Monday, 2 May 2016

One Swallow Prominent doesn't make a summer

After such a long run of poor weather I didn't expect the first warm night to produce much but hopefully by the end of this week emergences will be somewhere back on track towards where they should be.  The garden trap brought in 31 moths of a dozen species last night, of which Swallow Prominent, Blossom Underwing and Knot Grass were new for 2016.  I'd given up on getting Blossom Underwing here this year so that was a nice surprise as well as being the latest date that I've recorded it, although I see that there are previous Bucks records into the second week of May.

Knot Grass, Westcott 1st May

For those of you who have Emperor Moth females (or the pheromone lure), I would suggest that now is a very good time to get out with them and try for records away from home.  It has been hard work here over the past couple of weeks since my first female emerged on 20th April but I have managed to 'assemble' single males at three or four sites.  However, there was a sudden burst of male activity locally mid-afternoon yesterday when six 'wild' examples appeared at once to the caged females which had been outdoors in the garden since early that morning.  Following the usual pattern here, with females appearing before males, my first home-bred male didn't emerge until 28th April (by which time nearly all the females were out - not quite sure what they might gain from that strategy).  Today seems to have been peak male emergence amongst my captive pupae with 15 appearing so far.  No great surprise that it is a late season for them here. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the heads up Dave, I will try Black Park again towards the end of the week. Hopefully I will get a result with the lure and restore my faith.


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