Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

More on the Acleris sp.

After posting the photo yesterday, I've put a bit more thought and time into the ID. Currently, only one thing is absolutely certain - it's new for the garden! Here's another shot taken today in slightly better light. I wanted to be sure that the resting posture was consistent and that the overall colouration was accurate (click for big).

The wing-span is c19mm. It is a pale grey overall, but certainly not whitish. There are browny-red and darker markings, though it is by no means a fresh individual. The wings have a 'rough' appearance. Most notably, the apparent concave costa is again clearly evident - so not some artifact of how it was sitting or the photography. There are 3 contenders as follows:

Acleris schalleriana
VC55 status : very rare/extinct. VCH listed, no confirmed records since though there is a good candidate from Sapcote a couple of weeks ago pending gen. det.
Foodplants : Viburnum spp., especially Wayfaring Tree and sometimes Guelder Rose, but also on cultivated Viburnum tinus in gardens
Phenology : emerges in autumn, overwinters as adult and re-appears in spring
Wing-span : 16 - 22mm (per Razowski)
For : Viburnum tinus in garden.
Against : A. schalleriana is typically has a darker brown overall colouration, and does not show such a concave costa.

Acleris kochiella
VC55 status : rare - handful of records since 2005
Foodplants : Elm (Ulmus spp.)
Phenology : two broods; flies in summer, second brood in autumn, occ. overwinters as adult and re-appears in spring
Wing-span : 15 - 18mm (per Razowski)
For : most likely species based on recent VC55 records, Elm in local hedgerows (but no mature trees)
Against : A. kochiella is typically a more white looking moth overall (though whiter on earlier brood?), less likely in spring, wing-span range too small?

Acleris logiana
VC55 status : no records
Foodplants : Birch (Betula spp.)
Phenology : emerges in autumn, overwinters as adult and re-appears in spring
Wing-span : 18 - 24mm (per Razowski)
For : previously restricted to birch woodlands in Scotland, but has been appearing throughout England since c2003 including recent records from neighbouring counties. Available images show same concave costa. Birch available locally. More likely in spring than similar A. kochiella.
Against : ......

[POST-SCRIPT 10/02/2012 - Confirmed as Acleris kochiella following gen. det. by Jon Clifton]

Meanwhile, here's a moth I can ID ..


Broom Birder said...

Hi Mark,

I caught A.logiana last year. It was a 2nd Record for VC30. I however (for all it's worth!) think it could be A.kochiella. Read the comment by a real expert below:

Hope that helps........but maybe not.

Stewart said...

I think I'll await the white smoke from the chimney, and learn from all of your hard work...