Thursday, 25 May 2017

Nice moths from this week

Another quick collage below, I'm afraid, containing some of the moth highlights found away from home so far this week, both by day and at night:

My first three Foresters of the year (top left), all male, were found at Bernwood Meadows, Bucks yesterday (24th) along with large numbers of Anania fuscalis and Grass Rivulet.  Other moths recorded there during my brief visit were Cauchas rufimitrella, Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Elachista argentella, Agapeta hamana, Cochylimorpha straminea, Dichrorampha acuminatana, Scoparia pyralella, Pyrausta purpuralis, Common Swift, Silver Y & Mother Shipton.  On Monday night (22nd) I ran some lights in Hog & Hollowhill Woods, Medmenham, Bucks which are now managed by BBOWT.  I got quite a decent list of species, including several examples of Mocha, but the highlights for me from there were Ancylis upupana and a possible Coleophora lutarea (both top right).  I've searched no end of stitchwort in the daytime looking for lutarea, for which there is only a single previous Bucks record from Buttler's Hangings near High Wycombe.  Ancylis upupana is almost equally as rare in the county with only two previous sightings.  Isotrias rectifasciana (bottom right), Light Feathered Rustic (centre, a very dark female) and Broom Moth (bottom left) were all recorded on the National Trust's Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks last night (24th).  Isotrias rectifasciana was seen in the garden as well this week and I put it forward as a suggestion for Darren Seaman's sighting back on 16th May but which we later decided wasn't that species but was probably a female Rhopobota stagnana.  It was pleasing to get double-digit counts of Light Feathered Rustic and Broom Moth last night between two very busy traps, although Common Swift, Green Carpet, Grass Rivulet, Shears & Treble Lines made up the majority of the catch!  The final moth in the collage (lower right) is the splendid little Micropterix aruncella which was the best of the bunch caught during a trapping session on the National Trust's Coombe Hill, Bucks on Tuesday night (23rd).

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks             

More ID help needed

Could I just check that the first one is a Poplar Grey and would welcome any help with the two pugs and the micro.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Three new for Maidenhead

Last night (24th) just before mid-night my mv trap in my Maidenhead garden only had 6 macro-moth species, which considering the temperature was quite disappointing.
This morning that has gone up to 25 macro species, with Common Marbled Carpet topping the list with 11.  Not a bad total for the garden, but best of all were 3 species new to the all time list.
Miller, Netted Pug and May Highflyer.  The latter produced a bit of deja vu, being identical to the picture Steve Trigg posted yesterday (only about 3km from me) and for which I confirmed the identity.  The larvae feed on Alder, which isn't present in the vicinity.  Perhaps the warmth of the night had induce things to wander from their usual areas as the trap also contained several mayflies Ephemera danica which presumably had come from the Thames just over a mile away.

Martin Albertini

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

May Highflyer, and a micro query

Quite a few new for year moths appeared in the garden trap last night, including Common Swift, Common Wave, Clouded Silver, Light Emerald, Shears, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Wainscot, Silver Y, Spectacle and Straw Dot. I also had a moth I haven't seen before, but looks very much like May Highflyer.

New for year micros included Crambus lathoniellus and Udea olivalis. I found 3 tiny silvery grey moths, with the forewing measuring 5mm, and one is photographed below. I thought it might be Coleophora albitarsella?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

A couple of micros

Is this first one Psychoides filicivora? Length is about right at 5mm. I have got quite a few flying around the garden during the daytime.

Is this second one Nomophilia noctuella? I was lucky to get this photo before it flew off. I had forgotten how active the moths in the trap can be once the weather warms up!

Finally just for interest I assume it is some sort of mayfly?

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Some help please

My garden trap in Marlow Bottom last night produced a new macro for the list - Grass Rivulet.  Surprising I haven't seen it before really considering the profusion of Yellow Rattle that grows here.

There were also a few micros that I would appreciate some help with.  The first is about 7mm long and looks like it should be readily identifiable, but I am struggling with it.  Photos are a bit dark, I've tried to lighten them a bit, but it is quite a dark moth.

