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ID Tips for new moth'ers (1 Viewer)

davidg

Well-known member
I read in Manley that the underside of pyramidea has 'minimal copper marking beside body' whereas berbera has 'copper marking extending full length of body'. Anyone know how reliable that feature is?

I think this was the 'original' way of separating the two - and damn difficult it is too without damaging the poor moths. I was greatly relieved when the palps method came along but it looks like we're back to square one!

David
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
I think this was the 'original' way of separating the two - and damn difficult it is too without damaging the poor moths. I was greatly relieved when the palps method came along but it looks like we're back to square one!

David

My CR is reluctant to accept IDs based on photos of palps... I'm pretty sure he wouldn't accept this method either. I just record them as aggs.
Ken
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
I think this was the 'original' way of separating the two - and damn difficult it is too without damaging the poor moths. I was greatly relieved when the palps method came along but it looks like we're back to square one!

David

Have I missed something saying the palps are no longer considered reliable now?
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
Hi, Brian,
I've not heard anything to suggest that the palps aren't reliable but they are very difficult to get a convincing photo of, so I was wondering whether this thing I read in Manley was reliable or not. It seems from the above that he's out-of-date.
Ken
 

davidg

Well-known member
Have I missed something saying the palps are no longer considered reliable now?

There was a discussion on the UKMoths Yahoo group in August last year that cast doubt on this method of splitting the two. Colin Plant apparently did a series of dissections of pyramidea and berbera and compared the results with the palp colour and found they didn't match. Quite a useful series of e-mails if you check the UKMoths archives.

David
 

jforgham

Birding for fun
Like the idea of this thread and it started off with good intentions. However, a little misleading as I, as a new mother (1 week) was baffled by post 7. Perhaps photos of the really basic common moths, heart and dart, lesser yellow underwing etc would be more helpful to new mothers. As such, any disapproval if I add a few myself as I discover new moths every morning?
These are ones that appear to be everyday moths at present (May/June)
1 is a willow beauty along with photo 2. Note the 2 cross lines on the forewing and the dark spot where the lines meet at the rear margin.
photo 3 is mottled beauty. from my short experience, they are amazingly variable. the smooth curves of the outer cross line are fairly diagnostic. look for the S shape near the front of the forwewing.
photo 4 is 1392 Udea olivalis. One that features every morning in my trap, so I suspect widespread and common. The 3 spots, all different shapes, on the forewing are obvious.
Hopefully I can offer future comments along with these thoughts. If nothing else, it helps me to remember the creatures myself.
cheers,
Jono
 

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Hillevandam

Well-known member
I am a new kid on the block trying to make sense out of my photo archive of west African moths. I found a checklist with over 2000 names. Only 1/3 of these moths have photos on the web and acc. to some websites 90% of the African moths are not documented yet. So,the photos on the web represent 3% of the total.
I do have some photos that look like your beauty's in this thread. same shape and lace structure. Would you mind giving not only the species name but also the family name, like Brian does? It might helpme to considerably narrow down my searches.
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
I am a new kid on the block trying to make sense out of my photo archive of west African moths. I found a checklist with over 2000 names. Only 1/3 of these moths have photos on the web and acc. to some websites 90% of the African moths are not documented yet. So,the photos on the web represent 3% of the total.
I do have some photos that look like your beauty's in this thread. same shape and lace structure. Would you mind giving not only the species name but also the family name, like Brian does? It might helpme to considerably narrow down my searches.

Hi, Hillevandam,
You've taken on a big challenge there o:)
I'm not sure that even having the scientific names of European species will help much. There is clearly a massive amount of work to be done in just collecting specimens, cataloguing them, describing ones that are new to science, comparing them with museum collections etc. Only the most dedicated are going to get to grips with what sounds like pretty much a new moth fauna. It's similar to the challenges that European entimologists faced in the Victorian era as they explored the globe.
As Sierra Leone had the (mis)fortune to be a British colony, I suspect that the British Natural History Museum might be a good place to contact.
Good luck!
 
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