Friday, 31 July 2015

Further day-flyers

Surveying Striped Lychnis sites in the Chilterns over the past couple of days has produced sightings of one or two interesting day-flyers.  Yesterday at Green Farm, a site in the Hughenden Valley north of High Wycombe which is owned by the National Trust, moths included the inevitable Pyrausta aurata, Six-spot Burnet, Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell, Dusky Sallow & Silver Y in some numbers, but it was also pleasing to find in excess of 40 examples of the long-horn Nemophora metallica sitting around on flowers of field scabious.  However, prize for the best sighting there goes to a single example of the phycitinid Oncocera semirubella which seems to be spreading quite rapidly across the Chilterns.

Oncocera semirubella, Hughenden Valley 30th July

Today, before looking at sites in the Wendover area, I called at Aston Clinton Ragpits where Nemophora metallica was again out in some numbers on scabious flowers (17 counted) while three examples of the small tortrix Pammene aurana were seen on umbellifers.

Pammene aurana, Aston Clinton Ragpits 31st July

One day perhaps I'll find the confusion species Phaulernis fulviguttella which looks very similar, but it has never been recorded in Bucks.  Some experts seem to consider it to be a common species but that does not appear to be true, certainly in our area, and it is in any case on the Nationally Scarce 'B' List (known only from between 31 and 100 ten kilometre squares nationally).

Dave Wilton  

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Onto my light-trap at home in Chorleywood 2 nights ago came this moth:
It's a Diorytria; but which of the 4 species is it? abietella or maybe simpliciella are my favourites, but there's absolutely no money going on them. Is it going to have be dissected or can you tell for sure?

Two micro's - confirmation or identification.

Could you please  look at the following and tell me how near I might be. I have Clepsis consilimana which doesn't appear to belong around here, according to UK Moths, and Bryotropha terrella.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Coleshill, Oxon.

Being unseasonably cold last night (but not, at least, too windy) meant that overall numbers were down, although I did manage to catch 49 species (35 macro & 14 micro) in the garden. Magpie and Clay Triple-lines were the only NFY macro-moths, although Purple Bar and Pale Prominent appeared again.

Some new micro-species would be useful to get confirmation on:

Helcystogramma rufescens?
Eucosma cana?
Coleophora trifolii? 
Catoptria falsella? 
Timothy Tortrix? Had grey/brown underwing
Many thanks,

Olly Fox, Coleshill, Oxfordshire

Chilo phragmitella and Heliothis nubigera ?

Have I identified these correctly?  They were taken last night at a 40Watt bulb over a Skinner type trap at Linford Lakes close to a reed bed.  Gordon Redford.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Double Lobed

I had a pristine Double Lobed moth to my Aylesbury garden trap - only my third ever, so quite pleased with this. I've shown it alongside a Common Rustic for comparison. Dave Maunder

Double Lobed and Common Rustic, 29-7-2015

Chevron, and Minor queries

Many thanks to Dave W. for posting his picture of a Chevron yesterday. It meant that when I found one in my garden trap this morning, I immediately recognised it. It is a new moth for my garden.

I also had a very nice Scorched Carpet.

Below are 2 minors. Am I correct in thinking that the top one is a Rosy Minor, while the one below is a Cloaked Minor?

Finally, is this micro Acleris aspersana?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Straw Underwing

Straw Underwing in Rothamsted trap over weekend and Canary-shouldered Thorn in Didcot garden trap last night. Marc Botham, Didcot

Very slow

Desperately searching for a new moth for the garden - could this possibly be a dingy footman - it's the best candidate so far!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Garden list still plodding along

23rd July was a reasonable night here at Westcott, Bucks with Phyllonorycter harrisella, Agonopterix liturosa, Wormwood Pug & Rosy Rustic added to the year list.  For the next two nights the trap was given a rest (the 24th due to heavy rain, the 25th due to a party in the garden where the cables and trap were considered a likely health and safety hazard to inebriated teenagers!).  The two most recent nights were not at all satisfactory weather-wise (cool, wet and/or windy) but reasonable numbers of moths still managed to put in an appearance.  On the 26th Pandemis corylana and Chevron joined the year list, while on the 27th the only newcomers were Olive and Small Fan-foot amongst 419 moths of 40 macro and 26 micro species.  Chevron visited the garden for the first time last year, making two appearances, and it is very pleasing to see its return although there is certainly no shortage of sallow in the immediate area.  Olive makes roughly half a dozen appearances here every year but normally arrives first at the end of June so this visitor was a tad late.  The same is true of Small Fan-foot which is never as numerous in the garden as Fan-foot and in any case is normally on the wane by now, so I consider myself lucky to have got one at all for 2015.  We are probably now into that period of summer when little 'new' appears but some old favourites come back with their second broods.

