Sunday, 31 August 2014

Leafmines on Chenopodium album (Fat-hen)

Last year I found a leafmine on Chenopodium album (Fat-hen) of the gelechid Chrysoesthia sexguttella on my allotment in Walters Ash, Bucks.   Apparently, this is a very under-recorded species, with next to no records in Bucks.

This weekend, I was working on the allotment and removed a lot of Fat-hen, which I checked for mines.  I found tenanted mines of Chrysoesthia sexguttella  (left) again and a vacated mine of Chrysoesthia drurella (below). 

Chrysoesthia drurella is very under-recorded too.  As both mines are around now, and the host is abundant everywhere, it would be a good time to do a bit of leafmine hunting and get yourself a new species or two. 

More info on mines on Chenopodium album (Fat-hen) here: 

Neil Fletcher

At last!

Loosley Row, Bucks.

I finally caught a Red Underwing last night. Also of note were three White-points in the trap.


Confirmations Please - catch 30-8-2014

hi, a few from last night.

I think I have

yet another form of Celphya lacunana

Eudonia angustea?

A White Point

Ypsolopha sequella

Saturday, 30 August 2014

COAM Moths

Rob Payne and I ran a couple of MVs at Chiltern Open Air Museum last night. Nothing much had come in by the time we left, but on returning in the morning things were a little better.

The most numerous species were the same as everyone else is reporting, over 130 Large Yellow Underwings and 50-odd Square-spot Rustics, in a total of just under 500 moths of 59 species (not very many micros but a few are still with Rob...).

New for the year were Blood Vein, Feathered Gothic, Centre-barred Sallow and Frosted Orange, and also of note about 5 White Point.

Dave Morris

Friday, 29 August 2014

Rainy Conditions Bringing on the Moths

I've found that the rainy conditions have been rather good for trapping over the last few nights in my central Oxford garden. In fact two nights ago I got a near record count (for my garden) in the trap though it wasn't very diverse, being more than half made up of Large Yellow Underwings. There was an Old Lady in there though which is always nice to see. I've got three unknowns for the panel to look at, any help would be much appreciated - see photos below.

By the way, I think that I've solved the problem of our new kitten catching all the moths as they come to the light: I've put the trap on top of an upturned dustbin so it's much higher up now and as a result there are many more moths in the trap the next morning.


Perhaps a worn Common Rustic? It was about that size
About half the size of a Brown House Moth, perhaps a Bryotropha sp.?
Stumped by this, perhaps Blastodacna Hellerella?

Crassa tinctella?

hi, caught this last night. I had C.unitella previously but this one seems to lack the yellow head - maybe C. tinctella?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

It is officially Autumn

We're definitely on the down-hill slope now ... the first Centre-barred Sallow of the season came to my garden actinic trap at Westcott, Bucks last night, heralding the appearance of lots more yellow species of Autumn.  It was by no means early, though (for example, last year's first sighting here was on 20th August).   Dave Wilton

Centre-barred Sallow, Westcott 28th August

Puzzle from outside our area

Apologies as this is outside our area, but I was stuck with this moth, caught in Cley last weekend. Posting here as help has been so rapid in the past.  Notebook lines included for scale!  Any advice appreciated.

Barnaby Briggs, Iver, Bucks

Loosley Row, Bucks

Amongst the 16 species attracted to our house lights last night was Clavigesta purdeyi which is a new species for the garden.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Stoke Common, Bucks

A last-minute decision by Martin Albertini and I to run some traps at Stoke Common, Bucks last night didn't produce all that many moths but we did get a smart migrant Vestal, second brood examples of Peach Blossom and Light Emerald as well as double-digit counts of both Neglected Rustic and White-point.  Neglected Rustic is a heathland species and in Bucks is only found at Stoke Common and Black Park.  We saw the full range of its colour forms, from reddish-brown through dark grey to very light grey.  More than 20 White-points were caught between four MV lights so the moth is certainly a resident at the site, as it probably is elsewhere now in the southern half of the county.  Dave Wilton

Vestal, Stoke Common 27th August

Neglected Rustic, Stoke Common 27th August

Neglected Rustic, Stoke Common 27th August

White-point, Stoke Common 27th August

IDs Please (catch 27-8-2014)

Much beter night last night but I don't think there was anything new apart from my first Vapourer. Quite a few carpets after not seeing any for a month, Common, Garden, Green and Common Marbled.. 71 Large Yellow Underwings, 1 Broad Bordered and a few Lesser and Lesser Broad Bordered. A Chinese Character also.

