Friday, 10 June 2016

Chalk downland last night

Last night I ran three MV lights on chalk grassland not far from Stokenchurch, Bucks.  Quite a reasonable result was achieved, especially as one of the traps actually managed more than 100 species on its own for the first time this year.  There was nothing particularly unexpected but it was nice to see things like Grass Rivulet, Fern, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Shaded Pug and Reddish Light Arches.  The most numerous macros were Green Carpet, Orange Footman and Treble Lines, while Puss Moth, Lobster Moth (including the splendid dark form obscura which I haven't seen for some years), Green Arches, Alder Moth and Green Silver-lines also appeared.  Amongst the micros, Plutella xylostella (unsurprisingly!), Cydia fagiglandana and Hypochalcia ahenella all appeared in considerable numbers but the best catch was Elachista subocellea (only the second time I've seen the moth).  Unfortunately it 'did a runner' as soon as I tried to take a decent picture, hence only the poor quality in-pot image below!  Also seen was my first Delplanqueia inscriptella of the year.  You'll recall that dilutella and inscriptella were split last year; it seems that our local moths will all be inscriptella but examples, like this one, need to be retained for dissection to prove the case.

Lobster Moth f. obscura, 9th June

Elachista subocellea, 9th June

Delplanqueia inscriptella, 9th June
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

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