Adur Pyralids 
Notes on some of the scientific names:
Pyrausta = fire-winged. A fabulous insect supposed to live in fire.
aurata = gilded or gold. Shining like gold.
nigrata = negro
cingulate = when the abdomen or the trunk is wholly surrounded by one or more belts of a different colour.
despicata = despised.


 

 

 6 September 2017

 Pyrausta despicata.

14 August 2017

Mill Hill


 
 
10 August 2017
The small pyralid moth Pyrausta aurata visited the sparse growths of Marjoram and Common Ragwort on the Spring Head Shaw, Rifle Range, on the downs west Steyning.

 31 July 2017
Pyrausta purpuralis  visited Marjoram on the middle slopes of Mill Hill.

17 July 2017
I spotted my first pyralid micro-moth Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata on the middle slopes of Mill Hill, visiting Marjoram. (I had only seen them before in urban gardens.)

Pyrausta despicata was also spotted. 

 


 
18 July 2016

Pyrausta purpuralis from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

24 June 2016
Unidentified small moth from the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I think this was Pyrausta despicata.

Pyrausta purpuralis were also present with one seen definitely.

(See the Mill Hill page for more records.)

29 May 2016
After missing a few days with rain and thunderstorms, it was still cloudy and breezy along the Steyning Line Cyclepath on the same latitude as Old Erringham where my  first Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata, of the year landed on an Ox-eye Daisy.

20 April 2016
 

Pyrausta despicata
Pyrausta nigrata
Pyrausta purpuralis
 
Mill Hill
12 April 2016
The pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta nigrata and Pyrausta despicata were spotted occasionally on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The are shown landed on Common Daisy.
 
29 June 2015
Pyrausta nigrata
Mill Hill
15 August 2014
All three of the chalk down common pyralids were present on the lower slopes of Mill Hill: Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata.

7 August 2014
There was a pyralid moth Pyrausta despicata on the lower slopes of Mill Hill

10 June 2014
A Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata, was seen on the towpath by the houseboats in Shoreham.

23 April 2014
 

Pyrausta purpuralis
Mill Hill

16 April 2014
A few tiny pyralid moths were spotted the lower slopes of Mill Hill, occasional Pyrausta nigrata and one of the colourful Pyrausta purpuralis. A diurnal Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria (not a pyralid) was seen amongst the short vegetation.
 

17 May 2013
 

Pyrausta nigrata

6 May 2013
A few tiny pyralid moths were spotted the lower slopes of Mill Hill, one each definitely of Pyrausta nigrata and the colourful Pyrausta purpuralis.

21 April 2013

On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, one tiny pyralid moth was spotted, probably Pyrausta despicata.

 
27 July 2012
At least one specimen of the pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata was seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. A Synaphe punctalis sighting was unconfirmed.
 

14 June 2012
Too cool (about 16 °C, Force 5) for butterflies to be active. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill a few of the small pyralid micro-moths were seen, notably Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified.
 
26 March 2012
Small pyralid moths were frequently seen flitting amongst the violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata seen very clearly and all three species definitely identified. This was the earliest and the first time in March I seen any of these three species.
Adur Butterfly List 2012

 
24 June 2011
The Pixie Path was exceptionally breezy with a pyralid moth Pyrausta despicata.
 

18 June 2011
Pyralid moths were occasionally seen flitting over the herbage on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Pyrausta nigrata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified.
 
8 April 2011
Pyralid moths were also frequently (25+ actually noted) seen flitting over the herbage on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Pyrausta nigrata and Pyrausta despicata definitely identified.
 
3 April 2011
The small Pyrausta nigrata pyralid micro-moths were frequently seen (about a dozen actually observed) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and one very faded Pyrausta purpuralis. This was the earliest in the year that they have been recorded.
 
