DavidHowdon's picture

Could it be?

Observed: 31st August 2012 By: DavidHowdon
Amateur Entomologists' SocietyLondon Natural History SocietySelborne Society
DavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in Invertebrates
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YellowUnderwing_2012090101
YellowUnderwing_2012090102
Description:

This stood out as something 'different' in the trap. But is it?
First four photographs by me. Final two by Max Whitby (uploaded with permission).

Identifications
  • Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina)
    Confidence: It might be this.
  •  
    Likely ID
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • Martin Harvey
      Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
      Invertebrates expert
    • DavidHowdon
      Amateur Entomologists' SocietyLondon Natural History SocietySelborne Society
      DavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in InvertebratesDavidHowdon’s reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Worth a close look!

I think I would have to say 'not proven' for Langmaid's BBYU - the black band on the upperside of the hindwing does look a bit broader than is typical for Lesser BBYU, but it seems closer to the shape for Lesser.

On the forewing underside the photos don't show the area with the 'fingers' of dark markings, but the paler colour along the costa (leading edge) again seems more like Lesser BBYU.

So I would remain on the Lesser side of this debate, but it would be good to see the outer edges of the wing undersides for more evidence.

Having said all that, these species are variable, intermediate forms seem to occur and there appears to be some debate on whether they are in fact valid species, e.g. discussion here:
http://www.dissectiongroup.co.uk/page1360.html

although most moth guides seems to retain them as two species at the moment.

In case you haven't already seen it there is further info on the wing markings here:
http://www.portlandbirdobs.org.uk/mpp_noctua_janthina_050803.htm

and here:
http://www.suffolkmoths.org.uk/newsletters/35/SuffolkMothGroupNewsletter...

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

DavidHowdon's picture

Thanks Martin

The pale costal colour is not a feature I remember reading about so that is useful to know.

DavidHowdon's picture

Dissection

Rachel Terry has dissected this specimen for me and confirmed it as Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing.