Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Monday, 19 June 2017

Small, Scarce or, maybe, something else entirely?

Whilst wandering around the arid hillsides of Tenerife I came across a small moth which I thought I recognized as a Small Marbled (Eublemma parva)? I'd tempted an individual of this, rare (?), UK migrant some years back to the garden MV and had felt rather pleased with myself, as I remember. It was important back then! However, something about this Tenerife insect didn't quite fit my gut feel, yet I didn't know what it was. Only when I got back to the comfort of my study was I able to pursue this line of inquiry and seek further assistance.

The moth that is causing the head scratching
My reference material is very basic, the masterpiece by Waring, Townsend & Lewington, and, as such, not particularly helpful. The UKmoths website was similarly unable to assist my cause, there being no images of Scarce Marbled (Eublemma minutata) to be found. I mention Scarce Marbled because that is the other option I had considered. Why? Well the images of Small Marbled all show the insect to have dark/brown/black eyes; a feature that is very prominent in all the images I have been able to access. The moth that I'd encountered had pale green eyes, visible even in shadow! It might be possible that cameras play tricks and all those images available on the web are a consequence of some quirk which has produced this dark eyed portrayal.

Happily, none of this stuff has any relevance in my enjoyment of looking at natural history, I am able to continue along life's pathway blissful in my ignorance. Strange how age effects the understanding of what is important? One thing's for sure - id'ing live moths ain't in my world! (How sad are those souls who feel the need to kill their unknown insects in order to tick another box on an Excel spreadsheet?)

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