Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Confirmation and ID help please

I think it must be the heat but I cannot find this thing anywhere. I assume the second is a small Blood Vein but the colouring is amazing and so different to the book.

Clearwing survives Natural England

Thought I'd have a day doing clearwings before 6 weeks of relentless fieldwork kicks in. Started in Waterperry Wood where due to the gardening by the FC and the efforts of deer the only possibility seemed to be Yellow-legged. Two sessions very far apart produced nothing, ditto 20 mins in the main Bernwood carpark next to the car while I had lunch.

Better luck at Swyncombe Down - a single Six-belted at the bottom of the slope, then 4 Orange-tailed, one at the edge of the scrub near the bottom and 3 on what remains of the Wild Service scrub just over the top on the dip slope. It is pleasing to see that this species has survived the devastation of of it's foodplant on Sliding Hill. I noted that other, ubiquitous scrub species such as hawthorn and rose seemed to have been less hammered and that the vast majority of the Wild Service - a local and characteristic species of the habitat has been reduced to little more than seedlings, all in the name of 'conservation'. A simplistic approach which I can only assume was the work of people who are themselves a bit simple.

An optimistic attempt at Yellow-legged near Cookley Green failed, but at least I know the lure works, after several years languishing in the freezer.

Tip - if you use plastic pheromone traps tape the lure cage on - I lost my API lure at Swyncombe - the thing must have popped out somewhere. And don't leave it in the sun !

Micro's for identification please.

Gypsonoma minutana
I've had a stab at both, probably incorrectly!, I'm afraid the first had to be in the pot as it would have been off.
Celypha cespitana
Many Thanks,
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Monday, 29 June 2015

More Clearwings.....

I nipped out from the office today in West Drayton and walked to the Bucks/Middlesex border on the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal, found an area with some Gelder rose and stuck up the VES lure - after about 15 minutes this critter turned up - Orange-tailed Clearwing, a lifer.

Five-spot Burnet

I have included two photo's of the Burnets I saw today. Last year I was asked which one's they were. So today I managed some shots, two of which I attach. Can you tell from these which of the five-spots they are?.

Currant Clearwing

For the fourth or fifth time this month I tried out some pheromone lures in the garden at Westcott, Bucks today and at last had a result with a single Currant Clearwing attracted to the TIP lure at 2.50pm after a 40-minute wait.  Other moths added to the year list from night-time trapping here have included Mompha ochraceella, Acleris kochiella, Epinotia bilunana, Brown-line Bright-eye (all 27th) and Mompha propinquella, Gypsonoma dealbana, Phlyctaenia coronata, Large Twin-spot Carpet, Lilac Beauty, Blackneck (all 28th along with yet another Bordered Straw, just to show that they are still around).

Currant Clearwing, Westcott 29th June
Dave Wilton

Toadflax Brocade?

Is this a Toadflax Brocade. We found it in our moth trap this morning.
Paul and Karen


Well it looks like one to me but can't remember seeing one before so grateful for confirmation or correction.
Tom Stevenson, Benson

Help with a couple please.

Hi, the first has a FW15mm and the second did a bunk before I could get anything better than this slightly out of focus shot. I feel I should know the second but my searching sends me over the same ground and none the wiser!.
Many thanks
Steve Lockey- another Garsington 'mother'.

And a few micros

To finish off for tonight, a few micros from Wolvercote, Oxon, which we have some idea of, but not much, all but one from last night... The first looks like a Eudonia mercurella as much as anything; the second, from the 26th, a possible Swammerdamia caesiella, although I suspect swammerdamia species are a devil to identify - the third might be a Swammerdamia compunctella, and the fourth a rather poorly photographed Phtheochria opiana. As ever, all suggestions on any of these very much appreciated.

Steve and Xander Goddard

Possible Eudonia mercurella, 27/6/15

Possible Swammerdamia caesiella, 26/6/15

Possible Swammerdamia compunctella, 27/6/15

Possible Phtheochria opiana, 27/6/15

One troublesome individual

We've an idea what this is, but as it would be a first for our Wolvercote garden, would appreciate confirmation. As far as we can tell, it looks more like a Southern Wainscot than a Common, given especially the lines on the 'forehead' and the patterning on the underside of the wing -- does that seem right?

Steve and Xander Goddard

Possible Southern Wainscot, 24/6/15

Possible Southern Wainscot, 24/6/15 (2)

Possible Southern Wainscot, 24/6/15 (3)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Slightly more like summer

With 148 individuals of 53 species so far identified in Wolvercote, Oxon, last night felt a bit more like it. Unfortunately, I'm going to be away during the really warm nights predicted for this coming week - though in fact, since we've quite a backlog of puzzling species as it is, it may not be that unfortunate. Like others, we've been picking up a fair few Mottled Rustics; below are a few other macros we've not been able to definitely identify, and they'll be followed by a few other uncertainties. The first two are a possible candidate for Dark Umber from last night, but to be honest, I can't make its characteristics match up with anything for sure; Then there's what could be a Double Dart from 24th June; and a presumed Mottled Beauty (form conversaria), also from the 24th. As ever, all help much appreciated; a few more to follow.

Steve and Xander Goddard

Possible Dark Umber, 27/6/15

Possible Dark Umber, 27/6/15 (2)

Possible Double Dart, 24/6/15

Presumed Mottled Beauty, form conversaria, 24/6/15

New for year

My garden new for years this week are, Beautiful Hook-tip and Barred Yellow (23rd), Lime Hawkmoth, Common White Wave and Double Square-spot (24th) Burnished Brass (25th) Flame Carpet and Carcina quercana (26th) Buff Arches, Dwarf Cream Wave, Small Dotted Buff and Nematopogon metaxella (27th).

