Four-spotted Footman – female and male

This is a Nationally Scarce A species of moth which means it lives in less than 100 ten kilometre squares in the UK. I have trapped the male of the species several times before but have never seen a female – I have two in the trap the other night.

The female has four spots on her wings (one is hidden under a wing)

Here is a close up

Here is the male for comparison – no spots!

A Four-spotted Footman and Black Arches

A couple of striking moths in the trap this morning

This is a Four-spotted Footman – it is a male, the females have the spots. It is a rare moth, designated as a Nationally Notable A, it is reasonably well distributed in the south west and I record it in my garden most years. Its larvae feed on lichens.

This pretty moth is Black Arches – a local species residing in the south of the UK. Its caterpillars feed on oaks.

Burnished Brass

Following on from yesterday’s blog about the Beautiful Golden Y, today the trap contained a closely related species – the Burnished Brass, so called because of its shiny ‘metallic’ scales.

It is a common species throughout the UK and its caterpillars feed predominantly on nettles.

Burnish means to polish metal

A Beautiful Golden Y

I caught a Beautiful Golden Y in my trap the other day

A very attractively marked moth

It is a resident and common moth – its caterpillars feed on a variety of herbaceous plants including nettles, ragwort and honeysuckle.

As this picture shows it is closely related to the Silver Y which is an immigrant moth which in some summers can arrive in Britain from the Continent in huge numbers