Fan-foot, Dun-bar and the Silver Y

Silver Y Moth, Autographa gammasilver yAlthough 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 inSilver Y sketch the moth trap and that could be because, as an immigrant each year to Britain, it has taken until now to reach Yorkshire.


dun-barThere 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;

  1. curved/wavy
  2. like a question mark
  3. almost straight

with a row of fine dashes along the edge of the wing.

Orange Swift

orange swift

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.


small yellow underwinglarge yellow underwingThese two underwings are so regular in the moth trap that I tend to ignore them so that I thought it was about time that I made a quick sketch of them.

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