29 March 2011
The first appearance of the tiny pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta despicata at Mill Hill (Shoreham) has always provided a good guide to the timing of subsequent springtime emergences. I saw a couple of these  together with a very early Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria.
 Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterflies
 
 
9 September 2010
At least one each of the pyralid moths Pyrausta nigrata and Pyrausta despicata were recorded on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
23 July 2010
There was a pyralid micro-moth Synaphe punctalis, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, a small brown moth that was probably overlooked before.
Previous Report
 
18 June 2010
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill there were frequent brown pyralid moths including Pyrausta despicata, plus a few Pyrausta purpuralis.
 

27 April 2010
As the sun had come out, albeit briefly and weakly, I thought I would pay a quick visit to Mill Hill to examine the numbers of skippers and micro-moths on the lower slopes.  Pyralid moths were common, and could be seen at all times on the lower slopes. They were the three usual species: Pyrausta nigrata (100+), a few Pyrausta purpuralis and a few Pyrausta despicata.

23 April 2010
I had no plans to visit Mill Hill, but I decided to venture down to the lower slopes, which were alive with scores of pyralid micro-moths of the three usual species: Pyrausta nigrata (50+), Pyrausta purpuralis (8+) and a few Pyrausta despicata. These were the ones actually seen and there were many more.

18 April 2010
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill there were frequent pyralid micro-moths of the three usual species: Pyrausta purpuralis (40+), Pyrausta despicata (a few) and Pyrausta nigrata (10+). There may have been considerably larger numbers of these small moths. Pyrausta purpuralis was in unprecedented profusion.
 


15 April 2010
In the early afternoon I saw my first Pyrausta nigrata pyralid micro-moths, on Mill Hill with two settled and others flitting about

8 April 2010
The butterfly spotters were out on Mill Hill in the sunny morning. A few pyralid micro-moths were seen on the lower slopes with Pyrausta purpuralis definitely identified.


25 August 2009
There were frequent pyralid micro-moths of both Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
22 August 2009
Pyralid micro-moths of both Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta despicata were noted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
9 & 10 August 2009
There were frequent pyralid micro-moths of both Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 

Early August 2009
Pyrausta purpuralis
Photograph by Alec Trusler
Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata

9 July 2009
The two small pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata were frequently seen on an overcast day on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

5 July 2009
Both small pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata were frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

2 July 2009
Pyrausta purpuralis was occasionally (3+) seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with at least one Pyrausta nigrata. There were probably many more and I was just not looking very carefully amongst the grasshoppers.

14 & 21 June 2009
Pyrausta purpuralis was frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill  with a few Pyrausta nigrata and at least one Pyrausta despicata.

29 April 2009
The micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata was very common on the lower slopes of Mill Hill as in the previous week. My first Common Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata, of the year was seen on an Alexanders on the path that runs along the south of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham. This one was rather drab in colour.

22 April 2009
I was not in the mood for recording butterflies but the sun was out on the warmest day so far this year. The lower slopes of Mill Hill  hosted at least an estimated 150 Pyrausta nigrata, frequent Pyrausta despicata and at least one Pyrausta purpuralis of the pyralid micro-moths. The Pyrausta nigrata visited numerous low-lying herbs, notably Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, Lesser Hawkbit and Dog Violets.
Full Butterfly Report

21 April 2009
A colourful pyralid micro-moth Pyrausta purpuralis amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, was a first of the year. There were far more than the counted 17 Pyrausta nigrata and five Pyrausta despicata. All the small moths flitted about rapidly and were tricky to photograph. They visited Horseshoe Vetch flowers and Dog Violets.
Full Butterfly & Moth Report

19 April 2009
A morning visit to the lower slopes of Mill Hill  produced frequent (15+) Pyrausta nigrata micro-mothsplus at least one Pyrausta despicata.

14 April 2009
Two small day-flying in moths put in their first appearance of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Old Shoreham): these were the pyralids, three Pyrausta despicata and two Pyrausta nigrata.



