Thursday, 21 July 2016

Lots of species, fewer individuals

Similarly to others, we seem in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, to be having a poor season for some of the commoner species, but not bad in terms of overall numbers of species. Tuesday night was a good example, with the high temperatures attracting nearly 100 species, easily a garden record (with less of a breeze, I think we'd have broken three figures), but only a single Large Yellow Underwing, and no Heart and Darts at all (conversely, Heart and Club is having rather a good year).

It's been good to have our first Bordered Beauties for the year, as well as Green Arches (not a frequent species for our garden at all) and Vapourer.

Green Arches, 20/7/16

Vapourer, 19/7/16
We've a few queries, too, though: the usual recalcitrant micros, of which the first may be a rather faded Argyresthia curvella and the second an Ephestia unicolorella, about 7mm long; then a couple of macros, first a likely Sycamore, around 22mm long, and a faded but still, I think, distinct Plain Pug.

Possible Argyresthia curvella, 19/7/16

Possible Ephestia unicolorella, 20/7/16

Presumed Sycamore, 19/7/16

Presumed Plain Pug, 20/7/16
Finally a couple of very long shots: a badly faded macro, which doesn't really ring any bells; and a gracillarid (we think), but not easy to pin down. Also a rather elegant wasp from the other night (which I momentarily took to be a clearwing, but decided fairly quickly not). As ever, all suggestions for the ones we're unsure/clueless about would be very welcome.

Badly faded macro, 19/7/16

Possible Gracillarid, 197/16

Unknown wasp, 19/7/16
Steve and Xander Goddard


  1. Brachmia blandella for your Ephestia. BW, Marc

  2. I think your 'Ephestia' is Brachmia blandella. Possibly your badly beaten-up macro might be Double Square-spot. The Gracillarid might be a Parornix but, if I had to put money on it, I would say it's one of the Swammerdamia/Paraswammerdamia group (in the Yponomeutidae). Not sure of the species, however. I think you're right on the Sycamore. Pass on the pug.

  3. The possible Gracillariid is indeed that, a Parornix which would need dissection to get to species.


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