Monday, 22 May 2017

Two Nice Records

While carrying out a butterfly transect in Finemere Wood, Bucks this afternoon I checked a likely patch of speedwell and found one example of the smallest of the long-horn micros, Cauchas fibulella.  The moth is a reasonably common day-flyer locally but its size means that it takes some effort to spot.

Cauchas fibulella, Finemere Wood 22nd May

I expected more from last night's garden catch here at Westcott, the actinic bringing in only 39 moths of 27 species and only one of them a micro, but no doubt things will improve as this week progresses.  There were, however, five new ones for the year-list:  Notocelia cynosbatella, Purple Bar, Light Emerald, True Lover's Knot & Brown Rustic.  Being a heathland specialist, True Lover's Knot is not a moth I should expect here at all so it was presumably dispersing from elsewhere (like the Narrow-winged Pugs which others have been noting in unlikely places over the last week or two).  Very nice indeed that it should stray in this direction, becoming the garden's 415th macro species - new ones are becoming more and more difficult to get!  

True Lover's Knot, Westcott 21st May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Another early arrival - well, early for me

I was surprised to find a White-point in my trap this morning, a moth I see here regularly but not usually until July.  The previous earliest seen here was on 29 June 2016.

Richard Ellis

First of many

Had my first (no doubt of many) crambid of the season on 18th May here in Wolvercote, Oxon: I'm thinking it looks more like Eudonia mercurella than lacustrata, but would be grateful for confirmation (or other suggestions). Some good moths still showing up, albeit not in great numbers, including an Eyed Hawkmoth on May 19th: always a pleasure to see!

Possible Eudonia mercurella, 18/5/17
Steve Goddard

Sunday, 21 May 2017


A Sycamore here last night, a species which I see in small numbers most years in June or July.  This is the first I have seen in May, the previous earliest being on 07 June 2008:

Richard Ellis

COAM again

A light left out Friday night at COAM got me a handful of NFYs, in the shape of Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Small Phoenix, Common White Wave, Ingrailed Clay, Common Swift, Marbled Minor agg., Setaceous Hebrew Character, V Pug, Light Brocade and the pug shown below (any ideas please??)

Dave Morris, Chalfont St Giles

Checks - grateful for help

Looked like a Common Rustic to me but season wrong
Moths continue excellent here. May I just check on these IDs? Sorry, they're rather basic moths but I will struggle with them until I die.  Many thanks in anticipation.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Ingrailed Clay?
Small Square-spot?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

More NFY, and probably one lifer

Numbers still not huge in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, but 18 species on 15th May and 19 on the 16th weren't bad going, and NFYs coming in good numbers -- including Orange Footman, Red and Dark-barred Twin-spot carpets, Vine's Rustic and Grey/Dark Dagger. What I think was probably the first Narrow-winged Pug for the garden showed up on 16th May.

Presumed Narrow-winged Pug, 16/5/17
A few are giving me some grief in terms of identification: I think we have below a Brindled Pug, a fairly standard Common Carpet and a perhaps rather dark Hoffmannophila pseudospretella, but would be grateful for confirmation/other suggestions!

Possible Brindled Pug, 16/5/17

Possible Common Carpet, 16/5/17

Possible Hoffmannophila pseudospretella, 16/5/17
Steve Goddard

Incinerator Moths

Although eventually cut short by deteriorating weather, I had a wander close to the new incinerator plant at Greatmoor, Bucks this afternoon, searching (successfully as it happens) for Dingy & Grizzled Skipper butterflies.  Moth species seen included Cauchas rufimitrella, Syndemis musculana, Celypha lacunana, Dichrorampha acuminatanaCydia ulicetana, Grapholita jungiellaCrambus lathoniellus, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion.  Numerous examples of Glyphipterix simpliciella were recorded as well, but the star of the show was a single example of their larger brother, Glyphipterix forsterella.  I've seen it a handful of times previously in the local area but this was the first for a few years.  It is still quite a small moth and trying to get a half-decent photograph of it in such dull conditions back at home this evening was a bit of a struggle for my camera! 

