Home > Moths > 4 May 2014 – Confusing Identification

4 May 2014

4 May 2014 – Confusing Identification

Least Black Arches (Nola confusalis)

This moth confused me – which is only to be expected when its Latin name is translated. The Least Black Arches (Nola confusalis) seems to have caused confusion from the very first.  I can find no reference to the moth in Westwood’s ‘British Moths and their Transformations’ so there is no C19 illustration (Humphreys) to consider.  Nola refers to either a town in Campania or the Latin nolo : I refuse.  The latter derivation (making reference to the white wings of chastity) seems unlikely and the former geographical association the favourite and, if correct, one of the earliest.  Confusalis means ‘confused’.  I thought it must be a Eudonia and it seems it is often confused with members of that family.  Least Black Arches is a delicate little moth (size of a little fingernail) that runs at speed if kept in captivity and is reluctant to settle.  It was one of the first moths to be identified at Shandy Hall in April 2011 and was one of three of this species in last night’s catch.  A Muslin moth, Waved Umber (five in total), Powdered Quakers and Hebrew Characters made up the rest.