Pied Smudge from UK

Subject: Insect
Location: Lancashire
December 23, 2013 3:40 am
This insect was found on garage forecourt (tarmac)
in Nelson-Lancashire
I cannot find an identification anywhere: can you please help
Signature: Curious

Unknown Moth
Pied Smudge

Dear Curious,
This is a Moth, but we are having trouble determining its identity.  You sent the email request today, but when did you observe the moth?  Many times people take photos in the summer, but neglect to send the photos until the boredom of winter sets in.  With additional free time to clean up unfinished business, many summer photos are sent to us in December.  If this moth actually appeared in December, that would be very helpful information.  The first lead we got was an interesting blog entitled 1000 for 1KSQ with the tag “a blog about the nuts and bolts of biodiversity – finding LOTS of species.  But how many can you find in just a single 1km square?”  Number 940 is 
Ethmia bipunctella (moth), a black and white moth that looks similar to your moth.  Armed with a name, we learned on UK Moths that the family Ethmiidae has several black and white moths found in the UK, however, none looks exactly like your individual.  BugGuide considers that to be a subfamily of the Grass Miner Moth family Elachistidae.  We are not satisfied that we have an accurate identification, and you might try browsing through the images on UK Moths to correctly determine your distinctive moth’s identity.
Well, our diligence paid off and we finally stumbled upon the Pied Smudge,
Ypsolopha sequella, on Norfolk Moths when we included the term “pied” in our UK search.  It is listed as “Local.  Highly distinctive species.  Rests by day on trunk of trees. comes to light.”  UK Moths states:  “This highly distinctive species, with its pied appearance, is locally widespread in wooded areas over England and Wales.  It flies at night in July and August, and comes to light.  The larvae feed mostly on species of Acer, particularly field maple (A. campestre).”

Thank you Daniel;
I am delighted that you have identified  my moth, without a doubt.
You are right too about the winter gloom being catch up time; this moth was photographed on the 22nd July 2013 at 10.30 in the morning.
We live close to a small wooded area of mostly Sycamore and Ash; there are no Acer.

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