BBOWT ‘mothathon’ – 14th August 2009

We had a great evening of mothing last night, with plenty of species coming in to the many lights – both actinic and mercury vapour. I will post a few photos and a list later.

However, for me, the big find of the night was a rare tachinid called Eriothrix prolixa, which I noticed in Ian’s Skinner trap early in the evening. It is not uncommon to find tachinids at moth lights – they tend to get flushed out of the surrounding grass and then get attracted to the lights with the moths. But it was the only tachinid I saw that evening but it was definitely something unusual because it stood and behaved quite like the much commoner Eriothrix rufomaculata but was much smaller and didn’t have any red side patches. You occasionally find completely black rufomaculata but under the microscope it was clearly different – having the hairy eyes, projecting moth edge, long spine on r4+5 and long costal spine – but with no petiole on the median vein.

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