Thursday, 15 June 2017

Black pepper

Lots of great moths winging into the trap at the moment, far outpacing my efforts to keep tabs though I'll catch up eventually. I was pleased that last night brought the melanic form of the Peppered shown above with a standard one. Do others have this often, or only every other year or so, like me?  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. The darker forms of Peppered Moth do seem to be appearing less and less frequently these days. I generally see one or two of the completely melanic form (f. carbonaria) somewhere each year and a few more of the half-way house (f. insularia), although rarely seem to get either in the garden now. I've just had a quick look at my records from Bucks over the past five years:

    2016 (70 sightings) 6 x insularia, 1 x carbonaria
    2015 (162 sightings) 3 x insularia, 1 x carbonaria
    2014 (115 sightings) 2 x insularia, 1 x carbonaria
    2013 (137 sightings) 5 x insularia, 3 x carbonaria
    2012 (56 sightings) 6 x insularia, 1 x carbonaria

    So far in 2017 I've seen just the one insularia but it is early days yet.

  2. We have good records in Bucks of the forms - after Ched complained about 10 years ago we weren't noting them down, so ever since then each moths form has been noted. At least by myself, Mister Wilton and Martin Albertini. Martin may be able to pull a larger sample out of the database, but as Mister Wilton says, the carbonaria and insularia forms seem to be declining slowly, although they still turn up from time to time.

  3. Thanks so much - and what terrific records. I wish that I had the time and patience. When we were in Leeds, there seemed initially to be a few more dark ones but by the time we moved - 2013 - they came almost as seldom as here. Thanks again and all warm wishes M


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