Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Some nice micros

I completed a couple of butterfly transects in the Bucks Chilterns this afternoon and picked up a few interesting moths along the way.  Seen at Aston Clinton Ragpits were Micropterix aruncella, Adela fibulella, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Crambus lathoniellus, Pyrausta aurata & Burnet Companion, while additions at Coombe Hill included Micropterix calthella, Stephensia brunnichella, Elachista argentella, Mompha miscella, Scoparia ambigualis & Cinnabar.

Micropterix aruncella, Aston Clinton Ragpits 3rd June

Stephensia brunnichella, Coombe Hill 3rd June
Like Adela fibulella (recorded at both sites), Micropterix aruncella was found sitting on germander speedwell.  Stephensia brunnichella, which is a moth I hadn't previously seen, was a very pleasing find and was swept from the herb layer at Coombe Hill while waiting for the sun to re-appear.  Andy King found it at Bacombe Hill back in May (see  You managed a rather better photo than me, Andy - it has been a while since I've encountered such an uncooperative micro!  The fridge had no effect on it at all and a minute or so in the freezer simply resulted in it hurtling around like a whirlygig as soon as it 'came to'.

Dave Wilton



  1. You flatter me, Dave, I don't think my photo is any better than yours; but I agree with you about the difficulty of photographing micros: The worst are the very small ones, like Stephensia. They hurtle around and quite often, within hours, they are dead. I've had one or two actually drop dead in front of me. A short life, but a demented one. With all moths, including macros, I think they often try to counteract being put in a 'fridge by operating their wing muscles as soon as you take them out. I wonder if it would be possible to design a 'cold plate' to sit the moths on in front of the camera?
    Well done on the Stephensia, by the way.
    Andy King.

  2. You need a refrigerated photography room.


    1. Or photograph them through the open 'fridge-door. Hmm, maybe not.


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