Monday, 10 August 2015

For confirmation please

Good a good night last night - but I'm still struggling to increase the garden total - now at 346 only gained 40 this year. Full house on Yellow Underwings to be found here, large, lesser, Broad Bordered, Lesser Broad Bordered and Least last night.

Also Straw and Copper I think.

So I think I have,

Coleophrid - showing antennae

Copper Underwing - not sure if there is enough to determine it as Copper Underwing from the palps and hindwing.

Dusky Thorn

Orange Footman

Red Twin Spot Carpet

Straw Underwing

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford


  1. I re-adjusted your photo sizes on some, they were a bit big for my screen. I need the size for the Coleophorid please. I don't trust palps for determining Copper Undies and I need the hindwings opened up more. Then Dusky Thorn, Buff footman, Red Twin-spot Carpet and Straw Underwing.

  2. hi Peter, I've added another pic. Re the footman - I didn't check the flight periods - is that the basis of your determination?

  3. I see the moth didn't play ball much, but by some clever work with my ruler, I make the wingspan about 19mm, so your Coleophorid is trifolii (the other option was alcyonipennella or frishella), based on the long white tips to the antennae and lack of a scape. As for the Footman, yes partly that, it is well past the Orange Footman flight period. The other factor is wing shape, the Orange Footman has a curve in the costa near the apex, whilst the Buff remains straight. This also excludes the buff form of Dingy Footman which has a far more arched costa.

  4. Hello Mark, the method of attempting to differentiate between the two Copper Underwing species by looking at their palps was discredited as being unreliable some time ago. The only safe way to confirm the ID involves handling the moth (not easy because they're slippery critters!). If you've got one in a pot, persuade it to face the entrance then try and grab it with your first two fingers above and your thumb below. It is then a quick and easy operation to gently open one set of wings and view the underside of the hind-wing (refer to the field guide). The moth will probably lose a few scales in the process but will survive the experience and you can then release it.


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