Saturday, 25 May 2019

IDs & a question

Catches are starting to improve.

I got my first Footman last night - usually I get the Common or Dingy first. This one is either Orange or Buff I think but the angle is a bit awkward - are those wings straight or curved?

Re Rufous Minor - thanks to Peter Hall I've recorded all of the Minors except Rufous. I wonder if either of these might be candidates. I suspect not.

Is the Rufous Minor likely in a garden? If not I'll call off the search.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.


Friday, 24 May 2019


Is it possible to distinguish species from this photo?. Thanks

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

more moths

Beginning to get more species of moths but small numbers of any one species. 1 each of privet, Lime and Small elephant Hawk moths in last 2 days. Cockchafers far out numbering any one species of moths; 7 or 8 in last few nights.

Grateful for help with moths below.

2 Dark sword-grass?

Lesser treble-bar


Ochreous pug

Micro 1a

Micro 1b

Alan Diver

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Red-tipped Clearwing

Following the tip (no pun intended!) from Dave W. that the Red-tipped are out now I tried my FOR lure at two places this afternoon. I had no luck at Paice's Wood, Berks, but at Decoy Heath, Berks, a single Red-tipped Clearwing came to the FOR lure after about 15mins at about 3.00pm. It proved a little more challenging to photo but eventually sat still for a few seconds. As Dave points out the white edges to the 'tail' are clearly different from the other two 'reds'. The guide suggests that these wear off quickly after a few flights.

Another White-barred also came to the TIP lure although this took 20mins to appear.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

ID Confirmations please

Trap run last night in the garden at Tilehurst.

8*Treble Lines: 7*Shuttle-shaped Dart: 3*Heart and Dart: 1*Light Brown Apple Moth: 1*Diamond-back Moth.

2*Light Brocade (I think) and 1*Uncertain (I think) - please see photos.

Tony Towner.

First new garden species of 2019

I was very happy to welcome moth species number 972 to the garden at 4.15pm this afternoon.  Having taken a few clearwing pheromone lures out and about with me yesterday and getting nothing at all for my trouble (as seems to happen almost without fail!) I almost didn't bother, but at mid-day today I decided to hang out three lures in the garden.  From those in the freezer I chose FOR (for Red-tipped), MYO (for Red-belted) and VES (for Orange-tailed and Yellow-legged), put them in three separate pheromone traps and left them to it.  Nothing happened in the first four hours, but shortly afterwards while mowing the lawn I noticed some activity around the FOR lure and saw a clearwing enter the trap.  A quick check confirmed that this was indeed a Red-tipped Clearwing coming to the correct lure, a first record of this species for the garden!  It seemed to be a rather worn individual because the red 'belt' on the abdomen was almost non-existent (it is actually slightly clearer in the grotty first in-trap image than it is in the second).  The white outer "tail feathers" are a noticeable feature of Red-tipped, something which isn't at all clear in the picture of this species in the field guide.

Red-tipped Clearwing, Westcott 22nd May

Red-tipped Clearwing, Westcott 22nd May

Nothing had come to the other lures by the time I brought them all in at 6pm.  Red-tipped is the fifth clearwing species for the garden.  Perhaps this year I'll finally get Hornet Moth too, which uses poplar trees only a couple of hundred metres from here.

The pheromone traps are something of a god-send.  I bought some from the manufacturer several years ago and thankfully they are now also available from entomological suppliers such as ALS because they cut down the amount of waiting around which one has to do.  Some species don't hang around the lures for long once they realise it isn't a real female.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

ID & some familiar faces

Some firsts for the year here. What I assume is a Nutmeg (no shoulder mark) - I also got the first Rustic Shoulder-knot, a Willow Beauty(?), Light Brocade, Common Carpet and Common Swift.

I've not been able to ID the Tortrix, all the ones that look like it I've seen are due out later in the year.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Pseudococcyx posticana?

Could only photo in the pot- rather lively!.Am I fairly near?

Steve lockey (Garsington)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Red-belted Clearwing

Here's another photo of the Red-belted Clearwing that might be more helpful in IDing it.
As you can see it has no red at the base or the tip of the wing on the upper surface. This is the same individual as in the previous picture. I'm sorry that the other picture was a bit misleading.

