Scoparia ambigualis
Scoparia ambigualis
Adult • © Shane Farrell

63.064 BF1334

Scoparia ambigualis

(Treitschke, 1829)

Wingspan 15-22 mm.

One of several very similar moths which can be rather difficult to separate.

The adults fly from May to July, and can be found resting on tree-trunks or rocks.

A common species throughout Britain, though until recently, the early stages have been undescribed.

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    Larva: (description I.F. Smith ):

    Food: Moss and/or organic detritus under moss. On marshy ground, or near bracken. November, or earlier, to June. 
    Length: 13 mm. 
    Head: Mid brown with black posterior and anterior edges. 
    Prothoracic shield: Shiny dark brown. 
    Thorax: Segments T2 & T3 dark brown with large blackish pinacula (two on dorsum of each segment). 
    Thoracic legs: Dark brown and blackish. 
    Abdomen: Dark brown with indistinct grey gut showing dorsally. Greenish grey in May, June. Very large blackish pinacula (four on dorsum of each segment). 
    Spiracles: Black 
    Setae: Black at base, fading distally to colourless transparent. 
    Anal plate: Blackish with small reddish marks. 
    Prolegs: Dark brown at base. Planta whitish with small black spot. Double circle of grey-black crochets. Anal prolegs encased in long blackish pinaculum. 

    Similar Species: Larvae of several species of Scopariinae are similar, with very large pinacula. They should be reared to confirm identification. For a more detailed description, including chaetotaxy, of S. ambigualis see; Smith, I.F., (in press). A description of the larva of Scoparia ambigualis (Treitschke, 1829) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Entomologist?s Gazette (publication due 2004). 

    Rearing: Keep in plastic box with transparent lid in North facing window. Provide sample of moss and organic material found with larva. Wash the moss and sterilize the detritus in a microwave. Wipe out condensation. Raising indoors will result in early emergence.

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