Thursday, 24 July 2014

Holtspur Bottom

Another trapping session at our reserve near Beaconsfield, Bucks last night didn't produce a great deal of interest although there were plenty of species flying (about 140 identified).  Amongst the macros, Ruby Tiger and Flame Shoulder were particularly plentiful, while Cochylis hybridellaPyrausta aurata and the 'grass moths' were most abundant amongst the micros.  Tree-lichen Beauty was added to the site list last August so it was good to see that species again, a nicely-marked specimen appearing at one of the two traps.  Amongst the micros the highlight for me was finding Acompsia schmidtiellus, which I've not seen before (two were trapped).  This marjoram feeder is quite an uncommon species and there are only about four previous records for Bucks.  Mecyna flavalis put in an appearance and it was also nice to get Sitochroa palealis at both traps, a moth I used to see quite regularly five or six years ago but rarely since then.

While at Holtspur I took the opportunity to make a torchlight search of the 20 or so Verbascum nigrum (Dark Mullein) plants along the northern edge of the reserve and managed to find 33 Striped Lychnis caterpillars.  During the search I was surprised by how much Solidago (Golden-rod) there is so I'll have to keep an eye out for Golden-rod Pug which is rare in Bucks.  Its caterpillars appear to feed on Ragwort as well, which until recently has been in plentiful supply on site!  Dave Wilton

Tree-lichen Beauty, Holtspur Bottom 23rd July

Acompsia schmidtiellus, Holtspur Bottom 23rd July

Sitochroa palealis, Holtspur Bottom 23rd July

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