Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hold the front beige

Beige is the colour of the blog today, and of the coffee and walnut cupcakes which Penny has made for a triple birthday celebration we're joining. I've also got an unusually large number of unresolved questions seeking answers. So here goes. Update - and the answers have come in. See Comments and a big thank you to Richard for the IDs and to Countryside Tales for having a crack.

The moth in the top three pictures is some kind of Footman, but which? Dingy maybe? I don't think it's a Common one, like the much smaller grey gentleman accompanying it in the second snap.  The Common Footman is a very familiar moth, both here and back in Leeds, so much so that I see that I haven't yet included it in the Good Housekeeping list which I'm keeping of moths seen so far this year. But I've never had such a large or eliptical one. It's the nearest moth equivalent of a flying saucer. Update: It is a Dingy Footman, but the form stramineola which sounds like a Caribbean island or Spanish musical instrument. Many thanks again Richard in Comments.

Help much appreciated - as also with this Footman, above, which seems thinner than the standard type and was hugging itself in this gauche-looking way, in the process revealing its fine yellow back legs. Update: and it is different - ID-d by Richard as a Scarce Footman (which actually isn't that scarce hereabouts).

Then we have this, above. I am more or less certain that it's a Mother of Pearl but it is much creamier, indeed much beige-er, than the standard version, of which the trap holds at least 20 examples every night.

I do at least know the seventh beige moth; a nice Scalloped Oak, and the eighth with its curious T-shape is one of the Plumes, although I will need some time to work out which. Another of my neighbours has just sent me a photo of a White Plume, a beautiful and distinctive moth which I featured last month. This one is going to be a great deal harder to pin down.

So to a Wainscot which looks new to me, and I'm plumping for a Southern because of the dots and dashes and the fact that the species is happy in areas like ours which adjoin canals. Update; no, it's a Small Dotted Buff which is at least on the same page as some of the Wainscots in my Moth Bible and related to them. Thanks once more Richard. Then we have one of last week's stars, a Marbled Beauty, plus my thumb which I'm including only because I like them so much; and a pretty little creature which I've failed to nail but am guessing is a Toadflax Pug. Update: no, it's a Red Twin-spot Carpet which I should have known because members of the first generation came to the trap earlier in the summer. A final bow for Richard and many thanks again. I think I can claim not to have been totally crass with these moths, but there is much room for improvement (cf school reports c. 1965).

Then, what is going on with this Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and the little red dot above its left antenna and eye? The three pictures show the size and shape of this strange addition. I think from Googling that it's a parasitic Red Mite which is bad news for the moth, but any enlightenment gratefully received.

Finally, a couple of dainty micros which were sleeping close beside one another in the same eggbox, albeit with their big eyes wide open. More guessing here: I go for Crambus perlella and Agriphila straminella.


Countryside Tales said...

I'd have thought your uber thin footman was the common one, only because I've also had them this week and reading up told me they hold their wings tightly wrapped, but as you know I am not an expert so could be wrong! The mother of pearl one looks like a mother of pearl to me and I've also seen the red blob on a butterfly this week on another post which was a parasite. As to the fatter more orangey footmen they are also flummoxing me as we've had lots here and I can't tell orange from buff from dingy so will read other folks thoughts on those with interest.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,
Your unidentified moths are: Dingy Footman ab. stramineola, Scarce Footman, Small Dotted Buff and Red Twin-spot Carpet.

MartinWainwright said...

Fantastic! Thanks so much for those. Very much appreciated. All warmest. M

Ila said...