Sunday, 22 October 2017

Large Wainscot male?

Could anyone confirm whether this is a male Large Wainscot, caught this weekend in Sonning ? I have only caught females before, which in Skinner are significantly bigger.

Wondered when this would turn up

Cold, strong westerly winds meant very few moths for me in the garden trap last night so a pristine Oak Rustic was a very nice surprise. I expect this is continued northward expansion after several caught in recent years in Reading and was wondering where it would turn up next - there's plenty of Evergreen Oaks so perhaps we'll start to see more and more of this species in the future - it could of course just be a migrant with all the recent activity. Marc Botham, Didcot

Dusky-lemon Sallow confirmed

Many thanks to Peter Hall for managing to dissect this rather worn specimen, despite the fact that the Post Office also used it for clog-dancing practice en route to him. As Martin Townsend suggested when I posted the image a week ago, it is indeed Dusky-lemon Sallow - a new record for me in Sonning.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

My first moth trapping night!

I recently bought myself a twin actinic Skinner moth trap and I couldn't wait to give it a go! This was my first moth trapping experience so I really wasn't too sure what to expect.
I set it up on Wednesday(18th) night in the thick fog in my garden. I was amazed the next morning to find 53 moths, 19 species. It did take me about 5 hours to identify them all.....I hope I'm going to get quicker with a bit more practice! I had 2 Vestal, 1 Delicate, 1 Green Brindled Crescent, 1 Large Wainscot just to name a few.
I'm now totally hooked and I can't wait to set it up again to see what else I might catch!

Lorna Woolhouse, Checkendon, South Oxfordshire

Vestal (sorry for such poor quality photo)

Westcott, Bucks

70 moths of 26 species appeared in the garden last night despite all that wind and rain from Storm Brian:  Blastobasis lacticolella (1), Acleris rhombana (1), Acleris variegana (1), Epiphyas postvittana (1), Common Marbled Carpet (4), Red-green Carpet (4), November Moth sp (8), Feathered Thorn (1), Figure of Eight (1), Lesser Yellow Underwing (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (4), Green-brindled Crescent (2), Merveille du Jour (1, tenth of the year and first time that the garden count has achieved double figures), Black Rustic (8), Satellite (1), Chestnut (1), Dark Chestnut (2), Red-line Quaker (2), Yellow-line Quaker (3), Brick (1), Beaded Chestnut (14), Lunar Underwing (3), Barred Sallow (1), Sallow (1), Angle Shades (2) & Rosy Rustic (1).

Figure of Eight, Westcott 20th October

There has been no sign of migrants here since the pair of Vestals on the 17th but I keep trying in the vain hope that something else will find its way this far inland.  The rather tired Figure of Eight last night was new to this year's garden list and takes the 2017 site total up to 322 macro species already (and more than 630 species of Lepidoptera altogether with many micros requiring dissection still to be added).  The target for me to beat is 324 macros (achieved here in 2015) and that should be easy with Sprawler, Scarce Umber and December Moth still to appear and things like Dark Dagger, Tawny Marbled Minor and Lesser Common Rustic likely to be confirmed after dissection.  This year is on course to become the best ever for the garden so far as numbers of species are concerned, quite surprising really as I've been away in Devon quite a lot since the beginning of August.  

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Joining the Vestal party...

A light left at the museum last night in the drizzle produced about 100 moths* of 24 species, mostly Beaded Chestnut and November Moth aggs, but I did get my second-ever Vestal.

Also NFY were Brick and Dark Chestnut.

*there were originally more than this, but 4 hornets got in...

Dave Morris, Chalfont St Giles

Vestal colours

As predicted by Dave, the Vestal continues its advance and mine came last night (left in the composite pic below). My last calls from the species were in late July 2014 and late September 2013 - the last a particularly white one (top right with the ace antennae) which I gather suggests that it would have pupated at a lower temperature than the yellowy/creamy ones and was probably therefore Northern Europe- or UK-bred.  I liked the way that its colours were so similar to Hollywood's interpretation of a Vestal Virgin, shown here in the person of Janet Stephens.