Glyphipterix forsterella, Greatmoor 18th May

In the sunshine that we had for a few hours this morning an example of the long-horn Nemophora degeerella put in a brief appearance in the garden at Westcott, the first sighting here for 10 years.  Needless to say, last night's collection of moths to the actinic trap didn't break any records in all that heavy rain but I still managed 15 hardy moths of 11 species of which Aspilapterix tringipennella, a yet-to-be-identified Coleophorid and Spruce Carpet were new for the garden year list.  Quite a contrast to the previous night when 42 species turned up, including Argyresthia trifasciata, Scrobipalpa costella, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Celypha lacunana, Broken-barred Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, Pale Oak Beauty, Clouded Silver, a rather battered female Puss Moth, Iron Prominent and Marbled Minor sp which were all additions to the year list.

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Westcott 16th May

Celypha lacunana, Westcott 16th May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Help needed with some micros

There were 40 micros in last night's garden trap, and some are proving a bit tricky - well, for me anyway.
Could this first one be Aethes smeathmanniana? The fw measured 7mm.

This next moth is very small, the fw measuring 4mm.

I wondered if the moth below is one of the Nematopogon longhorns? It looked different from all the caddis flies in the moth trap.

Finally, a not very good photograph of a small black moth (fw 5mm).

I am probably asking the impossible with the last one, but all help much appreciated.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Some garden firsts last night

After a couple of cool weeks with very few moths, things finally improved in my garden last night with just over 100 moths in the trap, comprising around 50 different species (I am still puzzling over some of  the micros). There were 2 macros that were new for my garden list. The first was a Great Prominent.

The other new macro was this Mullein.

There were 19 other macros that were new for the year, including the moth below which I think is a Lesser Treble-bar (Lesser Treble-bar seems to be more common in my garden than Treble Bar).

I need some help with a few of the micros from last night's catch - I'll put them in a separate post.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Grass Rivulet? and others

I don't think I have changed my mind so many times as I did yesterday as to whether or not to put the trap out. I'm glad I did as I caught my first ever Lime Hawk-moth.
I would appreciate some help with the following.
I wondered if the first was the dark form of the Clouded-bordered Brindle (I certainly had one of the light ones). A tentative Grey Pine Carpet for the second and Grass Rivulet for the other two (the size is right).

Andy Newbold,  Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

mother for a mother

Excuse the pun, but my mother sent me this photo of two Pine Hawk-moths making the most of a break between rain showers in Chalfont St Peter.

Stoke Common Century

Martin Albertini, Andy King and I ran traps on Stoke Common, Bucks again last night in a last-ditch effort to find first-brood Small Chocolate-tip but once again the moth failed to show.  However, with more than 100 species recorded in the three hours we were there it was certainly a successful night!  Neofaculta ericetella and Narrow-winged Pug were again the most abundant species although their totals were well down on our last visit on 20th April.  Cydia ulicetana and Scoparia ambigualis were the only other moths present in any quantity but lack of numbers didn't mean lack of species.  Of the 72 macros recorded, Mocha and Cream-bordered Green Pea were both new for the site.  Mocha is found fairly regularly throughout the Chilterns but Cream-bordered Green Pea is more often encountered in the northern half of Bucks and sightings in the south are uncommon.  Other species trapped there which I don't recall having seen mentioned on the blog yet included Purple Bar, Common Marbled Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Small Yellow Wave, Small Seraphim, Scorched Wing, True Lover's Knot, Heart & Dart, White-point, Marbled Minor sp., Pale Mottled Willow, Green Silver-lines, Silver Y and Snout.  More than 30 micro species came to the traps, including Phylloporia bistrigella, Bucculatrix ulmella, Roeslerstammia erxlebella, Coleophora albicosta, Teleiodes luculella, Carpatolechia proximella, Ancylis uncella, Epinotia demarnianaRhyacionia pinivorana, a Dioryctria sp. and Pyrausta purpuralis

