Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Bonfire Night Moth

Bonfire Night is usually the prompt to go looking for Plumed Prominent, a smart nationally scarce species which we are lucky to have in a few Chiltern woodlands in the vicinity of Henley-on-Thames but which flies at this very unsociable time of year.  The forecast seemed more suitable last night than on the 5th so I went to one of its known sites in south Bucks.  As usual, the Met Office got it hopelessly wrong and I was rained on for most of the time I was there, but at least it remained mild and the rain didn't stop the moths (or, for that matter, a couple of very late Hornets).

In the usual three hour period from dusk, now very early of course because it was fully dark by 5.15pm, I saw 20 species.  They included Ypsolopha parenthesella, Ypsolopha ustella, Diurnea lipsiellaAcleris cristana, Acleris sparsana, Alucita hexadactyla, Oak Nycteoline and Snout as well as the expected seasonal macro-moths.  Thankfully, after last year's experience when I had to make three visits before seeing just one moth, at this site two Plumed Prominents turned up on time, a male and a female (just to prove that you don't have to wait all night to see the lady of this species).  Home by 9.30pm too - can't be bad!

Plumed Prominent male, 6th November

Plumed Prominent female, 6th November

Tea-cake anyone?   Plumed Prominent eggs

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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