Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Copper Underwings

Having spotted that various people have recorded both Svensson Copper Underwing and Copper Underwing I wonder has anyone ever found the larvae of Copper Underwing ? The reason I ask is that I recorded both types as adults mistakenly by using the old wing markings technique and flight times I was taught when I started in 1999. The YNU macro moth recorder Philip Winter refused to accept the Copper Underwing records (rightly, but for the wrong reasons I now believe) as he thought that only Svenssons occurred in Yorkshire. Philip by the way is the guy who first described the difference in the Palps that we all now use.

I was determined to prove him wrong as I could see a clear difference in flight times from my records or to be more accurate thought I could. The only way I knew for certain he would accept records without me taken adult voucher specimens was for me to find the larvae of both. I never found a single larvae of Copper Underwing in several years of searching despite me finding dozens of Svenssons larvae. Soon after this I stopped light trapping macros as my interest had switched to micros in the larval stages. This why I asked the question about anyone finding the larvae of Copper Underwing. Its obvious now that it does occur (I was the only one trapping seriously at that time in Calderdale so my records were biased to the areas I trapped) as many of you have seen and correctly ID both, but I would still dearly love for the larvae of both to be found in Calderdale to confirm breeding.


oldsoulrebel said...

Hi Paul,
yes it would be good to prove breeding of Copper Underwing - I've not had an adult yet - fingers crossed - but searching for larvae is something I hope to get in to in the next couple of years - I need to learn a few adults first


Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Martyn
One of the reasons I got in larvae hunting was that its much easier to tell similar species apart as the larvea are obviously differnt, Dagger sp etc but the adults need surgery to do so. Of course the fact that I much prefer sitting round at night in a warm room with a good book and a bottle of decent wine at my elbow rather that shivering my bits off at Hardcastle Crags while trapping at night might also have something to do with my preference for daytime larvae hunting :-))

AndyC said...

What do you reckon is the best place to look and what tips have you got to find Copper underwing larvae.i found privet hawkmoth,fox moth and dark spectacle larvae in Cornwall last week.did you ever record Vapouer at cromwell bottom as larvae.?have you a lisyt of macro larvae recorded at cromwell bottom.?