Home > Moths > 24 June 2020 – From Kent to Yorkshire

25 June 2020

24 June 2020 – From Kent to Yorkshire

Beautiful Snout (Hypena crassalis)

I knew I hadn’t seen this moth before but it was a rather worn little creature and to begin with I didn’t pay it much attention. The orange mark just behind the head is not a feature that might aid identification, it is where tufts of hair would normally cover the now exposed thorax. 

The shape of the wings reminded me of the Meal Moth (Pyralis farinalis) which has appeared only once before at Shandy Hall and then it was somewhat tattered – but it was clearly different when I had been through the various books. 

One moth seemed to match the wing patterns which was the Beautiful Snout, but it is not listed as one of the species that one would expect to see on the ‘Flying tonight’ website. Charlie Fletcher kindly confirmed its identity and tells me that it has spread across the county in recent years.  

The bilberry plant (Vaccinium myrtillus) seems to be the determining factor in the life of this moth – except for one location in Kent where a local colony of Hypena crassalis thrives but bilberry is not to be found.

Johan Christian Fabricius (1745 – 1808) was responisble for the scientific name.  Fabricius was a student under Linneaus and is considered one of the most eminent of entomologists and is responsible for the naming of nearly 10,000 species of insects. 

The Beautiful Snout is not as beautiful an example as it could be, but it is species number 441 for the garden and is very welcome.

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)

A true moth of the garden and commonly distributed throughout the country. Wood avens, dandelions, primrose and docks – the caterpillar is partial to all.  ‘Riband’ is another spelling of ribbon. The second part of the scientific name (Mt Ida was referred to in the last post) is aversata meaning ‘on the other side of the page’ where the page means the surface of the wing. Linnaeus was stating that the markings on the under side of the wings were distinctive.

The Riband Wave is a fine example of a moth that can match any butterfly with its beautiful markings.

Green Oak Tortrix (Tortrix viridana)

The Green Oak Tortrix stands out in the moth trap and is easily identifiable.  It is a micro moth, they are usually (but not always) quite small and it is a very soft-acid green colour.  Always impatient and ready to be off, it had to be photographed in the familiar plastic tube to get any sort of identifiable image.  The larvae feed on mature broad-leaved trees and the pupa can be found in a rolled or folded leaf.

July Highflyer (Hydriomena furcata)

Green is the theme and is continued in the July Highflyer (Hydromena furcata).  A fine example was found in last night’s trap, obviously freshly hatched from the pupa which has developed from the overwintering egg.  Click on the image to see more closely.  The scientific name is a little strange – Hydromena translates as ‘remaining as a water-pot; furcata – a two-pronged fork represented by the markings on the wings.

Other moths last night included : Agapeta hamana, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Burnished Brass, Small Fan-foot, Poplar hawk, Clay, Heart and Dart, Udea olivalis, and a couple of others that I need to triple check.