Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Triangle rediscovered in South Bucks

Sir Eric Ansorge says of Triangle:  "Buckinghamshire is one of the chief haunts in England of this very local moth.  It is 'not uncommon in beech woods at Marlow' (South), and this is the only locality given in the V.C.H. [the Victoria County History].  A number of specimens were taken at High Heavens Wood, 19.vii.58."  However, since those 1958 records there have been no further sightings of this Red Data Book species in south Bucks, nor anywhere else in the county until it was discovered in Bernwood Forest in 2010.

Last night I trapped again in Hog & Hollowhill Woods at Medmenham, which probably qualifies as one of Richard South's 'beech woods at Marlow' even though it is infinitely more varied and interesting in tree content than being just a 'beech wood' would infer.  Almost on the stroke of midnight a Triangle appeared as if by magic right next to me on the sheet beneath one of the two traps (funny how that happens with some moths, you don't see them arrive, they're suddenly just there!).  When going through the same trap later on I found another one inside it.  Definitely a memorable trapping session just for those two individual moths!

Triangle (male), Hog & Hollowhill Woods 26th June

Triangle (female), Hog & Hollowhill Woods 26th June

There were quite a few other goodies as well though, including Ethmia dodecea, Eana incanana (a double-digit count, very nice to see), Large Emerald, Mocha, Beautiful Carpet, Haworth's Pug, Clouded Magpie, Great Oak Beauty, Barred Red, Maple Prominent, Rosy Footman, Red-necked Footman &Waved Black.

Beautiful Carpet, Hog & Hollowhill Woods 26th June

Clouded Magpie, Hog & Hollowhill Woods 26th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

White Satin

Enjoyable to watch a White Satin warm up this morning, a process which took a minute and seven seconds and then it only flew as far as my iPad Mini's screen. Hundreds of visitors last night in the trap but the WS slept stand-offishly on a nearby wall. Does it trigger the same memories for you as for me? Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

400 Up

Albeit at a slower rate than during our 'heatwave' period, the garden trap here at Westcott has continued to produce new species for the year list each night, with the following being added:

22nd June
Lozotaenia forsterana, Udea prunalis, Dark Sword-grass
23rd June
Marasmarcha lunaedactyla, Phycita roborella, Lobster Moth, Old Lady
24th June
Buff Footman
25th June
Pandemis heparana, Least Carpet, Muslin Footman
26th June
Acleris forsskaleana, Yarrow Pug (awaiting dissection), Dingy Footman, Dun-bar

The garden list currently stands at 402 species for the year, the first time ever that 400 has been passed in June, so tonight I've given the trap a celebratory and well-earned night off (well, it is raining after all!).

Lozotaenia forsterana, Westcott 22nd June 

Marasmarcha lunaedactyla, Westcott 23rd June

Muslin Footman, Westcott 25th June

Probable Yarrow Pug, Westcott 26th June
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Beautiful Snout

Dithering about whether to go trapping or not a couple of nights ago I decided to make the effort at the last moment and went to the local woodland, Philipshill. I was glad I did: 114 species (plus a few more) later I had encountered a couple of notables. Star, in my opinion, was my first Beautiful Snout:

Also a moth that would have been immaculate but for a bad rip in a hind wing: Cydalima perspectalis:

Also, not one, but two Meadow Brown butterflies, rendered all the stranger by the fact that the light they obsessed over was in the middle of a Beech wood. Also, the following scruffy moth is mentioned because it would be a first for me and I have been known to get this one wrong before:
Am I right and it's Archips crataegana? It was accompanied by good numbers of its close relative
 A. xylosteana and it is similar to them.

A couple of queries from Longwick

Last nights catch was mostly fairly typical but Fern and Varied Coronet are pretty unusual here - I haven't seen the Varied Coronet in a long time. Had a noticeably small Herald and my first second brood Early Thorn this year. I have a couple of queries - a tortrix which might be Gypsonoma Aceriana and a coleophorid - around 9mm long - possibly lixella? ( I tend to shy away from these!).

