Nick Upton's picture

Nine-spotted moth .... or is it...

Observed: 17th July 2011 By: Nick UptonNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in Invertebrates
Amata phegea
Amataspots
Nine-spotted moth
Description:

There seems to be a mimicry ring involving this arctiid and A ragazzii and A kruegeri and the Variable Burnet moth Zygaena ephialtes, so can I be sure of the ID?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Michael Skelton's picture

Nine-spotted

My one reservation is that of the two spots on the hindwing the distal appears to be smaller than the proximal, a character for A. kruegeri. In amata it's the other way around.

Nick Upton's picture

Amata spots

Thanks Michael. If that's a consistent character it could be A. Kruegeri - but is that spot size rule true for females as well as males? Mine seems to match images for female A. phegea OK eg on http://www.lepidoptera.pl/show.php?ID=191&country=AL but you may have more detailed info / images to go on! I can't find a Slovenian record for A.krugeri, but it's in Italy, Austria and Croatia on all sides, so I'd expect it to be there really..

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

Michael Skelton's picture

Nine-spotted

I'm really not sure how reliable are the characters described in Moths of Europe vol 1 by Leraut. There are images of A. kruegeri from Slovenia at www.lepiforum.de/cgi-bin/lepiwiki.pl?Amata_Kruegeri . I suspect one needs to have much experience of the range of variation of these two species. I have certainly seen phegea in Slovenia.

Nick Upton's picture

Amata sp.

OK many thanks again. Am not surprised kruegeri is recorded for Slovenia and agree seeing a series of specimens of both species would help to assess how much they vary. It's probably whichever species is common in the Bohinj area. The year before when it was warmer there were dozens flitting about in the woodlands. I attach a crop of the same 2011 individual and one I took in 2010. Hindwing spots again marginally smaller distally. Amata sp. possibly kruegeri for now!

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

Nick Upton's picture

Amata kruegeri

Many thanks dhobern for your input. A. kruegeri female does seem the most likely from the feedback I've had and the research I've done. The flora and insect fauna of Slovenia at the southern limit of the Alps is very rich with an interesting mix from cooler and warmer climes.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.