Thistle's picture

Northern Spinach (Eulithis populata)

Observed: 28th July 2013 By: ThistleThistle’s reputation in InvertebratesThistle’s reputation in InvertebratesThistle’s reputation in InvertebratesThistle’s reputation in InvertebratesThistle’s reputation in Invertebrates
Northern Spinach (Eulithis populata)

Not sure about the ID for this one. Came to light left on overnight.
Edit: Changed to match nightfly's ID. Many thanks.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Chevron (Eulithis testata) interacts


nightfly's picture

Hi Thistle,After several

Hi Thistle,

After several looks at this moth and studying various images of my own of both Northern Spinach and Chevron I'm confident it is Northern Spinach.

The colouration is very Chevron like and the delta (chevron-like) shape of the leading edge of the central crossband is quite like that of the Chevron also but other features tell its Northern Spinach albeit a faintly coloured one. In my experience the broad abdomen filling the shape between the forewings so nicely while at rest is more commonly seen on a Chevron- maybe I just see more female Chevron than Northern Spinach as I usually meet Chevron walking the hills by day and NS coming to light at night and therefore maybe more males of that species?

The kink in the trailing edge of the central crossband close to the costa is right for NS but not Chevron. Chevron has a very straight line in that department.

There is also more distance between the rear extremity of the central crossband and the trailing edge of the wing on NS than on Chevron and that is evident in your image.

The lightly coloured 2nd illustration of NS on page 212 of Waring, Townsend and Lewington 2009 is the same as your moth and happens to be a broad abdomened female to boot!


nightfly's picture

Hi Thistle,You wouldnt

Hi Thistle,

You wouldnt happen to have a 'right way up' view of this moth?

The reason I ask is because I think Im wrong- this is 'one of those ones'!

A ripple on the forewings, both of them, may be influencing my Northern Spinach theory.

A top view pic would be really decisive.


nightfly's picture

Sorry Thistle, Its a Chevron-

Sorry Thistle,

Its a Chevron- NS cant have such straight edges to the front of the central crossband. Nor such a sharp angle in that front edge of the crossband. Sorry for confusion.


Thistle's picture

Many thank, Cathal

Many thanks for all the time you've spent on this one for me. Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of the specimen which was left to fly off unharmed.
I agree that my initial ID was wrong. I'm just starting to get "into" moths and will, I'm sure, make plenty of mistakes.

That said, I think you were right first time. The cross-band is confusingly rather between the illustrations of the two species with the left wing being more NS and the right more C. The C would seem to have another cross-line in the middle of the cross-band and I can't see any sign of that here. As you say, the body shape (and, I think, body patterning) is more NS. For me the final link is the tip of the leading edge of the wing which seems right for NS but too light for C.

Thanks again.


nightfly's picture

Hi Ian, Returning to this one

Hi Ian,

Returning to this one at a later time due to slightly perplexed experience in trying to decide!! Would be good to hear others thoughts. To me this is a Chevron with some NS like attributes.