My other immigrant apart from the White-speck has been a lone Silver Y. Large Wainscots are currently calling nightly and it was good to have my first Sprawler for the year this morning.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Leafmine on Pear (3)

I collected the pear mine from Andrew Kershaw on Monday afternoon and while doing so had a quick look at the tree, on which another (vacated) mine was found which looked to be of the same species.  A selection of pictures was sent to John Langmaid later that day and John has now come back to me to confirm that unfortunately this is 'only' a mine of Stigmella oxyacanthella (a common species found on apple and hawthorn as well as occasionally on pear), so unfortunately not a first for Bucks after all!  While the frass appears to be dark brown or black rather than reddish, in all other respects I can see that the position of the egg, the colour of the larva and the shape of the mine are a perfect match for oxyacanthella.  The larva exited the mine today and is currently in the process of forming a brownish cocoon on some kitchen paper placed under the leaf, so I will still attempt to rear it through.

Complete mine, 16th October

Larva, 16th October

Position of egg (underside of leaf), 16th October

Cocoon, 18th October
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Red-green Carpet

No Vestal here yet and in the torch light at 6:30 this morning I hoped this might be something new.
However in the daylight it seems to be just another Red-green Carpet but with a much greater contrast than usual between the central cross-band and the rest of the wing.

With Sprawler, Phyllonorycter messaniella and Caloptilia stigmatella added to my garden list in the last few nights I should hopefully reach 400 species for the year.
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Sacraria finally arrives

Although chilly and very wet, last night was a good one for the garden actinic trap here at Westcott with 71 moths of 27 species, at last including some welcome migrant activity:  Vestal (2) and Silver Y (2).  That makes six years in a row for Vestal in the garden and 14 individuals since the first here in 2006.  From reports on the web I'd be surprised if there's anyone who doesn't get to see the moth in our area at the moment because they seem to be around in very good numbers - keep trying if you haven't had one already!  The rest of last night's catch provided nothing new, just typical autumnal fare:  Acleris variegana (1), Eudonia angustea (1), Hypsopygia glaucinalis (1), Common Marbled Carpet (1), Red-green Carpet (1), November Moth sp (14), Feathered Thorn (4), Willow Beauty (1), Turnip (1), Large Yellow Underwing (1), Lesser Yellow Underwing (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (2), Square-spot Rustic (1), Green-brindled Crescent (2), Merveille du Jour (1), Black Rustic (6), Blair's Shoulder-knot (1), Red-line Quaker (2), Yellow-line Quaker (3), Beaded Chestnut (12), Lunar Underwing (5), Barred Sallow (1), Sallow (1), Dusky-lemon Sallow (2) & Burnished Brass (1).

Vestal, Westcott 17th October
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

NMN catchup

For NMN I ended up carrying out my monthly survey at a local woodland site on Friday night and heading down to Thatcham to join Berks Moth Group on Saturday night. Friday provided a few nice moths with several Merveille du Jour and another Clifden Nonpareil. Numbers weren't great but there were a few surprises including fresh Light Emerald, several fresh Straw Dot and a fresh Yellow-tail. I had feared that I had missed Oak Lutestring this year as I normally catch it much earlier in the year and hadn't caught one in 2017 so far, so a fairly fresh one of these also came as a welcome surprise.

Just another Clifden Nonpareil! - 13-10-17 VC22
Yellow-tail - one of quite a few species squeezing in extra broods this year - 13-10-17 VC22
Oak Lutestring 13-10-17 VC22
Like many moth-ers around the UK, yesterdays storm got me excited and I switched the actinic light in the south facing part of the garden for an MV trap last night hoping for something special. I got fewer moths than I have had for a while and the one decent moth, a Vestal, was in a little actinic trap I put under a tree near the house expecting to catch very little at all!