The queries,

Celypha lacunana?

I had a couple of Diamond Backs but these looked bigger and different - 2 individuals.

Unknown 2 (2 pics)
Unknown 3 (2 pics)

Currant Pug?

Then two indiduals that seemed a bit different from the other Square Spot Rustics but maybe they are?

Oak Lutestring

First couple of Oak Lutestrings last night at Bagley Woods in among a moderate catch of 55 species which included 167 Large Yellow Underwing. Nothing else of interest except a good number (17) of Maidens Blush. In garden LYU numbers were also high, the highest so far this year at 102, and Maple and Coxcomb Prominents side by side were nice to see. Marc Botham, Benson

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A new species for me ---

I ran my actinic trap up in Chilterns woodland last night, and was pleased to find a Hedge rustic in the trap this morning (alongside plenty of Large yellow underwings!) I also had a very nicely marked Herald moth hatch from a wild collected larva.
Herald moth
    Dave Maunder
Hedge rustic

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Numbers still depressed

This week last year I was averaging 70 species per night in the garden at Westcott, Bucks.  Despite all the rain, last night saw a significant improvement in catch over those of the previous week or two but the total number of species still only just got past 50 - all rather depressing really.  The only encouraging thing was that nearly half of last night's total was made up of micro species because they've been noticeable by their absence recently.  Noteworthy items were another White-point, a Pinion-streaked Snout (my first here since 2006) and the customary example of Udea ferrugalis.  You'll be pleased to learn that a tour of the house exterior today produced no Red Underwings but I did manage to find a rather battered Old Lady instead.  Dave Wilton 

Pinion-streaked Snout, Westcott 25th August

Old Lady, Westcott 26th August

Not much to write home about...

Nothing much to tell other than a notable increase in Large Yellow Underwings and Flounced Rustics over last week or so, with peak of 82 LYU's last night. I can now consistently fit the entire night's list on half a page of A4 using just a single column. Red Underwings don't like where I live, I don't blame them, so despite what sounds like a pretty good year for them I have not yet seen one. Up in North Yorks at the weekend for a wedding I put a trap out in a friend's garden near Northallerton. Not much in it but a handful of Centre-barred Sallows and 2 Sallows gave me an idea of how close we are to Autumn now. Quite a bit further north so always out earlier, but the Sallows were quite worn. Marc Botham, Benson

Bits & Bobs

I had a good catch last night by recent standards with 28 Large Yellow Underwings being the highlight - certainly a record for my modest garden. Also of note were a Chinese Character and a Six-striped Rustic (a garden first). On Sunday on a walk out with the family we came across a Hawk Moth larva, probably Lime I am told (see photo). I also had what looks to me like a very worn Acrobasis species last night - it doesn't look like A. advenella as the inner central cross line seems to be angling in at the top and the head is not obviously red. I'd welcome any ID suggestions however tentative given its worn condition.

The delightful Chinese Character
probable Lime Hawk Moth Larva
worn possible Acrobasis species

Acrobasis advenella?

After a long period of nothing new - I got this. I think I had a worn one a few weeks back but this one is in much better condition. Can some confirm this is Acrobasis advenella?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Monday, 25 August 2014

Despite the rain

Two pristine Pretty Chalk Carpets to the house lights tonight (Loosley Row, Bucks).


