Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'Well-folded, Light-bearer'
(Eu = good/well + plexia = from plexus, folded or interwoven: Latin, lucipara = from luciparens, light-bearing: Latin)

Like its larger relative (the Angle Shades), this species has creased forewings and hair-tufts which add to its dead leaf disguise.

Up close, this is a very attractive moth: the forewings are striated with shades of gold and toffee-brown, flushed with salmon-pink on the trailing edges and they have a prominent 'angled' central bar of rich mahoganey brown. There is an oily violaceous sheen on the orbicular stigmata and the tufts of hair on thorax and abdomen.

The bright gold reniform stigmata inspired the species name 'lucipara' (light-bearing) and this moth is known in France as 'la luisante' - 'the shining'.

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia luciparaFlight Period: One generation: June to July.

Foodplants: A wide range of herbaceous & woody plants (especially Bracken and other ferns).

Ochsenheimeria urella

Status: Fairly widespread throughout the UK.

'Ochsenheimer, Little-burner (?)'

(Ochsenheimeria = Ochsenheimer, urella = from uro, to burn or dry up: Latin, possibly from the damage the larvae do to grasses?).

This tiny micro moth is a day-flier and active mostly in the morning.

The antennae have a rough, shaggy appearance due to the presence of elongated scales. Profuse tufts of bristles cover the head and there are a few raised scales on the forewings.

The genus Ochsenheimeria is named in honour of the german lepidopterist Ferdinand Ochsenheimer (1767–1822) who wrote Die Schmetterlinge von Europa (The Lepidoptera of Europe) and was an actor by profession.

Detailed information about the morphology & life cycle of Ochsenheimeria can be found here (PDF file):

Review of Ochsenheimeriidae and the Introduction of the Cereal Stem Moth Ochsenheimeria vacculella into the United States (Lepidoptera: Tineoidea). Donald R. Davis (1975), Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology: Number 192.

Ochsenheimeria urella Specimen collected from the Test marsh (NS480747)

Flight Period: One generation: July to August.

Foodplants: Larvae mine the leaves and stems of grasses, including couch grass (Agropyron) and brome (Bromus).

July Highflyer (Hydriomena furcata)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'Monthly Urn, Fork-like'

(Hydrio from hudria = water jar/urn + mena = month: Greek, furcata = fork-like: Latin)

An extremely variable moth which is often green with varying degrees of black marbling, but can also be brown with black marbling, completely melanic or marbled with faded greenish-brown tones.

Like the other 'highflyer' moths, the July Highflyer has forewings that are distinctly shouldered at the base and the wing shape is described in the genus name as urn-like.

July Highflyer Hydriomena furcata

Typical green form

July Highflyer Hydriomena furcata

Melanistic blackish-brown form

Flight Period: One generation: from July to August in Southern Britain, from late July to early October in Northern Scotland.

Foodplants: A variety of trees & plants including Hazel, sallows, Creeping Willow and Bilberry.

Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'Feather-toothed, Capuchin friar'

(Ptilo = feather + don = tooth: Greek, capucina = Capuchin friar, aka the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin).

The scientific name of this distinctive moth refers to the prominent tufts of hair on the thorax and abdomen: Ptilodon (feather-toothed) and capucina: an allusion to the brown hooded garb of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin - after which the Capuchin Monkey is also named.

In Germany this species is known as the 'Kamelspinner' (or Kamel Zahnspinner) due to its camel 'humps'!

Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina

Coxcomb prominent

Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina

Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina

Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina

Flight Period: Usually two generations: first from late April to June, second brood from August to early September.

Foodplants: A variety of broad-leaved trees including Birch & Hazel.

Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'To-meander-forth (?), Scissor-like'

(Evergestis = possibly from the Latin 'evergere' = to send out/to meander forth, forficalis = shear/scissor-like: Latin).

Normally, this species holds its wings in a tent-like posture (not shown in the photo below). This; and the sharp diagonal lines running from the wing-tips; are the inspiration for the species name forficalis (scissor-like).

Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis

Note: atypical posture - normally rests with wings tented.

Flight Period: Two broods - first from May to June, second brood from late July to September.

Foodplants: Plants of the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family.

Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

Status: Common throughout most of the UK - more localized & urban in Scotland.

'Hidden, Of-the-house'

(Cryphia = from kryphios, hidden: Greek, domestica = of the house: Latin).

There is much variation in the patterning of this little lichen mimic: ground colour is silver-grey with varying degrees of black/grey, dull orange or greenish marbling.

The larva feeds on lichens at night and hides in a silken retreat during the day.

Often confused with the Marbled Green (Cryphia muralis muralis), but can be distinguished by the following features:

*Marbled Beauty = BASAL CROSS-LINE (near head) is CONTINUOUS (from leading to trailing edge). More rounded tip to forewing & normally a pale grey ground colour.

*Marbled Green = BASAL CROSS-LINE is INCOMPLETE & curves downwards towards oval, forming a pale 'CLOVER-LEAF' shape. Sharper, more right-angled tip to forewing & ground colour distinctly greenish.

Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

Note the continuous basal cross-line & rounded wing-tips.

Flight Period: July to August.

Foodplants: Lichens. Rock growing species such as Lecidia confluens are particularly favoured.

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'Yellow-flow, Defined'

(Xantho = yellow + rhoe = flow: Latin, designata = defined/distinct/designated: Latin).

This easily recognised moth has a reddish-brown and black 'flamy' central cross-bar (with a double projection on the outer edge) upon a silvery-grey ground colour.

The only similar species is the Red Carpet (Xanthorhoe decoloraria decoloraria), which has one projection on the outer cross-band and a dark diagonal mark near the wing-tip.

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)
Flight Period: Two generations in the south of UK (May to June & late July to August). In Scotland, one generation: June to July.

Foodplants: Unknown. In captivity, will eat Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri) and other members of cabbage family.