Monday, 27 April 2015

Three Fat Ladies

Sad person that I am, I keep a list of all the moth species I've seen. Updating it over the last couple of days I'm delighted to announce to the World that I've just cleared 888 species. Mind you, Dave Wilton has seen that many just in his back garden...
The latest of these from UTB-land was Pine Beauty, from Chiltern Open-air Museum (last week, with Dave Morris and Rob Payne):

Yesterday I spent an hour wandering around Stoke Common, near Fulmer, Bucks. Sweeping the Heath and Heather with a sweep-net, I collected lots of bits of plant debris, out of which crawled couple of Coleophora pyrrhulipennella:

A lot of these were found on the new Birch leaves:

I think they may be Coleophora serratella, but can't be sure. The dark shape of the caterpillar can be seen reaching into the leaf-mine. Whether the greenfly is a friend or not, I don't know. I was a bit surprised to come across an adult Cydia ulicetana - I didn't think they were out, yet. But this one was.There is plenty of Gorse, the larval foodplant, around.
Andy King.


  1. Andy

    I was at Stoke Common on Saturday (25th), which was a sunny day, and saw at least 50 Cydia ulicetana flying around the gorse.


    1. David, it was really quite cold and dull on Stoke Common yesterday and that must explain the lack of ulicetana. Interestingly, I did try beating several Gorse bushes to see what would fall out - and there were no other ulicetana evident. No Eriocrania nor Common Heath, either, and I know they are there.
      Dave: I might well try one of those suggestions soon; but the weather is a bit up-and down at the moment. Rammamere Heath has always sounded interesting.

  2. Coleophora pyrrhulipennella is an excellent record for Bucks, only about the fifth on the database although the lack of heathland in the county probably explains why. It is known from Black Park, Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common, but you could perhaps try Littleworth Common or Rammamere Heath with your sweep-net if you fancy a new site...

    Sorry to disappoint, but last time I looked my garden moth list was still about 50 short of the "Three Fat Ladies"!

  3. There's a nice report on the Hereford & Worcester blog on pyrrhulipennella sweeping and techniques from Oliver Wadsworth.

  4. and another update on the H&W blog as well


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