Thursday, 6 August 2015


I'm rather down to the barrel-scrapings today, thanks to my diversionary adventures among the butterflies and neglect of the moth trap for the last few nights. We were down in London on grandparent duty yesterday, too, and had the pleasure of showing the little one her first Holly Blue at close quarters. They seem very common in the capital.

Since we had the Pale Prominent yesterday, I'll start with another PP from that tribe, the Pebble Prominent at the top of the post with the pretty and distinctive markings which give it its name. The initials PP resonate with me as they also belonged to my long-time editor at The Guardian, the estimable Peter Preston. He shares them too with the Plumed Prominent, a rarity among moths which I have yet to see.

My second picture simply shows the variety of visitors in the eggboxes at this time of the year: a Ruby Tiger sharing quarters with a White Satin and a Mother of Pearl plus some speck of a micro, I think one of the mini-ermines. The Ruby Tiger is a moth which I love very much so here it is again below, along with part of my dressing gown. I share my nightwear with you and this Ruby Tiger is similarly giving you a flash of its underwings, lovely and red but usually folded neatly away in Victorian fashion.

Here's a Burnished Brass, another frequent customer but also a favourite of mine - and I imagine of everyone else, thanks to its lovely light-reflecting and refracting wing scales.

Then I think we have a nice fat Dingy Footman, completing a trio with the Common and Scarce Footmen I showed a week or so ago:

And now for a couple more Common or Lesser Common Rustics, adding to the great variety shown in these two species. I think. Please correct me if they are something else.  The first has an interesting patch of scale damage on its wings, perhaps from a lucky escape from a bird.

I'm never very at ease when trying to ID Carpet moths, so I will not (yet) stick my neck out on these two. Further reading for me, I hope, later in the day.

In microland below, however, I will stick my neck out and suggest that we have a Bud Moth, Spilonota occellana left, and Aethes cnicana, right.


Trent Duval said...

Hi Martin,
Your Carpets are Common Carpet 1738.
The two micros are a bit tricky, the left one is not a Bud Moth, more like a Cochylis.
I would check out Cochylis atricapitana, difficult to tell, take a look on the UK Moths website, not the 1st photo but the third I think, it looks very close to your little'un.
The micro on the right is an Aethes, but I think it is smeathmanniana.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Trent

Thanks very much for this wise and detailed advice, I'm afraid that I can stare at them - and the book - for hours without enlightenment, so VERY many thanks for your expertise and finding the time to pass it on

all warm wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin.

If I were to disagree with Trents IDs, it would only be with C.atricapitana. My personal choice would have been C.dubitana, due to the apparent white head and more obviously broken crossband. However, I'm probably missing some obvious reason to dismiss it!