Sunday, 30 July 2017

Too much rain and wind!

I did put a light out a couple of days ago in the back garden (Chorleywood, Bucks) and got 18 species: All bog-standard and what you might expect. One moth, however, I felt was worth photographing:

August Thorn, if I'm right. But I don't think I've seen one that obscurely marked before. It's not worn, nearly concours condition in fact.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Fox Moth larva

I came across a rather splendid early instar Fox Moth larva at Stoke Common, Bucks this morning. It was feeding on Creeping Willow.

Dave Ferguson

On for 400?

Although overnight conditions haven't been especially good on recent nights in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, the year list has steadily increased, with a series of reasonably substantial catches and a few species which are by no means guaranteed to be annual: Pebble Hook-tip last night and Lime-speck Pug on the previous one are good examples. The year-list has now edged over 300, and I'm wondering whether 400 is a realistic prospect by the end of the year - although we're away for a few chunks of August, which may slow things up.

Pebble Hook-tip, 28/7/17
The two moths below, from the last two nights, would both be year-ticks if they're what I suspect - they would also be species which didn't show up last year, which is a pattern which has applied throughout this year. I wonder whether this first individual is a Dusky Brocade - although I wouldn't rule out a slightly unusual-looking Flounced Rustic, which has just started showing up in the last few days.

Possible Dusky Brocade, 27/7/17
The second one is, I think, one of two species which I have a sense used to occur more often: Campion (not seen since 2015) and Lychnis (absent since 2014). My sense is that this is more likely to be Lychnis, given what I think I can see of the outermost cross-line, and the impression I have that the kidney mark and oval are separated - does that seem likely to the experts on here?

Possible Lychnis, 28/7/17
Steve Goddard

Macro ID?

having a problem placing this one - it looks a bit like a Scarce Bordered Straw but I think that's a bit of a stretch.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Friday, 28 July 2017

IDs please

these were all from the last few days.

the first one (3 pics) I can't find.

then a wave - maybe a bit worn but it looked smaller than the usual Ribands

the next one - I found several close matches - maybe Bryotropha similis?

then Argyresthia goedartella?

finally a Shaded Broad-bar i think - another NFM

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

The next confusing species...

I had my first Flounced Rustic of the year last night, a moth which has been known to cause a bit of confusion so I thought I would get an image on the blog early in order to pre-empt a few of the expected ID requests!  It can be quite variable but that bar in the centre of the wing (>--<) is generally a giveaway although you do have to be careful as some Common Rustic aggs can show a similar marking.  Surprisingly, this one wasn't a particularly early arrival as my garden sightings usually start sometime during the final week of July.

Flounced Rustic, Westcott 27th July

The next potential confusion species will be the infinitely variable Square-spot Rustic which should also start appearing any day now (there have been early records already from elsewhere in the country).

Two nights ago I got my first Straw Underwing of the season and last night also saw the appearance of an Ear Moth.  Despite Bucks having no records for any of the Ears apart from oculea, it is still necessary to get some of them critically examined so I tend to keep back one per site per year, just in case.

Straw Underwing, Westcott 26th July

Ear Moth agg., Westcott 27th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ocnerostoma .

Some rainy-day dissecting a day ago allowed me to identify 3 Ocnerostoma piniariella specimens - 2 females and a male. These were raised from Scots Pine needles I'd collected earlier in the year from Stoke Common, near Fulmer in Bucks. Martin Albertini apprises me they represent the second Bucks record - the first being in 1986. No photos, I'm afraid, but they look just like O. friesei, which is commoner.

Sibford Tuesday night

A surprisingly good catch on Tuesday night with 100 species resulted in Scorched Carpet, Bordered Beauty and Acleris forsskaleana being added to the garden list along with what I identified as Prochoreutis myllerana and then released it before realising it might need dissection for confirmation.

Prochoreutis myllerana?

Scorched Carpet

Acleris forsskaleana

Further interest was added by what I think is a female Stag beetle and a very large ichneumon .

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Rather attractive little moth!

Not a large haul here in Longwick last night. No migrants but a few crowd pleasers such as Black Arches, Magpie and Pebble Hook-tip.New for the garden was this Dichomeris marginella. A very attractive little moth!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

just had to show this

Please delete if not allowed on this blog! I got a Clifden Nonpareil pupae from a friend who has reared these blueautiful moths for a few years. Not likely to trap one so it was lovely to see. thought id share some pics.

Hope you don't mind this.

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

Micros causing head scratching again

There were quite a few small micros in last night's garden trap. Any suggestions regarding the 2 below would be warmly welcome.
The first measured just 4mm -

The second had a forewing of 8mm -

Finally, I had both a male and a female Ringed China-mark ( Parapoynx stratiotata) and I managed to capture them both in one picture.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Phyllocnistis saligna

Despite over an hour of rain just after dark, more than 100 species were trapped here in the garden at Westcott last night but the only new item was Phyllocnistis saligna, unless Peter Hall's microscope can turn a fairly large pug or a small gelechiid into something interesting (both are quite worn specimens).  Numbers wise, Agriphila straminella and Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl are currently out-performing everything else, with totals of 70 and 48 respectively last night.  Common Rustic agg. managed 22 individuals but no other macros got past 20.  It is good to see Dusky Thorn doing quite well yet again with 16 recorded to date in the garden, already more July records than I've ever had before.  Theoretically at least, it should keep going until late-September.

