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27 June 2012

27 June 2012 – A Crowd of Moths and More

Last night we caught more moths than I’ve yet uncovered in a single night, including five (or six) new species. This would bring the total to 194 confirmed species or 195, depending on the outcome of the unknown. We were overwhelmed with trying to differentiate micromoths from the colorful beetles, flies, and gnats. Perhaps this is what I should expect from summer temperatures or it could just be a fluke.

The new species were:

Epermenia chaerophyllella

The Epermenia chaerophyllella (epermenia for the ermine-like markings on its forewings and chaerophyllella, ‘rough chervil,’ its larvae’s food).

Chrysoteuchia culmella 

The Chrysoteuchia culmella (Chrysoteuchia means to make with gold, due to its golden forewings; culmella means ‘a stalk,’ appropriate for its habitat in pastures.) 

Crambus perlella

The Crambus perlella (crambus means ‘dry’ or ‘parched’ from the yellowish brown of some of the moths of this species; perlella (a pearl) describes its glossy white finish).

Celypha lacunana

The Celypha lacunana (celypha (husk or pod) might describe the shape of its wings; lacunana (hole or cleft) describes the interruption of dark coloring on its wings).

Agapeta hamana

 The Agapeta hamana (agapeta (beloved or desirable) is due to its attractive appearance while hamana, a hook, refers to the marking on its hindwings.)

Small Fan-foot (Herminia grisealis)

My favorite of the day happened to not be a new species: the Small Fan-foot (Herminia grisealis),  whose markings were so simple and distinct that they reminded me of engravings. Its Latin name is herminia (adorned with ermine), from the tufts of hair-scales on its legs that resemble ermine robes. Grisealis derives from either griseus (grey) for its ground-colored wings or nemoralis (a grove or glade), its habitat. There were three of this species in the trap so I wonder if they will begin to show up every night.

Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria)

Other findings were: a Common Footman, a Small Magpie, Willow Beauty, Brimstone Moth, Udea olivalis, The Flame, a Scorched Wing, Garden Pebble, Bright-line Brown-eyes, Poplar Hawk-moth, Pugs, Ermines, Common Swifts, Beautiful Golden Ys, and so many fluttering Carpets that I was hesitant to open the lid.

Smoky Wainscot or Shoulder-striped Wainscot*

The picture to the right is still yet to be determined. If it is a Shoulder-striped Wainscot, then it is a new species. If its is a Smoky Wainscot, then we have seen it before. As always, tweet us @LSterneTrust if you have any ideas!

Post by Helen Levins

*Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Mythimna comma) – Jane Wu