Friday, 24 October 2014

More unseasonal moths

Marc Botham and I ran five MV lights in some private woods near Appleton, Oxon last night for about four hours from dusk.  The combined list wasn't that extensive:  the species count was only about 25 and the only moths to appear in any numbers were the Novembers, but it proved to be an interesting evening in that Buff Footman (1) and Rosy Footman (6) were seen alongside the first Mottled Umber of the season!  There also seemed to be rather too many hornets around for this time of year...

Back home at Westcott, Bucks the garden actinic trap managed in excess of 50 moths:  Common Marbled Carpet (1), November Moth (2), November sp (1, female), Feathered Thorn (8), Figure of Eight (1), Shuttle-shaped Dart (2), Black Rustic (2), Blair's Shoulder-knot (2), Green-brindled Crescent (8), Red-line Quaker (5), Yellow-line Quaker (4), Beaded Chestnut (11), Lunar Underwing (2), Sallow (2) & Angle Shades (2), while the previous night's collection had included singletons of Red-green Carpet, Sprawler & Dark Chestnut, so there are still plenty of garden species out there.  With no other sightings here since 27th September, the appearance of two fresh Shuttle-shaped Darts would appear to indicate a third generation.  With Angle Shades it is difficult to know whether appearances now are 'locally grown' or are migrants.  In 2013 I had quite a flurry of records from the second half of October into the first week of November and it looks as though the same thing might be happening this year.  Dave Wilton

Figure of Eight, Westcott 23rd October

Shuttle-shaped Dart, Westcott 23rd October

Angle Shades, Westcott 23rd October


  1. Ben Sale got a Buff Footman in mid-Herts last night, as well. Angle Shades seem to be popping up here and there - I've seen more this October than at any other time this year.
    Andy King.

  2. Thanks for the update, Andy. As an aside, we took home a number of Epirritas to check and Marc tells me that his collection included all three species (November, Pale November & Autumnal), with Pale November coming out ahead in terms of numbers. For those who are happy to handle moths it is well worth checking them out to get precise records rather than just the aggregate "November species".


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