Saturday, 19 August 2017

Slow-down... (plus New Forest queries)

I'm hoping for some good catches in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, in what seems to be a promised heatwave in the next few days, but over recent weeks, things have slowed down considerably. Catches have been OK, but not especially numerous; they have included a few interesting or spectacular species, including several Red Underwings, a couple of Dark Sword-grasses (by no means an annual species here) and several occurences of Nephopterix angustella, which has only previously occurred once, in 2015.

Presumed Nephopterix angustella, 9/8/17
Micros haven't been that numerous, though the one below, approximately 7-8mm long, has me baffled so far - and suggestions would be gratefully received.

Unknown micro, 12/8/17
And with apologies for going out-of-region: my wife and I managed a brief visit to the New Forest in late July, and I managed to use a highly portable safari trap (which I also took to Corfu earlier this summer) to catch a few local specialities - notably (for me) Oak Hook-tip and Rosy Footman, plus the two individuals below: the micro is either a Crambus pascuella or a Crambus silvella, the latter apparently being very much a New Forest and east Dorset speciality; and the macro looks to me like a Beautiful Brocade, which would be a new species to me. Again, any confirmations or other suggestions would be very welcome.

Crambus pascuella or silvella, Brockenhurst, New Forest, 1/8/17

Possible Beautiful Brocade, Brockenhurst, New Forest, 31/7/17
Steve Goddard (with apologies for the photos: having a little trouble with my camera...)

Vine's Rustic?

A Vine's Rustic, I would have thought, but with rather unusual markings.  Comments or suggestions welcomed!

Richard Ellis

First for Benson garden

This Black Arches was beside the trap this morning but laying upside down with its feet in the air. Seems undamaged apart from worn and wonder what, if anything, could have killed it.

This is turning into a remarkable year for moths. I have had to date 15 new species in my garden in Beenham Berks including a Clifden Nonpareil last night. After 13 years of trapping this is very unusual - in contrast I had only 1 new sps last year. My garden list now stands at 353 macro-moths. Are other people having the same experience?

Friday, 18 August 2017

Worn Snout?

Just wanted to check this wasn't anything more interesting

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Scarce Bordered Straw

A Scarce Bordered Straw last night, not a regular visitor but seen here previously in 2006 and 2015:

Also what I assume must be a very small Turnip with a FW length of just 15mm.  It does have plain white hind wings so I can't think what else it could be:

Others of possible interest seen here over the last week or so were male Gypsy Moths on 09 and 15 August and a pristine Jersey Tiger on 11 August.

Richard Ellis

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Some kind of pug?

Please can someone tell me the name of this moth which visited us in Speen last night.

Six-belted Clearwing

Having caught Six-belted and other Clearwing species back in June this year I hadn't anticipated seeing another one this year - they weren't on my radar at all. However, today while walking my butterfly transect on Bushy Bank near Wallingford I came across and watched a female flying about testing out suitable Lotus plants and laying eggs. Hardly ever see clearwings without a lure so this was  a real treat. I then found a Hornet Robberfly which I don't see often either.

Marc Botham, Didcot

Oak Processionary in Cookham

In last night's garden trap, this worn individual appeared. A male Oak Processionary, which I recognised from the picture posted by Greg Keith back on 2nd August.

There were 91 moths in the trap comprising 37 species, with only Vine's Rustic and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing reaching double figures and very few micros. New moths for the year included Orange Swift, Clay Triple-lines, Maple Prominent, Toadflax Brocade, Centre-barred Sallow, Copper Underwing and Straw Underwing.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Confirmations please

I think I have these right - all new for the year

I think I have

2x White-point

Turnip Moth (white hindwings)

Square-spot Rustic

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Monday, 14 August 2017

Micro help

Help needed please with this micro. A few I've considered but I would be guessing. Thankyou.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Indoor Mothing

My "indoor moth list" increased by 1 today, with the first Hummingbird Hawk-moth I've seen in the UK for about 5 years, in the ticket office at COAM today. It disappeared after about 15 minutes of banging its head against the window, so I hope it made it outside safely.

Also added to the same list was a brace of Pyrausta aurata in my kitchen over the weekend.

Dave Morris

Couple of Longwick Queries

Having returned from a holiday to Norfolk it was interesting to see a subtle change in the traps with more second brood examples of commoner species appearing. A couple of queries are pictured here. Firstly a 6mm length micro ( a gelechid?) and the next a Plume which seems pretty common this weekend.

Whilst away I happened to check the Norfolk Butterfly Conservation website and went along to a moth trap opening morning at Home NOA. Well worth looking out for such events as I got to meet a few enthusiasts and see a different set of moths such as Shore Wainscot, Twin Spot Wainscot and Platytes Alpinella. What was interesting was that both Oak Processionary and Sharp Angled Peacock were seen there too. Apparently the next moth which is experiencing a big increase is L-Album Wainscot as a whole range of species apparently establish themselves in London and then move north along the milder coasts of Essex and Suffolk more quickly than progress inland?

Phaulernis fulviguttella

Last night I caught what I thought initially might be Phaulernis fulviguttella. The yellow head and forward pointing antennae were very distinctive in life and the size seemed about right. Unfortunately it was a most uncooperative individual and I could not get it to settle long enough to get a photo. 20mins in the fridge or a couple of minutes in the freezer didn't help and then I managed to kill it with a longer spell in the freezer and the wings had to be prised apart to get a photo of the upper side which rather damaged the markings.

