Although it’s years since I last saw a Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma, I didn’t have any difficulty in putting a name to it, thanks to the conspicuous calligraphic Y on its wing. This is the first time that it has turned up in the moth trap and that could be because, as an immigrant each year to Britain, it has taken until now to reach Yorkshire.
There are so many brownish, streaked little moths, both micro and macro, that I find drawing them gives me my best chance of picking out the pattern as I look through the field guide. Taking a close look at this, I noticed that the two bands and the inconspicuous dot made a pattern like a carnival mask, enabling me to identify it as the Dun-bar, Cosmia trapezina, a common moth from lowland Scotland southwards, wherever there are trees.
While I sketched these moths Barbara went through the book and came up with a name for this obscure-looking delta-winged little moth. It’s the Fan-foot, Zanclognatha tarsipennalis, a common moth of woods, hedges and gardens.
The the three lines on its wing are;
- like a question mark
- almost straight
with a row of fine dashes along the edge of the wing.
Lets have an easier moth; the male of the Orange Swift, Hepialus sylvina, has a bright orange-brown forewing. It’s larvae feed on herbceous plants including dock, dandelion and bracken.