Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Confirmations and IDs (catches 28 & 29th Sept)

hi, can someone help with confirmations on these?

I think the first is a Grey Pine Carpet although it's a bit worn.

The second I think is Acleris rhombana

The third might be Acleris sparsana?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Nice end to the month

Some lovely moths turned up last night to mark the end of September: a pair of Frosted Orange, Brindled Green, Red-line Quaker and what I think is the form capucina of the Green-brindled Crescent, above with a Sallow.  Happy times.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Monday, 29 September 2014

Home or away?

At Philipshill Wood, Chorleywood, last night, I caught my reasonable share of usual moths, the high-light might have been considered the single Deep-brown Dart. Lunar Underwings abounded, Large Yellow Underwing down to one (in good condition curiously). Packed away, went home.
This morning I found a Cypress Pug at the porch light - a species I've been waiting to see and was wondering if I might have to travel especially to 'tick'. "Blow me down", I thought. Andy King.

More second-brooders

Last night I had my first Dusky-lemon Sallow of the year which was pleasing but not wholly unexpected after catching quite a few last year in the garden. What was considerably less expected was a fresh Yellow-tail which can now add itself to the ever increasing list of species that have put in an extra appearance this year. I was also sent a picture of a Swallow-tailed Moth from a garden in Oxford found over the weekend and have seen quite a number of records for this species elsewhere recently. Marc Botham, Benson

Yellow-tail - Benson 29/09/14

Little but Large?

Thanks very much for help with recent queries - may I now seek advice over this arrival in the Robinson trap this morning? My best guess is a small Large Wainscot if you see what I mean. I don't think that I have seen its like before. Otherwise things are good and varied with Light Emerald, four types of Sallow - Orange, Pink-barred, Centre-barred and plain Sallow - Blair's Shoulder-knot, Spectacle, Shuttle-shape Dart and Burnished Brass coming regularly, in addition to all the Lunar Underwings and Daddy Long-legs which others are also enjoying. Many thanks. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Sunday, 28 September 2014

As good as it gets

As far as luck with migrants is concerned, last night was about as good as it gets locally for me.  I ran a couple of traps at our Holtspur Bottom reserve near Beaconsfield, Bucks and got just short of 50 species.  I'd hoped to tick off most of the Sallows on this visit but in the end the only one which turned up was Barred Sallow (in some numbers, including several of the smart dark orange form).  Along with a handful of Light Emeralds, a single Small Emerald came to one of the lights as an unusual second brood.  Pride of place, though, goes to the tiny and rather battered female Gem illustrated below.

Gem, Holtspur Bottom 27th September

Back at Westcott, Bucks the garden actinic trap was again heaving with Lunar Underwings (335 of them, almost outnumbering the crane-flies!).  36 species were caught, of which Chestnut and Yellow-line Quaker were firsts for this season.  A new-brood Beautiful Hook-tip also appeared, as did a Marbled White Spot which is another species not normally associated with this time of year.  Two migrants graced the trap, one more Dark Sword-grass (my fourth of the last few weeks) and a smart Vestal.

Dave Wilton

Yellow-line Quaker, Westcott 27th September

Marbled White Spot, Westcott 27th September

Vestal, Westcott 27th September

Acleris Rhombana?

I got five of which i think are the above species in woodland last night - is the dark one the same as the orange one? Also got the three common Sallow species together, shown here for comparison. Dave Maunder
Acleris rhombana, 28-9-2014

Pink-barred sallow, Barred sallow, and Sallow moth, 28-9-2014

Merveille du Jour

Merveille du Jour last night at Bagley Woods among a miserable catch given what seemed to be pretty good conditions. Also had Chestnut and more Satellites as well as Small Fan-footed Wave joining the extra-generation list - a list that was also joined by Common Pug in the garden trap from last night as well as another Riband Wave. Also had a garden first - Cypress Pug - on 26th.
Marc Botham, Benson

Cypress Pug - Benson 26th September. Merveille du Jour - Bagley Woods VC22 27th September

Mursley moths

A bit of interest in and around the trap over the last couple of nights as well as all the Lunar Underwings and Daddy long-legs. I would welcome confirmation (or otherwise) of some that are possibly new to my garden list.

I'm confident about this Mallow - delighted to find three in the trap this morning.

I think this might be Grey Pine Carpet.

Could this be Pink-barred Sallow?

Blair's Shoulder-knot?


...and finally, Eudonia angustea?

Many thanks

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Further Autumnal Species

Marc Botham and I trapped in woodland near Appleton, Oxon on Thursday night and, although it was slow going, in the usual three hours we eventually managed nearly 50 species between five traps, which isn't all that bad for this time of year.  New for me for the year were Mallow (which neither of us had previously seen outside of our respective gardens) and Brick.