A warmer night

160 moths of 35 species came to the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks last night.  Udea ferrugalis continued its run of regular appearances but the only other item of passing interest was the tortrix below which looks to me to be a candidate for Epinotia cinereana (a species worth keeping an eye out for now that it has been separated from Epinotia nisella).  During the daytime I had a look for leaf-mines on alder just down the road at Woodham, Bucks and brought home several Phyllonorycter mines containing pupae which will hopefully emerge soon.  The most interesting find was a strange-looking 2cm larva which I didn't recognise.  It proved to be that of the Alder Sawfly Eriocampa ovata which is covered with a chalky substance to make it the ultimate in bird-poo mimics!  Dave Wilton   

Epinotia species, Westcott 24th August

Eriocampa ovata larva, Woodham 24th August 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Seeing red

Just a quick walk around the house exterior today, I spotted 3 Red Underwings on the walls. The first image, this one was actively flying around the washing line area of the garden before roosting on the upper part of the house wall. The other two, side by side, were around the far side. I had to hang out of a window to photograph them. It's not often I can equal Mr Wilton's achievements from his house. Peter Hall
Red Underwing

Red Underwings

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Old ladies visiting ---

I have had a couple of Old lady moths to my garden trap here in Aylesbury at last - i usually see my first ones a couple of weeks earlier. Also found a Red underwing near Fairford leys shops today, and had a couple more Udea ferrugalis to my trap. Dave Maunder

Old Lady moth, 23-8-2014

Friday, 22 August 2014

Pale Eggar

The first new macro-moth for this year's garden list at Westcott, Bucks since Square-spot Rustic nearly two weeks ago turned up last night in the shape of a male Pale Eggar.  Despite supposedly being a common species, in Bucks it has always been restricted to the northern half of the county.  Take away the records from three 'hot-spots' (Bernwood Forest, the Marsh Gibbon RIS trap and my garden!) and there are only a handful of sightings in the county each year nowadays.  This fits with the BC/Rothamsted report "The State of Britain's Larger Moths 2013" which states that it had declined by 90% between 1968 and 2007.

The slightly warmer overnight temperatures (and just a few spots of drizzle in contrast to what was forecast) produced an increase in the actinic trap's catch to 116 moths of 36 species.  Large Yellow Underwing has finally started to wake up here with 20 caught.    Dave Wilton   

Pale Eggar, Westcott 21st August

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Snail trails.

I found several little folds like this on sapling Populus nigra trees round the car park at College Lake Nature Reserve today. They are the pupation-sites of a small moth called Phyllocnistis unipunctella. The chrysalis inside is 4mm long and looks like this:

The accompanying leaf-mines are difficult to spot, looking as they do like a cross between snail-trails and invisible!

Incidentally, if you collect leaf-mines and want them to emerge as adults, opening up the cocoons, as I have above, reduces your chances of success, as the pupae have very precise procedures for emergence and you may disrupt them; also they may dessicate more easily and die. Also, collect several, as parasitism-rates are often high.
Andy King.

They still fly in the cold!

Despite the very chilly nights I've continued putting the actinic trap out here at Westcott, Bucks to see what turns up.  Monday 18th produced 65 moths of 18 species, Tuesday 19th 42 moths of 14 species and Wednesday 20th 35 moths of 23 species.  Last night's slightly more diverse catch, which included a few geometers as well as the hardier noctuids, came as a bit of a surprise considering that we were close to having a frost (the temperature fell to 4C compared to 7C the previous night).  They comprised Orange Swift, Agriphila straminella, Agriphila tristella, Agriphila selasella, Eudonia mercurella, Emmelina monodactyla, Flame Carpet, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, Common Wave, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Six-striped Rustic, Square-spot Rustic, Common Wainscot, Angle Shades, Flounced Rustic & Red Underwing.  Nothing startling!  It will be interesting to see what happens tonight, when it should be warmer but there'll be rain to contend with instead.  Dave Wilton     

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hummed out

Just another Hummingbird Hawk to add to Tom's. Sadly but obligingly from the photographic point of the view, this one was dead. It got into our greenhouse without anyone noticing and died of whatever it is that kills butterflies and moths in greenhouses without marking them. Heat, I guess. I've never seen one still before and it's also a garden first for me here and in Leeds (though neighbours there had them there from time to time and it seems almost common in these parts).  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.