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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A bit if a conundrum.....

Another decent night forecast for Saturday 18th August and traps set at the furthest hide at Staveley.  Not a bad haul in the end with 574 moths of 82 species, with just small numbers of the target reed-bed specialities: 17 Limnaecia phragmitella, one Chilo phragmitella, two Calamatropha paludella, 15 Water Veneer, a Southern Wainscot, three Bulrush Wainscot, one Brown-veined Wainscot and a Fen Wainscot.

So, where's the conundrum?  I caught a Mompha that I was perfectly happy matched one that we had caught there a couple of weeks ago.  However, there were two other white-headed Mompha that defied easy identification.  A trawl of the internet suggested Mompha divisella only recorded once in Yorkshire as a willowherb plant gall, obviously a rare moth but I kept coming back to the same conclusion.   Several opinions from learned colleagues seemed to support my thoughts so I forwarded the details to Harry the County micro-recorder.  While waiting for his reply I checked MBGBI and the illustrations there made me even more confused.
Mompha sp.
Harry came back with the opinion that it was Mompha propinquella, which suggests to me that some of the published photos of divisella may actually be incorrect, and that gen. det. is required to be sure.

A selection of other moths of interest follow.
Ypsolopha scabrella

Epermenia falciformis

Cochylimorpha straminea

Acleris emargana

Fen Wainscot

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