Back in the garden here at Westcott, Bucks, Brick made its first appearance last night alongside Green-brindled Crescent, while amongst the eight micro species was Clepsis consimilana which I get regularly as a second brood at this time of year.  Lunar Underwing seems to be going flat out to try and beat all other garden species counts for this year and at its present rate should make it with ease.  I've had nearly 1,800 individuals already to the garden actinic and the moth has only been flying here for just over two weeks.

Dave Wilton

Green-brindled Crescent, Westcott 26th September

Brick, Westcott 26th September


Dark and brown - or black?

I'm very grateful for the confirmation of Mick Jones' heavily-marked Lunar Underwings as I was about to post pictures of two almost identical examples with the same query as his. So now I'm just down to asking if the moth above is a Deep Brown Dart - my guess - and to ask for an ID of the little pale brown one below which was fluttering about in the churchyard of St Leonard's, Eynsham, two days ago.  Maybe a worn Treble Bar or Lesser Treble Bar like Steve's a few posts back? Many thanks for any help.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Hypsopygia glaucinalis?

hi, I think this is a first timer for me, a bit old but I think identifiable as Hypsopygia glaucinalis?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Friday, 26 September 2014

Stigmella aceris.

Searching Norway Maples along Shire Lane in Chorleywood a couple of days ago, I found 2 vacated mines of Stigmella aceris in a single, rather small maple leaf, but nowhere else. This is generally a rather scarce moth and, if evidence of it is found at all, it is usually as leaf-mines in Field Maple leaves.

Andy King.

Mursley moths

A better night trapping in my garden last night...and one or two micros for a change.

I'm fairly sure this is Carcina quercana.

Could this be Anania perlucidalis...even though it's a bit late for it and it's not holding its wings 'by the book'?

Are these just different colour forms of Lunar Underwing? I'm amazed at the variety and numbers at the moment.

Mick Jones

Treble-bar or Lesser Treble-bar?

75 moths in the garden trap last night. New for the year were Large Ranunculus, Black Rustic, Grey Pine Carpet and Red-line Quaker, and also this Treble-bar - or is it a Lesser Treble-bar?

The forewing measures 17mm. The moth guides say you can differentiate the males by looking at the abdomen, but I think my specimen is a female. Here is an "underneath" photo.

All help/suggestions welcome.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Extra broods etc

Autumn is well with us moth-wise. Though numbers of the expected species are small in my garden, they're all turning up (except Large Ranunculus!!!). Have even had Satellite and Dark Chestnut already. Beautiful Hook-tip seems to regularly have this late autumnal generation now and have had a couple of very fresh ones recently. Common Wainscot second generation continues to do well and the Mallow's are starting to come now along with Blair's Shoulder-knot. Quite a number of species seem to fitting in extra generations this year - have seen reports of 3rd Generation Common Blues to show it isn't limited to the moths. On this theme I walked my Little Wittenham butterfly transect the other day and found 4 Chinese Character larvae on blackthorn. One was almost fully grown so we might see a fourth generation of this awesome little moth? The third generation we had included the greatest numbers of this species I have seen, but it was extremely short-lived, over in a week, so it seems they just got down to business with very little messing about. Marc Botham, Benson

Notes from Garsington

First Sallow and Blair's Shoulder Knot today. The Sallow follows on from Centre Barred and Pink Barred last week. Lots of Lunar Underwings and a few Brown Spot Pinions (incl. a fulva - pallida below) and one Beaded Chestnut.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Large Ranunculus at my porch light last night in Chorleywood, Bucks. Only the fourth one: 2 last year and one in 2010. But all were in September and all at the porch light and never in the back garden, where I normally trap. It is interesting how it often seems to happen that the porch light, although it attracts very few moths, has a different catch from the back garden. Looking at other posts, not just on this website, I think Large Ranunculus may be having a good year.
Andy King.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Second brood Swallow-tailed

Tonight i had my first ever second brood Swallow-tailed moth enter my garden trap here in Aylesbury which was pleasing. As Dave Wilton says, Lunar underwing is doing well even on the recent cooler nights, but not much else of note apart from a Barred sallow, Black rustic and Large ranunculus, and many Epiphyas postvittana. Dave Maunder
Second brood Swallow-tailed moth, 24-9-2014

Large Ranunculus, 23-9-2014

Barred Sallow, 22-9-2014

Couple of beauties

Its slowed down here in Milton Keynes, up to 10species per night with only 20-30 moths. Bordered Beauty was new for the year on the 22nd and a surprise Lilac Beauty last night (23rd) with Deep-brown Dart, Centre-barred Sallow and Hypsopygia glaucinalis also showing.

Beauties with Lunar Underwing.

