Species of the Month - February 2014

Pale Brindled Beauty

Phigalia pilosaria

Phigalia pilosaria

No need to wander far from home in the February cold and wet hunting for this month's species: it will come to you.  Just keep an eye on any lit windows or around any outside lights after dark.  Not many moths of this size are about so early in the year, so if you see a large moth at the window the chances are good that it will turn out to be a Pale Brindled Beauty.

Phigalia pilosaria

If it is, it will be a male, since the females don't have wings.  They crawl up tree trunks and the males fly around looking for them, using their highly sensitive branched antennae to pick up the female's pheromones.

Phigalia pilosaria

This one is hiding its antennae and is also rather dark but you can still tell it's a Pale Brindled Beauty from the markings.  The only real confusion species is the Brindled Beauty, which normally flies a bit later and has much heavier markings, with distinct dark lines going right across the wing.  The Hants Moths site shows the obvious difference between the two species.

Phigalia pilosaria

UK Moths says the Pale Brindled Beauty "is fairly common in England and Wales, and scarcer elsewhere in Britain" but I've had it to the window 5 times in recent years at Taynuilt.  The dates were: 24 Jan, 6 Feb, 11 Feb, 13 Feb, 28 Feb.  That UK Moths page also shows the wingless females, but they are very hard to spot on their tree trunks.

Please send in yo
ur Pale Brindled Beauty sightings using the form below, or email sightings@lnhg.org.uk with the details if you prefer.  If you are not sure of the identity of your moth, please send a photo to sightings@lnhg.org.uk, or put one on the LORN forum and let me know it is there.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g came to window or
found outdoors


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

18 Feb: I had 2 to lit window, Taynuilt

18 Feb: Clive Craik had 49 in his moth trap at Barcaldine.

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Jan 2014 - Velvet Shank
Dec 2013 - Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen
Nov 2013 - Whooper Swan
Oct 2013 - Ballerina Waxcap
Sep 2013 - Parrot Waxcap
Aug 2013 - Vapourer Moth

Jul 2013 - Emerald Damselfly
Jun 2013 - Globe Flower
May 2013 - Early Purple Orchid
Apr 2013 - Peacock Butterfly
Mar 2013 - Oak Beauty
Feb 2013 - Coral Lungwort

Jan 2013 - Willow Jelly Button & Birch Jelly Button
Dec 2012 - Dice Lichen
Nov 2012 - Feathered Thorn
Oct 2012 - Dryad's Saddle
Sep 2012 - Tawny Grisette
Aug 2012 - Forest Bug
Jul 2012 - Grayling
Jun 2012 - Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids
May 2012 - Small Copper
Apr 2012 - Green Tiger Beetle
Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated