Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pepple and Looper?

One of the joys of natural history is that it always surprises and no matter how long you've been interested in a subject you can always learn more.

Getting old has two conflicting affects. With more years you get more experience and have seen more things. Unfortunately, at least in my case, although I know I've seen a moth that I've caught before, I still have to relearn its name each year. I quite like this little moth, the Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis) but on reading about it I've discovered that it's not that friendly, as the larvae like to feed on cultivated Cruciferous plants, and can be a pest in gardens and allotments.

When I saw the moth above I was pretty sure that I hadn't seen it before. It wasn't until Nigel texted to say he'd caught 5 Rannoch Loopers last night that I had another look at this species. The female is quite strongly marked with cross lines, so I hadn't really considered this. (Sorry about the picture, I took it this evening in artificial light). I'm still not 100% sure but I think this may be a male, which are less well marked. Any expert opinions welcome. Normally Rannoch Loopers are restricted to the mature woodland areas of central Scotland, but they are also scarce migrants from the continent and they have been a lot of records in the last few days.

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