Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Poor results

The last three nights have produced very poor returns in the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks thanks to the weather (and that rather large full moon).  On Saturday 9th I got 60 species, including the tortrix Cacoecimorpha pronubana which looks like yet another dull brown job when at rest but produces bright orange hind-wings when provoked into action.  The wind and rain of Sunday 10th brought a grand total of 18 species, none of which were new for the year, while last night's collection was only a little better at 27 species.  I did pay particular attention to the grass moths, though, and found amongst the numbers of Agriphila tristella an example of Agriphila selasella.  The latter is easily missed (and must be very under-recorded in Bucks as there are only around 20 records) so it is worth keeping an eye out for.  There's a very useful guide to separating the two species here: 

Last night I ran two traps in some woodland near Barton Hartshorn, Bucks for three hours and got about 50 species but, as with the garden trap, numbers were depressed and there was little of particular interest apart from a single Dingy Shell which seemed rather late.  However, a check of the county records shows that this date equals the latest Bucks sighting (from 1990).

This afternoon at Westcott I was pleased to find a Red Underwing flying around our massive willow in the front garden and managed to grab a quick picture when it settled briefly on the fence.  They're often active in the daytime here and can sometimes be found sunning themselves on the walls of the house, working their way round it as the sun moves from one side to the other.

Dave Wilton 

Agriphila selasella, Westcott 11th August

Red Underwing, Westcott 12th August


  1. Hi Dave,

    Interesting stuff. I have seen quite a good number of selasella this year whereas I normally see the odd one. Have had a few in the garden and several elsewhere. Species numbers in the garden are below 10 for me, and most species are single individuals. Next summer will be interesting as I will be reporting from a different garden almost certainly. BW, Marc

  2. I always look out for selasella Mr Wilton

  3. Talking of guides to grass moths: Don't forget the excellent 'Grass Moths of Berkshire' website, which covers all the likely ones for this area.


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