Friday, 15 January 2021

Moths off the block

Caught my first adult moths of the year two nights ago at the Beddington trap. The first relatively mild evening in a few weeks. 

Spring Usher , update 170121- see comments, probably a Mottled Umber based on wing shape presumably. A very variable moth and the pattern on this seems similar to Spring Usher variants. Update later on 170121- ok we are back to Spring Usher on this (see comments- thanks Stewart and Billy) . Here's a selection of other Mottled Umbers from the blog showing those discal spots HERE.
Light Brown Apple moth (above) and Winter moth (below). Update 170121- see comments below (thanks Edward!) . Probably a melanic Spring Usher (below). Update late 170121- a general agreement that yes it's a melanic Spring Usher. 

I've learnt moths, the 'fools-way' (internet swarm learning) where I take photos, compare to on line resources like what's flying tonight pages (where identification is also based on probability based on time of year and location) and if stuck seek advice from the internet community and try and memorise the results. Its certainly the fastest way to learn but prone to leakage!  I learnt birds the proper-way, digesting volumes and volumes of books and journals and teaching myself with the help of tutors/local birders. So have I ruled out an acleris sp for the above micro or other aggregate species with the macro below? I better get my books out :-) Update 170121  - I got my books out (which were at Holly's) and post edited accordingly (thanks all for comments too).     


Edward Evans said...

Your top moth is a mottled umber and your bottom moth is a melanic Spring Usher. Happy new year! Hopefully Stewart will back me up on this. :)

Peter Alfrey said...

lol- what a start. Straight off the block and into the crash barrier! :-) Justifiably called the fools way :-)

Stewart said...

Hi Peter and Edward,
I wouldnt like to comment on the melanistic moth from a photo, but sorry Edward, I think the top one is Spring Usher. The raeson for this is based solely on the basal cross line in the wing. On this photo the line forms two nice clearly defined smooth curves with the thorax in the middle. On Mottled Umber regardless of colour, this line is more angular, often square shaped. Ive never seen MU show clear curved lines like this one.

Cheers Stewart

Peter Alfrey said...

Cheers guys, I've asked Billy Dykes too for a verdict- Billy says the first photo is good for Spring Usher too - Mottled Umber would have discal spots. He is also happy with the third picture being Spring Usher too. Everyone agrees on LBAM - I need to remember that the long lalps are a good indicator over acleris. Thanks all!

Edward Evans said...

Ugh! :)