Tuesday, 24 May 2016


After yesterday's Big Boy, the Poplar Hawk moth, I thought I'd give some space to the littlies at the other end of the scale. The one above is our representative of the Pug family; I think a Common Pug but beautiful and complex-patterned for all that. I await confirmation from the experts on the Upper .Thames Moths blog. Update: it is.

Now for a couple of Carpets; a Red Twin-spot if I am not mistaken, above (Update: I'm not)  and a Green Carpet pretending to be a butterfly, below.  As you can read at more length in the tab 'Moths and Butterflies - the Difference,' the resting position is normally: butterfly wings are held vertically above the back, moth ones folded horizontally over the back.

And so to the third and much the largest category of small moths - the micros, which form a second tribe to the macro moths of the UK and outnumber them some four or five times. Above we have - I think - Epiphyas postvittana aka the Light Brown Apple Moth,  Cochylimorpha straminea and Nomophila noctuella, aka the Rush Veneer. Update: my Commentor below suggests that the last is a Cnephasia micro, probably the Light Grey Tortrix, and I agree - but shrink from the dissection needed to be certain. Anyway, the moth is long gone.   
Below are three different photographs of Tinea trinotella, a relative of the two devastating clothes moths which confines its destructive work to birds' nests of wool left out in the open air.

From above
From further away
From the side
And last of all, am I right in thinking that the little chap below is some sort of weevil? And another update: Trent kindly suggests that, yes, it's probably a Vine Weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus. He confirms that the Cnephasia would indeed require dissected to bring it to species level, adding that if the wing length was over 10mm it would be  Cnephasia stephensiana. I don't think mine was that big.  


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin
I personally think you have them all right, except I believe your Rush Veneer is actually a Cnephasia sp. (I would plump for incertana - Light Grey Tortrix but I think you're supposed to dissect them) on pg 238 of the Field Guide to Micromoths.
Also, I would never have realised the moth with the wings up is Green Carpet, but I assume you also saw it wings down.
I also think the bug is one of the Weevil types.

Martin Wainwright said...

Many thanks indeed, as ever. I'll add another update

All warmest


Trent Duval said...

Your bug looks like a Vine Weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus. The Cnephasia would indeed require dissected to bring it to species level, but if you trap one with a wing length that exceeds 10mm it is Cnephasia stephensiana. Cheers

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Trent and many thanks for that. I'm very grateful for the weevil suggestion which I'll add in yet another update. I much enjoy doing that. Alas the Cnephasia has long flitted but I will try to remember to measure next time. If and when. All warmest and thanks again M