Monday, 25 September 2017

Cypress Pug and Beaded Chestnuts?

I got my first Cypress Pug this morning.

Can anyone confirm these three different individuals are Beaded Chestnut?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

ps fresh Yellow-tail and brindled Green this morning.

A new form of moth trap

Sorry to fly many miles out of the area, but there might be a local application for this. On holiday in Portugal last week, I had an unexpectedly moth-rich time thanks to the pool at our hotel (provided I beat the assiduous debris-netter to my early morning combo of swim and entomological research).

I wonder if anyone has surveyed the pools of the Upper Thames, particularly any whose lights are left on at night? I think my pics here show inter alia Portuguese specimens of Peach Blossom, Grass Eggar, Yellow Belle, Vestal and Yellowtail. All were originally in the water and all appeared to recover on removal. The top left hand moth in the first composite pic was easily an inch underwater, gripping the pool side firmly and apparently content. There is quite a lot of interesting material online about 'underwater moths' and swimming pool moth experiences.  Home now and hoping to lure a Merveille DJ ce soir.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


So there I was, sat in the still-pouring rain this morning in the garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, going through increasingly sodden eggboxes and wondering what it was all about, when I turned one over and found this underneath it:

Merveille du Jour, 24/9/17
This is a species I've coveted ever since taking up trapping, and which I'd more or less abandoned hope of ever getting here: something of a Monday morning booster!

In fact, it turns out to be the second lifer here in two days: I hadn't registered that an Orange Sallow from yesterday was the first we've ever had, too:

Orange Sallow, 23/9/17
And I'm fairly certain, bearing in mind the discussion below, that the creature below is a straightforward Deep-brown Dart, not its Northern counterpart:

Deep-brown Dart, 24/9/17
Like others, I found that the catch last night, although small by many standards, was a significant improvement on recent nights, irrespective of the rain, with 58 individuals of 23 species (if one counts a Red Admiral found taking shelter in the trap!) - and a couple of other NFYs as well as those above: Beaded Chestnut and Brown-spot Pinion; also a pleasing catch of five Black Rustics, which seem to be having a good year. It does look rather as though my earlier hopes for a full year-list of 400+ species were wildly optimistic: numbers of new species rather fell off a cliff in August, due to a combination of frequent absences and poor weather, and as it is, I'm only just about at 350 - maybe another ten or a dozen autumn species might yet show up, but that's about it, I should imagine. Still, it's better than last year...

Steve Goddard

A couple of degrees makes all the difference

Even though it was chucking it down with rain when I went out to close things down at 5.30am this morning, the overcast and much warmer night made a big difference to the garden catch here, 45 species coming as a very nice surprise when compared to the trap results of the last few weeks.  Caught were Tinea semifulvella (1), Depressaria radiella (1), Blastobasis lacticolella (1), Pandemis cinnamomeana (1), Acleris rhombana (1), Acleris variegana (1), Archips podana (2), Clepsis consimilana (2), Celypha lacunana (2), Eudonia pallida (2), Hypsopygia costalis (1), Acrobasis consociella (1), Maiden's Blush (1), Garden Carpet (1), Common Marbled Carpet (7), Mallow (1), Brimstone Moth (9), Dusky Thorn (11), Willow Beauty (1), Ruby Tiger (1), Turnip Moth (2), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1), Large Yellow Underwing (20), Lesser Yellow Underwing (1), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (6), Small Square-spot (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (14), Square-spot Rustic (51), Common Wainscot (16), Deep-brown Dart (3), Black Rustic (20), Beaded Chestnut (15), Lunar Underwing (42), Centre-barred Sallow (9), Pink-barred Sallow (4), Sallow (3), Dusky-lemon Sallow (1), Old Lady (1), Angle Shades (1), Small Wainscot (1), Rosy Rustic (4), Scarce Bordered Straw (1), Burnished Brass (2), Straw Dot (2) & Snout (3).  Only Pandemis cinnamomeana and Dusky-lemon Sallow were new for the year, but it was good to see another Scarce Bordered Straw even if it was in somewhat less than pristine condition!  Square-spot Rustic seems to have had a late burst of activity here, this being the highest nightly count I've had all season. 

Scarce Bordered Straw, Westcott 24th September

I also took a couple of traps to Bernwood Forest last night for the usual three hour session but the results were quite poor in comparison (...and I got soaked there too!).  Brindled Green and Barred Sallow were first sightings for me this year but otherwise there was nothing of particular note amongst the macros.  I'd hoped to see Oak Lutestring which, oddly, I've never managed to find anywhere at Bernwood in nine consecutive years of regular recording at the site.  Once again it failed to appear, this despite the fact that Paul Waring trapped the moth in good numbers during 1984/85 when he was at Oxford Polytechnic and the habitat would seem still to be perfect for it.  There has only been one subsequent record at Bernwood and that was from a suspiciously early date in August 2006.  There's no shortage of recent Bucks sightings for the species, though, and it is still found in some of the other woodlands in the greater Bernwood area (Finemere Wood, for example).  Micros last night were in short supply but it was nice to see Zelleria hepariella as well as three examples of the uncommon aspen-feeding tortrix Epinotia maculana.

