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An orange moth with translucent wings and a very furry thorax and abdomen
Lat/Lng: 51.41, -1.22
OS grid ref: SU5468
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My daughter found this strange moth on our windowsill. Very keen to find out what it is... and why it is so furry.
This is potentially very exciting! As far as I can tell it is the moth Pryeria sinica, otherwise known as the Euonymus Leaf Notcher. What's so exciting about that, I hear you ask?
Well, Euonymus Leaf Notcher is native to Asia. It has also been found in America, where it is considered an invasive pest species (its caterpillars feed on Euonymus shrubs). I can find no record of it having been found in Britain before.
So it could be that your daughter has made an amazing discovery! But before I get too over-excited we'll need to check out if it really is what I think it is, and whether there are any other British records, so I'll ask colleagues at the Natural History Museum to take a look.
To answer your question about why it is so hairy: the hairy or feathered antennae are because it is a male, and the feathery bits are extraordinarily sensitive to the pheremones that the females give out, allowing the males to find the females from some distance away.
The hairy body is more difficult to explain, likely to be a mix of protection (makes the moth less pleasant to eat, and more difficult for spiders' webs to get a grip on) and/or insulation to keep warm, and/or just part of the pattern of the moth for camouflage and/or species distinctiveness so that the females recognise them. (In other words I don't really know!)
There's more about the Euonymus Leaf Notcher at these links:
Was it inside the house when your daughter found it? Have you got any Euonymus growing nearby? Is there any sign of any more of these fabulous moths?!
Open University - Biodiversity Observatory
Have you still got it? If so keep it!
I've now heard from Martin Honey at the Natural History Museum that this is indeed the first British record of the Euonymus Leaf Notcher. He also passed the link on to a colleague in Taiwan, within the moth's native distribution, who also confirms it. All very exciting and congratulations to Juliand's daughter for finding it!
The moth will be passed on to the Natural History Museum collections, and thanks to Martin Honey for his help.
If anyone else sees anything similar please let us know!
Hi have posted an observation of the moth,who do we contact if we se another one .thanks
I bumped into one of these beasties in Jersey Channel Islands in July 2009. Unfortunately wasn't sure about bringing it back through customs. Anyway it was a a rather big around 4cm ish i guess.
It got into our holiday flat probably attracted by window boxes.
Any information you want let us know.
That's interesting - you don't have a photo by any chance do you? 4cm is a bit on the large side for this species.
Thanks for the update - after a very careful show 'n' tell at my daughter's school on Monday next week, we'll make sure the moth gets safely to Kitenet and on to the Natural History Museum.
As for where it was found - on the windowsill inside the house (presumably having flown in). We aren't aware of having any Euonymous, but having never heard of until just now, I'll take a look over the weekend.
What an impressive find!! Well done to your daughter!
OU Student (S159- September 09)
iSpot - Technical Team
A first for iSpot?
Congratulations to you and your daughter. How exciting is that?!!
This really is excellent and what a brilliant example of an exciting discovery, made right on your own doorstep!
Hopefully it also shows the potential of OPAL iSpot and the network of interest and expertise it's bringing together.
Well done to you.
Head of Centre for UK Biodiversity, Natural History Museum, http://tiny.cc/PaX3A
Congratulations, this is what iSpot is all about.
"Wildlife is for Everyone"
superb find - congratulations!
National Recorder for Terrestrial Heteroptera (shieldbugs & allies)
Juliand, please give your daughter a big congratulations!
Congratulations also to iSpot! Making scientific discoveries like this hiere is truly exciting!
That must be so exiting! Well done to your daughter for making such an amazing discovery. What a brilliant start on ISpot!!!!
Well done Katie! I see your now in the national press!
All these replies and no-one agrees with kitenets ID...!!