Sunday, 3 January 2016

Migrants still hanging on

At the moment I'm continuing to run the twin-30wt actinic light overnight inside our conservatory and then checking before dawn to see what has come to the windows.  My first adult moth of the year appeared on the night of 1st January and was, as usual, a Winter Moth.  Last night (2nd Jan), despite all the rain, I got seven examples of the ichneumon wasp Ophion obscuratus, three more Winter Moths, a Pale Brindled Beauty and a bit of a surprise:  a battered and worn example of the tortrix Crocidosema plebejana.  I had this species in the garden for the first time back in August when it was assumed to be a wanderer from the populations along the south coast.  This one will also have been blown in on the south-westerly winds over the Christmas period when quite a few other migrants from much further afield also appeared in the country, so how far it had travelled is open to conjecture.

Crocidosema plebejana, Westcott 2nd January

Crocidosema plebejana, Westcott 2nd January

Some mined alder leaves brought back home from nearby Woodham last September produced their first moth today, the rather smart and distinctive Phyllonorycter klemannella.  I see that the recent update to the British checklist (Agassiz et al) adopts this spelling and claims that the frequently-used kleemannella (which is how it appears in MapMate and on several web-sites) is incorrect.

Phyllonorycter klemannella, Westcott 3rd January

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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