Marc Botham, Didcot

Vestal - Didcot, 16-10-17

Ophelia moths

I managed to find a relatively sheltered spot on our patio to run the actinic trap again last night but with regular wind gusts in excess of 40mph (which brought down a massive branch from our ancient willow) I wasn't really expecting much to be flying and did wonder if the trap was still going to be present this morning!  However, it was still there undamaged and contained 23 brave moths of 10 species.  They included my second Hoary Footman of the year but there were still no obvious migrants.  Amongst numerous examples of even more brave diptera and trichoptera, the by-catch included the first Speckled Bush-cricket I've had in the garden trap for a couple of years.

Hoary Footman, Westcott 16th October
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Monday, 16 October 2017

Good session on Friday

99 moths of 23 Species in the MV overnight trap at the Ewelme Watercress Beds with Delicate, Silver Y and Merveille du Jour of special note together with one of my favourites Green-brindled Crescent.

2 Vestals

Continuing the Vestals theme, I had 2 Vestals in my garden trap last night and one of them was a particularly nice pink specimen.

The only other migrant was a single Silver Y.
I am still waiting for some autumn regulars to appear in my garden - I have yet to see Green-brindled Crescent, Blair's Shoulder-knot or Yellow-line Quaker, to name but 3.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Migrants, what migrants?

There's not been much sign of migrant activity in the garden at Westcott so far.  I had a Silver Y on Friday night (amongst 75 moths of 27 species), nothing on Saturday night (amongst 63 moths of 20 species) and another Silver Y along with Nomophila noctuella last night (amongst 107 moths of 30 species).  Slim pickings here to date, then, although whatever is being blown in locally on former Hurricane Ophelia could still be around for a week or two yet.  Here's hoping ... I'd even settle for Richard's Vestal which has been an annual sighting here for at least the last five years!

I ran a couple of traps in nearby Finemere Wood again last night but the only thing of note was my first sighting this autumn of Diurnea lipsiella.  Figure of Eight was again out in force (33 seen) but there was nothing else significant other than a reduction in the number of hornets to "just" ten.

Diurnea lipsiella, Finemere Wood 15th October
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


A Vestal in my trap last night, the first I have seen here since 2014:

Richard Ellis

Dark Chestnut?

I was thinking this was a Dark Chestnut on the basis of the wing shape but I'm really not sure?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Stenoptilia pterodactyla?

Wondering if this is a late Brown Plume, Stenoptilia pterodactyla?

Catches remain poor here although I did get my first Barred Sallows last night.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Further images of Longwick leafmine on pear

I have added two more photographs. They are not brilliant but you should be able to see the gut line - the head appears pale through a lens. Hopefully they are good enough for your purposes. The leaf is currently stuck to our window!

Leafmine on Pear

The trap hasn't exactly been that exciting the last couple of nights with Nettle Tap and Burnished Brass the limit of the excitement. However I thought I would look for Dave Wilton's recent mine on the pear tree in my Longwick garden. I didn't find that one but did find the one below.

I struggled to identify it from the keys available. I thought it was a stigmella but the options that most closely matched were unexpected at best or very rare! The closest was Stigmella Pyri which I would discount entirely except for the fact that I know the tree has been in Bucks for 18 years but started life in Ludlow in Shropshire and there appear to be S. Pyri records from the Marches.

So either its interesting, it isn't a stigmella or its swapped hosts and I'm literally barking up the wrong tree! Help appreciated.

National Moth Night(s)

The final tally for my Maidenhead garden from all three National Moth Nights came to 31 species (25 macro & 6 micro).  The second night 13th was the best for species with 23 (first night 13 & third night 20).  The most noteworthy species being: Boxworm Cydalima perspectalis (upto 5), Least Carpet (1), Cypress Pug (1), Hoary Footman (1m genitalia checked), Buff Footman (1m genitalia checked, in good condition so probably a second generation). The only migrant was Silver Y, one on each night.



I am diligently sorting out my National Moth Night records and wonder if the above is a White-speck; new for me, if so.

I'm also perplexed (as ever) by the quartet below. I think they are all Common or maybe Dark Marbled Carpets but cannot be sure. Help much appreciated as ever.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Scarce Bordered Straw

Scarce Bordered Straw this morning in the garden trap, a female. Also 1 Silver Y, which as has been said elsewhere has not been particularly numerous this year.