Friday, 8 June 2012

A second Bible

I haven't had time yet to do justice to this vast subject, but it's high time to welcome a second Bible for moth enthusiasts: the long-awaited Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Here it is, and it is wonderful. The writers Phil Sterling and Mark Parsons are meticulous and Richard Lewington's paintings are outstanding, as in the first Bible which has served me so well. The format is different from the macro moths volume, with a lot more photographs of eggs, caterpillars and pupae, plus distribution maps and other info.  But the paintings remain at the heart of things.

I must now settle down to identifying a backlog of puzzling little creatures; and even with the new guide, it isn't easy. You would think that this first moth, whose picture comes with the free extra of an interesting close-up of the trap's moulded black plastic, was simple. But although there are lots of black-dotted white micros in the book, I haven't tracked it down yet.

But I will, heartened by knowing that this second one is Diurna fagella, a very frequent visitor which our West Yorkshire county moths monitor Charlie Fletcher kindly identified for me a couple of years ago when I first featured it.

Finally for now, I'm going to be searching more closely for this micro whose tiny size belies the extraordinary complexity of both pattern and colouring on its wings. My initial trawl hasn't located it, but I will continue. The book is completely absorbing. 

Update: see Comments for massive help, full identifications and tips on using the new Bible.


Bill Welch said...

Hi - I think your last tiny creature is a White-shouldered House-moth, Endrosis sarcitrella, which I have seen in my own trap recently. Not that I can claim any expertise in identifying micros!

Stokelymort said...

Like Bill Welch, I do not lay claim to being an expert on micros (or even macros), but admit to being a very enthusiastic newcomer to this fascinating subject. I also stab at the White Shouldered House Moth.

David Shenton said...

Yes, you have White-shouldered House Moth. I won't spoil your fun using the new book, but for your first one, to narrow it down, try the Tineidae...

Happy hunting


MartinWainwright said...

Thanks very much everyone! as ever, your help is invaluable and wondrous. It's also been very helpful to my use of the new guide. I hadn't noticed the White-shouldered house moth because it was among a series of moths which looked (and have been painted) on the large side. Ditto with Tinea trinotella, as I now know the first one to be. I was looking among the black-dotted white micros, whereas it is actually more of grey with a slightly yellow tinge.

Thanks again, very much!

All warm wishes,


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

I can't praise Richard lewington enough for his work in my old Odonata bible The Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Ddamselflies of Great britain and Ireland. Mind you that only had 37 species in total. Im sure he had plenty more micromoths to work with.