Sunday, 27 July 2014

Oak Eggar again

I wasn't expecting a garden record of Oak Eggar at Westcott, Bucks quite this quickly!  Wendy Wilson's captive-bred female from Otmoor was released here just eight days ago (see and last night a fresh female came to the garden trap.  She is definitely a different moth because there are subtle but clear differences in the shape of the discal spot and the width of the lighter brown area beyond the postmedian fascia.  Furthermore, this female has a 'normal' sized abdomen whereas the earlier one had lost a lot of body mass due to laying most of her eggs before she departed.  

Oak Eggar, Westcott 26th July

The Oak Eggar was actually one of three new macro species for the all-time garden list in last night's catch, the other two being a rather worn and tired-looking Chevron and a reasonably smart Small Seraphim.  The Chevron is mainly a woodland species and seems to be in decline locally although there are a couple of known colonies within five kilometres of here.

Chevron, Westcott 26th July
Small Seraphim, Westcott 26th July

One other smart moth which turned up last night was the Marbled Beauty illustrated below, of the yellow form rather than the more usual green.  Otherwise the catch was fairly typical of the last few nights with 130 species being caught (64 macro, 66 micro).  Other items new for the year included Phyllonorycter schreberella, Lyonetia clerkella & Flounced Rustic.  The late-Summer thorns are making regular appearances now (three each of Dusky and Canary-shouldered last night) and Agriphila straminella has moved quickly to take over the top slot as most abundant species in the trap (161 counted).  Riband Wave, Dingy Footman (replacing Common Footman) and Flame Shoulder are currently providing the highest macro returns.    
Marbled Beauty, Westcott 26th July
Finally, I should mention a couple of notable records from the Rothamsted Insect Survey trap at Marsh Gibbon, Bucks for which I've been identifying the catch for just over a year now.  On 6th July the trap caught a Lappet, while the following day produced an exceedingly early Rosy Rustic.
Dave Wilton


1 comment:

  1. The Oak eggar is a nice catch, Dave - not one i've seen in Bucks myself, although i did see at least three males yesterday when we visited Otmoor, where you found your larva.


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