Marion J's picture

Small moth

Observed: 10th May 2013 By: Marion JMarion J’s reputation in InvertebratesMarion J’s reputation in InvertebratesMarion J’s reputation in Invertebrates
small moth
small moth3

small moth, sitting on outside of kitchen window

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Marion J's picture


I have added a photo of the moth's underside (taken from inside the kitchen window). The colours on the upper side are darker than shown in the photo - the light and reflections made it difficult to photograph accurately. The colouring is dark red,rather than pinkish red, with dark gold markings. The wing edge is cream, with a narrow dark band inside this.
The colouring in the photo of the underside is much closer to the original.

chrisbrooks's picture


The richer colours you describe would be right for Pyrausta, especially early in the season.

pen-y-bont_mike's picture


I'm pretty certain this is P. aurata.

The postmedian markings (upper fore wing) are consistent with this species rather than P. purpuralis. To quote "On P. purpuralis the postmedian markings can form a continuous broad band, but it is usually broken into three substantial marks. The mark near the dorsum is always much more substantial than that, if any, on P. aurata, and turns towards the base of the wing as it approaches the dorsal edge."

In addition I have several photos of the under wing of P. purpuralis and have seen a photo of P. ostrinalis and both show much more extensive markings than this

Taken together I would have made a "likely" id of P. aurata without seeing the hind wing but as it would, quite rightly, be outranked by chrisbrooks's id I don't think there would be much point.

chrisbrooks's picture

P. aurata

Hi, I think it probably is P. aurata as stated in my ID. There are conflicting views on iSpot about these two species, some want to see the hind wing and others would be happy to go with P. aurata.

If you want to add the ID of P. aurata it would only be outranked until someone agreed with you, so there is every point.

I'm erring on the side of caution, go on be bold.

pen-y-bont_mike's picture

P. aurata

Thanks Chris. I've now added my id.

I realised you also thought aurata was most likely. I should have acknowledged and agreed with your statement in the original id of probable species. Apologies for the wording of my comment.

chrisbrooks's picture


No problem at all, regards Chris

Marion J's picture

P. aurata

Thank you, both! It is still on the kitchen window, some 12 hours after I first saw it - if still there tomorrow I shall investigate further.

bobthebirder's picture


I wonder if it realises it's so famous now...

Bob Ford