Wednesday 7 August 2019

Dark Marbled Carpet

Nice one Martin! I've been after this one for a while. Dark Marbled Carpet is disconcertingly similar to Common Marbled Carpet, but that species is on the wing a little later, and the underside of the underwings are subtly different - Dark Marbled has a neater, sharply pointed central cross-line whereas on Common Marbled this line is 'messier' and less pointed. Furthermore, on the upper-wing, Dark Marbled has a distinct white flash in the leading half, outside the central band, and the central projections on the outer edge of the cross band are longer and more pointed - like two big fangs.
Nick and I had a look off Maer Rocks early this morning. The high numbers of gulls feeding in the bay tempted both Great Skua and Arctic Skua in for a while, but otherwise it was quiet with just 3 Mediterranean Gulls noted.
Nearby, off Shelly Beach, the juvenile Back Tern was visible sat on Bull Hill, along with 100+ Sandwich Tern and c15/20+ Common Tern, although viewing conditions weren't easy with resting birds facing in to a stiff westerly breeze.

Underside of underwing of today's Dark Marbled Carpet.

Straw-barred Pearl - Pyrausta despicata - a brightly-coloured one.

Brindled Plume

Knot Grass

Currant Pug

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

At least two Vestals still present in weeds along the near side of the dung heap (both pictured).

Orange Swift
The gorgeous Oak Eggar


  1. Hi Matt, I have only just seen this. As they seem to be staying around we might try again tomorrow. I did not look around the dung heap itself as I thought it was private land. Is it open to the public or do you have permission to enter? Thanks!

  2. Hi Sam - yes it's a private field that I have permission to enter. As long as the cattle are still sectioned off at the back I don't think it would be a problem if you nipped in and out! The moths are in thick weeds along the near edge of the dung, so pretty close to the gate - easily disturbed and looking all white in flight. They settle quickly and are easily observed. Good luck if you go.
    All the best.

    1. Thanks, that's great Matt. I will let you know how it goes!