Saturday, 27 February 2021

Acleris sp.

Friday night's haul was thin - just four moths of three species.  I suspect that the full moon and clear sky had an impact, as did the forced substitution of one of my lights, my actinic strip having been shattered on Wednesday night by an especially strong gust of wind acting on an inadequately-secured trap.  While I'm waiting for a replacement light to arrive, I used a 40W U-shaped fluorescent light last night, but I think it doesn't give out much UV.

The March Moths and the Common Quaker were quickly written down, which left me with the micro below to scratch my head over. Initially, I was wondering if it was Acleris hastiana or A. cristana.  A look at Sterling & Parsons and at MBGBI eliminated cristana.  The location and size of scale tufts are a factor; hence the approximately side-on photo (taken in the lid of one of the few pots that I haven't cleaned since last year!).

I find that the ability to search this blog is really useful (top-left corner on the desktop version; unfortunately absent on the mobile version).  When I searched it for A. hastiana, I came across Dave's post of 16th December about a possible A. hastiana or A. umbrana, with Martin T's comment pointing towards A. schalleriana, which I hadn't considered.

Further research does suggest to me that "my" moth is A. schalleriana, but searching this blog for that species brought up my post of 5th October last year in which I had misidentified a moth as A. schalleriana which was really A. variegana.  Most examples of A. schalleriana have a notable trianglar mark on the costa, but they can be obscure, which is certainly the case here.  Incidentally, while writing this entry this evening, I decided that I needed to re-take the top-down photo to better show the triangular mark, so the photo below is in artificial light.

The forewing length is 9mm, which puts it precisely in the overlap between schalleriana and hastiana.  I'm definitely leaning towards schalleriana, but it might be hastiana, so perhaps I should get it dissected.  Either of those species would be new for the garden list.

Tim Arnold
Newton Longville, Bucks

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim,
    I wouldn't like to say what your first image shows (I can't really get a feel for what the moth looks like) but I'd agree that the second image is schalleriana.


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