Monday, 26 June 2017

Micro query

Any help appreciated with the identity of this grey fellow.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Marlow Bottom 24th June

Nothing particularly exciting, except for me! I had my first ever Pine Hawkmoth, a species I wasn't hopeful of getting due to the lack of large conifer tracts here.

I also had another 'common' species for the first time - Agapeta hamana is extremely regular, but Agapeta zoegana put in an appearance.

Another first was actually five moths.  One I have probably overlooked in the past as I have lots of wild marjoram here, Thiotricha subocellea.  It took a while to work out, as it didn't seem to be in the right family!

A probable fourth first and another common species, was Stenoptilia pterodactyla.  The photo isn't great and I couldn't obviously see any white costal cilia, but the colour and everything else looks ok - any comments?

And finally, a photo of an Oak Nycteoline for Steve!

Adam Bassett

Some IDs and confirmations please

The first Crambid I've not been able to get a match.

then I think I possibly have a White-point - I've had a few Clays recently but this one seems to have a more definite white spot.

the next one Batia lunaris - sorry I don't have the size but it was tiny.

then Blue bordered Carpet.

mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Two immigrants now resident

Both of these were grown from caterpillars, emerged today.


The Tiger from Aldbury and the Gypsy from N.  London


Oak Nycteoline?

Unfortunately I have no picture for which I am kicking myself - I usually photo as much as I can before potting stuff.

It had come to the kitchen door - I thought it looks exactly like I've seen them but I don't know if the flight season is right - and if it wasn't what it might be.

It looked like a large broad tortrix, greyish brown with a central red brown band.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Kent Black Arches

Found in the Robinson Trap left overnight at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, North Bucks on Friday night, 23rd June.  New for me and the site.  I am still purring now.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Playing catch-up!

Owing to various distractions, while I've been putting out the trap regularly in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, I've not been able to enter up records, or check dubious IDs, as much as I'd like -- I'm hoping to catch up over the next day or so. Even before the recent heatwave, my impression was that this year is being considerably better than 2016, and like many others, I've had some very good catches in the last week (even more work to catch up on 😄), with good numbers of, among others, Scarlet Tiger, several Blacknecks (not by any means an annual species here), some pleasing Elephant Hawkmoths and so on. I don't propose to put here all my queries from the last month -- and in any case, I've managed to sort out quite a number of them -- but I'm going to start by including here a few where I've got a pretty good idea of the species and would be grateful for confirmation or a pointer in the right direction. Firstly: what I think is a Chilo phragmitella from 21st June; a possible Cochylis hybridella from 28th May; what would be a garden first in the form of a possible Endothenia quadrimaculana from 22nd June; what I think is a Mottled Beauty from 30th May (but this is an ID I've always had trouble with); a possible Obscure Wainscot from 14th June; and a possible Vine's Rustic from 30th May.

Possible Chilo phragmitella, 21/6/17

Possible Cochylis hybridella, 28/5/17

Possible Endothenia quadrimaculana, 22/6/17

Possible Mottled Beauty, 30/5/17

Possible Obscure Wainscot, 14/6/17

Possible Vine's Rustic, 30/5/17
And secondly, a few where I think I've established the genus, but I haven't got any further than that: an Aethes species, I think -- either francillana or beatricella; what I think must be the same Cydia species from 21st and 18th June; and what looks as though it should be an easy-to-identify Cochylis species from 14th June.

An Aethes species: francillana  or beatricella?, 17/6/17 

Presumed Cydia species, 21/6/17

Presumed Cydia species, 18/6/17

Presumed Cochylis species, 14/6/17
As ever, all suggestions or corrections very welcome!

Steve Goddard

Currant Clearwing to VES lure?

