Thursday, 22 May 2014

Longhorns!

Out and about yesterday near the canal at Salterhebble I came across a scattered colony of these tiny longhorns Adela (Cauchas) rufimitrella. At first I dismissed them as some kind of fly with long antennae, it wasn't until I noticed a second group that I gave them a closer look. They have a forewing of around 5mm and an orangey crown (not evident in this worn specimen). The males, which I believe this is, have antennae twice the wing length.

Another worn one which, like most of the others flew around and settled on Garlic Mustard, the larval foodplant. Note the forward facing palps characteristic of this genus.

To clinch the ID of this scarce moth I returned to capture an unworn specimen and photograph it under more controlled light. The orange crown is clearly evident.
It's a shame the site is being sold off to developers!

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