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20 October 2012

19 October 2012 – Kaleidoscope of Colours

Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota)
Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta)

Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) has wings the colour of rain-washed slate, which is an appropriate description as the Latin lota means ‘washed’ referring to the way the pattern on the wings merges the colours together.  The markings that give the moth its common name – the red lines on the wings – and the evidence of the deep black stigma, make for clear identification.  This is apparently a common moth along with the Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) but both are new species to Shandy Hall.  The two shown here are quite easily distinguishable but that, it seems, is not always the case.

Red-green Carpet (Chlorocylsta siterata)
Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula)

The appearance of a Red-green Carpet (Chlorocylsta siterata) is a bit of a puzzle.  I felt sure this species had been recorded before but I can find no mention of it.  The moth hibernates over Winter and reappears in Spring – and that was the time I thought it had been spotted.  But then I am sure I would have remembered the Greek /Latin interpretation : from the greenish-yellow (khloros) colour that gets washed away (kluzo);  and siterata meaning ‘pertaining to corn’ which refers to the fact that as growing corn turns from green to golden as it ripens, so the forewing of this species fades from green to yellow after death.  All rather beautiful.  The moth rests with its abdomen slightly lifted.

The Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) is not a definite identification – it seems the most likely but awaits confirmation.  The November moths (Epirrita) are similar.  There are four species (Pale November, Autumnal, Small Autumnal and November) and the one that was attracted to the light would seem to be Epirrita dilutata – its rivulets (Epirrita) certainly look pale and washed out (dilutata) – hopefully Dave Chesmore will agree it is, at least, a member of the November moth family.

So, with these five species, three pretty certain, one reasonably certain and one from a family that hasn’t appeared at all (Epirrita), that could take the species list to 250 or 251. We’ll have to wait and see.