Monday, 16 July 2018

Striped Lychnis

I don't know if there are any concerted efforts this year to look for Striped Lychnis larvae, but on a walk in West Marlow today, I only came across one Dark Mullein plant and that had a caterpillar on it, so 100% success rate!  I know places like Homefield Wood have good numbers of flower spikes, so worth checking any flowers you come across, if they haven't been checked already.

Adam Bassett

A few queries

Perhaps foolishly, I've been trapping away here in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, without really having the time to process very much data... Hoping to catch up over the next few days, starting by just checking a few specimens I'm fairly sure of, but would appreciate confirmation for - three of them would be lifers, so quite interested to know whether I'm right. What I'm suspecting/hoping for, though I'm aware there are rather similar species to several of them, are: August Thorn (shown from behind in case the angle of the wings is useful); Brown-tail (I think I've been stung before by a dark-looking Yellow-tail, and there have been plenty of that species around of late); Hoary Footman (or just a light Scarce Footman...); and Slender Brindle. As ever, any confirmation very welcome indeed.

Steve Goddard

Possible August Thorn, 14/7/18

Possible August Thorn, 14/7/18

Possible Brown-tail, 5/7/18

Possible Brown-tail, 5/7/18

Possible Hoary Footman, 13/7/18

Possible Slender Brindle, 9/7/18

Couple of further queries from Longwick

Once again a fairly uninspiring catch with a Scalloped Oak, Muslin Footman and a pristine acleris variegana the only really stand out specimens this morning. Two Diamond Back continues the current trend.

A couple of queries - firstly a pyrale which looks too small (ws 30mm) and creamy for Mother of Pearl ( and I'm really bad at those ones!). And the second looks like an oegoconia - but the text suggests they aren't reliably identifiable without Gen Det?

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Two micros for checking

The overnight garden temperature fell to 11 degrees last night, and the number of micros in the trap also fell accordingly - only 65 compared to several hundred at the beginning of the week.
One micro that did make an appearance is pictured below, which I am fairly certain is Aethes smeathmanniana.

The other micro I wanted to check is the small orangey specimen below. I thought maybe Tischeria ekebladella?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

A hint of migration, perhaps

Last night's collection of moths at Westcott included a large spot-free male Four-spotted Footman (yet another garden first), a double-digit count of Silver Y and the year's second Dark Spectacle here.  None of them necessarily came from abroad but they do suggest a bit of movement going on which is always welcome news.  I also had a small tortrix which I thought would probably turn out to be Phalonidia manniana, but from the photo it actually looks closest to Gynnidomorpha alismana which I've seen only once before in Bucks (at Greatmoor where it was the first record for the county back in 2011 - they've now built an incinerator on that site).  Another one for Peter Hall to confirm later in the year, please!

Possible Gynnidomorpha alismana, Westcott 14th July

Male Four-spotted Footman, Westcott 14th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Roeslerstammia erxlebella?

Hi all,

I wonder whether somebody can confirm the id of the attached - it looks closest to roeslerstammia erxlebella to me - in Garsington?

Many thanks,
Andrew Callender
Garsington, Oxon.

Merveille du jour etc

Merveille du jour

White satin moth


Udea lutealis?

Grateful for help.

Alan Diver

Confirmations please

Re the first can this be identified from the photo as a Cloaked Minor? The micro I think is a worn Ringed China-mark.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A few queries from Longwick

Well last night produced a trap full of crowd pleasers but not the excitement of others! This included 2 Peppered Moth,  3 Silver Y, 4 Poplar Hawk and 4 Elephant Hawk.A single Diamond Back continued a run of up to three at a time.

I didn't recognise a pug species with distinguishing marks pictured below. It had a ws of 18mm and looked most like Triple Spotted Pug. The first is a small (5mm total length) moth with striking silver / white markings and the second query I can only describe as a horizontal Crassa Unitella with  different shaped wings - more like a Lampronia?

Comments welcome.

One to look out for...........

Hot on the heels of Barry Murrer's Dewick's Plusia at Thatcham comes another from my Robinson trap at Ali's Pond LNR in Sonning last night - 13th July - new for my parish records. Caught 40 macro-species altogether, including Leopard Moth which was a new site record. Firsts for the year were Black Arches, Dingy Footman, Waved Black, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Early Thorn, Ear Moth agg, Clouded Border, Tree-lichen Beauty, Clay, Pale Prominent and White-spotted Pug.

Not a moth (2)......

Just reading the recent post on Birch Sawfly (Cimbex femoratum). Not my area at all, but I found a presumed one of these last May flying around birch near Springfield Landfill, S. Bucks.  It was over an inch long, huge, though my photo doesn't show the red body of Dave's photo.  Is the red body a variant?  I have seen some photos of these referred to as var. silvarum.

Adam Bassett

Clifden Nonpareil Finmere Wood

I have just been sent a photo of a caterpillar found on a path in Finmere Wood this morning.  It looks to me like a final instar Clifden Nonpareil, but please correct me if I'm wrong.  After last year's influx, maybe this year will be good too.

Adam Bassett

Marlow Bottom 13th July

Just read Dave's last post and snap! Having never had Lunar-spotted Pinion in the garden, just loads of Dun-bar, I was pleased to get what I thought was my first.  However, on a closer look, it is actually Lesser-spotted Pinion.

