Thursday, 24 August 2017

Coffee is served...

A very unexpected visitor came to the trap in Westcott last night!  I make no excuses for uploading yet another picture of a Mocha, one of my favourite moths, because this was a first-timer for the garden (the seventh new macro species here in 2017).  It was small and I can't claim that it was perfectly formed, but it was very welcome nonetheless.  Presumably it had wandered in from the Chilterns because that's where nearly all of the previous 160+ county records for this UK scarce species have come from.  It is the furthest north and west that the moth has ever been seen in Bucks, indeed the only other VC24 records from 100km square 'SP' are from Nigel Partridge's garden in Loosley Row.

Mocha, Westcott 23rd August

There were two other species new for the garden year-list in the trap last night.  One of them was Cacoecimorpha pronubana, a rather small and drab tortrix although it does have bright yellow hind-wings.  The other was a rather tired-looking male Gypsy Moth.

Cacoecimorpha pronubana, Westcott 23rd August

Gypsy Moth, Westcott 23rd August

I last had a male Gypsy Moth here in 2005.  It was still a reportable species at that time and the Man from the Ministry duly came and took it away.  The moth was dissected in a Government laboratory somewhere and they found out .... that it was a male Gypsy Moth (surprise, surprise!).  It was assumed to have come from the established population in the Fairford Leys estate on the edge of Aylesbury and that's where last night's specimen probably originated too.  DEFRA's efforts to eradicate it there have failed and it continues to thrive, causing no-one any significant harm.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


  1. Hi Dave, coincidentally I've just found a Mocha by one of our outside lights.


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