Thursday, 1 October 2015

Woodland: almost a waste of time!

Two nights ago I ran three MV lights in the Forestry Commission's Homefield Wood near Marlow, Bucks and managed a count of 68 moths of 25 species (poor but nonetheless rather as expected for the time of year).  A very late Pretty Chalk Carpet was perhaps the most interesting thing caught.  However, some leaf-mining by torchlight added considerably to the list and I also managed to find a couple of Spectacle caterpillars feeding on nettle.  Last night a three hour session with two MV lights in ancient oak woodland closer to home produced only 39 moths of 13 species, hardly the most productive night's trapping even though the temperature remained in double digits right to the end!  The only thing worthy of note here was the appearance of an 'honorary moth', the spectacular brown lacewing Drepanepteryx phalaenoides which I've seen once or twice previously in Bucks but always in someone else's trap.

Spectacle caterpillar, 29th September

Drepanepteryx phalaenoides, 30th September

Dave Wilton

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