I had a couple of repeats of recent garden firsts: Acompsia schmidtiellus - my third now in a week and Oncocera semirubella.

Another Cydalima perspectalis is a sign of the times.  Otherwise the catch was not as large as last weekend (I can't trap every day), with not many micros.  I did get this specimen, which looks to me like Acompsia cinerella, but would appreciate confirmation.

Adam Bassett

Friday, 13 July 2018

Nice Cosmia

Having been concentrating on the moths caught last night at Calvert, rather late in the day I've found time to look at and photograph a brown (rather than pink) Cosmia with more white markings than usual which I put aside from the garden collection and it is clearly the site's second ever record of Lesser-spotted Pinion which is very nice.  I also potted an odd-looking Dusky Sallow but I'm sure that's what it is, just an odd-looking Dusky Sallow!

Lesser-spotted Pinion, Westcott 12th July

Lesser-spotted Pinion, Westcott 12th July

Odd-looking Dusky Sallow, Westcott 12th July

Additions to the garden year-list have slowed somewhat over the past three cooler nights, with Acrobasis suavella & Copper Underwing on the 10th, Ypsolopha scabrella, Coleophora hemerobiella & Dioryctria abietella on the 11th and Lesser-spotted Pinion, Ear Moth (awaiting dissection - one day it'll be something different!) & Scarce Silver-lines last night.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks     

Chalk Carpet and Sycamore?

I put my trap out in a friends garden in Whitchurch on Thames on the night of the 11th, and caught what I think is a Chalk Carpet. The garden is probably about half a mile from the nearest chalk downland. Am I correct or totally wrong?
The second moth I caught in my own garden this week and wondered if it was a Sycamore rather than a Poplar Grey or similar? 

Chalk Carpet?


Lorna Woolhouse, Checkendon, South Oxon

Red Tipped Clearwing - Longwick

Last year I was surprised to attract Red Tipped Clearwing to my fairly ordinary garden in the vale. The good news is that I captured two moths again today which means they are living in what is a very narrow stream / ditch side set of willows and last year wasn't just a fluke. Still hope for you yet with this species Dave!


I trapped again at BBOWT's Calvert Jubilee reserve last night.  All of the wetland Wainscot species I could reasonably expect there in July turned up and are illustrated below.  The single rather battered Obscure Wainscot hadn't been recorded at Calvert prior to my June visit (when another singleton was seen) but the others are all known from the site.

Fen Wainscot, Calvert 12th July

Southern Wainscot, Calvert 12th July

Obscure Wainscot, Calvert 12th July

Silky Wainscots, Calvert 12th July

Smoky and Common were also present although they are grass feeders which could turn up anywhere, while Mere and Small (also on the wing now) were not seen but are associated more with woodland habitats in our area.  My next visit will hopefully produce the later-emerging species such as Bulrush, Twin-spotted, Brown-veined, Webb's and Large.

With pots still to process the catch (from two MV lights) was about 140 species.  Amongst the other macros, Yellow-tail (25), Dun-bar (54), Lunar-spotted Pinion (36) & Dark Arches (58) provided the highest counts.  Brown-tail and Kent Black Arches turned up but there was little else of particular interest.  The catch was also noticeably lacking in wetland micros with Limnaecia phragmitella, Calamatropha paludella, Schoenobius gigantella and a couple of the China-marks the only species seen and even then only in ones and twos.  Nice, though, to get a double-digit count of the tiny Elachista biatomella and to see Oncocera semirubella which seemed a little out-of-place at this site.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Not a moth but...

...can anyone tell me what this is; a friend sent the pic from her mum's farm near Aylesbury.

Dave Morris

which grass veneer?

looks worn which is odd because I've not had anything fresh that look like this so far this year

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Dewick’s Plusia

In the trap in Henwick, Thatcham this morning along with lots of silver Ys

Ni? Scarce Silver Y? Silver Y? & Dark Umber

hi, can someone help with this. It doesn't look right for a Silver Y but then it doesn't seem to match a Ni or Scarce Silver Y. Neither of which would be particularly likely. Hoping it's not something really rare as I botched potting it - I didn't even see it escape.

The other I hope is a Dark Umber.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

A couple of micro queries

The micros seem to have been matching the macros in terms of numbers during this warm spell, which is good but also a bit of a challenge trying to identify them all.
Here are a couple I would like help with. The first has some nice orange patches and the fw length is 5mm.

The second I thought might be Acleris comariana (Strawberry Tortrix)?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Two brown gelechids

I had a couple of small light brown gelechids in the garden trap last night.  I did not immediately recognise them so potted them for later checking.  I had initally thought they were the same species.

On checking the first proved to be Orange Crest Helcystogramma rufescens a species I've had in the garden a few times.

The second proved to be a lot more interesting and I beleive it to be Marjoram Crest Acompsia schmidtiellus, a species I've only seen once before.  It is described as very local and was Nb, I think think there are only a dozen or so Bucks records.

Apologies for the poor quality photo, but hopfully it shows enough of the key features.

Neil Fletcher
Walter's Ash