Friday, 3 October 2014

Go Large

The Wainscots are a confusing family of moths to identify, most of them sharing a linear white patterning (hence their name, from old wooden wall panels) with only small variations. Difficulties even apply to one of them which is usually substantially different: the Large Wainscot. It has a small form which looks very like the Small Wainscot. I muddled one of the latter for one of the former only last week.

Now, however, an undeniably large Large Wainscot has obligingly spent the night in one of my eggboxes and in doing so has added another new record to my growing list. The Small Wainscot was also a newcomer and this season's tally of different species is now comfortably over 300. Mind you, the blogmaster of the Upper Thames Moths blog has topped 700, so as the Americans say, we still have a way to go.

The latter blog has featured a growing number of species enjoying late broods after our lovely summer, and my second picture shows another: a Grey or Dark Dagger (extremely hard to tell them apart) which roosted in the trap this week. Update: Uh-oh, as the Teletubbies used to say. It's a Blair's Shoulder-knot which I should have recognised. Many thanks to Richard in Comments.  I've also had my first Satellite, an Autumnal moth seen in the third photo with a Black Rustic, the last species continuing to visit in large numbers. My final pic shows the reason for the moth's name - a tiny flying saucer mark on each wing, like the ones you shoot down in Space Invaders.


richard bartlett said...

Hi Martin,
Fascinating post as ever.
The moth in your 2nd photo is a Blair's Shoulder-knot.

Martin Wainwright said...

Silly me! I've featured the Blair's Shoulder-knot only the other day and they've been coming regularly. This moth seemed smaller and stubbier but I should have looked more carefully. I much appreciate being kept on the straight and narrow

all warm wishes