Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Early days, or rather nights

I am not used to winter trapping and this year has so far hardly been one to encourage the practice. But there have been a few dry nights in Thrupp since the start of February and moths seem to have adapted to the monsoons.

On the night of Sunday 2nd, I lit the lamp for the first time since the night before 9th December last year when my first grandchild, Emily, arrived at University College Hospital in London and a very handsome December Moth overnighted in the trap.

This year's debut saw the slightly worn male Pale Brindled Beauty (above) and a Chestnut Moth (below), in good condition with just a nick or two out of the edge of its wings.

Rain then poured down until the night of 15th February when a Dark Chestnut (below) braved the cold. Here it is, as comatose as an Oxford student after a Valentine's Night bender. Update: sorry, it is a plain Chestnut - see Comment (3) below from Peter Hall to whom many thanks.

The following night was much milder and with only a skimpy shower and there was a new species for my list (after a year of trapping in Thrupp and nine on the edge of Leeds): this male Dotted Border.

I hope my identifications are correct - and I always appreciate more expert colleagues putting me right. I'd also be grateful for any information on why the females of species such as the Dotted Border and Pale Brindled Beauty are flightless, which seems a raw deal for a moth. I have also got another pair of pyjamas which I will feature in due course.

Warm thanks for arranging this blog and I much appreciate and am learning from the other entries. Martin Wainwright


  1. Morning Martin. Do you have another image of your Dark Chestnut, I'm not convinced based on the inverted one you posted, but also not certain either. Add your name after, because those receiving the e-mail blog mail don't know who posted it otherwise. I'll add it for you this time. As for creating this blog, the old website maintenance was simply becoming overwhelming so we had to come up with something new. I've been an original member of the Ceredigion moth blog for well over a year and it was working well, so we copied it. Still early days, but I think it's been a success so far. Different angle to creating lists and stuff and this one will be better for id requests.

  2. Thanks very much Peter and sorry about not signing - Dave Wilton kindly put me on to the Guidelines which I'd overlooked, so I hope I'll get things right as I go along. Yes I've a couple of topsides of the moth - should I post them here or email to you or refer you to www.martinsmoths.blogspot.com which has them? I'd be very grateful for your opinion. Actually I'll see if I can email them anyway in the meanwhile. All best and Thanks, Martin

  3. http://upperthames-butterflies.org.uk/Moth_files/Identification_Guide_to_the_Chestnuts.pdf
    Yours is a Chestnut. The apex is classically rounded, often they are harder to separate than that. The link is to the separation criteria I produced a while back and still sits on the old website.

  4. Thanks so much Peter. I'll try to get that right next time! Much appreciated; I'll add an update to the post

    all v best



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