I am also not clear as to the current status of Phaulernis fulviguttella. The field guide describes it as common, UK moths as reasonably common but some of the County websites have it as Nationally Scarce B with few recent records.
I doubt whether the photos are good enough for identification but any suggestions would be welcome and I do still have the moth if it would be worth examining further.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Rustic or Vine's

Have been changing my mind a lot over whether these are Rustics or Vine's. Could someone please tell me what these two examples are. Thanks.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Square-spotted Clay or something else?

A couple of these were found at College Lake on Saturday morning when the night's  catches from 8 traps left there on Friday night were inspected as part of a Moth event with BBOWT, Butterfly Conservation and Bucks Invertebrate Group.  We at first thought a worn Purple Clay but then had second thoughts.  I did record a Square-spotted Clay last year at Hollington Wood and dithered then too before being assured by this Blog.

Gordon Redford

Saturday, 12 August 2017


Is this an Ermine moth? I saw it on a door in Stokenchurch this morning. Sorry that the photo isn't very good.

Garden Gypsy

Not been able to do a huge amount of mothing of late, but my GMS garden trap last night had a first for garden Gypsy Moth.

Also NFY was Orange Swift and Straw Underwing.

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Rammamere Heath

I seem to be spending most of my time in Devon at the moment but a 24 hour visit back home to Westcott meant that I could squeeze in a trip last night to one of the sites I've been trapping at regularly this year, Rammamere Heath on the Bucks/Beds border.  Thankfully the weather was obligingly good and both of my August target species there, White-line Dart and Archer's Dart, did put in an appearance.

White-line Dart, Rammamere Heath 11th August

Archer's Dart, Rammamere Heath 11th August

This seems to be the only area in Bucks where these two moths are resident.  Numbers weren't as good as I'd expected (eight White-line and only the one Archer's) but at least this confirms their continued presence.  Neither species has been recorded anywhere in the county since I previously trapped regularly at Rammamere back in 2011. 

Altogether more than 100 species came to light which was quite good for the time of year.  Others worthy of a mention included Ypsolopha nemorella, Agriphila inquinatella, Birch Mocha, Chevron, Peacock (a double-digit count), Pine Hawk-moth, True Lover's Knot, Antler Moth, Six-striped Rustic (the first I've seen this year), White-point, Beautiful Yellow Underwing, Small Rufous and a migrant Scarce Bordered Straw.

Antler Moth, Rammamere Heath 11th August

Scarce Bordered Straw, Rammamere Heath 11th August

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Another Gypsy and one for checking

I was surprised to get another Gypsy moth in last night's catch having caught one last year which was possibly a first for Oxfordshire.

I would appreciate some advice on this micro - about 9mm in length. I thought it might be
Cochylimorpha straminea?

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.


I am back in the nursery business after a small clutch of eggs was left on the lamp collar last week. Somehow, they survived the eager attentions of my visiting grand-daughter and have now hatched into tiny hawk moth caterpillars - I would guess Poplar Hawks as that is the only one visiting at the moment, but no doubt things will become clearer.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sharp-angled Peacock?

I was wondering if this could be a Sharp-angled Peacock. It occurred in my trap at Beenham Berks last night. The features seem right. I've included a picture of a Peacock from an earlier year for comparison. Any thoughts?


A couple of queries

Sorry to be hopeless, but I cannot work out the ID of the moth above and would be grateful for help. A Flounced Rustic maybe, but I'm distracted by those two white marks above the pale blob. More challengingly, I suspect that the one below is too battered for recognition, but just in case... Things are fairly quiet here with the wet and cold weather, but here's hoping. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Look for Lobesia littoralis on Thrift

I was recently sent a picture by Mike Corby of Lobesia littoralis from North Bucks.  On confirmation Mike went and looked at the Thrift plants (only a few) in his garden and found another moth on the plants.  So, if you have Thrift plants it is worth having a look for the moths and also look in the flower heads for a silk cocoon and possibly a protruding chrysalis skin were the moth has emerged.  Some times the shed chrysalis will stick out from the flower head.

Monday, 7 August 2017

All sorts

I know it's a modest ambition, but I have wanted to get a photo of a Magpie Moth in my light-trap since I started in 2005. None have visited me here and the only one to come in Leeds fluttered out before I was ready with the camera and was grabbed and eaten by the robin which always watched me in the mornings. Now at last I have my pic. It was also good to watch two Hummingbird Hawks on buddleia at Stonor Park and to have an Oblique Carpet and a Yellow-bordered Brindle in the eggboxes back at home.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Sunday, 6 August 2017


Really not too sure about this one!

Barnaby Briggs

Epermenia falciformis?

Caught a few days ago - I think this may be Epermenia falciformis - can someone confirm?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Saturday, 5 August 2017


Also from iver:

Any thoughts?

Barnaby Briggs

Gypsy moth advice

First question is are these Gypsy moths?  Found last night.

Second question is what to do with them?  Are they a pest species?


Barnaby Briggs, Iver

Dichrorampha plumbana?

caught last night - is this Dichrorampha plumbana?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Friday, 4 August 2017

Cochylis sp.

I initially thought this was C. roseana, but as I cannot see any markings in the cilia, I'm now thinking it might be C. flaviciliana. I've seen neither of these species before so help would be appreciated. It was found indoors today (Loosley Row, Bucks).


ID please

I'm wondering if this is the first of the Flounced Rustics but it has pink on it and seems rounder?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Oak Eggar

Earlier this year Ched George found an Oak Eggar caterpillar in Kent and brought it home to rear through.  The adult, a female, emerged a few days ago and on Monday afternoon Ched took her to Hell Coppice in Bernwood Forest to try and "assemble" a local male.  This was accomplished quite quickly and the (rather battered) male is shown below before being released.  Ched now has a plentiful supply of eggs!

Oak Eggar male

Oak Eggar female