Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: The four different species of Ear moths found in Britain are virtually impossible to distinguish from one-another without dissection and even then there may be difficulties. A. lucens has been assumed to be the commonest species on heaths and moorland. This may be the case, however since the discovery of A. crinanensis (Burrows) in similar areas of vice-counties 64 and 65 we can no longer be sure of many records and it is felt that to give any records for this species might be misleading. There are a few recent records which are known to be confirmed, including migrant records from VC61, but further work is needed on these species before any safe or useful comments can be made.
2012 (CHF): There are records from all five VCs and this is the commonest of the genus in Yorkshire. Larval foodplants are said to be purple moor-grass and common cottongrass so it should be expected on wet acid moorland. The moth however turns up in a variety of sites and is the most likely Ear to turn up in gardens. The text in both Skinner and Waring implies that moths with strong bands on the underside of forewings and hindwings are likely to be this species, but this is not reliable and should not be used as a basis for firm identification even by experienced observers. There is also considerable overlap in size and it cannot be assumed that large Ears are Large Ears! The genitalia are very similar to Saltern Ear but distinct from the other two species. The situation is compounded in that Saltern Ear has been proved to exist inland and the populations probably hybridise. For a good guide to dissection, look at the excellent publication British and Irish Moths: an illustrated guide to selected difficult species by Townsend, Clifton and Goodey and produced by Butterfly Conservation.
Determination by Genitalia Examination (gen. det.) Required
Recorded in 50 (25%) of 200 10k Squares. First Recorded in 1923. Last Recorded in 2022. Additional Stats