Friday, 4 April 2014

Things keep getting better....

I am sadly away for the weekend on work business just as things are really warming up. Didn't stop me leaving the trap on last night despite an early morning start and having to check the trap before it had got properly light as a consequence. First garden record of Pale Pinion for garden was the first bonus, Nut-tree Tussock and 2 Waved Umbers were also new for the year in the garden. Early Thorns reached a high of 7 individuals, even had an Engrailed which I'm not sure I've ever had in the garden before, and several Early Greys among lots of other moths (I can't remember all the species or the exact number because I had to leave in such a rush but I think it was over 30 species). Most interestingly, a Common Quaker type caught my bleary eyes in the dim light because it's wing shape wasn't right and it's coloration seemed odd. I potted it and took some very poor photos on my phone before I left and am now emailing from the conference in Southampton to see if anyone can agree or disagree with my first and current identification of Northern Drab. I've put the specimen in the fridge so I can have a better inspection when I get back on Sunday. Happy trapping, Marc Botham, Benson


  1. Hi Marc, looks very promising indeed despite your urgent need for a phone with a better camera! The markings look good and it certainly has the correct 'stocky' appearance. A fantastic garden record!!

  2. Surveying for NT on Pitstone Hill, Bucks last night (5th) with Andy King and Colin Plant, we got two females of Northern Drab although little else of interest because it was quite a breezy night to be sitting on an exposed hill-top - at least the rain held off until we left! Do you know if your example was male or female?

  3. Hi Dave,

    I'm less confident of the identification now. I came back last night from the conference and had potentially even more bleary eyes but still couldn't resist a look at the captured specimen. Unfortunately, it has done exactly what the other Northern Drab I kept in the fridge for photographing did and battered itself into a much less identifiable state. However, the coloration seems very brown and I haven't maanged to find any photographs of brown Northern Drabs. Also, a quick look at the photo by Dave Green whilst at the conference suggested it was a melanic-ish form of Common Quaker. I'm going to dissect it later today to confirm it one way or the other. And in answer to your question about gender, I think it is a male of whatever species it turns out to be - in fact I'm rather hoping it will be as I don't like dissecting the females - but have to admit I haven't had a proper look yet and am relying on my poor memory from looking at it the other day. More to come later when dissection complete. BW, Marc


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