and the UK moths website to help me out, and it was quite a steep (but very enjoyable) learning curve.
Now at virtually the end of 2015, I thought I would look back to my early mothing days and see if I have made any serious blunders. Many of the moths I first identified in 2013 I have subsequently seen again in the subsequent years, but there are a small number that I have not seen again since that first year. This led me to thinking that maybe some of these were in fact wrongly identified.

Having gone through my photos, I have to say that I am pretty happy with most of them. However, below are a couple that I probably mis-identified in my novice days.
The first, trapped on 3rd July 2013, I had identified as a Pale-shouldered Brocade, but looking at the photo now I think it was in fact a Light Brocade.

The second, trapped on 29th May 2013, I have recorded as a Blossom Underwing. I did not record its size or the colour of the hindwings unfortunately (I only found out the importance of these things later!). Looking at the photo now, I am not really sure about this one. What do the experts think?

Finally, below are photos of 2 moths that I think I did identify correctly, but please let me know if you think otherwise. The first of these, trapped on 24th July 2013, I have recorded as a Kent Black Arches.

And the second, trapped on 25th September 2013, I believe is a Dusky-lemon Sallow.

All help much appreciated.

Steve Trigg, Cookham


  1. I'd say the second is Large Nutmeg, but I always have a problem with this and Rustic Shoulder-knot! The first I'd say is Light Brocade, I've only had this before, never seen Pale-shoulder Brocade . 3rd and 4th look correct to me. Of course wait for an expert, I'm just doing this to see if I'm correct.

  2. Hello Steve, there's no doubt about Light Brocade, Kent Black Arches or Dusky-lemon Sallow (those last two are very nice records, by the way). That leaves the second picture. I agree with Darren that it is one of the Apamea species but it is surprising how quickly one loses touch with them when out-of-season! My first thought on seeing it was remissa (Dusky Brocade) and I still think that's what it is. Anyone else care to comment?

  3. Is there a trace of a black basal streak on the left-hand side? Which would make it Rustic Shoulder-knot.

  4. Many thanks everyone for your comments. I can see now why the second moth would have caused me trouble when I first started looking at moths.


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