Friday, July 23, 2004

Svensson's Copper Underwing

A rather large and time-consuming moth catch overnight included some excellent moths among the 269 moths of 65 species. Cream-bordered Green Pea (Earias clorana) is nationally scarce and there are not that many records of Bordered Pug (Eupithecia succenturiata) in Hunts.

The other good find was a largish moth: Svensson's Copper Underwing (Amphipyra berbera). This is very hard to distinguish from the Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidoides) but close examination of the underside of the hindwing shows the copper colour extends fully along the length of the wing. On Copper Underwing the copper is restricted to the posterior third, the rest being cream coloured. The moth was chilled so it could be handled to inspect the underside and released unharmed.

The underside of the hindwing is only a guide (although a good one) but a diagnostic test is to take a close look at the palps. In the final two pictures the palps are visible and look largely dark with neat tiny pale tips. On Copper Underwing these are largely pale along the front edge and thus lack the contrasting pale tips.

This also helped take the garden moth list to over 300 species in just under a year of recording.

Svensson's Copper Underwing (Amphipyra berbera)

Nikon CP995

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