Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Emerging News.

One of my pet Taleporia tubulosa has emerged from the pupal cases I found on Beech tree trunks recently:

I'm pleased because I've not seen it before; although I notice Dave has had one fly to his light - I'm not sure they do that often. This is a male, the female doesn't have wings.
Two moths I captured recently were kind enough to lay me some eggs, not that I asked them.
Birch Mocha:
Vine's Rustic

As can be seen, the Birch Mocha laid its eggs right on the edges of Birch leaves, on the pointy bits of the leaves. The Vine's Rustic, however, despite being eventually supplied with a variety of herbaceous leaves, stubbornly laid them on the surface of the container (except the one in the picture, which was on a Dock leaf). I wonder what it tells us about how they behave in the wild.



Darkly Spectacular

Another light left at COAM last night added a few more NFY, including this Dark Spectacle:

and this Map-winged Swift:

plus Purple Bar, Tinea semifulvella, Pandemis cinnamomeana, Evergetis forficalis, Tachystola acroxantha and Double Square-spot.

Also, I'd appreciate some guidance on these:

Dave Morris, Chalfont St Giles

Further new arrivals

The flood of new arrivals in the garden here at Westcott reduced to a trickle over the past two nights, Tuesday bringing just Chrysoteuchia culmella and Beautiful Hook-tip while last night saw Narycia duplicella, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, a probable (and early) Uncertain and Green Silver-lines.  Another Puss Moth turned up too (a male this time), a moth I don't see in the garden at all frequently.  The little psychid Narycia duplicella seems to have become established here over the past few years and is now a garden regular, the only one from that family which has made it on to the site list.  Despite being a common moth the Green Silver-lines is only the second example to have visited the garden trap, the first being two years ago.

Narycia duplicella, Westcott 30th May

Green Silver-lines, Westcott 30th May

This evening I checked our supply of hedge woundwort and was pleased to find two examples of the tortrix Endothenia nigricostana enjoying the sunshine.  It has been an annual here since 2011 and undoubtedly breeds on these plants in the garden, keeping company with our many Woundwort Shield-bugs.  While out looking at some poplar trunks near Greatmoor, Bucks earlier this afternoon the only thing of interest proved to be a smart fully-grown White Satin caterpillar.

Endothenia nigricostana, Westcott 31st May

White Satin larva, Greatmoor 31st May
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Nephopterix angustella, and a couple of tortix moths

The number of micros appearing in my garden trap has gone up considerably over the last few days. One new micro for my garden list was Nephopterix angustella.

Below are a couple of tortrix moths that I can't make my mind up about. Any suggestions gratefully received.

The latter tortix was very dark and the markings were golden in colour, length about 5mm.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Large Nutmeg and similar

These three were all in last night's catch. I am struggling to identify them with any certainty and would appreciate some advice.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon

Dingy Shears?

I think this moth, caught here last night, may be a Dingy Shears, but would appreciate comments or suggestions.  I have had Dingy Shears every other year in the past, but usually in July.

Also a Birch Mocha, seen here before in 2006 and 2013 but again these were later in the year.

Richard Ellis

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

COAM Event Moths

Ran a couple of traps at COAM last night to provide moths for kids to look at, as part of a "Wildlife of COAM" event. One little boy said he'd like to be an entomologist when he grows up; always a result when we can inspire interest!

Moths were arriving before we'd even switched the lights on, although it was mainly Common Swifts during the part of the evening we stuck around.

Didn't really have the time to properly count numbers this morning, but there were a decent number of NFY species, including Spectacle, White-spotted Pinion, Angle Shades, Snout, Small Magpie, Udea olivalis, Coxcomb Prominent, Clouded Silver, Straw Dot, White Point, Vine's Rustic, Middle-barred Minor, Archips podana, Ghost Moth and Sandy Carpet.

Dave Morris & John Hoar, Chalfont St Giles

Monday, 29 May 2017

Fantastic Mr Fox

Well, that was a BIG surprise!  A male Fox Moth came to the garden actinic trap last night and it wasn't until I looked at the books that I realised he can occasionally fly at night as well as during the daytime.  I've only ever had this supposedly common moth to light at two sites in Bucks (Stoke Common and Bernwood Forest, females in each case) so it must be more thinly spread in the county even than its close relative the Oak Eggar. 

Fox Moth, Westcott 28th May

Fox Moth, Westcott 28th May

In the thundery conditions last night the garden tally came to 336 moths of 95 species, not quite breaking the 100 species barrier but that's probably still the best total I've ever had here during May.  Apart from the Fox Moth, new for the year-list were Coptotriche marginea, Paraswammerdamia albicapitella, Elachista argentella, Agapeta hamana, Cochylimorpha straminea, Epinotia bilunana, Epinotia tedella, Lathronympha strigana, Udea olivalis, Sloe Pug, Eyed Hawk-moth, Poplar Kitten & Sycamore.  Following the appearance of the tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana here for the first time ever on the 26th I had no less than three more last night, while highest counts were provided by Straw Dot (26) & Small Square-spot (22).

