Monday, 13 July 2009

Mistaken Identity

During the two days of the Garden Safari I was still running my traps overnight although I had to do the checking in the mornings rather more quickly than my normally leisurely pace while I get through a full teapot.

Royal Mantle (Catarhoe cuculata)

When I came across this nice looking moth I had a quick look in the book and decided it was a
Beautiful Carpet, a moth that I'd seen once before but not in the garden. I potted it for a photo when I got the chance, moths are quite OK in a pot for a while it they are kept in a cool place. It's surprising what our fridge contains at times! When I photographed it this morning I realised that I had made a mistake and that it was a moth I'd not seen before, a Royal Mantle (Catarhoe cuculata). It was a good job I kept it for a second look, another lesson in taking care to identify things properly. A far as I can see there were only three Kent records in the four years 2003-2006, making it a good find.

The Miller (Acronicta leporina)

This is the second Miller I've caught this year, although I've only caught one before here. It is a relatively common moth, but it the larvae that stand out most. They mainly feed on Birch and are covered in very long white hairs making them look almost feather like.

White Plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)

A small moth that does look like a small feather is the White Plume Moth. this is a common moth of waste grounds and less manicured gardens as the caterpillars feed on bindweed.

Saltern Ear (Amphipoea fucosa)

There are four moths in the group of "ear" moths and they are very similar and may even need microscopic examination of their naughty bits to be certain of their identification. The most common one in the coastal region of Kent is the Saltern Ear and this one seems to fit the criteria for that species. I don't do dissections myself and unless it was for an important record or a piece of research I don't think it is important enough to know what is in my garden to sent it to someone who does.

Eilema depressa (Buff Footman )

I always find Buff and Dingy footman confusing, I think that this is a dingy footman, but I have changed my mind a couple of times, and again (Nigel Jarman has put me tight, this is a Buff Footman!). When I get a classic one of each in the same catch and can compare them together I'll be more confident. This is the first of either to appear so far this year.

Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina)

This small noctuid moth is quite strange in that after it has been sitting in what looks like a normal position for a while it will pull its wings up in a tent like postion, quite unlike other months in the same familt.


Anonymous said...

Some cracking species & pictures there, Tony.

Tony Morris said...

Thanks Dean, that's the beauty of digital photography, instant pictures of today's catch.