Monday, 29 May 2017

Fantastic Mr Fox

Well, that was a BIG surprise!  A male Fox Moth came to the garden actinic trap last night and it wasn't until I looked at the books that I realised he can occasionally fly at night as well as during the daytime.  I've only ever had this supposedly common moth to light at two sites in Bucks (Stoke Common and Bernwood Forest, females in each case) so it must be more thinly spread in the county even than its close relative the Oak Eggar. 

Fox Moth, Westcott 28th May

Fox Moth, Westcott 28th May

In the thundery conditions last night the garden tally came to 336 moths of 95 species, not quite breaking the 100 species barrier but that's probably still the best total I've ever had here during May.  Apart from the Fox Moth, new for the year-list were Coptotriche marginea, Paraswammerdamia albicapitella, Elachista argentella, Agapeta hamana, Cochylimorpha straminea, Epinotia bilunana, Epinotia tedella, Lathronympha strigana, Udea olivalis, Sloe Pug, Eyed Hawk-moth, Poplar Kitten & Sycamore.  Following the appearance of the tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana here for the first time ever on the 26th I had no less than three more last night, while highest counts were provided by Straw Dot (26) & Small Square-spot (22).

White Ermines, Westcott 27th May

New for the year the previous night (27th) were Nemapogon cloacella, Argyresthia spinosella, Blastobasis lacticolella, Scoparia pyralella, Peppered Moth, Mottled Beauty, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Dark/Grey Dagger agg. & Marbled White Spot.  I also had to look twice at the left-hand White Ermine above but unfortunately that's what it was, just a lesser-spotted White Ermine!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

A little beauty

A short walk over the road here on the edge of Beaconsfield produced a small group of the stunning Common Tubic (Alabonia geoffrella) plus several dozen Common Marbles (Celypha lacunana) a Black-headed Conch (Cochylis atricapitana) and several Cinnabars.

Dave Ferguson

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Carpet choice

You know what it's like, just when you think you know what you've decided on you look again and think that one's much the same but different!. Spruce or Grey Pine, at first I was undecided but now I'm not so sure. Help appreciated please.
 Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Garden Stuff

A reasonably decent haul for me on Friday night with my GMS trap.
New for year were Crambus lathoniellus, Pyrausta aurata, Tawny-barred Angle, Common Wainscot, Bee Moth, Codling Moth, Garden Carpet, Light Emerald, Green Pug, Broken-barred Carpet and Clouded Border.
I also had an Ephestia like Andy's below, but I didn't retain it.

Plus some I'd appreciate some help with:

Large Nutmeg?

Guessing at Mottled Pug:

Scoparid, but which one?
 And I know this is a Caddis, but it was b****y enormous, so I'd be interested if anyone can tell me what it is.

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Another Micro ID

Im sure this is probably obvious but I've been looking at it too much and gone moth blind! Please help!

Also had a Poplar Kitten lay me some eggs and these amazing looking caterpillars have hatched, looking forward to rearing these!

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

200 up

Here at Westcott, Bucks moths new to this year's garden list out of last night's collection (219 individuals of 64 species) were Tinea semifulvella, Gracillaria syringella, Cameraria ohridella, Bucculatrix nigricomella, Bryotropha terrella, Bryotropha affinis, Ptycholoma lecheana, Hedya pruniana, Epiblema rosaecolana, Eudonia pallida, Crambus lathoniellus, Parapoynx stratiotata, Blood-vein, Treble Brown Spot, Willow Beauty & White-point, taking this year's total to 207 known species so far.  That's the first time that 200 species has been achieved here in May, the previous earliest being 3rd June (2011).  Best of the bunch last night was the splendid little tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana on its first visit to the garden.

Ptycholoma lecheana, Westcott 26th May

I also ran two traps for the usual three hours in different areas of Bernwood Forest, Bucks and they did quite well with somewhere between 110 and 120 species caught, micros accounting for nearly 50% of the total.  Crassa tinctella would appear to be new to the already very extensive Bernwood list, while it was good to see the first two fresh examples of one of the forest's specialities, Common Fan-foot.

Crassa tinctella, Bernwood 26th May

Common Fan-foot, Bernwood 26th May
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Some more micros for ID

I was hoping to get through last night's catch without asking for more help. However, although the macros were OK I'm afraid there are a number of micros that I am unsure about. My attempts were as follows.
1. Callisto denticulella? (5mm)
2. Caloptilia robustella or alchimiella Is it possible to tell or should I be keeping it for dissection?(6mm)
3. Crambus lathoniellus? (11mm)
4. Eucosma cana? (12mm)
5. Delplanqueia dilunella? (10mm)

Any confirmation/correction would be most welcome. Thanks in anticipation.
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

ID Help, please

I've been puzzling for a while over these two moths from last night and would welcome any comments or suggestions:

Having seen my first ever Alder Moth for this site on 15 May, there were two more in the trap this morning, also another Figure of Eighty.

Richard Ellis

Late May surge

Some nice familiar species making their first appearances of the year over the last week in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxon., including Riband Wave, Clouded Silver and Bright-line Brown-eye on the 22nd and Straw Dot on the 24th. A few others which aren't necessarily annual here have also shown, such as Figure of Eighty on the 22nd, and a Scalloped Hazel on the 24th was a welcome addition to the garden yearlist.

Figure of Eighty, 22/5/17
And, as ever, a few uncertainties: perhaps most strikingly, the individual below, which showed up on 24th May, shown first with a clear example of a Pale Tussock, then on its own: the orange-brown markings make it look like a Dark Tussock, and it seems the right shape, but according to the Bible (flight season July-August) it would be over a month early: any thoughts?

Pale Tussock and possible Dark Tussock (and Common Swift), 24/5/17

Possible Dark Tussock (and Common Swift), 24/5/17
The macro below is, I think, a surprisingly worn Clouded-bordered Brindle, considering it would be such an early individual; and the micro, I suppose, Scoparia ambigualis.

Possible Clouded-bordered Brindle, 23/5/17

Possible Scoparia ambigualis, 22/5/17
And finally, a macro which I haven't even begun to develop ideas on: as ever, all suggestions on this or any of the others, would be most welcome!

Unknown, 24/5/17
Steve Goddard

Friday, 26 May 2017

Recent moths

A May Highflyer here last night, only the second I have recorded, the last being in 2011.  Seeing other reports I wonder whether this species having a good year?

Also last night a Figure of Eighty, not seen here since 2009:

And a Hummingbird Hawk on 22 May, a first for my garden, nectaring on azalea but didn't hang around for a photo.

Richard Ellis

Macro confirmations

some macros from the past few days - to pick up Andy's photos of dark macros the first one seems to be a very plain common swift, then 2 large nutmegs, a clouded bordered brindle and then a grass rivulet.

can someone confirm?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

A Coleophora and some dark macros.

I realise the Coleophora species usually need dissection but wondered if this one can be identified from the photo. It was just under 10mm in length (plus the antennae). I still have the moth if it would be worth further investigation.

Although catches have been relatively small in terms of numbers I have managed to add 28 species of macro to my list for 2017 this last week. Last night's catch included dark versions of Coxcomb Prominent and Pale Tussock as well as the less usually marked Treble Lines.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

micro help please

from the past few days,

I think I have Monopis laevigella (first two pics)

The next one is familiar but I can't find it (two pics)

The final one looks distinct but again I can't seem to find it.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Nice moths from this week

Another quick collage below, I'm afraid, containing some of the moth highlights found away from home so far this week, both by day and at night:

My first three Foresters of the year (top left), all male, were found at Bernwood Meadows, Bucks yesterday (24th) along with large numbers of Anania fuscalis and Grass Rivulet.  Other moths recorded there during my brief visit were Cauchas rufimitrella, Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Elachista argentella, Agapeta hamana, Cochylimorpha straminea, Dichrorampha acuminatana, Scoparia pyralella, Pyrausta purpuralis, Common Swift, Silver Y & Mother Shipton.  On Monday night (22nd) I ran some lights in Hog & Hollowhill Woods, Medmenham, Bucks which are now managed by BBOWT.  I got quite a decent list of species, including several examples of Mocha, but the highlights for me from there were Ancylis upupana and a possible Coleophora lutarea (both top right).  I've searched no end of stitchwort in the daytime looking for lutarea, for which there is only a single previous Bucks record from Buttler's Hangings near High Wycombe.  Ancylis upupana is almost equally as rare in the county with only two previous sightings.  Isotrias rectifasciana (bottom right), Light Feathered Rustic (centre, a very dark female) and Broom Moth (bottom left) were all recorded on the National Trust's Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks last night (24th).  Isotrias rectifasciana was seen in the garden as well this week and I put it forward as a suggestion for Darren Seaman's sighting back on 16th May but which we later decided wasn't that species but was probably a female Rhopobota stagnana.  It was pleasing to get double-digit counts of Light Feathered Rustic and Broom Moth last night between two very busy traps, although Common Swift, Green Carpet, Grass Rivulet, Shears & Treble Lines made up the majority of the catch!  The final moth in the collage (lower right) is the splendid little Micropterix aruncella which was the best of the bunch caught during a trapping session on the National Trust's Coombe Hill, Bucks on Tuesday night (23rd).

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks             

More ID help needed

Could I just check that the first one is a Poplar Grey and would welcome any help with the two pugs and the micro.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.