Wednesday 13 May 2020

Retro Moth Tick

Cryptic Fern Horisme  radicaria - Provence August 2016.
If you have an interest in moths you may have noticed, online, that a species called Cryptic Fern (Horisme radicaria) has apparently been hiding in plain sight in the UK. More and more records are emerging from the south-east of England as people check their Ferns and old photos of Ferns more carefully. Because it's still a very rare species in the UK all records will have to be 'gen det'd' which means their genitalia will need checking by an expert.
Of course the first thing I did when I heard the news was check photographs of Ferns that I took in the south of France, and of course both of the specimens I've photographed do indeed appear to be radicaria. Apparently the features to look for are the more pronounced black line from the wing tip (apical streak) and the uniformly pale-coloured area above it which stands out. All of those features are clear to see in the above photo (and bottom photo) and compare nicely with the Fern below.
I wish I had some more garden records to check but I've rarely caught the Fern and, in fact, still need it for my Exmouth garden list. Look forward to checking the next one!

Fern Horisme tersata - Rockbeare 5/7/09.
Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria - Provence 6/8/08.

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