Scarce Umber – another winter moth

January 5th 2020

Scarce Umber – another winter moth

Earlier this year Gwen Richards posted a story on Assynt’s Winter Moths, in two of which, the Dotted Border and Pale Brindled Beauty, the females have vestigial wings.

A male of a third species in which this condition occurs, the Scarce Umber Agriopis aurantiaria, appeared on the outside of my kitchen window at Nedd (NC1331) late on the 29th November 2019.  Since the pattern was rather darker than in many illustrations, I passed it on to Gwen for confirmation and she photographed it before letting it go .

It is a colourful insect, with darker bands and marginal dots on a warm orange-brown background (photo 1).  The camouflage value of the markings becomes apparent against a fallen hazel leaf (photo 2).  It has been previously recorded in Assynt, but no further north on the west coast.

Ian Evans

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Recent Sightings

Bullfinch

one pair feeding on old road opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery and two pairs in trees, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (21/01)

Dipper

three birds on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery (DAH) (21/01)

Little Grebe

two birds, Loch an Ordain, Alltanabradhan (DAH) (21/01)

Goldfinch

c50 feeding in crofts around Elphin Tearooms (Helen OKeefe) (20/01)

Stonechat

single male bird (back?) on a territory at Culkein Drumbeg which was occupied by a pair during 2019 (DAH) (18/01)

White-tailed Eagle

two birds flying over Clachtoll, spooking a flock of ten Greylag Geese (AS) (18/01)

Pied Wagtail

single bird at Clachtoll (AS) (18/01)

Curlew

26 birds at Clachtoll (AS) (18/01)

Map