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1 August 2015

1 August 2015 – Small Fan-footed Wave

Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata)

This moth is the Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata). It was observed in a plastic tube as that was the only way to get a good look at it.  It kept fluttering around, resistant of immobility, and then would crouch in the cap at the bottom of the tube so the picture you see is the result of both trickery and patience. It wasn’t easy to identify because it’s a little worn and its markings are not very distinct; we wondered if it might be the Dotted-border Wave. I’ve enhanced the contrast on this image so you can see its identifying marks with more clarity.

Its scientific name is Idaea biselata Idaea for the mountain from which the mythological Greek goddesses and gods watched the Trojan War; and biselata for the tufts on the back legs of the male. Funnily enough, biselata should actually be bisetata; it’s a typographical error that has stuck.

The catch from yesterday had little else of note, unless you have an affinity for the Common Footman (Eilema lurideola); they were everywhere, hidden under almost every one of the egg cartons, perched along the rim of the trap, and scrambling for exodus after we removed the top. However, it did seem to be the catch of moth-friendship; two Muslin Footmen seated together, the tips of their wings overlapping.  Three Wainscots huddled in alliance, probably plotting their escape from their temporary residence.

Three Wainscots

The Small Fan-footed Wave is species number 368 for Shandy Hall gardens.

Post : Ariel A Smith (UPenn)