Thursday, 3 April 2014

The dust that brings the moths....or not

Last night my garden catch was superb in terms of diversity. Numbers of many of the species that have been dominating the trap recently were normal or slightly lower. Mullein was new for the year and very welcome as I tend to only ever see 1 max per year and for some reason it always seems to be just the wings as the local Sparrows seem to have an eye for what to me seems quite a well camouflaged moth. This one was pristine and inside the trap for once. Acleris literana was also new for the garden and I had another Ypsolopha mucronella. There was also a number of other micros including 2 Caloptilia semifascia, Agonopterix subpropinquella, Depressaria chaerophylii (that I failed to photograph the other day and now have another chance to :)), an Eriocrania species (TBI - can make no assumptions as there are not many Oaks in vicinity but there are two birch trees not too far away) and 5 Diamond-back Moths. Were these migrants brought along with the dust, probably not, I have had this species throughout the year in my garden for last two years and the field next to me is full of Rape of which there were lots of volunteer plants dotted about in the field margins over the winter, so I strongly suspect these are locally resident. Marc Botham, Benson


  1. Last spring I reared through a Diamond-back Moth found as a caterpillar inside some Waitrose broccoli. It pupated on 29th April and the moth emerged on 7th May, so they have a very quick turn-around! I'm sure quite a few of those we catch in light-traps now will be locally bred rather than migrants.

    1. Waitrose! I'm shocked! You should have taken the broccoli back and demanded a year's free caterpillars.

  2. Yes, this was definitely a cut above your average Diamond-back! To be fair to Waitrose, it must be quite difficult to inspect every single floret, with all those nooks and crannies for them to hide in. Do the caterpillars count towards your ten a day (or whatever it has gone up to now), I wonder? We've probably eaten quite a few over the years.


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