WINE RACE 2016 .. MATTc380 .. TRENT 353 .. BEN 347 ...... Garden species:- Macros 357, Micros 365, Total 722

Friday, 29 May 2015

28th May '15 ... 100 species passed ... Micro I.D. required

The 100th garden species for 2015 .... Lime Hawk-moth
B.F.1979, Lime Hawk-moth, Mimas tiliae
100 species is a pleasing landmark for the garden but in reality it is going to be the poorest year for a while and I am already 40 species down on last year.

Can anyone ID this micro before I deliver it to our recorder ?
Wingspan c14mm
Thanks Ben Sale, ... Prays fraxinella, Ash Bud Moth
Confusion species .. Prays ruficeps, Dark Ash Bud Moth
449, Prays fraxinella, Dark form

449 Prays fraxinella, Dark form
It's quite a plain Jane, (or John) and could be a new species for the garden.
Thanks to Bennyboymothman for pointing me in the right direction, I can now eliminate Prays ruficeps so no new species for my garden after all.
The head colour could fit "ruficeps" but the slightly darker area half way down the forewing confirms it as the dark form of "fraxinella". You may have to squint a little.
Also the flight time leans more to Frax than Rufi. which flys July/Aug.
The only reliable way of telling them apart is the vein pattern in particular the hindwing according to our micro recorder, because of the similarity of the genitalia.
This involves brushing off the wing scales, soaking the wings, then checking the vein pattern through a decent microscope.
There is an opportunity of adding a new micro species to the Bedfordshire VC30 micro list as Prays ruficeps remains unrecorded.

The confusion moth:- Prays ruficeps. Information below copied from
"Originally thought a dark form of Prays fraxinella (Ash Bud Moth). Flying later in the year than fraxinella.

DNA barcoding indicates that P. ruficeps is a species distinct from P. fraxinella. The latter does have a dark form but in it the faint fraxinella markings can still be distinguished.

P. ruficeps has an unremittingly black forewing without any underlying sign of ‘fraxinella-ish’ markings, and a ‘rufi’ ‘ceps’, (Red/Brown Head), though this can vary somewhat in the ‘rufi-ness’ of the ‘ceps’."
[John Langmaid, Aug 2013]

(Accepted as a valid species in the new British list 2013)
The other "year newbies" presented no ID probs...
1648, Pebble Hook-tip
1931, Peppered Moth
28th May
8.7 deg C min temp.
0449 x 1 Prays fraxinella, Dark form, year first
0647 x 1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella
0808 x 1 Platyedra subcinerea
0998 x 1 Epiphyas postvittana
1342 x 1 Eudonia angustea
1428 x 1 Aphomia sociella
1648 x 1 Pebble Hook-tip, year first
1728 x 2 Garden Carpet
1781 x 1 Small Waved Umber
1834 x 2 Common Pug
1931 x 1 Peppered Moth, year first
1971 x 1 Lime Hawk-moth, year first
1981 x 1 Poplar Hawk-moth
2028 x 1 Pale Tussock
2087 x 1 Turnip Moth
2092 x 3 Shuttle-shaped Dart
2126 x 1 Setaceous Hebrew Character
2156 x 1 Light Brocade
2306 x 2 Angle Shades
2334 x 2 Rustic Shoulder-knot
2380 x 1 Treble Lines
2384 x 2 Vine's Rustic
2389 x 3 Pale Mottled Willow


  1. Hi matey.
    It is a Prays fraxinella/ruficeps.
    Much confusion over these two species still.
    Well done on the 100th species of the year.

    1. I will record it as P. fraxinella as ruficeps flies in July and is an accepted separate species since 2013, also this one has a hint of fraxinella in the forewings whereas ruficeps has a uniform dark forewing. I get the impression that a gen det is a waste of time and separation is only possible through a DNA check ? Cheers Ben

  2. Agreed, Colin was apparently 'working ' on these two a while back. DNA was what I remember too.
    Not really quite at Jurassic Park levels of identification yet...

    Still waiting for a Hawk-moth! Never waited this long since I started in 2006...tonight is the night?!

    1. I've had a Poplar and the Lime, and Matt has had a Privet, it's a slow year for sure