Thursday, 22 September 2016

Autumn in spades

After a week or so without putting the trap out, as I was away, we had a reasonable night last night in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, with 47 moths of 20 different species, of which three were new for the year, all three distinctly autumnal: Lunar Underwing, Sallow and Black Rustic. That last is an especial favourite of ours: for some reason, it seems quite a charismatic moth (later correction: on going through our records, it looks as though an Acleris emargana was also NFY; I'd have sworn we'd had one already, and didn't even bother with a photo).

Black Rustic, 21/9/16
Migrant-wise, nothing doing other than a Silver Y. I was also a little surprised, given its dates in the literature, to have what I can only identify as a Marbled Beauty: it seems rather late for it, but we had plenty earlier in the year, so perhaps it's one of those species which is having a good second or third brood -- and I can't see what else this specimen is going to be!

Presumed Marbled Beauty, 21/9/16
Steve and Xander Goddard


  1. Hi Steve & Xander, that is indeed Marbled Beauty. In Bucks we have circa 140 September records and 2003 is the only post-millennium year for which there are none, so this is nothing unusual and the books need updating. Our latest Marbled Beauty sighting is 3rd October (2011).

  2. Black Rustic is one of my favourites as well and they seem to be having an exceptionally good year in the garden here in Sibford. I caught the first back on 4th September and last night got 23 in the trap. Last night was certainly a better night with 24 species and 130 moths (other than the Black Rustics mostly Lunar Underwing - 44 and Large Yellow Underwing - 30). Also my first Orange Sallow, Beaded Chestnut and Acleris rhombana.

  3. Last night's collection of moths here in Westcott was very similar. Nothing new but 117 of 24 species with Lunar Underwing now the second most numerous after Large Yellow Underwing. Looking back, I've recorded 56 different species in the garden over the seven nights between the 15th and 21st so there are still plenty of moths out there.

  4. Andy: 23 Black Rustics would make our day! Dave: thanks for that about Marbled Beauty: it does indeed look as though the books are in need of updating -- presumably the species has just extended its season.


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