Angle Shades – Phlogophora meticulosa

I think the name of this moth, Angle Shades, would make a great name for a progressive rock band, their first album would, of course, be “Phlogophora meticulosa”. The species gets its common name from its characteristic forewing markings. The base colour is buff, brown towards the edge of the wing most distant from the body, the termen.

Angle Shades is marked with a bold V-shaped pink and green marking. Overall, the colouration and angular markings create a disruptive camouflage. To my eye seeing this moth for the first time in the trap on the morning of 2018-08-06 it looked very much like a small autumnal leaf, at least it did until I donned my reading glasses.

Angle Shades is a member of the Noctuidae, also known as the owlet moths. It is found across Europe all the way to the Ural Mountains, but is also seen in The Azores, Algeria, and in Asia Minor, Armenia, and Syria. It is a strongly migratory. And, speaking of which my friend Bea Perks once wrote about the Silver Y (Autographa gamma) and the fact that to be able to migrate, this moth, and presumably many others, have to fly at an altitude of about 1 kilometre otherwise they don’t survive long enough to reach their destinations.

This is the Silver Y about which Bea wrote in New Scientist in 2010