Monday, 21 September 2015

Who sweeps a room...

I'm conscious that because I like new and shiny things, like some sort of magpie among moth enthusiasts, I make too many dismissive remarks about brown and grey moths of middling size. Anyone involved in moth trapping and study will secretly sympathise, I am sure, because a score of eggboxes full of Large Yellow Underwings and Square-spot Rustics can be a dispiriting sight. these pictures show, I hope, the unexceptional can be beautiful too, starting with the Beaded Chestnut at the top (which may alternatively be a Brown-spot Pinion but I don't think so), followed by the Vine's Rustic above and below. I say 'Vine's Rustic' confidently and I hope that I am right in both cases, but you can see if you look carefully that the patterns on the two moths are not exactly the same. this may mean that the top one is a Pale Mottled Willow, though I think not. Or, more likely, it is an illustration of the variation in colour and/or pattern within a species, which is another reason why I find these types of moth so trying.

Next comes an example of the Square-spot Rustic vilified above - no, two of them, because I've been so dismissive -  and below them, admiring my wedding ring, another Beaded Chestnut. Slightly different from the one at the top, I agree, so is one of them a Brown-spot Pinion after all? Update: thanks to Trent in Comments, you may rest assured that the first is a BC and the second a B-sP

The next moth is not a problem: a Setaceous (or 'bristly' - but why as it doesn't bristle in the least?) Hebrew Character. The Hebrew Character is the dark mark on the wings, something like a diabolo, which very much resembles the Hebrew letter 'nun', effectively an N.

Equally unmistakable is the Rosy Rustic below. Now this is a really lovely moth, for all its superficial brownness and average size. It is well worth double-clicking on the picture to see it much-magnified and admire the subtly pink and olivey-green tones.

The same applies to a moth which will be familiar to regular (or long-suffering?) readers of this blog because its rakish appearance and wonderfully fine but subdued colouring appeals to me greatly. the Angle Shades:

I haven't featured a micro-moth here for a while, although there have been plenty in the trap but all of them familiar. By way of penitence, here is a Garden Rose Tortrix, Acleris variegana

Garden Roses are big in our household at the moment because Penny won third prize at Kidlington Flower Show in the single rose bloom section, with this lovely example here:

I am sure that the Garden Rose Tortrix micros absolutely loved that one. It certainly had a delicious scent. Although it's in flagrant disregard of my late mother's warning that 'there's too much swanking in this family", I can't resist giving a tiny plug to my own triumphs: second in the Men Only Baking with a frankly inedible Swiss Roll. A neighbour said that there were only four entries and two were disqualified but I cannot believe that this was true. (We couldn't go on the day cos of people coming to lunch). And a second for my wild flower arrangement on the theme of the 2015 General Election. The big fat artichoke represents Alex Salmond.

Next, here are three Lunar Underwings, all slightly different for this is a highly variable moth which also comes in a brown colourway:

And finally...  A Black Rustic on the left, a handsome beast as lauded two posts back. And alongside it, an....Umm..Ummm...   Is it a very dark Marbled Minor? I am off to the moths books for help. Update: But Ben has got there first, in Comments. It's a Deep Brown Dart. Thanks ever so much, as ever.


Bennyboymothman said...

Deep-brown Dart Martin, nice moth :)

Trent Duval said...

Your second Beaded Chestnut is indeed a Brown-spot Pinion as you suspected, and the moth beside the Black Rustic is as Ben states, a Deep Brown Dart.
Due to lack of entries, the 1st prize in the unusual pet competition at the Kidlington show went to a man with a tin of salmon on a string, was that you Martin ?

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi both and thanks as ever for the help - excellent to have the Deep Brown Dart alongside the Black Rustic as this follows an arranged pic on Upper Thames Moths blog by Dave Wilton, designed to help the less dim of us identify the DBD. Good to hear from you Ben and I've ben following your very thorough records with great interest.

Thanks too for confirming my suspicions about Beaded Chestnut not being that, Trent. I will update generally.

All warmest