Friday, 19 July 2019

Proper summer nights

Quite a nice range of species have shown up in my garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, over the past week, with Wednesday-Thursday night especially productive: it's been good to see familiar species such as Ruby and Garden Tigers make an appearance. A new species for the garden was a Large Tabby (Aglossa pingualis), assuming I've got the ID right, one of those which has you looking in both the macro- and the micro-Bible.

Aglossa pingualis, 17/7/19
Also good to note were a rather more-than-usually marked Buff Ermine, a Lunar-spotted Pinion and a Pinion-streaked Snout.

Buff Ermine, 14/7/19

Lunar-spotted Pinion, 17/7/19

Pinion-streaked Snout, 16/7/19
A couple of micros which it would be nice to have confirmed: I think these are Phtheochroa inopiana and Spilonota ocellana.

Possible Phtheochroa inopiana, 17/7/19

Possible Spilonota ocellana, 17/7/19
As ever, many thanks for comments or corrections.

Steve Goddard

All Quiet on the Home Front

The last three sessions in the garden have produced unremarkable catches despite seemingly reasonable weather conditions.  Even though the 16th and 17th were both 100+ species nights there was little which was new, so perhaps we're heading towards the usual summer lull.  It is certainly noticeable that second brood moths are now starting to appear (for example, Lesser Swallow Prominent on the 16th, Small Phoenix on the 17th, Chocolate-tip on the 18th).  Heart & Dart and Dark Arches are thankfully winding down for the moment and the largest numbers being had now are the Uncertains and Rustics (combined totals of 90 on the 16th, 96 on the 17th, 62 on the 18th).  Dark Arches has already surpassed 3,500 individuals in the garden this year...

Year-list additions have been as follows:

(16th)  Lobesia abscisana, Leopard Moth, Yellow-legged Clearwing (by day)
(17th)  Phyllonorycter schreberella, Elachista maculicerusella, Limnaecia phragmitella, Small Scallop,
            Mouse Moth
(18th)  Ypsolopha scabrella, Magpie Moth

Elachista maculicerusella, Westcott 17th July

Ypsolopha scabrella, Westcott 18th July

Magpie Moth, Westcott 18th July

Always a pleasure to see, another Lappet turned up last night (the fourth for the garden in 2019) and, having trapped four elsewhere at two different sites, this would seem to be a quite good year for what is rather an uncommon species now locally.  The last two garden records have been of rather battered individuals, though, and the one below was shot from its "good side"!  Least Carpet also seems to be having quite a good year.  One of those moths which is spreading and increasing in abundance, it first appeared in the garden in 2005 and numbers have increased almost annually since then, such that I had an extraordinary count of 49 individuals in 2018.  I don't think that number will be matched again this year but 14 have appeared so far and they should go on into August.

Lappet, Westcott 18th July

Least Carpet, Westcott 18th July

I've just noticed that this is our 4,000th blog entry in just six and a bit years.  Well done everyone!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Poplar Grey? - 2nd image added.

A little confused by this one.

A little colour shown.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Nemophora metallica and other micros

A few of us made a second moth trapping visit to the Hook Norton Railway Cutting BBOWT reserve. In the evening I must have seen at least 20 Nemophora metallica (I think) just on the scabious heads beside the footpath. There must have been hundreds on the site.

And for confirmation/correction.
1. A Eucosma species possibly obumbratana? 10mm

2. Possibly Ancylis achatana? 9mm

3. Is this just a Borkhausenia fuscescens? 6.5mm

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris Oxon.

Wax moth (Galleria mellonella)

Think this must be the above, though I have never seen it before. Could someone confirm?

Two puzzles

This looks like a weird footman but footmen have yellow heads, black eyes and no crest. F/w 14mm.

This understated moth has eluded identification. Marbled Minor agg seemed a likely slot for it but, apart from Cloaked Minor - which isn't dark, the wing shape seems wrong.

All comments welcome.

Dave Ferguson, Beaconsfield

Small Rivulet?

I think it is but it would be nice to have it confirmed.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Common and Lesser Common Rustics?

I understand that the Common Rustic and Lesser Common Rustic are highly variable. Are the following three moths, caught in my actinic trap in the last few days, all of these species?

And I think the following is an Engrailed.

Please would someone confirm or put me right. Thanks.

