Sunday, 16 July 2017

Pretty in Pink

Neil Fletcher and I ran three MV lights between us at a small privately-owned chalk grassland site near Loudwater, Bucks last night.  Before it got dark, a quick search of some 30 or so dark mullein plants produced a couple of early-instar caterpillars of Striped Lychnis which was certainly a good start (quick mobile phone happy-snap below).

Striped Lychnis larvae, near Loudwater 15th July

As it happens the traps didn't pull in huge numbers of moths but some of those we got were quite interesting all the same.  Amongst the macros, Clouded Magpie, Maple Prominent and Dark Spectacle were certainly noteworthy, but it was a few of the micros which provided me with more interest.  Foremost amongst them was a potential candidate for Agonopterix ciliella.  This is supposed to be a common moth but that is not reflected in the records for Bucks (nearly 1,000 for heracliana, just 12 for ciliella).  I've been looking for candidates for ciliella for a very long time and think I may have found one at last because this specimen is tinged pink underneath.

Potential Agonopterix ciliella, near Loudwater 15th July

Other micro highlights included Parectopa ononidis, Coleophora lixella, Tachystola acroxantha, Acompsia schmidtiellus, Pammene aurita (several, thanks to a convenient Sycamore), Pediasia contaminella, Oncocera semirubellaSitochroa palealis and the enormous Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis.   

Pammene aurita, near Loudwater 15th July

Pediasia contaminella, near Loudwater 15th July

Cydalima perspectalis, near Loudwater 15th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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