Sunday, 15 June 2014

Saturday Macros for confirmation / ID

Felt like a replay of last Friday night, I went out at 11pm to find a blizzard of moths, flies, caddis flies - including three Scarlet Tigers.The thunder started about 11.30 with heavy rain and went on until about 3am when I finally got to sleep!

By the morning there were two Scarlet Tigers, two Privet Hawks in the trap (one lurking nearby), two Elephant Hawks, a dozen  Pseudargyrotoza cowagana and many more.

I wanted to get confirmations / IDs on three macros. I think I have a Sallow Kitten, a Shark and maybe an Uncertain?


  1. Those three look good to me, Mark. I expect you already know but the only confusion species for Shark is the far less common (locally at least) Chamomile Shark. There is a subtle difference on the termen (wing-tip) where the black lines continue into the fringe on the latter species. That doesn't seem to be the case in your picture although it is not 100% clear, but the clincher for Shark is the whitish hind-wing.

    I should also mention that Rustic will be flying within the next week or two. When fresh you should, with care, be able to distinguish it from Uncertain to get yourself a garden 'tick'. After that you might as well record them as an aggregate because with wear they become very difficult if not impossible to separate. You will see lots of both species.

  2. This is where you should all look in Skinner as well. The tip for separating Chamomile from the Shark is the fringe of the hindwing. 3 lines in the Chamomile and 2 for the Shark. So yours is a Shark.

  3. great, many thanks to you both!

    1. I agree with Peter that Bernard Skinner's bible, "The Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles", is a very useful aid, showing pinned specimens which therefore give a good view of the hind-wings. Some moth enthusiasts of more senior years still regard it as the best guide to all of the macro-moth species because for many years it was the ONLY one and they grew up with it. However, there is tons more useful information packed into the Waring, Townsend & Lewington guide which most people seem have as their first port of call nowadays. Personally I'd rather newcomers to this fascinating hobby learned to use the far more wallet-friendly WT&L field guide to full advantage (ie not just looking at the pictures!) before considering expensive additions to their libraries, however useful they might be.


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