 
Pyrausta purpuralis Moth 6 & 10 August 2008
The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta purpuralis was spotted on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
30 July 2008
The most interesting lepidopteran observation were the frequent occurrence of a small brownish moth amongst the Horseshoe Vetch leaves, Hippocrepis comosa,  on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. At least twenty flitted about in a five metre square patch. It is expected to be a common species. The flash of grey was a Treble-bar Moth.
This is Synaphe punctalis, a pyralid moth associated with shingle and sand dunes as well as other dry habitats such as chalk downland. Not a common species, but it seems to have spread its range in Sussex in recent years. The larvae feed on mosses.

20 July 2008
The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen on an acre of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with some of them much more faded than others. There was one Pyrausta purpuralis moth.

15 July 2008
The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta nigrata was occasionally seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with some of them much more faded than others. There were probably many more that went unnoticed.

11 & 13 July 2008
The small pyralid moth, Pyrausta nigrata was frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the afternoon and morning. Most of them were so faded that they were originally mistaken for one of the other pyralids.

2 &8 June 2008

My first pyralid moth Pyrausta aurata of the year was seen in my garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
 
8 May 2008
The Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths were occasionally seen and many were missed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. There was a probable Pyrausta despicata pyralid as well, but it eluded a photograph.
 
6 May 2008
At least five Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths was spotted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. A pyralid moth, probably the common garden species, the Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata, was seen probably for the first time recorded on the upper slopes of Mill Hill. The two yellow spots were seen in a brief moment of less than a second I saw it on a Common Daisy with wings closed into a pyramid. It could be Pyrausta purpuralis as we have had this identification problem before in a photographed specimen on 28 May 2006. On reflection, I think this is Pyrausta purpuralis.
 

Pyrausta purpuralis2 May 2008
On a mild sunny day, 13.2 °C, at least two Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths, the first small Pyrausta purpuralis pyralid moth of 2008 were noted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

27 April 2008
On a cool day, just one Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moth was spotted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

20 April 2008
A passage journey over the lower slopes of Mill Hill revealed four Grizzled Skippers visiting Dog Violets and at least one of the first Pyrausta nigrata pyralid moths of 2008.



4 September 2007
A probable pyralid moth Pyrausta purpuralis was seen in the short sward north of the Reservoir on Mill Hill.
 
24 August 2007
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, very faded versions of the small pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata were frequently seen with over twenty recorded before I stopped counting. They were so faded I was not sure of my identification by sight alone.

13 August 2007
A small pyralid moth fluttered around my small pond in my front garden in Corbyn Crecent, Shoreham. It was Pyrausta aurata, the Mint Moth.

9 & 12 August 2007

An attractive small Pyrausta purpuralis moth was again seen on both days in the main Tor Grass area on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The wavy line pattern was most distinctive with this colourful moth that did not settle long enough for a photograph.
 
17 June 2007
Two Pyrausta purpuralis moths from an area of Tor Grass on the lower slopesof Mill Hill were the first positive records of this attractive small pyralid moth, but this species has been suspected from Mill Hill before. They were very pretty with wavy line patterns on dark red. It looks like it has the red colour of Pyrausta aurata and the wavy markings of Pyrausta nigrata.
 
Pyrausta despicata 3 June 2007
There was a pyralid moth Pyrausta despicata on the northern bank of Slonk Hill, and I also spotted a Cinnabar Moth somewhere on the Adur Levels.

 29 April 2007
The lower slopes of Mill Hill produced, about a dozen of the small moths Pyrausta nigrata, as well as small moths I have not identified yet and many others overlooked.
 
Pyrausta nigrata
This very small pyralid moth  Scoparia pyralella landed on me from the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This is a chalk downland moth, rarely found elsewhere. 

15 April 2007
Frequent pyralid moths Pyrausta nigrata were seen flitting between the clumps of Dog Violets and the yellow Hawkbit-like (probably a variety of Dandelion) plants on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
 
The dark moth is Pyrausta nigrata not
Pyrausta cingulata

Note the side spots. The line on the forewing is straight in P. cingulata and wavy in P. nigrata.
Lack of spots in this image.

