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I'v e stuck a picture of the two together on...
Quite different, when you look closely.
My Flickr photos...
I put this moth down as phoenix, one I had been after, because it was much bigger and differently marked to the small phoenix that I was used to recording at home in Co Antrim.
This was recorded in Co Mayo, I will add in a fresh small phoenix from Co Antrim for comparison, its a good bit smaller, but I do see what you are talking about, if this is another small phoenix, it is by far the biggest one I have ever recorded.
Sorry, thats a poor comparison, the one on the right is dead! I will keep looking for a fresh small phoenix, I have a few.
I agree with you, the one I posted as phoenix above does infact appear to be small phoenix. I wonder is there a regional variation in small phoenix? Because I thought I had that'moment' you described in your subsequent posting when I found this moth in Co Mayo- due to its larger size, but even the date points towards my moth being a small phoenix, the end of April, phoenix is a moth of high summer, thanks for pointing this out.
The lower limit for Phoenix is 17mm, which is the upper limit for a Small Phoenix, according to Waring and Townsend, so size is very variable and they can be similar. If you look at the basic shape, including the number of notches at the top and of projections at the bottom, of the cross bar, you will see it is not Phoenix. Small Phoenix is a very variable moth, but the basic pattern remains the same.
Hi again, just editd my post there prior to seeing yours, yes I think you are right- I am still waiting for the 'phoenix moment'!
Lat/Lng: 53.69, -9.32
OS grid ref: S@170464
Rough scrub and bog.