The second (actually two different moths) is an Elachista and I'm assuming atricomella, but can this be safely assigned? They both flew off!

And the last I'm just being a bit lazy with really - assume this is just a slightly worn Syndemis musculana (another poor record shot in lousy light!).

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Incurvaria pectinea

I trapped in some woodland near Medmenham, Bucks last night and next to one of the lights was a small hazel which had obviously been favoured by the micro-moth Incurvaria pectinea.  There were several active larvae in mines on a couple of leaves which I brought home to photograph, although by this morning only one was still feeding in the mine and the others had completed their cut-out cases!

Incurvaria pectinea, Medmenham 22nd May

Incurvaria pectinea, Medmenham 22nd May

A different leaf below shows larval cases still present for the majority of the mines, attached to the underside of the leaf (some vertically, making them difficult to see in this shot).  They eventually fall to the ground where the larvae continue feeding until late summer. 

Incurvaria pectinea, Medmenham 22nd May
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Longhorn on cuckooflower

I have a couple of "wild" areas in my Cookham garden, and I noticed a couple of small moths landing on some cuckooflowers. Below are 2 pictures of one. Am I safe to record it as Cauchas rufimitrella, or does it need closer inspection?

I also have speedwell in my garden, so will be keeping a lookout for Cauchas fibulella (nice picture in your earlier post Dave). I did see it last year, so fingers crossed.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Tawny Marbled Minor & Sallow Kitten?

Is it possible to get confirmation,or otherwise, on the attached. The first was sat next to a Marbled Minor and was noticeably smaller and narrower. The next I do have a problem between it and the Poplar Kitten. Thank you
Silver-Y last night -  FFY.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Two Nice Records

While carrying out a butterfly transect in Finemere Wood, Bucks this afternoon I checked a likely patch of speedwell and found one example of the smallest of the long-horn micros, Cauchas fibulella.  The moth is a reasonably common day-flyer locally but its size means that it takes some effort to spot.

Cauchas fibulella, Finemere Wood 22nd May

I expected more from last night's garden catch here at Westcott, the actinic bringing in only 39 moths of 27 species and only one of them a micro, but no doubt things will improve as this week progresses.  There were, however, five new ones for the year-list:  Notocelia cynosbatella, Purple Bar, Light Emerald, True Lover's Knot & Brown Rustic.  Being a heathland specialist, True Lover's Knot is not a moth I should expect here at all so it was presumably dispersing from elsewhere (like the Narrow-winged Pugs which others have been noting in unlikely places over the last week or two).  Very nice indeed that it should stray in this direction, becoming the garden's 415th macro species - new ones are becoming more and more difficult to get!  

True Lover's Knot, Westcott 21st May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Another early arrival - well, early for me

I was surprised to find a White-point in my trap this morning, a moth I see here regularly but not usually until July.  The previous earliest seen here was on 29 June 2016.

Richard Ellis

First of many

Had my first (no doubt of many) crambid of the season on 18th May here in Wolvercote, Oxon: I'm thinking it looks more like Eudonia mercurella than lacustrata, but would be grateful for confirmation (or other suggestions). Some good moths still showing up, albeit not in great numbers, including an Eyed Hawkmoth on May 19th: always a pleasure to see!

Possible Eudonia mercurella, 18/5/17
Steve Goddard

Sunday, 21 May 2017


A Sycamore here last night, a species which I see in small numbers most years in June or July.  This is the first I have seen in May, the previous earliest being on 07 June 2008:

Richard Ellis

COAM again

A light left out Friday night at COAM got me a handful of NFYs, in the shape of Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Small Phoenix, Common White Wave, Ingrailed Clay, Common Swift, Marbled Minor agg., Setaceous Hebrew Character, V Pug, Light Brocade and the pug shown below (any ideas please??)