Stoke Common, 15th May

I'm not sure that I'm overly impressed with Windows photo-gallery's attempt at an auto-collage above but it saved me having to think about which of last night's pictures to include and which to leave out!  The six macros are all mentioned in the paragraph above and ought to be self-explanatory while the two micros shown are Ancylis uncella and the Dioryctria which I haven't yet had a chance to look at closely (three of the four Dioryctria species are known from Stoke Common).  The Eyed Ladybird is there simply because it looks nice and it is a very rare visitor to my light traps!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks



Hoping this one is sufficiently fresh for an ID

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Alder Moth

I think this moth, caught here last night, must be an Alder Moth but, not having seen one before, I would appreciate a confirmation or otherwise.

Richard Ellis

micro ID

I found this micro Stonepit Quarry in Milton Keynes on Saturday, not been able to find what it is, i took a couple of pics but they aren't great. Any suggestions to an ID would be welcome.

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

Monday, 15 May 2017


Wondering if this is a Cnephasia - if so I think that's as far as we can go with an ID - it's long gone now.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

COAM Moths

Left a light out at the museum last night. Not great with wind and rain, but a few NFYs in the shape of Green Carpet, Poplar Hawk-moth, Heart and Dart and Small Rivulet. Plus Cnephasia and Coleophora species which may wind up with Peter at some point...

Dave Morris, Chalfont St Giles.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Not a bad night; plus Treble-bar query

Absolute numbers in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, remain a little low -- probably a combination of still quite cold nights and mainly using an actinic bulb -- but the night of 13th May had some goodies: first White Ermine and Setaceous Hebrew Character of the year, along with a Pebble Hook-tip -- not by any means annual in the garden -- and a Light Brocade, which, assuming I've IDed it correctly, is a garden first.

Light Brocade, 13/5/17

Pebble Hook-tip, 13/5/17
From a few nights ago, I had the specimen below, which I'm inclined to think is a Treble-bar, as opposed to a Lesser Treble-bar: it got away before I had a chance to inspect its abdomen, but the markings seem more in line with the Treble-bar to me. Any thoughts on that? -- it may, of course, need to be recorded as an either/or.

Possibly a Treble-bar, 11/5/17
Steve Goddard

"Moths vs the Middle Classes" !

There was a feature in last week's Spectator magazine (of all places):

Moths vs the middle classes | The Spectator › Features

Perhaps not the most in-depth analysis of the state of the Tineidae, but it made the claim that Tineola biselliella (The Common or Webbing Clothes Moth) is overtaking Tinea pellionella (The Case-bearing Clothes Moth) in numbers. Not in my house it isn't! I regard biselliella as a rare moth nowadays. But is this a regional thing? Am I out of date in this matter? Does any body out there know something about this?


A transect walked in local woodland with very wide grassy rides this afternoon produced more day-flying moths than it did butterflies.  Micropterix calthella (on buttercups), Adela rufimitrella (on cuckooflower) and Glyphipterix simpliciella (on stitchwort and buttercups) were seen in abundance, while Adela reaumurella, Common Carpet, Small Yellow Underwing & Burnet Companion were also recorded.  The two best sightings, though, were a female Muslin Moth and a Marsh Pug.  While the dark grey male Muslin appears frequently in light traps, the white female flies only in the daytime and is thus not often seen.  Marsh Pug is a nationally scarce species but as a day-flyer it is probably under-recorded.  Unfortunately this particular example disappeared before I could get either a net or camera into action but it was a really fresh chestnut-coloured individual and was the first I've seen which actually looked like the image in the field guide!  They do tend to fade quite quickly.

Muslin Moth female, 14th May

Small Yellow Underwing, 14th May
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks