Sunday, 6 April 2014

Tiddler time in Thrupp

Tiddlers here in Thrupp last night, with my Robinson trap hosting its first Twin-striped Pug of the year (Update: sorry Double-striped, see Nigel's v helpful comment which also sorts out the beast above)  and also this little fellow, which I take to be a longhorn micro if indeed it is a moth at all. Going by the Sterling Parsons Lewington Bible, my best guess is Adela cuprella or Cauchas rufimitrella in that order but its antennae seem rather hefty, hence my mothy unease.

Hebrew Characters won first place among the usual residents at this time of the year - a dozen of them, alongside seven Common Quakers, five Small Quakers, four Clouded Drabs, three Powdered Quakers. three Early Greys, two Brindled Beauties, an extremely plain micro which flew off, a lacewing, a caddis fly and the year's first and very angry bumblebee. There seem plenty of these around at the moment.  Martin Wainwright


  1. Hi Martin, your photo is of a caddis fly. Also I think you mean Double-striped Pug rather than 'twin-striped'.


  2. Thanks so much on both counts. Is it a 'baby' caddis. It was very small. I might go and see if its still there. Thanks v much for correcting my sloppiness too. I was late with the morning tea...

    1. It's an adult Caddis fly, Martin - baby Caddis flies live underwater in streams and ponds, much like dragonfly larvae.

  3. Thanks again. Sorry to be so vague on such matters. It was tiny compared with a more conventional Caddis in the egg boxes

  4. Hi Martin. Not wanting to go 'off-piste' too far, but it is a bit of a shame that many of us tend to discard potentially interesting visitors to our light traps from other insect groups. Within the constraints of time (and knowledge!) I try to do what I can and, for example, some of the larger beetles are relatively easy to identify and record. You may already be getting some of the very smelly Sexton Beetle species and it won't be long before Cockchafers start to appear. Caddisflies (Trichoptera = hair-winged) are actually quite closely related to moths (Lepidoptera = scale-winged). You will get to see many in your moth-trap, ranging in size from large ones with a forewing length of up to 30mm down to some miniscule micro-caddisflies. There's now a useful RES handbook on the 200-odd British species which, if you do become interested in them, may help you identify a few: "The adult Trichoptera (caddisflies) of Britain and Ireland" by Barnard and Ross, available from the Field Studies Council (ISBN 978-0-901546-94-4). I say a few because most are not at all easy and even caddis experts seem largely to ignore the adults in favour of the easier-to-identify early stages!

  5. Thanks so much Dave. Your erudition is a godsend. I do find the non-moth visitors very interesting, specially the range of flies. That said, I am not looking forward to the arrival of the Blandford Fly which has penetrated this far, possibly because of improved water quality in rivers, I gather. Thanks so much for the sources of caddis knowledge - and again to Nigel and Dave M for helping me too.

    The trickiest thing I ever got in the trap was a robin. I think he enjoyed his stay - like being trapped in a very good restaurant! all warm wishes, Martin


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