Sunday, 22 May 2016

Devil's-bit Moths

I visited the disused railway cutting close to home this afternoon to check on the colonies of two uncommon moths there which use Devil's-bit Scabious as the larval food-plant.  Sure enough, both were active and I counted ten examples of Aethes piercei and six of Rhopobota stagnana (there is a marked difference both in size and markings between males and females of the latter species):

Aethes piercei, Westcott 22nd May

Rhopobota stagnana male, Westcott 22nd May

Rhopobota stagnana female (with mite), Westcott 22nd May

Other species seen flying there included Cauchas (Adela) rufimitrellaMonopis weaverella, Bucculatrix ulmella, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Elachista argentella, Dichrorampha plumbana/plumbagana (one retained to be checked, both species are known from the site), Crambus lathoniellus, Pyrausta purpuralis and Common Heath.  I must have searched a thousand or more flowers of Germander Speedwell for Cauchas (Adela) fibulella but didn't find one although I did see quite a few there last June.  Perhaps it is still a little early for it.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


1 comment:

  1. Nobody else has commented, but I think it's worth saying 'two good moths there', Dave; surely very local. If anybody is wondering if the female in the picture has nice ear-rings, there is an ectoparasite attached to her. Is it a tick or a mite? - I can't remember.


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