Friday, 3 July 2015

More clearwings and a VC first

Expected Red-belted Clearwings (3 in 15 minutes) off mature apple trees in garden yesterday + far less expected Orange-tailed Clearwing (1 in 15 minutes). Also, lots of Six-belted Clearwings on Bushy Bank on Saturday - I put the lure out on 5 of the sections on my butterfly transect and each time 2-5 males came within 30 seconds. After this I popped to Thrupp Lake to have a look for Red-tipped and duly found several.

Red-tipped Clearwing, Thrupp Lake 27/06/15

Plenty of garden firsts recently best of which was a Lackey this morning - never caught it at Lonesome Farm where I expected it and now got one in centre of Didcot! After catching a total of at least 5 different Toadflax Brocades earlier in the year it is nice to find the larvae on my straggly Common Toadflax (grown from seed recently) and sparse potted Purple Toadflax. Interestingly, nightly checks show that the caterpillars appear to be being predated quite heavily.

Local movement truly in action over last couple of weeks as well with Royal Mantle, Festoon and Ruddy Carpet all picked up at CEH Wallingford, the first two in my 'roof trap' located to try and intercept migrants. Ruddy Carpet is now the second individual in 3 years in the Rothamsted trap. Also Kent Black Arches and Beautiful Snout at Sutton Courtenay (BBOWT's Environmental Education Centre) - the latter of which I have never seen locally before.

Beautiful Snout, Sutton Courtenay 01/07/15

Other interesting record = one which I'm sure Martin Harvey can say more about, but after confirmation by Peter Hall through genitalia examination is I think a VC 22 first in my Didcot garden - Platyedra subcinerea. I have had several so it seems there is a good colony round here somewhere. Only very tiny amount of mallow in garden but the gardens nearby have lots of Hollyhocks. Marc Botham, Didcot

Platyedra subcinerea, Didcot - late May 2015.


  1. Beautiful Snout is very interesting because I had one in the garden here at Westcott the night before last (unfortunately missing its palps, unlike your specimen). No bilberry or heather here, nor was there any locally the other two times I've seen it in Bucks, so it must migrate either from abroad or from established sites in the UK.

  2. You have lots of luck with the lures Marc, please come and visit here soonest.


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