Sunday, 13 January 2019

Angle Shades

Last night the garden actinic brought in an Angle Shades.  The caterpillars are a regular sighting at this time of year but this is the first occasion that I've had the moth itself in January.  It "completes the set" for me in that I've now seen the adult in every month of the year.

Angle Shades, Westcott 12th January

Angle Shades, Westcott 12th January

Pale Brindled Beauty (2), Spring Usher (1) and Mottled Umber (2) also came to the light last night even though it turned out quite breezy in the end.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Unseasonal caterpillar

Found this on the doorstep today:

Any clues?

Barnaby Briggs, Iver

Early Moth

Another Early Moth came to light in the garden last night, along with Winter Moth, Mottled Umber, Spring Usher (2) and Chestnut.  Early Moth is a widespread but probably under-recorded species because of its unsociable flight period in January/February so, if you want to see it, the next couple of nights could be mild enough to try the trap, although in my experience it is just as likely to turn up at a lit window.

Early Moth, Westcott 11th January

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


Only visitor to trap so far this year, 1 example of the parasitic wasp Ophion obscuratus last night.

Alan Diver

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Westcott, Bucks

Well, that's the first week of the year out of the way.  Despite not running the trap on two of the nights due to frost, the garden list has already crept up to five macro species with the addition last night of an unexpected Silver Y (my first January record).  The others seen so far are Pale Brindled Beauty, Spring Usher, Mottled Umber and Early Moth.  Two more Spring Ushers last night means that I've now had seven since 1st January.  This is very good going for a moth which usually just one or two of turn up here per year (there is only one fairly juvenile oak anywhere near the garden).  Maybe it is following in the steps of Mottled Umber in having an excellent season.

Silver Y, Westcott 7th January

Last night's actinic also brought in the first 2019 example of the wasp Ophion obscuratus, a parasitoid of noctuid moths which I often get substantial numbers of here, particularly in February and March.

Ophion obscuratus, Westcott 7th January

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Monday, 7 January 2019


With the temperature holding up here last night I finally got some moths attracted to the trap even though none actually made it into the trap. 4 Mottled Umber, 1 Winter, 1 Early and perhaps most surprisingly a Plutella xylostella. I also caught 2 of the latter on 28th December. Not a moth I get in large numbers here but I have now caught at least one each month apart from November since last April.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Possible Engrailed

Could this be an Engrailed?

Poor photo on a cupboard...

Barnaby Briggs, Iver

Beautiful plume?

I was putting my moth trap away this morning after finding nothing in it. This moth was in the cupboard! Am I right in thinking that it's a Beautiful Plume?

Speen Bucks

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Dark Chestnut?

HappyNew Year all.

I found this chestnut on the kitchen door, I'm thinking Dark Chestnut?

I fired up my Actinic to test it - it came on really slowly and I didn't think it was as bright as usual. Is this the result of the cold or is the bulb going?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Black-spotted Chestnut new for Bucks

This record is posted on behalf of Robin Knill-Jones from Denham in the SE corner of Bucks. It was from a trap set on the evening of 1st January 2019 which was left running for the night of 2nd January too and not looked at until 3rd January, so the exact arrival date is not known.

Yesterday he sent me a picture of a moth (the only one in the trap) he wasn't sure about, asking if I thought it was Conistra vaccinii or ligula. I'd never seen one of either like his picture.  As Herts County Moth Recorder Colin Plant had recently sent around a message about watching out for Black-spotted Chestnut Conistra rubiginosa I looked it up.  Robin's moth looked just right for that species and Colin confirmed what it was.

The species was first seen in the UK in Kent in 2011, at more than one site.  In 2014 it turned up in Suffolk and in 2015 at two sites in Bedfordshire and then in 2016 in Dorset.  Cambridgeshire joined the list in 2018, as did Hertfordshire a week ago just before the New Year.  So it is well worth keeping the traps out!

If you think you have one please take a picture and possibly save the specimen for absolute confirmation (there is a similar looking species in Europe, not yet recorded in the UK).  Thanks to Robin for supplying the information and picture.

Martin Albertini
Bucks County Moth Recorder

Black-spotted Chestnut, Denham Jan 2019