Ethmia pyrausta

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Ethmia pyrausta
Ethmia pyrausta.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Depressariidae
Genus: Ethmia
Species: E. pyrausta
Binomial name
Ethmia pyrausta
(Pallas, 1771)

Crambus niger (lapsus)
Chalybe pyraustella (lapsus)
Ethmia atropunctella (Thunberg, 1788)
Ethmia nigrella (Fabricius, 1775)
Phalaena pyrausta Pallas, 1771
Tinea atropunctella Thunberg, 1788
Tinea nigrella Fabricius, 1775

Ethmia pyrausta is a moth of the family Depressariidae. It is found in northern Scandinavia and adjacent Russia. The species is sometimes referred to as being "mythical", because it is so rarely encountered outside its remote native range. It is a rare migrant to the UK[1] and also found occasionally in other areas in Northern Europe.

Description and ecology[edit]

It has black wings and a "hairy" orange body with a wingspan of 17–23 mm.

Larva live in a thin silky spin between the leaves and flowers of Thalictrum aquilegiifolium, Thalictrum simplex and Thalictrum flavum. There is no evidence of breeding in the UK.[2]

Sightings in the UK[edit]

They were first recorded in the Shin Valley in 1853. Two were found in 1996 on the top of Glas Maol in the Grampians with a further two found nearby.

In June 2008 an adult Ethmia pyrausta moth was discovered in Easter Ross, by Andy Scott and Margaret Currie after finding it trapped in a spider web.[3]