Thursday, 7 July 2022

Small Marbled

I had somehow failed to see Dave's post of 29th June about finding a Small Marbled; I probably missed it as I had only just got back from a couple of weeks abroad and had quite a lot of catching up to do.  Anyhow, that's my flimsy excuse for the following slightly-embarrassing tale.

I had a handful of "micros" from my trap on Tuesday night which I had kept back to photograph and to identify from the photos.  The last one was clearly (!) a Tortrix, so I photographed it from the side and went looking unsuccessfully amongst the likes of Aethes species until after quite a while I noticed that not only were the cross-bands wrong, but the wings were too broad and the palps were obviously and completely wrong for a Tortrix.  Time to slap my forehead and then to take a top-down photograph as well.

I couldn't think of any families amongst the micros with the combination of upward-curving palps and strong reddish-brown central cross-band.  In some vague way, the slender, curved outer cross-band reminded me of the Nola family amongst the macros, and they are small enough (this individual has a forewing length of 7mm) and roughly the right shape, but the colour and palps are wrong.  So I glanced through the rest of the field guide to the macros and found Small Marbled amongst the Erebidae.

The book hits the nail on the head with its first sentence: "Very small and easily overlooked amongst the Tortricoidea".

Small Marbled
Newton Longville, 5th July 2022

I'm happy to have found this nice migrant and pleased that I eventually got to the right answer, even if it took me a while.  Next time, I'll try to look at the whole moth before jumping to conclusions.

Tim Arnold
Newton Longville, Bucks

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, Tim - you got there in the end which is the most important thing!!


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