Sunday, 11 May 2014

Coronet and flighty micro

Although it seems quite early, judging by the mothing Bible (which suggests June as the start of the flight season), we had what looked very much like a Coronet yesterday - a very handsome creature indeed. We also had a rather hyperactive micro, which made off before I could get a sensible photo of it, but I've posted what I did get just in case it can be IDed: my strong impression was that it was an Esperia sulphurella, and I think the photo supports that, but what's the overall verdict? Steve and Xander Goddard.

Possible Esperia sulphurella, 9/5/14

Presumed Coronet, 9/5/14


  1. Hi,

    I had a Coronet slightly further north in Worcestershire mid last week so it seems they are out. The moth bible is based on all the other moth bibles and entomological papers before it and flight times have been changing as temperatures have been rising but I'm unaware of any formal study that has quantified this for moths. Thus my 80's copy of Skinner states June-July for Coronet, and my 2009 edition of WTL also states June-July. Butterflies flying at this time of year have advanced their flight periods by around three weeks over the last 35 years, almost a week a decade, so if the same is true of moths, and there's every reason to suspect it would be, then Coronet should be flying some time in May these days. On the continent it is bivoltine and flies between April and June and then again between July and September. I have the impression that it might be bivoltine, at least partially, in the UK (south only probably), as it is out for an awful long time - I was seeing them all summer last year.

    As for your micro, difficult to say for sure from the picture but it looks to me more like one of Monopis weaverella or M. laevigella. I don't think you'll get an id from a head on photo though. Dave and I had a Monopis the other night but it got away before we could capture it and never came back.

    Best wishes, Marc

  2. It's got a tornal wedge, so likely to be weaverella, but I agree with Marc, it's likely a Monopis.

  3. Many thanks, both: I thought our chances of a positive ID on the micro were slim, but I was frankly amazed I'd got anything recognizable as a moth on the photo at all, and thought it worth a try. What you say on flight seasons makes perfect sense, Marc, and I'm all the more grateful that you've introduced me to the term 'bivoltine', which I'm going to have to slip in to conversation as often as I can!


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