Thursday, 19 July 2018

Can anyone advise on this probable aberrant's species, please?

Photoharvester photography have linked the UTB Facebook page to an image of this moth - taken in Halton's, Wendover Woods complex.  They and we are asking - what is it?

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Stoke Common, Bucks

Martin Albertini and I made a last-minute decision to run traps at Stoke Common again last night as Martin had to be there anyway for an evening meeting with the City of London management.  A chilly site at the best of times, it looked at first as though we might have made a mistake because by 9pm it wasn't particularly warm although the promised cloud cover did stay in place.  In fact we needn't have worried because the temperature didn't fall any further during the three hours that we were on site and there were reasonable numbers of moths about.  The first moth in to one of my lights was the nationally scarce Small Chocolate-tip, which in Bucks is a species now known only from Stoke Common and one which we have targeted time and time again since its last sighting there in 2011.  There is plenty of the food-plant Creeping Willow Salix repens in amongst the heather so it should thrive at the site.  The moth is supposed to have two broods but we have never had early sightings despite plenty of trapping at the appropriate time - all of the Stoke Common records are from July and August.  We ended the night with four examples, one each to four of the five MV lights in use, so there is presumably still a healthy (if rather stealthy) population present.

Small Chocolate-tip, Stoke Common 17th July

Grass Emerald also came to a couple of the traps.  A supposedly common and widespread moth, this has become rare in Bucks and seems to be another Stoke Common specialist now.  Two of last night's three specimens were very fresh and still green, this being a species that quickly fades to a whitish colour.

Grass Emerald, Stoke Common 17th July

Other nice moths included double-digit counts of Birch Mocha, Chevron and Narrow-winged Pug, several examples of Tree-lichen Beauty and singletons of Barred Red, Four-dotted Footman and Double Lobed, with True Lover's Knot and Suspected providing the highest totals.  Amongst the micros, Pediasia contaminella and the dreaded Box-tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis put in appearances, while Pempelia genistella, which is another species known in Bucks only from Stoke Common, came to all of the traps.  Most numerous was the smart little heather-feeding gelechid Aristotelia ericinella.

Aristotelia ericinella, Stoke Common 17th July

Pempelia genistella, Stoke Common 17th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Wainscots and Grass Moths

Following on from Dave's comments it looks as if the Agriphila straminella are just starting here. Tristella has yet to appear.

I think I might have Pediasia contaminella?

Also I think I have a Silky Wainscot?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Westcott, Bucks

New arrivals for the year-list have continued to trickle in to the garden over the last few nights and last night it was the turn of Recurvaria leucatella, Enarmonia formosana, Epinotia nisella, Tree-lichen Beauty and Bulrush Wainscot.  It is always a pleasure to see the intricately-marked Cherry Bark Tortrix E.formosana.

Enarmonia formosana, Westcott 16th July

Epinotia nisella, Westcott 16th July

Tree-lichen Beauty, Westcott 16th July

Bulrush Wainscot, Westcott 16th July

The previous three nights each brought in a similar number of new species:

(13th)  Argyresthia bonnetella, Blastobasis adustella, Cydia splendana, Maple Pug, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Magpie Moth, Mere Wainscot.
(14th)  Gynnidomorpha alismana, Acleris holmiana, Apotomis turbidana, Black Arches, Four-spotted Footman.
(15th)  Acleris laterana, Acleris variegana, Clavigesta purdeyi, Least Yellow Underwing.

Last night produced yet another rather battered Elephant Hawk-moth which takes this year's count to 120, a site record (and I was away for a couple of weeks early in its flight period).  The previous highest total was 111 in 2017 which was itself almost twice the total of any previous year here. 

Amongst the macros it is the Footman species, Dark Arches, Smoky Wainscot and the "Rustics" (the Mesapamea and Hoplodrina pairs) which are providing the highest nightly counts at the moment, while for the micros it is Bird-cherry Ermine Ypsolopha evonymella and Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis.  The "Grass Moths" seem to be in a bit of a lull with Chrysoteuchia culmella fading away, Agriphila straminella just getting going and Agriphila tristella barely started yet with only a handful of examples seen here so far.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

ID help please.

Very grateful for corrections/confirmations/ID

Great oak beauty

Crassa unitella

Common rustic agg?

Green arches ?


Query 2?

Alan Diver

Monday, 16 July 2018

Micro query

Firstly sorry about the image - not that great I know. Any clues to what this might be gratefully received   Thank you.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

New moth for the garden

Lunar -spotted Pinion in the trap last night and a Striped Lychnis caterpillar at ewelme

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