Home > Moths > 9 September 2021 – Reed Mace and Wainscots

9 September 2021

9 September 2021 – Reed Mace and Wainscots

Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhae)


A surprise in the trap this morning, a very welcome surprise.  The dominant species flying that night was immediately apparent – Setaceous Hebrew Characters (Xestia c-negrum) were clinging to every surface with dozens of crane flies for company.  A Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) and a few Brimstone Moths (Oposthograptis lutolata) added a splash of colour but it was a rather sluggish looking moth, different from any other I had seen, that was puzzling.  Was it a Large Wainscot?  I had only seen that moth (Rhizedra lutosa) once before but I didn’t remember seeing so many black dots on the trailing edges of the forewings, all sweeping down to create two rather mysterious v-shapes.

I went to look at the Field Guide and looked at Richard Lewington drawings but it still wasn’t certain as to which Wainscot it could be…

Bulrush Moth (1) and Large Wainscot (4)

British Moths and their Transformations (Humphreys and Westwood) provided me with an image of what seemed to be a beautiful ballet of Wainscot moths but, at the time, one was known by the name of the caterpillar’s food plant only – the bulrush.  A click on the image will enlarge the differences between the Bulrush Moth (Fig 1) and the Large Wainscot (Fig 4).

At this point I contacted Charlie Fletcher who confirmed that the photograph (above) I had sent him was Nonagria typhae and that was a new species for the garden.