Friday, 15 May 2020

Phycitodes maritima - New to VC35

On the night of 7th May, my mother, Hazel Mitchell took a Phycitine (Pyralidae) at 125w MV light that was unfamiliar to her. After reviewing the images of the moth and establishing that the specimen was smaller than Phycitodes binaevella, and with less distinct discal spots, I tentatively identified the moth as P. maritima, on the basis that it looked more robust than P. saxicola (it's closest relative) and with a more rounded costa.

As the two species can only reliably be separated by dissection, Hazel sent the specimen to Sam Bosanquet for confirmation. Sam kindly confirmed the moth as a male Phycitodes maritima - the first confirmed record for Monmouthshire.

It is quite likely that both P. maritima and P. saxicola (only one county record) are overlooked residents in the county, therefore it's well worth keeping hold of any smaller or poorly marked Phycitines for confirmation.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Hazel for following it up and getting it confirmed with help from Steve and Sam.
    We already have a site for Phycitodes I'm glad to say which I found last year but as to which one- maritima/saxicola I don't know yet.
    I made a error in judgement where you quite rightly say it's needs Gen.Det. to separate the species, I took several photographs but did not realise it needed further investigation at the time.
    Like you say its probably under-recorded/overlooked and there are more sites of which I have pencilled in for the future. I was returning to the site I saw it originally this year but given the Virus lockdown situation it looks like 2021 now (I hope) unless it turns up in my garden?


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