I put out my VES lure about 4pm this afternoon in the garden, the aim being to see a Yellow-legged Clearwing which has been a regular visitor to my garden over the past couple of years.
Within a few minutes, a small clearwing started flying around the trap and I managed to net it and carefully put it in a pot. Being very flighty, below is the best picture I have managed so far.

Definitely no yellow legs. It looks like a Currant Clearwing to me, but please tell me if I am wrong. I do have currant bushes in the garden.
Having put this clearwing to one side, I returned to the trap and found another clearwing sitting inside the trap. This one was larger, and definitely had yellow legs! See below.

So, an unexpected double success.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Duponchelia fovealis

This moth was in the house this morning so not sure if it escaped from the trap or got in via some other route.  A new species for this site.

Richard Ellis

Dotted Rustic?

I had this moth in my trap at Beenham Berks last night. Is this a Dotted Rustic?

Thanks Derek

Friday, 23 June 2017

Bernwood on Wednesday Night

Two different areas of Bernwood Forest, Bucks were surveyed on the shortest night (following the hottest day) of the year, Dave in Oakley Wood and Peter in Hell Coppice.  The final species total is still a work in progress, but when both the macro and the micro totals on the combined list each pass 100 species you know you've had a reasonably good session!  The micros were dominated by Archips xylosteana and Tortrix viridana with 1,000+ individuals of each, while Aleimma loeflingiana and Archips podana were also-rans with 300+ each.  Wading past all those made it interesting - to put it mildly - trying to pick out the others but we persevered.  Amongst those of particular interest as far as Bernwood is concerned were Monopis crocicapitellaEthmia dodecea, Olindia schumacherana, Gypsonoma minutana, Grapholita janthinana, Schoenobius gigantella & Elegia similella which were all new to the site.  It was also good to see Notocelia tetragonana again at the only spot it has ever been recorded in Bucks.  The Bernwood list currently exceeds 900 species, more than 800 of which have been seen by us during our regular surveying there over the past nine years.

Notocelia tetragonana, Oakley Wood 21st June (Dave Wilton)

Gypsonoma minutana, Oakley Wood 21st June (Dave Wilton)
Ethmia dodecea, Hell Coppice 21st June (Peter Hall)

Macro abundance was of course far lower and, without trying too hard to work out all the totals, Coronet seems to have topped the list with 30 individuals seen.  Scarlet Tiger visited each trap, as did Orange Moth and Rosy Footman, while we also had such nice species as Poplar Lutestring, Large Emerald, Little Emerald, Plain Wave, Satin Beauty, Barred Red, White Satin, Red-necked Footman, Four-dotted Footman, Purple Clay, Grey Arches, Minor Shoulder-knot, Scarce Silver-lines & Blackneck amongst many others.  Of the Bernwood specialities we got a double-digit count of Small Black Arches, all looking nice and fresh, but the eight examples of Common Fan-foot were rather worn and the moth seemed to have passed its peak already.  Unfortunately Triangle failed to show this time but we're sure it was up in the tops of the oaks under which we trapped, probably laughing at our efforts to entice it down!

Large Emerald, Hell Coppice 21st June (Peter Hall)

Orange Moth, Hell Coppice 21st June (Peter Hall)

Peter Hall & Dave Wilton

Recent evenings during the heatwave

A few recent updates from back garden in East Oxford. The heatwave brought some nice new additions to the garden list including Maiden's Blush and the rather impressive Schoenobius gigantella (18 June), Scorched Wing and Blue-bordered Carpet (20 June) and a beautiful Scarce Silver-lines on 21 June. The heatwave also coincided with large emergence of Scarlet Tigers, with (for me) record numbers including 34 on 17th, 63 on 18th, 69 on 19th, 30 on 20th and an amazing 93 on 21st, the latter really quite an unforgettable sight!

 Maiden's Blush (18 June 2017)
 Scorched Wing (20 June 2017)
 Scarce Silver-lines (21 June)
A few of many Scarlet Tigers - fascinating variation