Pyralidae
Pyralid Thumbnails

The fawnish coloured moth is Pyrausta despicata.
ID by Mike Wall on UK Micromoths

However, it could well be the Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria

Suggested ID by Paul Sokoloff on UK Micromoths


9 April 2007
Two of the small day time pyralid moths Pyrausta nigrata were seen flitting between the clumps of Dog Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.


27 August 2006
A small pyralid moth Pyrausta aurata* and a larger Treble-bar Moth were spotted without looking for them on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill.  (* This was more likely to be Pyrausta purpuralis as the former has not been recorded from Mill Hill. This moth is even prettier.)

11 July 2006
 
Pyralid moth; Pyrausta nigrata Synaphe punctalis: small pyralid moth from my Garden Privet on 17 July 2006

Most smaller moths went unnoted although the first of the second brood Pyrausta nigrata was definitely recorded from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

28 May 2006
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the moths noted were two Pyrausta nigrata.
 
Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata

In the central Triangle area (clearing amongst the scrub) of Mill Hill there was a small brown moth that looked like it is Pyrausta aurata from its markings, but not its colour. The alternative species is Pyrausta purpuralis.

10 May 2006
There was an orange and white moth that I have not identified and other moths including a Treble-bar on the lower slopes of Mill Hill as well as hundreds both of the micro-moth Pancalia and Pyrausta nigrata.

7 May 2006
 
Pyrausta nigrata on Horseshoe Vetch

The sun was out but it was mild (under 20º C) in the afternoon. The number of small moths on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were notable with both Pyrausta nigrata and Pancalia being common (over 100 each).

4 May 2006
The small moth Pyrausta nigrata was frequently (25+) seen on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill,
 
2 May 2006
This very small moth landed on an Alexander leaf at the southern end of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. It was only settled for 15 seconds and then it disappeared. 

This is not a pyralid. It is the Nettle-tap Moth, Anthophila fabriciana.

Adur Butterfly & Moth List 2006



30 August 2005
A dozen Pyrausta aurata moths were lively amongst the herbs and short grass on the the lower slopes of Mill Hill. (NB: to make sure these are not Pyrausta purpuralis?)

23 August 2005
A damaged and worn Pyrausta aurata moth rested on a Scentless Mayweed on the Coastal Link Cyclepath.

22 August 2005
The Water Mint was flowering in my front garden and two of the small pyralid Pyrausta aurata moth were flitting around.

8 July 2005
 

On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, at least one second brood micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata nectared on Wild Thyme. There was a similarly sized moth next to it, but it flew away before I could confirm its identity (1365 Pyrausta despicata seems most likely).
 
22 May 2005

The first Pyrausta aurata moth of the year was seen in a Shoreham garden.

This is sometimes known as the Mint Moth.

6 May 2005
The small moth 2470 Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria was recorded for the first time on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, although it has been seen before.

Identification by Ian Thirlwell on UK Moths Yahoo Group and Nick Greatorex-Davies on the UK Leps (Yahoo Group)
.
Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria

This is not a pyralid but a noctuid, and included for comparison purposes. 

Small Purple-barred Moth, Phytometra viridaria

29 April 2005
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill
 
1365 Pyrausta despicata

During the  fifteen minutes stay, I spotted what appeared to be at least two different Pyrausta Moths, including Pyrausta nigrata. I have now provisionally identified the new species as 1365 Pyrausta despicata. The 2470 Small Purple-barred Moth Phytometra viridaria was present as well.


4 October 2004

Pyrausta nigrata

Pyrausta nigrata
Shoreham Bank


6 August 2003

The pretty little day-flying pyralid moth known as Pyrausta aurata, were attracted to their caterpillar food plant Water Mint in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden.



Adur Moths