Monday, 3 April 2017

Unusual Hebrew Character

The Hebrew Character (a moth for those that don't know) is named after the black, roughly saddle shaped mark in the middle of its forewing. There is some variation in this marking and there may also be some variation in the general ground colour of the forewing but the Hebrew Characters I usually catch in the garden are what you might describe as much of a muchness.

When I checked the moth trap on the morning of 31st March there was a reasonable catch that included a Red-green Carpet, a Small Quaker, an Early Grey, 8 Common Quaker, a handful of Clouded Drab and a similar number of Hebrew Character. When I am recording the contents the trap the common species like Hebrew Character don't usually get much of a second look but on this occasion one of them really stood out as looking very different.

Unusual looking Hebrew Character.

All the same but different. I hate to think of how many Hebrew Characters I have seen over the years (probably in the low thousands by now) but the unusual looking specimen in the middle was a first for me.
When faced with what appears to be an unusual variant in moths there is sometimes the possibility that it isn't a variant and it turns out to be a different species or if it is a variant that it is a distinct, named subspecies or named form. That isn't the case with this unusual individual and it appears to be a very rare form or aberration that hasn't been named.

There is an image of a similar looking individual on the UK Moths website (link here) which is simply described as an 'unusual form' but that is the only reference to anything similar I can find.

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