Phyllocnistis saligna, Westcott 25th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks        

Gypsy moth in Maidenhead

I was surprised to have a Gypsy moth in my Maidenhead garden trap this morning (Wednesday).  The best of the 30 macro species of which only one reached double figures - Brimstone with 13 (only 2 inside the trap).  Tree Lichen Beauty did well for the garden with 6.

Wood carpet ?

I had this moth last night in my garden trap at Beenham, Berks. Is this a Wood Carpet? It was larger than a Common carpet. Not one that I've had before.

Thanks Derek

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Slow but steady (plus one from elsewhere)

Nothing spectacular of late from our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, but a continuation of reasonable catches since our return from holiday last week. A few species which are always worth seeing:

Black Arches, 23/7/17

Brown-line Bright-eye, 23/7/17

Small Phoenix, 23/7/17
Also a few uncertainties, some from before we went away: I'm pretty sure this is a Double Lobed, although I'm aware of having had trouble with this before:

Presumed Double Lobed, 13/7/17
This looks like a Eucosma species, but perhaps not the usual cana:

Possible Eucosma sp., 23/7/17
And I think the following are probably Epiblema foenella, Morophaga choragella and possibly Stenoptilia pterodactyla (it could just be a slightly beaten-up Emmelina monodactyla), but would welcome confirmation or other suggestions.

Probable Epiblema foenella, 8/7/17

Probable Morophaga choragella, 8/7/17

Possible Stenoptilia pterodactyla, 8/7/17
I mentioned being on holiday last week: we were on the Greek island of Corfu, and just before going, I acquired a light, portable trap, which I tried running overnight while we were there. The results were OK, but not spectacular - I think there was a lot of light pollution in the resort we were in - and I haven't yet had time to process the various photos I took, but the specimen below was perhaps the most memorable: a Striped Hawkmoth. I think I'll be waiting a long time before one of those turns up in my garden trap here...

(NOT from Oxfordshire!) Striped Hawkmoth, Kassiopi, Corfu, 20/7/17
Steve Goddard

Monday, 24 July 2017

Westcott, Bucks

On 19th July I had another small collection of new arrivals for the garden year-list, comprising Athrips mouffetella, Endothenia gentianaeana, Pammene aurita, Oncocera semirubella, Latticed Heath and Gold Spot, but then nothing further new until last night when Yponomeuta sedella, Elachista maculicerusella & Barred Rivulet appeared.

Oncocera semirubella, Westcott 19th July

Gold Spot, Westcott 19th July

Yponomeuta sedella, Westcott 23rd July

Barred Rivulet, Westcott 23rd July

Oncocera semirubella is a very smart micro and appeared here for the first time last August when it was considered to be a wanderer from the Chilterns.  With this second visitor it would be nice to think that it has now become established somewhere closer to home.  Its larvae feed on bird's-foot trefoil and other vetches and there's no shortage of them around here.  The completely grey Yponomeuta sedella was last seen in the garden in 2013 and seems quite uncommon in the county as a whole (there are fewer than 20 records for VC24).  It certainly made a change from the ubiquitous evonymella which I get here in some numbers.  Of the other Ermines, plumbella hasn't visited the garden trap since 2011 while the remainder (which in any case can't be safely separated without knowing the food-plant) generally only put in three or four appearances annually.  Barred Rivulet is an occasional visitor to Westcott but this is another moth last recorded here in 2013.

Migrants so far this month have been limited to Dark Sword-grass (1st, 15th & 18th) and Small Mottled Willow (10th, 17th & 19th), along with more regular visits from Plutella xylostella, Udea ferrugalis and Nomophila noctuella.  Silver Y has been seen but not regularly nor in any significant numbers, while during the daytime Hummingbird Hawk-moth is currently appearing every day on the buddleias and on several occasions there have been two at once.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Drop in numbers but migrants still around

Only 22 species last night in Longwick as the wind / rain suppressed moth numbers - especially micros. However this Dark Sword-grass and 2 Silver Y kept the migrant tally ticking away!

Raspberry fool

We migrated to Bucks this afternoon and popped into the Home Cottage Farm PYO near Iver. It was fortuitous that I had left my pheromone lures in the car. I put the HYL lure out while the wife picked Raspberries and within a few minutes I had a number of Raspberry Clearwings (what else) kicking around. I tried for Currant around a few old blackcurrant bushes and for Red-tipped in the orchard but no joy. Still 1 out of 3 ain't bad.  The owners were very interested and hadn't realised the moth was present and guessed it might be why they are losing a lot of plants.

Robert Payne (Harrow)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Alder Moth

Having had an Alder Moth in May this year, the first seen here in 12 years of trapping, I was surprised to find what I'm sure must be an Alder Moth in the trap this morning.  Surely this is a very late appearance for a moth which is supposed to have just one generation, or could it be a freak second brood?

Also this rather nicely marked fly  -  apologies for the poor photo.  It is about 4.5mm FW.  I would be interested to know if anyone can tell me what it is:

And I also had a Cydalima Perspectalis, first here for this year.

Richard Ellis