Cheers Derek

Speckled Yellow

A discussion the other day about this smart little day-flyer reminded me that I haven't seen one in Bucks for six years, so I ventured out today in search of it.  Restricted to the south of the county now, one was found at Littleworth Common and another ten in/around Strawberry Wood at Black Park.  At the latter site the moths were favouring Wood Spurge (not to be confused with the moth's food-plant, Wood Sage).  One little clump of Wood Spurge had five of them on it.

Speckled Yellow, Black Park 21st May

Wood Spurge is of course the food-plant of another day-flying moth, the featureless but nationally scarce Drab Looper which is the epitome of the "boring brown-job"!  It is on the wing now and there are copious amounts of its food-plant in most of my local woods, especially in Bernwood Forest from where Maitland Emmet had the last Bucks record in 1940.  There are still several sites for it in Berkshire, though.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks    

Garden Caterpillars

A few caterpillars in the garden today; one I have become familiar with is Scythropia crataegella, one which has clearly bred and is happily eating a box bush, Cydalima perspectalis

and this one, probably unnaturally on these spring onions... any ideas?

Dave Morris
Seer Green

White-barred Clearwing

I tried my TIP Lure at Decoy Heath, Berks SU613634 this afternoon and saw 1 White-barred Clearwing. (Although I had several visits I only saw one at a time, and I believe that it was the same individual.) For once this settled on some vegetation nearby and allowed some photos.

I also had 2 Red-belted Clearwings to the CUL lure in my garden at Beenham, Berks this morning.

IDs & confirmations please

I think maybe a Vine's Rustic (as opposed to a late Common Quaker), Ochreous Pug (which would be a new one for me) and the Treble Bar I think is lesser (failed to pot it so no shot of the claspers - this is on the basis of the angle of the first bar).

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Caterpillar ID

Any clues on this one?


Barnaby Briggs, Iver

Monday, 20 May 2019

Phtheochroa rugosana ?

Hi Nigel, does this help?
Alan Diver

Tent caterpillars

Tent caterpillars on hedges around Tackley
Some species can cause irritation if touched.

Alan Diver

Quick query from Longwick

I haven't trapped much recently but did so last night with a distinct improvement in variety if not overall numbers. A range of early spring species included seraphim, garden pebble, notocelia cynosbatella, muslin moth and a number of common swift and Light Brown Apple Moth. The moth above took me by surprise - I assume it is a Rustic? But seemed early? It has a pale underwing and a W/L of 14mm - on the side that isn't damaged!

Yellow Rattle, Grass Rivulets?

Good warm weather and the Yellow Rattle has begun to flower, several late pm moths flying including this one - Grass Rivulet?

Isobel Huggins
Goring, Oxfordshire

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Chalk grassland species

The Grangelands SSSI at Cadsden near Princes Risborough is one of my regular trapping locations this year and for the May visit I decided to join last night's Bucks Invertebrate Group field meeting on the site.  It might not have been the best night to choose because chalk grassland species haven't really come into their own yet.  Coupled with the recent poor weather (plus a heavy downpour there yesterday afternoon!) meant that there was little of excitement in the catch even though the full moon was hidden behind cloud cover for much of the three-hour session.  It was completely still at dusk but a light down-slope breeze eventually set in, resulting in a quick drop in temperature and a build up of mist at the bottom.  Thankfully my one target species for this visit, Light Feathered Rustic, put in an appearance at about 11.30pm and by the time we'd packed up an hour later three more had entered the traps.  This is a UK Scarce species restricted to chalk down-land habitat and its surviving strongholds in Bucks are the Grangelands area and the Ivinghoe hills.

Light Feathered Rustic, Grangelands 18th May

The only surprise (to me, anyway, and it shouldn't have been!) was the appearance of a fresh green Little Emerald at one of the traps.  On checking I found that it is actually known previously from the site and other locations in the Chilterns as well as its more obvious stronghold in Bernwood Forest.  Seeing a green one is a rare event because they fade to white very quickly.  Light Brocade and Treble Lines were the most abundant moths of the evening and Shears and Nut-tree Tussock also visited most of the traps, but there was little else of note.  The unusual form of Treble Lines shown below was worthy of a photograph though.

Treble Lines, Grangelands 18th May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Help with ID appreciated

These moths came to light 13 to 18 May. Grateful for help with ID.

Wax moth?

Brindled pug?



White spotted pug?

Alan Diver