phildean's picture

A Moth

Observed: 13th April 2012 By: phildean
Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust
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This moth has caused much debate among the team in Thatcham. It's about 19mm long and was attracted to a MV light trap. Yellow hairs on front femurs. Highly feathered antennae. I won't even suggest an ID until I see what you think so I don't influence your thinking.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which White-marked (Cerastis leucographa) interacts


phildean's picture

Thanks Douglas. That was our

Thanks Douglas. That was our conclusion but with a fair degree of uncertainty!! It's a bit worn as it ended up in a specimen tube which had condensation on it as the temperature dived last Thursday evening. It flew away quite happily however. I'd be interested which characteristics you used to reach this conclusion.

Douglas's picture


It's a moth I'm pretty familiar with; I get it pretty commonly here. Therefore, I can pretty quickly ID these - I had already ID'd this one from the thumbnail!

Shape and colour immediately suggest either C. leucographa or rubricosa. But the colour of the stigma mean it must be leucographa, indicated by both the common and scientific name of the species of course. Red Chestnut rarely has any white on both the stigma and it's never very prominent at all

Another factor that can help is that the orbicular stigma (oval marking, nearest head) on rubricosa is usually very rounded, whereas with leucographa it's not usually as neat.

Also, as noted by your description, this species usually has very bipectinate antennae (only males though), although both species have a degree of 'feathery-ness' so it can be tricky to separate on this feature alone.

A good place to compare images:

Hope that helps a bit.

Best wishes,

Twitter: @diarsia

phildean's picture

Thanks for a very

Thanks for a very comprehensive reply.