Aethes tesserana – Downland Conch

This tiny little micro moth known as Aethes tesserana is a mere 5 millimetres long. It was drawn to a 40W actinic lamp in our garden on Sunday evening (2021-06-06). It was a still and balmy evening, I seem to remember.

Incidentally, not all the micro moths are tiny, some of them are bigger than the macro moths, some of them are huge. The distinction between micro and macro is now understood to be about evolutionary history rather than size. All the butterflies sit in the micro moth grouping, being just a specific group within the moth family.

A. tesserana does have a trivial, vernacular name, it’s sometimes called the Downland Conch, and is listed as such on iRecord. However, these vernacular names are rarely official when it comes to the micro moths and indeed are frowned upon in many cases by moth-ers and lepidopterists because they are inconsistent and the scientific binomials are preferred to avoid ambiguity.

Meanwhile, some long-form reading matter for you (a book, in other words) – Much Ado About Mothing.