Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

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Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby Greg on Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:06 pm

Evening All

Last night's trap produced two Xestia species that can be tricky to separate without care.
They were both fresh examples, showing off their different characteristics.
The Double Square-spot and Triple-spotted Clay. Pics below.

Greg
Attachments
HKE_8905_edited-2.jpg
Double Square-spot
HKE_8960_edited-3.jpg
Triple-spotted Clay
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby MothNoggin on Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:26 pm

Hi Greg
Nice photos.
I was thinking this attached photo of a moth from last week was a Double Square-spot, but now I'm not so sure and am tending towards a Triple-spotted Clay. Seems generally darker and 'purply'.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
Neville
Attachments
IMG_7089.jpg
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby Greg on Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:35 am

Hi Neville

Your moth isn't immediately obvious from the photo. Having said that, the wing shape and
pale patch on the back of the thorax, even though it seems to lack some darker shading,
I'd say is a Triple-spotted Clay,
I'd wait for further confirmation from one of the Steve's.

Regards
Greg
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby SteveH on Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:41 am

Oh no... its that time of year again... :-)

OK - so, depending on who you talk to or what post on the interweb you read, this species pair is either identifiable in the hand or needs dissecting out. I'm not for dissecting but the two do seem particularly problematic and I doubt there's many folks out there who are actually confident enough to say its an X or a Y at first glance.

I'd say that Julian's query moth is a Double Square-spot; Why? well, two reasons primarily. I can see distinct pale sides to the head and the edges of both the dark blotches on the upperwing are edged pale... thoughts are that TSC are edged darker, as in Gregs photo. There are suggested differences in the upper and underwing patterns of both the forewing and hindwing too but I guess we are beyond being able to look at those features now.

If peeps want to get to grips with the pros and cons of an individual being one or the other then have a look at these two posts:

http://trappingsofsuccess.blogspot.com/2011/07/double-square-spot-vs-triple-spotted.html or

https://britishlepidoptera.weebly.com/xditrapezium-vs-triangulum.html

Cheers,
Steve
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby Greg on Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:22 am

Steve,


The first site Trappingsofsuccess was very confusing. The other site was excellent.

Greg
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby SteveH on Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:00 am

the blind leading the blind - :-)
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Re: Two of the tricky to separate Xestia species

Postby stevehind on Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:14 pm

Neville's is a Double Square-spot
Regards
Steve
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