Thursday, 24 May 2018

Poplar, Puss, Pug and Kitten!

The moths have been coming in thick and fast since my last post nearly two weeks ago. I was so delighted to get my first ever Hawkmoth on 18th. It was a lovely fresh Poplar Hawkmoth. I'm sure most of you see them regularly, but as a newbie I couldn't contain my excitement and had to show everyone I saw that day! Another impressive new comer was a Puss Moth on the 15th.
Poplar Hawkmoth

Puss Moth
Other new moths over the past two weeks have been : Pale Prominent, Pebble Prominent, Brimstone, Ruby Tiger, Peppered Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Flame Shoulder, Buff Tip, Scorched Wing, White Ermine, Coxcomb Prominent, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Treble Lines, Silver Y, Spruce Carpet, Cinnabar, Pale Tussock, Small Phoenix, Pebble Hook Tip and Heart and Dart.

A couple that I need help on, are what I think is a Dwarf Pug and a Sallow Kitten. Would I be correct?...or totally wrong!
Dwarf Pug?

Sallow Kitten?
 Many thanks
Lorna Woolhouse, Checkendon, South Oxon

Confirmations Please

I think I have

1. Knot-grass - on the basis of the two white spots on the wing inner edge

2. Lychis - on the basis of the seperation of the oval & kidney spots

3. Small Phoenix

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Big brother

The Imperial nursery is flourishing here, but can anyone identify this larger caterpillar which appeared in the moth trap and has taken happily to hawthorn - and to sharing it with the little Emperors?  It moves extremely fast. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Any old excuse for a Mocha picture...

I trapped in woodland at Medmenham, Bucks last night and there was nothing of note there apart from my first Mocha of the year (in fact there were two) - what a smart moth!  Earlier in the day I had checked out some sites for wild liquorice Astragalus glycyphyllos near Weston Underwood in the far north of Bucks in the hope that the priority micro species Grapholita pallifrontana might have emerged, but although there was plenty of the food-plant there was as yet no sign of the moth.  However, flying around one clump of liquorice I was pleased to find moth No.4 on the British list, the tiny Micropterix aruncella

Mocha, Medmenham 23rd May

Micropterix aruncella, Weston Underwood 23rd May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Buttoned snout

I think "Buttoned snout" came to light 22/23
Back in fridge, hopefully for better shots

Alan Diver

Lovers on the line

Had to share this one taken by a friend in Bloxham, who found these two Puss moths on her washing line

Vikki Rose, Abingdon

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

White-spotted Pug ?

Just wondering what the experts thought about this one. I think it is White-spotted Pug but it seems to have more russet on it than I have seen before in that species. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Lampronia sp. ?

From last night's trap, a micro that looks like a Lampronia species. Forewing length about 7.5 mm (see photos, ruler in mm), and with a pale yellowish head.  According the the Field Guide and some other sources, there is L. fuscatella (foodplant birch) and L. pubicornis (foodplant Burnet rose) that might fit.  As it happens I have both in my garden (a large quantity of the roses, looking particularly good at present), but it seems that L. pubicornis occurs only up north?   Any advice gratefully received.
I have also included photos of the tiny moth Argyresthia trifasciata, found in the same trap, since that seemed to be of interest to others (see yesterday's post by Andrew Kershaw below).

 Top and side view of potential Lampronia sp.

Top and side view of Argyresthia trifasciata

John Thacker
Harwell, Oxon

Choreutis pariana?

Found today whilst walking. Having a very slow time in the garden with the micro's so decided to go out and find my own!.
Confirmation or otherwise gratefully received.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Westcott, Bucks

The flood of new species onto the garden list continues:  18th May Freyer's Pug, Buff-tip & Rustic Shoulder-knot; 19th May Cochylis atricapitana, Epiphyas postvittana, Rhyacionia pinivorana, Scorched Wing, Brindled Beauty, Common White Wave, Heart and Dart & Marbled White Spot; 20th May Notocelia cynosbatella, Sandy Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Dwarf Pug, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Poplar Grey & Clouded-bordered Brindle; 21st May Bucculatrix thoracella, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Argyresthia trifasciata, Syndemis musculana, Hedya pruniana, Evergestis forficalis, Ephestia unicolorella, Flame Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Ochreous Pug, Peppered Moth, Pale Oak Beauty, Turnip Moth & Marbled Minor sp. 

It was nice to see a bit more variety amongst the micros at last.  The Rhyacionia has only been recorded here once before, in 2016.  The Bucculatrix and Glyphipterix on the 21st were both daytime sightings, the first sat on a leaf of our lime and the second resting as ever on a daisy flower.  I'd given up on Brindled Beauty for this year so the late visitor on the 19th came as a bit of a surprise.  Dwarf Pug is not a regular here (last seen seven years ago) but Ochreous Pug is now an annual visitor.  On the subject of Pugs, last night I had a second Pinion-spotted Pug, this one being in better condition than the first-timer from two weeks ago, so I'm afraid you are going to be treated to another photo of this Nationally Scarce species!

Sandy Carpet, Westcott 20th May

Pinion-spotted Pug, Westcott 21st May

Ochreous Pug, Westcott 21st May

Having found one inside the house a week or two back, it didn't come as too much of a surprise to get a Hornet in the trap this morning but thankfully this is still quite a rare occurrence here (only the fourth occasion I've had one to light in the garden).  I hope things aren't about to change.

Hornet, Westcott 21st May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


Missing moths!

