Flame Shoulder

flame shoulderflame shoulderALONG WITH TWO white ermines in the moth-trap this morning (and the usual one that got away) I found this unfamiliar species. It wasn’t too difficult to track down in the book thanks to those straw-coloured bands along the edges of its wings, made more conspicuous by a flash of black alongside. There are also two oval or kidney-shaped markings outlined in white and its underwings are conspicuously off white.

It’s the flame shoulder, Ochropleura plecta, a common resident. In a good year in Yorkshire there will be two generations, although the second will not be so numerous. Further north in Scotland there would be one generation, in southern Britain two.

The Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland warns that it ‘comes to light, when it flies wildly and has the unfortunate habit of occasionally entering the ears of moth recorders near the light!’

This one was flying wildly around its bug box so I released it as soon as I’d sketched and photographed it as best I could.

The little moth in the top left corner of my sketch is a small dusty waveIdea seriata, which is often found near houses, sometimes on window boxes and potted plants. I think that I’ve seen this indistinct little moth before, resting on the wall by the back door. Some pug moths look very similar.

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