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

Blackcap

single male bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)

Yellow-browed Warbler

single bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)

Slow-worm

single reptile spotted on Baddidarach to Achmelvich path (Ballal Mirza) (29/09)

Brent Goose

single light-bellied bird on rock in Clashnessie Bay (DAH). This bird had two coloured leg rings and we are trying to establish its history. Update 30-9-20 - we have heard back from the Irish Brent Goose Ringing Group and this bird was ringed as a juvenile in South Dublin in December 2019. (29/09)

Little Grebe

three birds, Lochan Sgeireach, Stoer (DAH) (29/09)

Sparrowhawk

single bird, probably juvenile, in 'dogfight' with Hooded Crow for over 10 minutes (Gwen Richards and Ian M. Evans) (29/09)

Viper's-bugloss (Echium vulgare)

single plant in fenced ground, Culkein Stoer (Ian M. Evans and Gwen Richards). First record of this plant in Assynt since 2006 (29/09)

Bar-tailed Godwit

single bird Bay of Culkein (Gwen Richards and Ian Evans) (29/09)

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