Saturday, 14 May 2016

Little puzzler

Given the vast repository of mothing skills possessed by contributors, I was hoping that someone here might be able to put a name to a moth my partner found on Friday resting on a Strawberry leaf. FW was 3 to 4mm.  I got it down to a Pancalia but it obviously doesn't have the white antennae and the markings seem a little odd too.
Phil Cutt
Grendon Underwood



  1. I suspect Pancalia louwenhoekella, Phil, which is found at Calvert just up the road from you (stablemate P.schwarzella isn't known from Bucks - yet!). The white area on the antennae is usually obvious, though. Do you still have the moth?

  2. Unfortunately not, it got away when I tossed it out of the window! It definitely didn't have the white on the antennae and it doesn't look as if they have broken off either. I guess I'll have to put it down as Pancalia sp.

  3. I know we normally ask for side shots for micros, but I don't suppose you took an image from above? The angle of the second tornal spot is a diagnostic to separate these two. Both can have the white section on the antennae, depending on which sex they are of course. The antennae do look short, they should reach about 75% of the way to the tip, unless the camera is deceiving me, these look like they might reach 50%, so the tips could've been lost somehow. Any idea on size? One is bigger than the other.

  4. I agree with Peter that the antennae look a bit short and appear to end quite abruptly, rather than taper. Even with a top shot I think the complete antennae may be needed for a firm identification.
    I presume this is not the first Bucks moth you've come across, so I'd be most grateful for any Bucks records you have (see details in "Your records" tab at the top of the page).

    Martin Albertini, Bucks moth recorder

  5. This is the only other one I have. It does show a little more though. The wing was about 4mm.
    I don't understand "the antennae should reach to 75% of the way to the tip"?

    I refer the honourable gentleman to the email + attachment dated 31/1/16 and further conversation!!

  6. If you were to line the antenna along the costa, it should reach three quarters of the way to the wing tip. The second image is a lot clearer. In MBGBI it states the second silver spot on the tornus is perpendicular from the dorsum for leauwenhoekella, for schwarzella it says the silver spot is slightly outwardly oblique. Schwarzella is also bigger and your 4mm wing would mean it also points towards leauwenhoekella. All criteria point at leuwenhoekella. Only if it is a male can you use the antennae reliably, unless you can count the segments which are white.

    1. Was I copied on that mail of 31/1/2016?

    2. Thank you. I hadn't thought of doing that to measure the antennae. I think it is going to be P. leuwenhoekella after all. I only had records from my garden last year, in Bucks, so was only sent to Martin.


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