John Clough, Marlow

Homefield Wood, Bucks

I ran a couple of MV lights in the BBOWT part of Homefield Wood near Marlow, Bucks a couple of nights ago and got a reasonable catch, more than 130 species coming to the particular trap I was monitoring throughout the usual three hours, although nothing particularly surprising turned up.  Kent Black Arches appeared at both lights (two to each - a species that is getting quite common locally now especially on chalk grassland sites), as did the smart pyrale Oncocera semirubella which simply wasn't to be found anywhere locally until the beginning of this decade (37 individuals were shared between the two lights).  My first Clouded Magpie of the year was seen (in fact four of them altogether), a species that is always nice to get and one of the those moths which look absolutely stunning in MV light at night but not quite so stunning when viewed in daylight!  The nationally scarce gelechid Altenia scriptella turned up again with a couple of examples to one of the lights which was run beneath a field maple, its larval food-plant.  Here and Adam Bassett's garden in Marlow Bottom are the only known sites for it in Bucks. 

Altenia scriptella, Homefield Wood 16th July

Clouded Magpie, Homefield Wood 16th July

A quick torchlight search revealed good numbers of Striped Lychnis larvae on dark mullein growing in the BBOWT meadow and along the main forest track.  It was interesting to find one or two Cinnabar caterpillars feeding on the flower spikes too in spots where their ragwort - already completely stripped of flowers - was growing amongst the dark mullein.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Some confirmations please

First two I think maybe Crambus perlella (2 different individuals) rather than simply worn C. culmella. I don't often get them.

Riband Wave? Looks a bit different in shape and the speckling but I can't think what else it might be?

I think this next one is an (ex) Udea prunalis. The first one I've caught ever.

Finally I'm thinking Phycita roborella

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Which Ermine

Can this possibly be Y.irrorella?
Found on the Ridgeway path near Aldbury.

Thanks in anticipation,

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

More queries

Several more uncertainties from my garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire: mainly micros, and again dating back as far as May.

One or the other Anacampsis species, 29/6/19; can they be separated on appearance?

Agonopterix arenella or yeatiana, 23/5/19

Possible Dioryctria sp., 25/5/19

Possible Epagoge grotiana, 16/5/19

Possible Lesser Cream Wave, 29/6/19

Another mysterious pug, 22/5/19
All help, as ever, very much appreciated.

Steve Goddard

Yellow-legged Clearwing

Like Adam, I thought today might produce some clearwing activity but I restricted myself to the garden and the lures didn't go out until 4pm.  I tried HYL (for Raspberry, brought in a Harlequin Ladybird), API (for Six-belted, brought in a Marmalade Hoverfly) and VES which produced a single Yellow-legged Clearwing sometime between 5pm and 5.45pm. It might still be a little early for Raspberry and I doubt that it has expanded its range this far west yet, while I'm probably pushing my luck for Six-belted in the garden because the nearest known colony is about a mile away.

Yellow-legged Clearwing, Westcott 16th July

Yellow-legged has appeared at Westcott once before, in 2014, and today's success means that all five clearwing species which have ever been recorded in the garden (Currant, Yellow-legged, Orange-tailed, Red-belted & Red-tipped) have put in at least one appearance in 2019, making this my most successful year ever with the lures. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Six-belted Clearwing

I tried my Six-belted Clearwing lure at Little Marlow gravel pit yesterday, a site where I have had the species before and where there is a large expanse of Bird's-foot trefoil. Two appeared within a couple of minutes.

Adam Bassett

Monday, 15 July 2019

Second Suspect

Another Suspected turned up in the garden actinic trap last night, this one being a warm brown colour and thus rather more easily distinguished from the Common Rustics than its predecessor last week.

Suspected, Westcott 14th July

Also in the catch were two additions to the garden year-list, comprising Eudemis profundana (quite a dark example) and what I'm sure is a Garden Dart.  The latter species is now quite rare locally and its final stronghold in Bucks would appear to be the Ashridge Estate.  It hasn't appeared in the garden here since 2011 and this one will go off to be checked just in case it is something more exotic (unlikely!).

Eudemis profundana, Westcott 14th July

Garden Dart, Westcott 14th July
Bringing the year-list up-to-date, the following have been added since my last post:

(11th)  Ypsolopha sequella, Endothenia gentianaeana, Pammene fasciana, Catoptria falsella, Marasmarcha
            lunaedactyla, Wormwood Pug, Pine Hawk-moth, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Copper
(12th)  Eulamprotes atrella, Gypsonoma sociana, Anania lancealis, Small Blood-vein
(13th)  Crambus pascuella, Udea lutealis, Slender Pug, Dusky Sallow
(14th)  Eudemis profundana, Garden Dart

Anania lancealis was another species completely new for the garden.

Anania lancealis, Westcott 12th July

Numbers were well down in last night's catch with fewer than 60 species turning up, thanks to the chilly northerly breeze.  On the plus side, there were far fewer examples of Heart & Dart and Dark Arches to wade through this morning.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Udea fulvalis in Oxford

Two of these in my garden MV this morning. Appears to be new for VC 23.