The photo was taken in mid June 2010. size is about 4cm this a guess from 2 years on. Here are a couple of other photos , they were taken with flash and I think some of the colours are refraction from the scale structure. John
I'm struggling, too.
Tempted to suggest Luperina testacea, but even allowing for the considerable variation (good range here - http://www.lepiforum.de/cgi-bin/lepiwiki.pl?Luperina_Testacea) this moth in question seems too plainly coloured.
Some other possibilities:
- Aporophyla lutulenta (deep brown dart) - but the flight period is wrong (Aug-Oct)
- Euxoa tritici (white-line dart) - right flight period, but the markings are not quite right (but they are variable)
- Euxoa nigricans (garden dart) - flight period just about OK - worth finding more photos to compare
- Polia bombycina (pale shining brown) - flight period OK- ditto
But in none of those are the patterns quite right.
When making comparisons, you need to look at many specimens from each species, because many species are quite variable.
John: You probably know where you found the moth; that might help limit the possibilities. You could ask your local wildlife trust, but first see if there is a local moths group online. For isntance, here's a distribution map for garden dart in Northamptonshire - http://www.northamptonshirewildlife.co.uk/nmoths/2082.htm.
Nat.Hist.Museum forum staff: I'm just giving pointers here, not answers; by all means reject my suggestions if you find the answer.
Have only just come across this one - in my moth trap I would call this Oligia strigilis agg. AKA Marbled Minor. It's an amazingly variable moth and the species of this genus overlap so much in appearance that genitalia dissection is the only reliable method of ID
That's a brilliant call on a decidely tricky subject!
You can see some of the variation here
It's a mite, not that sharp but you can still see the large droplet shaped abdomen and the small cephalothorax ( head/body ) tucked in at the front. ( Mike it's the red thing below and to the right of the moth ). John