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes.

COAM Micro

Can anyone help with the identity of this. It came from Friday night's session. Due to the intervention of a cat, I don't have it any more so if it can be done from the pic...

Dave Morris

ID / Confirmations please

Interesting morning this morning - made all the more interesting by discovering the electrics on the trap had blown so I'm going to have a few days on the side lines. Hopefully I'll catch the heatwave predicted but maybe not.

First up what I think could be Scoparia basistrigalis - based on the size, what seems to be the central cross and the chequered cilia.

The I thinki I have Eudonia mercurella, Cloaked Minor and the one that seems to always catch me out, Mottled Rustic.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Garsington micro

I cannot find an exact match - I was thinking an Ancylis species but would appreciate help. The Pammene regiana near the trap was much easier!

Many thanks,
Andrew Callender

Poplow or Sallar?

When Dave, Rob and I trapped at COAM (The Open-air Museum in Chalfont St Giles, Bucks) on Friday we came up with this moth:
Our first and probably second impressions were Poplar Kitten, but then we became unsure and thought maybe Sallow Kitten. Any opinions from any of you would be valued. It is retained.
Andy King.

Loosley Row, Bucks

This pyralid was in the trap last night and I'm not sure about its ID, my best guess is Hypochalcia ahenella. Is it too worn to be sure?


Struggling - help please

I can't help feeling I should be able to ID at least 2 of these but I've been through the books several times without success so over to you experts. Sorry all flew before I managed to get them in front of scales.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

COAM Session

Bit of a session at the Chiltern Open Air Museum last night with Messrs. King and Payne.

5 lights of various types spread across the site in woodland, chalk grassland and - er - concrete - caught at least - I say at least as there are probably 50 more individuals in pots - 124 species.

As far as my personal list goes, new for the year were - Argyresthia brockeella, Agapeta zoegana, Pandemis cinnamomeana, Archips xylosteana, Aleimma loeflingiana, Gypsonoma dealbana, Lathronympha strigana, Anania coronata, Orthopygia glaucinalis, Stenoptilia pterodactyla, Peach Blossom, Buff Arches, Mocha, Clay Triple-lines, Small Fan-footed Wave, Barred Yellow, Fern, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Foxglove Pug, Lilac Beauty, Brindled White-spot, Maple Prominent, Pale Prominent, Short Cloaked Moth, Flame, Double Square-spot, Grey Arches, Broad-barred White, Clay, Smoky Wainscot, Miller, Knot Grass, Bird's Wing and Burnished Brass.

Moth of the night was probably the Lilac Beauty:

There was also Lesser Stag Beetle, Glow-worm and some Long-eared bats (no expert, so not sure of the exact species).

Dave Morris

Pug problems

Can anyone help me with these two Pugs trapped last night in the Chilterns, please? Dave Maunder

Mothing at Fernham

I ran two lights in fields near my old house in Fernham (VC22) on 25th June. After a promising start the wind got up and the skies cleared and so I packed up after 2 hours of trapping. Despite this, I still managed 55 species, including 3 Double Dart, 1 Lobster moth and 2 Shaded Pug.

Maybe next week...

If next week's forecast lives up to expectations then we should be due to have a heatwave (but knowing the Met Office it'll probably snow instead!).  Something is certainly needed to give species numbers a boost.  Here at Westcott, Bucks the garden trap continues to plod along, providing new species for the year, but numbers are still well down and even species such as Heart & Dart and Uncertain are only just getting into double figures.  New for the year over the past few days have been Narycia duplicella, Prays fraxinella, Enarmonia formosana & Smoky Wainscot (23rd), Pammene regiana, Barred Straw & Fan-foot (24th), Grapholita funebrana & Lackey (25th) and Common Emerald & Dotted Fan-foot (26th).

Narycia duplicella, Westcott 23rd June

Pammene regiana, Westcott 24th June

Dotted Fan-foot, Westcott 26th June

This is the second occasion that I've had the scruffy "bag-worm" moth Narycia duplicella to light in the garden but despite much searching I've never managed to find larval cases for any of that family of moths here.  Pammene regiana is new for the garden list and, having caught one at Bradenham the previous night, it concerned me that this might be the same individual which I'd brought home to photograph (even though I was sure I'd released it some miles away!).  However, there are clear differences in the markings when compared to the image uploaded on 24th June.  Despite the lack of obvious habitat for it in this area, the male Dotted Fan-foot is clearly from a local colony as this is the third year running I've had it in the garden.

Dave Wilton

Confirmation please

Or not of course. I suspect the first is a minor sp. as I can't find it in the book in which case I guess you have take it apart to be sure and that is well beyond my capabilities. The second looks like the picture of Scoparia pyralella in my book but are there confusion species?

Tom Stevenson, Benson

Cream Wave?

Is this a Cream Wave?. I keep looking at it but it doesn't seem quite right. FW:15mm. Any help would be appreciated. Thankyou.

ID Please

This one is eluding me after going through two of my books. Help please!

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Friday, 26 June 2015

Forester and other day-fliers

While I was photographing marbled whites at Chalfont Heights fields in Chalfont St Peter today, this Forester came and sat on my thumb and investigated the plaster thereon.  Three rather more worn specimens were nearby on the knapweed flowers.  It was the first time I have seen them here.  Also there were Burnet companion, Cinnabar and Six-spot burnet.   
Apologies for the lack of posts so far this year, but will anyone give me Phtheochroa sodaliana for the Tortrix pictured below. I'm always a bit wary of claiming a Nationally Scarce specie, but it looks pretty good to me. Attracted to light, but not in trap. 25th June, Stoke Goldington garden, North Bucks.
Best regards Keith Mitchell.