Also an update on the Footman i had on Friday 19th September, it hasn't been chopped as yet, but my expert is 99% sure its a Scarce Footman. He said the forewings look silvery with a very faint stripe along leading edge which looks more like Hoary, but Hindwings have a faint yellow colouring instead of pure white which says Scarce Footman. Interestingly too he says rather than it being a second brood moth, its more likely to be a migrant.

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes.

More of the same

Although there's nothing exciting to mention, here at Westcott, Bucks I've certainly had no shortage of moths to the garden actinic trap over the past few nights.  Brown-spot Pinion (20th), Blair's Shoulder-knot (21st) and Dusky-lemon Sallow (22nd) have been new for the year.  The only migrant of note was another Dark Sword-grass on the 20th, although what turned out to be 'just' a Red Underwing in last night's catch did raise my hopes for a second or two!

Lunar Underwing is doing particularly well here with nightly counts well into three digits, even on the 21st and 22nd when there were 127 and 126 individuals respectively despite the temperature falling to about 3C under clear skies.  It was also interesting to note activity from them just before dawn on both those nights with moths still arriving as I closed up the trap.  The species which fly at this time of year are made of sterner stuff!

Dusky-lemon Sallow is a bit of a local speciality.  I've never seen it away from my garden and that's where more than 60 of the 80-odd records for Bucks have come from.  There is no Wych Elm around here so it is presumably using hedgerow Common Elm, but that's widespread throughout the county so there must be other factors at play.  Most of the other records have come from the area north of Milton Keynes.  A picture of the rather battered specimen from the 22nd is shown below.  Dave Wilton

Dusky-lemon Sallow, Westcott 22nd September

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Vine's Rustic and Pug?

Robinson trap run on 19th Sept in my back garden here at Tilehurst, Berks.
Catch = 122, Species = 22.
A record number of Lunar Underwing for me (65).
The pug above I think is a Double-Striped but would like confirmation please and also the type of Rustic. Due to the flight season, I'm guessing Vine's Rustic.

Tony Towner.

Monday, 22 September 2014

No micros, but a Large Wainscot

The temperature dropped to 3 degrees in my garden last night. As a result, not a single micro moth was found in the trap this morning, although there were still 42 macros. Of these, 23 were Lunar Underwings. New moths for the year were Sallow, Barred Sallow and Deep-brown Dart. In addition, there was a Large Wainscot, a moth that is new to me.

There was also what I take to be a Common Wainscot, so I photographed the two Wainscots together to show the difference in size.

There are some reed beds not too far away, and I guess this is where the Large Wainscot came from.
Steve Trigg, Cookham

Flower power

A note of thanks to our esteemed blogmaster Dave for his encouraging headline the other day: Gardens are best. Inspired by this, and because our immediate neighbours were away overnight, I plonked the Robinson trap in our main flowerbed which I normally avoid because of the lamp's dazzle.

Results included Orange, Centre-barred and plain Sallow, Oak Hook-tip, Brindled Green, Dusky Thorn, Copper (or Svensson's Copper) Underwing, Flame Carpet, Yellow Shell, Ruby Tiger, Angle Shades, three shades of Lunar Underwing and a new one for me, the Marbled White Spot above.

There was also a Comma butterfly and a Blair's Shoulder-knot. I've always been full of admiration for Dr Kenneth Blair, a retired curator at the Natural History Museum in London, who discovered all three on the Isle of Wight between 1946 and 1951 and is immortalised as a result (at least among moth enthusiasts).  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Winter nearly here?

Earlier than one might expect with this Indian summer and second broods: a Feathered Thorn in my Radnage garden trap last night.
Ched George

Second broods here, too

A distinctly small Single-dotted Wave, some time after it supposedly ought to be about, in this morning's catch in Wolvercote, Oxon; and a micro, below, which despite the notorious difficulties distinguishing this group I hope may be a Paraswammerdamia albicapitella: any thoughts? Steve and Xander Goddard.

Possible Paraswammerdamia albicapitella, 19/9/14

Continuing on the same theme...

I ran a couple of MV traps in some private ancient woodland near Kingswood, Bucks last night and got 43 moth species (and no hornets - quite an achievement!).  An example of the tortrix Spatalistis bifasciana was perhaps the most interesting moth as it shouldn't be around at this time of year, while other second-brood species which don't always get seen included Riband Wave, Latticed Heath and Lilac Beauty (four examples of the last one).  While there have been four of five previous September records of Latticed Heath in Bucks, this is the latest by a couple of weeks.  While checking for leaf mines near the traps I found a final instar Chocolate-tip caterpillar feeding on aspen.  Dave Wilton

Spatalistis bifasciana, Kingswood 19th September

Latticed Heath, Kingswood 19th September

Lilac Beauty, Kingswood 19th September
Chocolate-tip larva, Kingswood 19th September