Lepidoptera The Clifden Nonpareil Moth – Catocala Fraxini

This is the largest of the family, and, indeed, of all British Noctua. The fore wings and thorax are light grey, dotted and marbled with darker grey (see fig. 5, Moth ImagePlate XI); and the thorax and abdomen are banded with black and greyish blue.

The young entomologist can hardly expect to meet with this fine insect, for it is very rare, and it is only occasionally that a specimen is seen in Britain; but its characteristics are so striking that we have endeavoured to find it a place here. Reputed British specimens of Fraxini command the price of a few pounds each, but specimens from the other side of the Channel may be obtained for a few pence. With such rarities we should advise a young entomologist to purchase the foreign specimen rather than adopt the two other alternatives-give an exorbitant price for a supposed Britisher, or else remain a stranger to the gem, but all foreign specimens should be labelled according to their nationalities.