Dave Morris, Chalfont St Giles

Checks - grateful for help

Looked like a Common Rustic to me but season wrong
Moths continue excellent here. May I just check on these IDs? Sorry, they're rather basic moths but I will struggle with them until I die.  Many thanks in anticipation.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Ingrailed Clay?
Small Square-spot?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

More NFY, and probably one lifer

Numbers still not huge in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, but 18 species on 15th May and 19 on the 16th weren't bad going, and NFYs coming in good numbers -- including Orange Footman, Red and Dark-barred Twin-spot carpets, Vine's Rustic and Grey/Dark Dagger. What I think was probably the first Narrow-winged Pug for the garden showed up on 16th May.

Presumed Narrow-winged Pug, 16/5/17
A few are giving me some grief in terms of identification: I think we have below a Brindled Pug, a fairly standard Common Carpet and a perhaps rather dark Hoffmannophila pseudospretella, but would be grateful for confirmation/other suggestions!

Possible Brindled Pug, 16/5/17

Possible Common Carpet, 16/5/17

Possible Hoffmannophila pseudospretella, 16/5/17
Steve Goddard

Incinerator Moths

Although eventually cut short by deteriorating weather, I had a wander close to the new incinerator plant at Greatmoor, Bucks this afternoon, searching (successfully as it happens) for Dingy & Grizzled Skipper butterflies.  Moth species seen included Cauchas rufimitrella, Syndemis musculana, Celypha lacunana, Dichrorampha acuminatanaCydia ulicetana, Grapholita jungiellaCrambus lathoniellus, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion.  Numerous examples of Glyphipterix simpliciella were recorded as well, but the star of the show was a single example of their larger brother, Glyphipterix forsterella.  I've seen it a handful of times previously in the local area but this was the first for a few years.  It is still quite a small moth and trying to get a half-decent photograph of it in such dull conditions back at home this evening was a bit of a struggle for my camera! 

Glyphipterix forsterella, Greatmoor 18th May

In the sunshine that we had for a few hours this morning an example of the long-horn Nemophora degeerella put in a brief appearance in the garden at Westcott, the first sighting here for 10 years.  Needless to say, last night's collection of moths to the actinic trap didn't break any records in all that heavy rain but I still managed 15 hardy moths of 11 species of which Aspilapterix tringipennella, a yet-to-be-identified Coleophorid and Spruce Carpet were new for the garden year list.  Quite a contrast to the previous night when 42 species turned up, including Argyresthia trifasciata, Scrobipalpa costella, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Celypha lacunana, Broken-barred Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, Pale Oak Beauty, Clouded Silver, a rather battered female Puss Moth, Iron Prominent and Marbled Minor sp which were all additions to the year list.

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Westcott 16th May

Celypha lacunana, Westcott 16th May

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Help needed with some micros

There were 40 micros in last night's garden trap, and some are proving a bit tricky - well, for me anyway.
Could this first one be Aethes smeathmanniana? The fw measured 7mm.

This next moth is very small, the fw measuring 4mm.

I wondered if the moth below is one of the Nematopogon longhorns? It looked different from all the caddis flies in the moth trap.

Finally, a not very good photograph of a small black moth (fw 5mm).

I am probably asking the impossible with the last one, but all help much appreciated.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Some garden firsts last night

After a couple of cool weeks with very few moths, things finally improved in my garden last night with just over 100 moths in the trap, comprising around 50 different species (I am still puzzling over some of  the micros). There were 2 macros that were new for my garden list. The first was a Great Prominent.

The other new macro was this Mullein.

There were 19 other macros that were new for the year, including the moth below which I think is a Lesser Treble-bar (Lesser Treble-bar seems to be more common in my garden than Treble Bar).

I need some help with a few of the micros from last night's catch - I'll put them in a separate post.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Grass Rivulet? and others

I don't think I have changed my mind so many times as I did yesterday as to whether or not to put the trap out. I'm glad I did as I caught my first ever Lime Hawk-moth.
I would appreciate some help with the following.
I wondered if the first was the dark form of the Clouded-bordered Brindle (I certainly had one of the light ones). A tentative Grey Pine Carpet for the second and Grass Rivulet for the other two (the size is right).

Andy Newbold,  Sibford Ferris, Oxon.