Saturday, 9 August 2014

Figure of Eighty - one brood or two?

I didn't run the trap here at Westcott, Bucks last night, but on the previous night (Thursday 7th August) I got Six-striped Rustic and Rosy Rustic as new garden species for the year amongst what was a reasonable collection of 380 moths of 80 species.

Rather more interesting than the new arrivals was a fresh Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis.  This year I saw the species on 13 occasions between 17th May and 24th June (its normal flight period) and this fits with the reference books which reckon it flies between May and July in a single brood.  However, I think it must be attempting a small second brood nowadays of which my example may be one of the first locally this year.  In Bucks we've had quite a few August records now (including one I caught at Weston Turville reservoir on 21st August last year) and I see the latest county database record is for 3rd September (1996).  Looking at the French "bible" (Guide des papillons nocturnes de France, Robineau et al) the species is given as flying between May and September with one or two broods dependent upon latitude, while the phenology chart for this species on the Hants Moths web-site even shows an October record.

Figure of Eighty, Westcott 7th August
   Dave Wilton

1 comment:

  1. Not seen second brood Figure of 80 before; climate warming to blame, perhaps?


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