White Ermines, Westcott 27th May

New for the year the previous night (27th) were Nemapogon cloacella, Argyresthia spinosella, Blastobasis lacticolella, Scoparia pyralella, Peppered Moth, Mottled Beauty, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Dark/Grey Dagger agg. & Marbled White Spot.  I also had to look twice at the left-hand White Ermine above but unfortunately that's what it was, just a lesser-spotted White Ermine!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

A little beauty

A short walk over the road here on the edge of Beaconsfield produced a small group of the stunning Common Tubic (Alabonia geoffrella) plus several dozen Common Marbles (Celypha lacunana) a Black-headed Conch (Cochylis atricapitana) and several Cinnabars.

Dave Ferguson

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Carpet choice

You know what it's like, just when you think you know what you've decided on you look again and think that one's much the same but different!. Spruce or Grey Pine, at first I was undecided but now I'm not so sure. Help appreciated please.
 Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Garden Stuff

A reasonably decent haul for me on Friday night with my GMS trap.
New for year were Crambus lathoniellus, Pyrausta aurata, Tawny-barred Angle, Common Wainscot, Bee Moth, Codling Moth, Garden Carpet, Light Emerald, Green Pug, Broken-barred Carpet and Clouded Border.
I also had an Ephestia like Andy's below, but I didn't retain it.

Plus some I'd appreciate some help with:

Large Nutmeg?

Guessing at Mottled Pug:

Scoparid, but which one?
 And I know this is a Caddis, but it was b****y enormous, so I'd be interested if anyone can tell me what it is.

Dave Morris, Seer Green

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Another Micro ID

Im sure this is probably obvious but I've been looking at it too much and gone moth blind! Please help!

Also had a Poplar Kitten lay me some eggs and these amazing looking caterpillars have hatched, looking forward to rearing these!

Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

200 up

Here at Westcott, Bucks moths new to this year's garden list out of last night's collection (219 individuals of 64 species) were Tinea semifulvella, Gracillaria syringella, Cameraria ohridella, Bucculatrix nigricomella, Bryotropha terrella, Bryotropha affinis, Ptycholoma lecheana, Hedya pruniana, Epiblema rosaecolana, Eudonia pallida, Crambus lathoniellus, Parapoynx stratiotata, Blood-vein, Treble Brown Spot, Willow Beauty & White-point, taking this year's total to 207 known species so far.  That's the first time that 200 species has been achieved here in May, the previous earliest being 3rd June (2011).  Best of the bunch last night was the splendid little tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana on its first visit to the garden.

Ptycholoma lecheana, Westcott 26th May

I also ran two traps for the usual three hours in different areas of Bernwood Forest, Bucks and they did quite well with somewhere between 110 and 120 species caught, micros accounting for nearly 50% of the total.  Crassa tinctella would appear to be new to the already very extensive Bernwood list, while it was good to see the first two fresh examples of one of the forest's specialities, Common Fan-foot.

Crassa tinctella, Bernwood 26th May

Common Fan-foot, Bernwood 26th May
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Some more micros for ID

I was hoping to get through last night's catch without asking for more help. However, although the macros were OK I'm afraid there are a number of micros that I am unsure about. My attempts were as follows.
1. Callisto denticulella? (5mm)
2. Caloptilia robustella or alchimiella Is it possible to tell or should I be keeping it for dissection?(6mm)
3. Crambus lathoniellus? (11mm)
4. Eucosma cana? (12mm)
5. Delplanqueia dilunella? (10mm)

Any confirmation/correction would be most welcome. Thanks in anticipation.
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

ID Help, please

I've been puzzling for a while over these two moths from last night and would welcome any comments or suggestions:

Having seen my first ever Alder Moth for this site on 15 May, there were two more in the trap this morning, also another Figure of Eighty.

Richard Ellis

Late May surge

Some nice familiar species making their first appearances of the year over the last week in our garden in Wolvercote, Oxon., including Riband Wave, Clouded Silver and Bright-line Brown-eye on the 22nd and Straw Dot on the 24th. A few others which aren't necessarily annual here have also shown, such as Figure of Eighty on the 22nd, and a Scalloped Hazel on the 24th was a welcome addition to the garden yearlist.

Figure of Eighty, 22/5/17
And, as ever, a few uncertainties: perhaps most strikingly, the individual below, which showed up on 24th May, shown first with a clear example of a Pale Tussock, then on its own: the orange-brown markings make it look like a Dark Tussock, and it seems the right shape, but according to the Bible (flight season July-August) it would be over a month early: any thoughts?

Pale Tussock and possible Dark Tussock (and Common Swift), 24/5/17

Possible Dark Tussock (and Common Swift), 24/5/17
The macro below is, I think, a surprisingly worn Clouded-bordered Brindle, considering it would be such an early individual; and the micro, I suppose, Scoparia ambigualis.

Possible Clouded-bordered Brindle, 23/5/17

Possible Scoparia ambigualis, 22/5/17
And finally, a macro which I haven't even begun to develop ideas on: as ever, all suggestions on this or any of the others, would be most welcome!

Unknown, 24/5/17
Steve Goddard