Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Common Quakers or one of the 'Drabs'?

 The following turned up in my garden near Chesham, Bucks last night. At first I recorded them all as Common Quakers, but now, I'm not so sure. Is there a Lead-coloured or Northern Drab amongst them - perhpas the last one shown? Help please! David Dennis


  1. Hi David,

    That's a very nice selection of pictures which show just how variable Common Quaker can be!

    Of the other species you mention, Lead-coloured Drab, which almost always has a grey background colour, is a possibility where you are if there are poplars around, although in Bucks it is more likely to be seen away from the Chilterns in Aylesbury Vale or around MK. Northern Drab is rare in our area and seems to be confined to one or two very large grassland sites on the edge of the Chilterns (from which there are occasional wanderers). The Ivinghoe area is its stronghold in Bucks and I think it is found at Aston Rowant too. It is almost certainly under-recorded because few moth enthusiasts can be persuaded to sit on freezing, windy hillsides in March or April!

  2. Thanks Dave,
    I was fooled by the feathered antennae, which I thought suggested Lead-coloured Drab. Is it right that Common Quaker can also have antennae like that? It's just that my 4th image above does have feathered antennae and my second image doesn't.
    Confused of Chesham!!


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