I made another visit to Homefield Wood near Marlow, Bucks last night, where the trees provided a good screen from the stiff SW breeze. There was plenty of moth activity although very little from species that I haven't already recorded there this year. Clouded Magpie was out in force with 23 recorded between the three lights. Black Arches was also numerous and one of them I brought home to photograph because it looked rather dark and it turns out to be a melanic form which is illustrated in Skinner.
|Melanic Black Arches, Homefield Wood 20th July|
It was also nice to see August Thorn and September Thorn side-by-side because I've struggled with this pair in the past and I'm sure others do too! When at rest the August Thorn (upper) holds its wings at a lower angle and the two cross lines remain fairly widely spaced when they reach the lower edge of the forewing. September Thorn (lower), which is a 'chunkier' moth, holds its wings higher and the cross-lines come much closer together at the lower edge of the forewing.
Amongst the micros at Homefield Wood, Pseudopostega crepusculella appeared again and Monochroa cytisella was out in numbers (16 seen). My best find, though, was what I hope is the crambid Pediasia contaminella which, if correct, appears to be only about the fourth record for Bucks.
|Possible Pediasia contaminella, Homefield Wood 20th July|
While at the wood I completed a torchlight survey of the dark mullein growing there. More than 200 plants were checked altogether and eight Striped Lychnis caterpillars were found, one in BBOWT's meadow area and the rest along the main Forestry Commission ride.