Like many others, I share the frustration of moths, particularly small mass moths, not wanting to sit still and have their photos taken, It can drive you bonkers, particularly if you have put them in the fridge to "chill"

In order to maintain my sanity, such as it is, I'm adopting a new strategy: If they don't want their photos  taken for posterity, that's their problem, not mine!

Ahh, I feel so much better already!

Alan Diver

Foxy Lady!

Last night I ran a single MV at the northern end of the Calvert Jubilee lake, Bucks to try and improve on the dismal performance by two MV's there during the first week of the month.  Nearly 50 species appeared (as opposed to just 18 last time) so a definite improvement but the only moths around in any numbers were Light Brocade (22) and Treble Lines (45).  Star of the night was a female Fox Moth.  A Lime Hawk and two Elephant Hawks were also nice to see but everything else was much as expected, although a male Common Heath was perhaps a little unusual because (unlike Latticed Heath which does fly at night) this is almost exclusively a day-flyer.  Perhaps the trap was placed adjacent to where it was roosting. 

Fox Moth, Calvert Jubilee 21st May

Common Heath, Calvert Jubilee 21st May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Green Silver-lines and Phtheochroa rugosana

I had 2 new additions for my garden list last night. The first, Green Silver-lines, was on the damp grass next to the trap and in a rather sorry state, with damage to both wings. However, I could still appreciate the green and pink combination on the head.

The other newcomer was Phtheochroa rugosana, which I know has featured on this blog before. But, as this was my first record for the garden, I thought I would post another picture.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Lime hawk-moth

Several moths including Lime hawk moth, Small phoenix, Chinese character and Green carpet. Joined by dozens of mayfly; in this case Green drake mayfly.

Alan Diver

Garden Moths

A few new for year moths in the garden last night; Cinnabar (which I didn't see anywhere last year!), Rustic Shoulder-knot, Spruce Carpet, Shears and Heart & Dart.

Also at the museum yesterday, a Silver Y during the day.

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Monday, 21 May 2018

Whats flying tonight: A great app to help narrow down your searches

Work between Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Butterfly Conservation - app uses National Moth Recording Scheme records to show the most likely moths to be caught in your location, wherever you are in UK, at given time of year. Works really well.

Marc Botham, Didcot

ID request for a micro

This beast just flew past - sorry the photo is not better.

Any ideas?


Barnaby Briggs, Iver, Bucks

Two micros

I was weeding in the garden when a Little Longhorn (Cauchas fibulella) flew past my nose and landed on a Germander Speedwell flower where it remained for half an hour. Another appeared and landed on a grass leaf but it didn't stay long. This tiny moth has a distinctive flight: blurry wings but slow moving, very unlike the fast whizzy flights of other similar small dark insects.

Meanwhile, in the house I found this well-marked Cnephasia. Could it be communana? F/w 12mm.

 Dave Ferguson, Beaconsfield

Cochylis atricapitana and another Elachista

The moth numbers are starting to pick up again in the garden, with Treble Lines and Heart and Dart making first appearances. A few more micros now as well, including this Cochylis atricapitana.

There was also another small 4mm moth that I assume is another Elachista - possibly canapennella?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Pug ID please

Can someone ID this pug please?

First Heart & Dart appeared this morning.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

ID Request - Longwick, Bucks

A few NFY last night including Setaceous Hebrew Character, Common Marbled Carpet and Silver Ground Carpet as well as my second of no doubt many Heart and Dart.

The micro below looks like argyresthia trifasciata? I had a couple in 2016 and Martin Albertini asked me to look out for a confirmatory photograph last year - but none appeared! Hence I would like to check this one on the blog if possible!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Chalfont Heights

I had a lovely potter around the grassy area at the top of Chalfont Heights this afternoon. I didn't get the Burnet Companion or Small Yellow Underwing that I was hoping for and there was no sign of any early Foresters. However I did get a number of  Mother Shipton, Elachista argentella , Green and Common Carpet as well as large numbers of Glyphipterix simpliciella occupying the Buttercups.

Mother Shipton

Elachista argentella

Glyphipterix simpliciella

Robert Payne

Lesser Common Rustic? Scoparia ambigualis

Last night got a Grey/Dark Dagger. I've had both White and Buff Ermine last week.

Re the first moth - Lesser Common Rustic - seems a bit earlier and bigger than I remember. If it is - is that a definate ID? Unfortunately I didn't keep it.

The micro I was thinking Scoparia ambigualis?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Orange footman

The reported expansion of numbers of Orange footman in former stomping grounds is not exaggerated, eight came to my trap last night along with a number of moths, including Lime hawk-moth. A new one for me.

I'll photograph some later when the sun goes round.


Battered guest

May I ask for advice on this rather worn visitor, which I had not noticed in the eggboxes but crept out when friends came to see the hawk moths. My guess is Common Wainscot though the V of its wings seems a bit sharp. But it may be too faded to be sure. Many thanks for help.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Salden, Bucks

Had a very short walk at Salden this afternoon (recovering from sprained ankle!), but it was well worth it. Wavy-barred sable, Lackey caterpillar and Small yellow underwing. Also saw the lovely bee Osmia bicolor, which I guess needs to be added to the list of special invertebrates that need the planned mitigation from the East-West Rail project.

Mick Jones

Orange footman

I thought Orange footman but not holding wings as illustrated in field guide

Gorgeous colouring: grateful for help with ID

Alan Diver