Chevron, Westcott 26th July

Olive, Westcott 27th July

Dave Wilton

Dazed and confused

Help with the following would be welcome please. The first FW13mm, then two views of a micro
the fourth I guessed at Blastobasis adustella  and the fifth ?. The second , fourth and fifth are all 5mm at most.

Many Thanks,
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Dark side

Very nice to welcome a melanic carbonaria Peppered moth for the first time in two years, even if it does have a look of Darth Vader. Other arrivals this morning included that weird-looking creature the Pale Prominent, Dusky Sallow and what I think is a pinkie fingernail-sized Grass Rivulet, below, but would be grateful as ever for advice.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Going slow

Going very slow here in Milton Keynes, only 2 NFY macros this week Small Ranunculus on the 21st and Knot Grass on the 23rd. Some bad nights, Friday 24th was terrible only 2 moths and Sunday 26th only 8 moths. Two new micros for my garden, first I'm sure is Yponomeuta plumbella (25th) and i think the second is Lobesia abscisana but would appreciate confirmation.
Small Ranunculus

Yponomeuta plumbella

Lobesia abscisana?

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes.

Coleshill, Oxfordshire

Only managed one moth session last week, overnight on the 21st July, when I ran two MV traps at different places in the garden. The good conditions meant that by the morning there were plenty of moths in the traps and many others outside them too.

This was to be the highest total of the year so far with 1252 individuals of 97 species counted (including 219 Large Yellow Underwing, 67 Dark Arches, 143 Uncertain/Rustic agg. and 63 Heart & Dart). NFY macros were Black Arches, September Thorn, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Twenty-plume Moth and Pale Motted Willow.

Migrants included 6 Silver Y and 3 Small Mottled Willows. Hawk Moths were well represented by 7 Elephant, 8 Poplar and 1 Pine.

As ever there were some (worn) species that were more difficult to ID and it would be useful to get confirmations or corrections on my best guesses below.

Eucosma obumbratana?
Acrobasis consociella?
Phycita roborella?
 very faded Pyrausta purpuralis? - had white marks on hindwing to distinguish from P. aurata
Anania lancealis?

Olly Fox, Coleshill, Oxfordshire

PS. apologies for not including any scale bar, I realised I didn't have my ruler with me when photographing them.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Euzophera pinguis?

hi, can someone confirm the ID of this as Euzophera pinguis or otherwise?

many thanks,

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Princes Risborough, Bucks

Nigel's splendid Chalk Carpet below reminds me that I haven't mentioned another trapping session which Martin Albertini and I had on the chalk at Grangelands nature reserve and the adjacent Kimble rifle range back on 21st July.  Unfortunately Chalk Carpet didn't appear despite this being a known site for it in the past, even as recently as last year, so perhaps we were just a little early for it there.  However, well over 200 species were recorded (115 of them macros) and they included Coleophora lixella, Elachista biatomella, Sophronia semicostella, Mompha miscella, Ancylis unculana, Paratalanta hyalinalis, Hypochalcia ahenellaOncocera semirubella, Royal Mantle, Pimpinel Pug, Kent Black Arches & Rosy Minor.

This would appear to be a new site for the pretty phyctinid Oncocera semirubella and Richard Ellis has just passed on the excellent news that he had one to his garden trap in Chorleywood last night (25th).

Dave Wilton 

Loosley Row, Bucks

This Chalk Carpet put in an appearance here last night, a new species for the garden.


White-spotted Pug?

Can anyone confirm the i.d. of this pug i had in my Aylesbury garden trap this morning - possibly White-spotted? I also had a nice female Oak Eggar hatch, reared from larvae supplied by Dave Wilton. Thanks, from Dave Maunder
White-spotted Pug?

Oak Eggar

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Waved Black

This Waved Black, a first for me and the garden, is the surprise of the year so far.

Dave Ferguson, Beaconsfield

Friday, 24 July 2015

Chilo phragmitella?

while fighting with the moths and the rain this morning I nearly dismissed this one as one of those big brown caddis flies that turn up, I think it's Chilo phragmitella, can someone confirm please?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Argyrotaenia ljungiana and some unknowns

I have been making an effort this year to capture all the tiny micros that hide at the bottom of the moth trap. Of course, I then have the challenge of trying to identify them all. The first micro pictured below I think I recognise from last summer as Argyrotaenia ljungiana?

Below are 4 further micros that I would like some help with, as I have failed so far to put a name to them. The first of the 4 has a fw measuring 7mm, while the remaining 3 have fws of 6mm.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Small Scallop?

Dave and Nigel were very helpful last year when I had trouble distinguishing between a Small Bloodvein and a Small Scallop, which arrived together in the trap. I've used their advice with this delicate creature and think that it may be a very pallid Small Bloodvein, but I am so often wrong that I'd be very grateful for confirmation or correction.  Other arrivals include regular Small Dotted Buffs, Yellow Shell and the Gothic below. All best, Martin Wainwright, Thrupp.