Monday, 22 June 2015

All in vein

After my OAP muddles over nomenclature in the last post, the moths have kindly served me up with an easy one today. Behold the Blood-vein, above, snuggled up to an equally delightful Buff Ermine. There is no room for debate about the reason for its name.

It was the shortest night of the year - although I've never quite resolved whether that should be equal with the previous night, given that they 'bracket' the longest day. Help with this conundrum, as with everything else which floors me, would be gratefully received.  In spite of the limited flying hours, the moths were plentiful and I was specially taken with this Longhorn moth on the bulb collar. Imagine having eyebrows like that. The actual moth is the size of a pine nut.

No need to discuss the reason for its name either, nor that of the handsome Large Yellow Underwing which comes next, above, nor the Straw Dots, below - a sparkling young one and a rather tattier elder.

Finally, today's micro-moth. I think it's probably cheery old Celypha lacunana once again, with the pattern on this one resembling a smiley face. If you look at it upside down, it's more of a crosspatch, like one of those reversible people we used to draw in our exercise books during boring interludes in, for example, Latin lessons.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin

I look forward to seeing a Blood Vein, they're very striking when the lines are as vivid as that.

I think your Longhorn moth is likely to be one of the Nematopogons and mostly due to your size reference I'm going to have a bash at Nematopogon swammerdamella.

I personally have a better idea with Tortrix moths from the side (where possible), it's easier for matching them with the micromoth book. Even then I usually end up guessing though. I'm going to guess Celypha lacunana aswell.

Martin Wainwright said...


That's an excellent idea re the micros - and I'm glad you agree with me about lacunana. It's quite rare for people to agree with my IDs!

Thanks too for the longhorn one. I think I went for that before but was cautioned by a micro-expert that they're very difficult to tell apart without further examination. Aren't the antennae marvellous!

The Blood Vein is one of my favourites though the Maiden's Blush pips it, I think. I've not had one of them so far this year but one came in 2014

all warm wishes as ever


Trent Duval said...

Hi Martin,
Your longhorn is probably Nematopogon metaxella.
It is showing a dark mark in the forewing which swammerdamella lacks.
I wouldn't put a monkey on it with Paddy Power though.

Anonymous said...

I actually saw the diagnostic mark and then completely ignored it. I have no idea why! While you're right Martin to be wary of confirming certain IDs from just a photo, unless sending the data off to the moth recorder, I see no harm in having a guess. My new guess is Trent's right!

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi again both - much obliged!

Anon, I agree with you about guessing. I am a lifelong guesser. But I suppose one has to acknowledge defeat every now and then. I'm hopeless about sending data off officially btw - I've just not got an ordered mind which can cope with forms, spreadsheets, instructions in small print etc. Still, so long as the internet is accessible, the records will be here. all warmest as ever M