Peter Allen's picture

Copper Underwing - at sugar .

Observed: 26th August 2006 By: Peter Allen
British Dragonfly Society
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Copper Underwing - at sugar .
Description:

This species seems to be particularly attracted to sugar.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Peter Allen's picture

Amphipyra ID

I usually check the palps to differentiate between the two (although I cannot swear to have done this one) and in 34 out of 35 checked in this area the diagnosis was A. pyramidea

Hampshire Dragonfly recorder
Hampshire & IOW Wildlfe Trust

RHoman's picture

Palps

Alas, the palps check is deemed to be unreliable by some recorders. The palps are subject to a fair amount of wear and tear giving rise to misleading impressions and there seems to be some doubt as to the consistency of the variations. According to the new "Guide to selected difficult species" from Butterfly Conservation, even the hindwing underside is described confusingly on the one hand "as the most reliable" external character but later as "not totally reliable".
In a specific area with which someone is very familiar with the moths, it might be possible to build up a picture of what the normal CU species looks like, so that one's attention is drawn to something that looks a bit different. But, what is the norm for a place cannot be conveyed in a picture, hence the safest ID of the moth here is species non-specific.

Robert Homan