5 July 2013
5 July 2013 – Rare Moth With Earmuffs.
We got my first rare moth catch at Shandy Hall! It’s an Ectoedemia decentella. We actually had two, on June 22 and June 30, though neither Patrick nor I could find it in our books so we couldn’t identify it until we had help from one of our moth expert contacts. He confirmed the micro-moth as Ectoedemia decentella, which we then looked up on Yorkshire Moths. There it is labeled as ‘Nationally Scarce B’ and a ‘rare and very local resident’! This, however, may be false labeling as our contact has informed us this may just be because Ectoedemia decentella is under-recorded. Still, it’s an exciting find! I think it’s kind of adorable with its little earmuffs on its head. It looks quite sizeable from the up-close pictures I took, though I guarantee that it was absolutely tiny – probably no more than a few millimeters long. Two together might have been the size of a grain of rice.
The genus of this moth was not created until 1945 so influences to its name (unlike the other moths I’ve blogged about) do not come from Greek or Latin. Etain was a sun-goddess from Gaelic mythology, though other beautiful, noble, or saintly women of legend and history also bear the name. Decens ‘comely’ is meant to describe the black and white pattern of the wings. In my opinion the person who named the micro-moth ought to have made some reference to the unique earmuff-like protrusions coming from the Ectoedemia decentella‘s head. This one makes 273 on the species list!