Thursday, 8 December 2016

Caloptilia stigmatella

Rather than the usual postvittana it was nice to get the little chap illustrated below to light in the garden here last night.  Otherwise, though, the results were disappointing for such a warm night although the breeze early on may have had something to do with it.  The only other moths were December Moth (2), Winter Moth (4), Feathered Thorn (1) & Red-line Quaker (1, quite late).

Caloptilia stigmatella, Westcott 7th December

I also ran an MV trap in some local oak woodland for a few hours and the species tally there was equally as disappointing:  December Moth (62, including eight females), Winter Moth (23, not a single candidate for Northern Winter amongst them), Feathered Thorn (3) & Mottled Umber (3).  The count for December Moth might seem good but it is actually not at all unusual, being quite typical for woodland around here at this time of year. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Moths are flying again

After nearly a fortnight of very cold nights and zero moths in my garden, last night stayed at a balmy 7 degrees and 16 moths arrived in the trap - 10 December Moths, singles of Red-green Carpet, Winter Moth and Dark Chestnut, and 3 Epiphyas postvittana.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Your Moth Records

Following a mammoth effort over the past month, tonight I've finally finished getting my records for 2016 into MapMate so I now feel justified in reminding everyone else of the importance of your own moth records and the need to get them to your County Moth Recorder as soon as possible!  The cut-off for data to be included in Butterfly Conservation's planned Atlas of Britain and Ireland's Larger Moths is the end of this year.  That data has to have been received by BC from the CMRs no later than 31st March 2017 and the CMRs need time to check it prior to that deadline, so the sooner you can get your records to them the better.

While data will never be turned away in whatever format it is submitted, our CMRs each have different preferences for the way(s) it should be sent so, if you haven't passed on records in previous years, please contact the appropriate Recorder first to find out how they would prefer to receive it.  Their contact details (and much more information besides) can be found by clicking on the "Your Records" tab at the top of this page.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Westcott, Bucks

I continue to run the twin-30wt actinic light here nightly at least until midnight and, apart from the weekend of the 12th/13th when I was away, at least one moth has appeared every time for the last two or three weeks so there is still good reason to continue trapping!  For example, the last few nights have produced Winter Moth (18th), Sprawler & Red-line Quaker (19th), Winter Moth (20th), Winter Moth, Feathered Thorn & Scarce Umber (21st), two Feathered Thorns (22nd), two December Moths (23rd) and Red-line Quaker (24th).  I'm still waiting for Mottled Umber here but did get a smart specimen in some private woodland in south-west Bucks last night while out trapping for Plumed Prominent.

Scarce Umber & Feathered Thorn, 21st November

Red-line Quaker, 24th November

Mottled Umber, 24th November

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Plumed Prominent Update 2

Thanks to the efforts of Martin Albertini, Ched George, Alan Gudge and myself, over the last couple of weeks Plumed Prominent has been confirmed from six different tetrads in Bucks (two new sites, one of them an excellent garden record, and four from previously known locations).  This scarce moth is obviously still doing quite well in the Chilterns between Marlow and Henley and the main barrier to finding the species at other sites in that general area is the difficulty of getting permission to search for it (most woodlands with potential are in private ownership, some of them on estates that don't appreciate visitors at night!).

Plumed Prominent, woodland near Frieth 23rd November

Plumed Prominent, woodland near Frieth 23rd November

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Aberrant Barred Sallow

I got this a month ago, only now working my way through the records - this Barred Sallow seems to conform to the aberrant form in this link

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Mines on Snowberry

Back on 10th October I collected a couple of mines from leaves of Snowberry growing in our garden and I thought that they'd turn out to be Phyllonorycter trifasciella which I've had here previously as the adult moth as well as finding mines.  That species has three generations each year and adults should have emerged by now, so today I decided to open the mines to see what was inside.  I was very pleased to find that both actually contained the greenish rugby ball-shaped cocoons of Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella which is bivoltine and over-winters as a pupa (trifasciella doesn't form a recognisable cocoon).  There are just five previous records of emberizaepenella for Bucks so this seems to be quite a good discovery.  It becomes this year's 40th micro species found only as a leaf-mine here in the garden (there have been others where I've had the adult too) so shows how useful it can be to search out this stage of the life-cycle.  In this particular case I shall retain the cocoons and hope to see the adult moths emerge early next year.

Cocoon of Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella, Westcott
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks        

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Let there be light

Sorry, no moths in this post (though a couple of Sprawlers came last night). I just thought I'd share the latest use to which my Robinson trap is being put: floodlighting the launch of the Friends of Holy Cross church in Shipton-on-Cherwell.

It's on Saturday 3rd December at 7.30pm and the trap will be performing its usual function as well as illuminating the little church, which you may know from pottering along the Oxford Canal towpath or the circular walk via the romantic, ruined manor house at Hampton Gay. All welcome.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.