Thursday, 20 July 2017

Confirmations please

hi, I think I have

Aethes smeathmanniana

White-spotted pug

 Phycitodes binaevella

Cloaked Minor

Small Rivulet

can someone confirm please?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Hook Norton, July

Trapped on two nights, 8 days apart, this month.  The counts were large: 151 moths and 50 species at the start of the month and 248 (net of escapees, especially Yellow Underwings, and thankfully, some micromoths) and 61 species.    Dominant were Common Rustic, Dark Arches, Common Footman, and Garden Grass Veneer.   The species count year to date is now 119, including micros and I have only just realised that Oxfordshire has separate recorders for macro and micro moths so I will have to disentangle them on my spreadsheet.  My wife asked if any were uncommon, but in truth I have no idea.  Is there a 'rare moth list' for the county or indeed just a list of moths seen in Oxfordshire?

Brown-line Bright-eye

Burnished Brass

Ruby Tiger

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet


Various macros

Last night's catch has resulted in quite a few questions. If I could start with the macros.
1. Small Rufous I think? Not a species I have had before.
2. A small shiny grey pug. Wingspan only about 12mm.
3. A larger pug. Wingspan about 18mm.
4. A rather worn carpet.
5. Wingspan 22mm.

Still a lot of work to do on the micros but my eyes need a rest from moths!
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Westcott, Bucks

The garden trap continues to bring in new moths for the year-list and last night's additions take me past 500 adult species here for 2017 (so not including early stages, mines etc), two weeks earlier than I've ever achieved that figure before.

12th July  Agriphila geniculea, Cloaked Minor
13th July  Argyresthia bonnetella, Roeslerstammia erxlebella, Aproaerema anthyllidella, Chionodes
                  fumatellaEpinotia nisella, Dusky Thorn
14th July  Argyresthia goedartella, Agonopterix subpropinquella, Cydia splendana, Sitochroa verticalis
15th July  Phyllonorycter trifasciella, Acleris laterana, Orthotaenia undulana, Tree-lichen Beauty, Copper
                  Underwing, Lychnis, Mouse Moth, Mere Wainscot
16th July  Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Haworth's Pug, Bordered Beauty
17th July  Teleiodes vulgella, Cochylis molliculana, Pandemis corylana, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Bordered
                  Pug, Sallow Kitten
18th July  Swammerdamia pyrella, Coleophora hemerobiella, Acleris aspersana, Ancylis badiana

Tree-lichen Beauty, Westcott 15th July

Mere Wainscot, Westcott 15th July

Bordered Beauty, Westcott 16th July

Bordered Pug, Westcott 17th July

Some of the micros have, of course, been retained for checking.  It is they which keep the interest going because there has been a definite downturn in the number of new macro species turning up, as is only to be expected at this time of year.  Many of the arrivals now are second broods but at least that gives us another opportunity to catch up with species we may have missed earlier in the year (Sallow Kitten here, for example).  Before the blog started, when Peter Hall used to produce stats of what had been reported on the BC Upper Thames Branch website, we reckoned that from the beginning of August to the end of the year there were only about 100 species left to appear locally.  In this "early" year we've probably reached that point already - now there's a depressing thought!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


My annual thorny question

As well as Dusky Thorn and Early Thorn, I think I can now add September Thorn and August Thorn to this year's garden list. In the picture below, can I just check that the moth on the left is September Thorn, while the more orangey moth on the right is August Thorn?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Knot grass? & Grey Pine Carpet?

I think the first is a Knot Grass - if it is it's another new one for me

The second - Grey Pine Carpet? looks a bit different from the ones I've seen before.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

'Ear' moth

An 'Ear' moth flew in to the bathroom last night.  I know that 'Ear' moths require dissection for species identification but was wondering whether Bucks ever gets any of the other species other than Ear?  I know all the ones I have had dissected have been Ear moth.  Also is flight date any help in distinguishing Ear from the other three?

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Marbled Greens or not?

On Monday night I caught 3 clearly marked Marbled Greens plus these two.

I assume that they are both weakly marked Marbled Greens but, if so, I would have struggled with the one on the right in isolation.

There is also this Tortrix that I would welcome some help with.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Prochoreutis myllerana? and Kent Black Arches

Two new moths for me last night.

I'm thinking the first is Prochoreutis myllerana on the basis of the extent of the white speckling - can someone confirm?

The other is Kent Black Arches - not sure how common they are around here.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Where have you been for 40 years?

In the 1960s and 1970s some of the "great and good" of the mothing world used to make regular visits to a particular wood in the Chilterns to see Olive Crescent but it has not been recorded there or anywhere else in Bucks since the long, hot summer of 1976.  Maybe it succumbed because of the weather, maybe it was collected out or maybe there were other reasons for its demise, but it was certainly the last thing I expected to see last night when trapping in a (different) south Bucks woodland!  Assuming that it wasn't just a one-off stray visitor, hopefully this is a sign that the Red Data Book species might still be a resident in these parts.

Olive Crescent, 17th July

I usually try and make the effort to identify and record significant non-moths which visit my light traps and last night the same woodland provided two examples of the grand-daddy of all long-horn beetles, the Tanner Beetle Prionus coriarius.  As you can see from the scale at the top, this is a huge beast and couldn't really be missed!   

Prionus coriarius, 17th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Pediasia contaminella

I noticed that Dave Wilton had recorded a Pediasia contaminella recently, on chalk grassland near Loudwater, so I knew what it was when I found this one in my trap this morning, sitting in its characteristic nose-down posture.  It's the first of this species I've recorded at this site:

Also an Acompsia schmidtiellus, only the second I've seen at this site, the first being on 04 August 2014:

Richard Ellis

Monday, 17 July 2017

More photos from Chalk grassland site near Loudwater

Further to Dave Wilton's recent post about our recent trip to a small private chalk grassland site near Loudwater in South Bucks.  I'm still working on the species list, but it is looking like it will be over 150.  A few more photos of species we found.

Oncocera semirubella
Clouded Magpie
Sitochroa palealis
And last but not least the very large ichneumon, Stauropoctonus bombycivorus.  This is a scarce species with records mainly from the New Forest.  It was first recorded in Bucks in 2015, there were 3 records in 2016.   There have been two records so far in 2017, so it will be interesting to see if it is increasing.  This is a large species (over 20mm body length with antennae at least as long again), the largest you are likely to see at a moth trap, and has distinctive markings.  I will be interested to hear of any other sightings.  A good photo or specimen will be needed to confirm the record as this group are notoriously difficult.

Stauropoctonus bombycivorus

Neil Fletcher

New Six-belted Clearwing site?

A couple of weeks ago I was carrying out some maintenance on the spit at Little Marlow GP.  I was aware of the large amounts of Bird's-foot Trefoil in flower, so today, whilst doing some more maintenance, I took my pheromone lures with me.  Sure enough, within a minute a couple of Six-belted Clearwings arrived.

I think this must be a new dot in the atlas for them? SU878875.

Also, one other query, A Large Tabby flew in to the lounge on the 9th of July - how are these doing in Bucks nowadays?

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Garden Moths

Don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I had my first Cydalima perspectalis in the garden last night. A neighbour has a box hedge round his garden; for how much longer, I wonder?

Also NFY were Dusky Thorn, Mottled Rustic and Diamond-back Moth plus first Flame and Dun-bar in the garden this year. 

Also, I had two almost identically knacked noctuids; if anyone can id this from the photo, that'd be great :)

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Couple of queries

The variety of the heatwave seems to have subsided but Diamond-back still appears and a pristine Silver Y arrived on Friday night to compliment the Painted Lady by day! I seem to be getting more Brown Line Bright Eye than I normally get in Longwick.

I have a couple of queries. The first is a rather pale pug with a dark bar on the thorax which eludes identification which has a wing span of 16mm whilst the second is a Tortrix which is well marked but rather dull which has a forewing length of 10mm. Any suggestions welcome.

Treble Brown Spot

Just wanted to check my original "voucher specimen" (photo) was correct. This is from June 2014.

Also a second one from June this year

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Campion check

My I join Mark's Lychnis/Campion class to check this one? Going by Peter and Dave's comments on Mark's post, I think that this may be a Campion, as opposed to Lychnis which are more frequent here. I'm also very pleased this morning because a Yellow-tail finally stuck its tail up for me after several weeks of adamant refusals from others which have come to the trap. Oh and I think my third pic is just a Common Footman but it seems to have folded its wings oddly - comments v welcome.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Sunday, 16 July 2017


This is a group I'm not familiar with and would appreciate some help. I've tentatively got to S. taeniolella going by the shot of the underside and the 'similar species' explanation under its entry in MOGBI vol 4 part 2. Am I correct or would it need looking at 'more closely'?


Lychnis or Campion?

hi, I have 3 moths from various trappings

1. I think this was identified at the time as a Lychnis

2. I identified as a Lychnis - now I'm wondering if it is a Campion

3. I think this one is a Campion?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford