Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Micro help

On friday night i had a micro which i think is Acleris hastiana, on Saturday night i had another very similar moth that was slightly different, i think its Acleris cristana but i would like to know what the experts think. Excuse the pics, i think its time for a new camera! A cristana would be new for garden and new for me.
Poss A hastiana
Poss A cristana
A Ferrugana/notana
Also had an Acleris ferrugana/notana, looks just like notana thats in the field guide. Is there anyway to tell the difference or do they need the chop. This is new for my garden and new for me.

My first Hebrew Characters arrived on Monday night, won't be long before the rest get here!

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

False Spring?

Yesterday the weather here at Westcott was more like April, with a queen Bombus terrestris and three male Brimstone butterflies active in warm sunshine in the garden during the morning while the overnight catch to the twin-30wt actinic trap comprised 22 moths of eight species:  Agonopterix heracliana (10, hind-wing cilia checked on the four largest examples but I don't seem to get ciliella here), Tortricodes alternella (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (3), Spring Usher (1), Dotted Border (2), Early Moth (2), Common Quaker (2) & Hebrew Character (1).  To complete the spring-like theme, a Hawthorn Shield-bug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale, Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus humator, Smooth Newt Triturus vulgaris and numerous Ophion obscuratus ichneumon wasps also came to the light.  The previous night I'd counted 29 obscuratus, each one presumably indicating a deceased noctuid caterpillar somewhere locally.  I'm sure the weather won't last but it looks as though we have a couple more warmish nights to go yet.

Common Quaker & Hebrew Character, Westcott 20th Feb

Last night I also trapped in nearby Finemere Wood again for a few hours, with Ypsolopha ustella (1), Agonopterix heracliana (2), Acleris ferrugana/notana (3), Tortricodes alternella (145), March Moth (7), Pale Brindled Beauty (162), Small Brindled Beauty (32), Oak Beauty (3), Spring Usher (115), Dotted Border (17), Engrailed (1), Early Moth (1), Common Quaker (3), Satellite (2) & Chestnut (8) coming to the two MV traps which were run for nearly four hours from dusk.  Just over 500 moths of 15 species was much as expected and it was good to see Oak Beauty and Engrailed starting to appear as well as the Orthosias.   

Oak Beauty, Finemere Wood 20th February

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Saturday, 18 February 2017

At last!!

Finally, my first garden moth of the year, a Spring Usher, which is a species I haven't recorded since 2013.

I have also had a handful of Chestnuts at the Burial Park, along with singles of Pale Brindled Beauty and Dotted Border.

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Friday, 17 February 2017

Small Brindled Beauty

Having run lights there regularly since 2007, last year I decided to take a break from one of my favourite local oak woodland sites, BBOWT's Finemere Wood.  I'm back there again this season though, and a single MV run for a few hours last night didn't fare too badly despite constant light drizzle, bringing in 126 moths of eight species.  As might be expected, Tortricodes alternella, Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher made up the majority of the catch, but it was good to see March Moth and Small Brindled Beauty which were both new to me for the year.  Seven of the latter species appeared at the trap.

Small Brindled Beauty males, Finemere Wood 16th February

Back home in the garden at Westcott the twin-30wt actinic caught seven species, of which Acleris ferrugana (to be checked), Acleris cristana, March Moth, Dotted Border and Satellite were new for the year list.

Acleris cristana, Westcott 16th February

Update:  another example of the infinitely variable Acleris cristana came to the garden trap on the 18th.  It is difficult to believe that this is the same species! 

Acleris cristana, Westcott 18th February

Rather unexpectedly we seem to have struck lucky with the weather for the next several nights so hopefully a few more spring species will begin to emerge now.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Late starter

At last, I have trundled into action (although I did have two hopeless nights in January when damp and chill kept all moths away).  Last night saw three Pale Brindled Beauties stay, two on the cowl and one in an eggbox. I hope for more arrivals tonight, when the trap will be perched on top of the compost heap.

By way of a diversion, I got sent the picture below of a friend's trap in action. Does anyone recognise where it is (and to be helpful, it's not in the Upper Thames area, so you haven't missed it on your everyday travels).

Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A flurry of micros - help needed

My garden trap attracted 11 moths last night - no doubt due to the much milder temperature. Of these, only 3 were macros (1 Pale Brindled Beauty, 1 Spring Usher and 1 Early Moth). The remaining 8 were all micros, so I had to blow the dust off the micro-moth guide book!
The first one below I am certain is Agonopterix alstromeriana.

Then there were 6 micros that all looked fairly identical in appearance, and which I have recorded as Acleris ferrugana/notana. Here is one below (fw 7mm).

The final micro, however, has got me completely stumped, so any help much appreciated. The forewing measures 9mm, and I have posted both a top view and a side view.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Monday, 13 February 2017

Active leaf-mines

A quick check in the garden here today produced active mines of the very common micro-moths Stigmella aurella (on bramble) and Phyllonorycter leucographella (on pyracantha).  Assuming that you've got the food-plant handy, these are easy records to make during this quiet period.

Stigmella aurella, Westcott 13th February

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Double Dart?

Just going through last year's records and found a moth I wasn't sure about when it came to my light trap in Culham on 24th July.  Is it a Double Dart?  The light scales within the kidney mark and the resting position don't seem quite right.

Will Atkinson