purplehairstreak's picture

Unidentified moth on window

Observed: 30th October 2012 By: purplehairstreakpurplehairstreak’s reputation in Invertebratespurplehairstreak’s reputation in Invertebrates

I spotted this moth at around 10pm sitting on the outside my kitchen window. I was only able to take a picture from inside, so can only show the markings on the moth's ventral side.

    Likely ID
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • Douglas
      Butterfly Conservation
      Invertebrates expert
    • chrisbrooks
      Sea Fish AtlasSeaKeys
      chrisbrooks’s reputation in Invertebrateschrisbrooks’s reputation in Invertebrateschrisbrooks’s reputation in Invertebrateschrisbrooks’s reputation in Invertebrateschrisbrooks’s reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.


nightfly's picture

Genitalia! Sorry.

Genitalia! Sorry.


orchid_b's picture

tip of abdomen - like November Moth?

Try enlarging the pic at the abdomen tip - looks like a male with claspers that meet at the top, although can't see that much detail with this resolution. This looks like the November Moths that I am scraping away at to remove the scales around the claspers to reveal the spurs where they meet - but I haven't managed to i/d any others yet!

Jamie from Briantspuddle

nightfly's picture

Yes Jamie it does look like

Yes Jamie it does look like male claspers there at the tip. Other aspects may also point to Epirrita dilutata agg. and someone may narrow it down further. I do think this is probably one of the November moths (Epirrita dilutata agg.) but I cant safely rule out Epirrita autumnata, being an Epirrita it might be difficult to be any more precise without a closer look?


Douglas's picture

The feature to separate these

The feature to separate these is the shape and position of the sternite projections, to examine these scales have to be brushed off the abdomen tip and it really needs a low powered microscope. It's quite easy to do, after a bit of practice I can ID each one within about 10 seconds.

This group may be a little more complex than first thought though, I believe there has been some DNA work showing there a whole complex of species!

Best wishes,

Twitter: @diarsia

purplehairstreak's picture


Thank you all for your help and comments! This is the first time I've used iSpot, having only heard about it yesterday on BBC Radio 4's Saving Species. It certainly seems like a great source of information and expertise, and I will definitely be using it again in the future!