Home > Moths > 20 July 2013 – Keep On Comin’.

20 July 2013

20 July 2013 – Keep On Comin’.

Another catch of over 500 moths! We’ve started alternating the days when we set up the trap and when we identify for the blog because of how long it takes to record them all. It must be the heat wave bringing them in. We moved the trap from the quarry garden to the ‘formal’ garden last night. Most of the higher numbers came from the same varieties as before, but with many more Agriphila straminella, Burnished Brass, and Common Wainscots. I’ll post about some of our other finds today, though it’ll take several more posts to cover them all since there have been so many!

Green Pug (Chloroclystis Pasiphila rectanglata)*

There were two Green Pugs (Chloroclystis Pasiphila rectanglata)* perched on the cage in the morning and one that had flown into the trap. Of all the pugs, they are my favorite, mainly because they are easier to identify. The green color gives them their genus name – khloros meaning ‘pale green.’ Kluzo ‘to wash, wash away’ describes how this color fades quickly though, and most of the Green Pugs I’ve seen show blotches of grey where the green coloring has fallen out. Rectangulus ‘rectangular’ refers to a rectangular band of blackish dots on the underside of the wings.

The Fan-foot (Zanclognatha tarsipennalis)

The Fan-foot (Zanclognatha tarsipennalis) has been a common find in the past few weeks. The markings on it are particular to the moth though, and a slight variance in lines may mean you are looking at a completely different species! The Fan-foot must have gone through a re-naming recently because I have found no interpretations on the genus name Zanclognatha. The Fan-foot is instead listed under the genus Herminia from the French hermine ‘adorned with ermine’. This refers to the hairy scales on the Fan-foot’s legs, which I’ve never noticed as it usually has them placed underneath it’s cloak-like wings. Tarsus ‘the distal part of the leg’ and penna ‘a feather’ make yet another allusion to the moth’s legs.

Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)

If there’s ever a moth I have trouble with identifying it is the Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha). Patrick says I do a good job remembering which moths are which, but this one I always need a comparison picture for, especially when they come in different varieties. I usually end up photographing all the ones we catch thinking they might be something new only to realize the majority were actually Dark Arches. Nevertheless, it is a beautifully ornamented moth and a wonderful find. It is the same genus as the Clouded-bordered Brindle and the Dusky Brocade. The species name comes from the ‘W’-shaped notch on the base of the forewing – monos meaning ‘one, single’ and gluphis ‘a notch.’

Beautiful China-mark (Nymphula stagnata)

Finally, something new for the day – bringing the species numbers to 283! And a beautiful one too, hence the name Beautiful China-mark (Nymphula stagnata). I almost thought I had lost this one as it flew out of the trap, but luckily it landed in some clover and I was able to take a couple of pictures before it decided that probably wasn’t the best place to hide from the birds, particularly a clever little robin that had been observing me and the moths that morning. The Beautiful China-mark is special in that its larvae are aquatic, meaning it lives in the water – stagnum meaning ‘a pond.’ It is also named after numphe ‘a nymph.’ I believe this is in reference to its delicate ornamentation and shape as well as its watery habitat. Its foodplants include bur-reed and other aquatic plants.

– Post by Jane Wu

*Green Pug (Chloroclystis rectanglata) reclassified as Pasiphila rectanglata.