Epinotia maculana, Bernwood 24th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Longwick joins the Cypress Pug Club

Like Dave Ferguson in Beaconsfield I too saw my first Cypress Pug here in Longwick (Bucks) last night. Given I have Leylandii hedges I guess it was inevitable! Perhaps less so were the Magpie Moth and Fern which accompanied it?

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Cypress Pug

Cypress Pugs must be getting commoner if I can trap one in the garden. A garden (and life) first.

Dave Ferguson, Beaconsfield, Bucks

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A Later Marbled Beauty and a Not Sure Deep-brown Dart

At Linford Lakes last night these 2 turned up in a 40W Skinner type actinic.  I have noted the comments made earlier about this species thus the "Later"  in the title.  The Marbled Beauty is the latest that I have ever seen and quite a striking specimen.  I checked my records and I have 5 for September, 2 in 2006 and 3 in 2007 and the latest date being 11th September 2007.

                                                                 Marbled Beauty

The three of us at Linford Lakes this morning did wonder about this Deep-brown Dart as it was so unlike the Deep-brown Darts usually seen in this neck of the woods.  My Bucks list has Aporophyla lutulenta only so I assume that Aporophyla lueneburgensis,  the Northern Deep- brown Dart has not been recorded here.

                                                                 Deep-brown Dart?

Gordon Redford
Newport Pagnell

Micro ID advice needed

Last night's catch was pleasing with 127 moths of 30 species including my first Frosted Orange, Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and Beaded Chestnut of the year. Dozens of wasps and a hornet may well have reduced the catch judging by the debris in the bottom of the trap. (Thorns seem to be a particularly common prey). This micro has me puzzled. Possibly something in the Swammerdamia area but at 8mm in length and at this time of the year it seems unlikely?

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Caloptilia semifascia?

This mine was on a very small Field Maple leaf in our garden (Loosley Row, Bucks). Looking at the way it has been folded I think it's Caloptilia semifascia, help would be appreciated.

Two views of the leaf as found and one flattened out.


Maybe LEDs do work

This example of Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis found an interesting place to land indoors at Westcott overnight!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Friday, 22 September 2017


A couple of unusual things have appeared in the garden trap here over the last two nights.  The first was from Wednesday night, a miniature Flounced Rustic with a forewing length of only 12mm (about the same size as a Marbled Minor).

Flounced Rustic, Westcott 20th September

The second was a Common Pug which came to light last night.  July/August records of the species are quite regular, suggesting a second brood, but this seems very late indeed even for that.  Since the millennium there have been four other September records in Bucks, two in 2003 and two in 2009 (24th September 2009 from Loosley Row being the latest).

Common Pug, Westcott 21st September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Like London Buses... wait for ages then three come along at once.  I've never found Stigmella assimilella an easy leaf-mine to locate despite there being plenty of aspen locally.  A quick look at a young sapling on the old land-fill at nearby Woodham, Bucks early this afternoon produced the usual plethora of grazing signs everywhere but then I spotted the obvious mines below, three active ones on the same leaf:

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Just checking - Beaded Chestnut

Just checking this is a Beaded Chestnut, the first for the year.

The Black Rustics are out, so are the Brown-Spot Pinion and Lunar Underwings.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Hoary Footman

Amongst the moths attracted to our house lights (Loosley Row, Bucks) last night was this Hoary Footman. Quite a docile specimen, it sat perfectly still as I checked its hindwings.

Rammamere Heath, Bucks

Probably the final one of my monthly visits this season to Rammamere Heath on the Bucks/Beds border, a trip there last night produced just short of 40 species, none of them unexpected.  Only the one moth was worthy of comment:  Autumnal Rustic is not at all common in Bucks but last night it proved to be the most abundant species seen with 34 trapped altogether.

Autumnal Rustic, Rammamere Heath 20th September

Other species seen included Mallow, Feathered Thorn and Brown-spot Pinion, all of which were my first sightings for this year.

Feathered Thorn, Rammamere Heath 20th September

A Mallow appeared at Westcott last night too but unfortunately it had succumbed to a bat attack and the only evidence left for me to see was a single forewing.  It was one of 28 species attracted to the garden actinic light (in excess of 150 moths altogether), of which Deep-brown Dart and Beaded Chestnut were also new for 2017.  As is usual at this time of year, only about half of those moths actually entered the trap and the rest were found spread around the lawn.  Lunar Underwings, of which 31 were recorded, seem to be the most adept at hiding between blades of grass and can be particularly difficult to spot. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Willow Beauty larva?

I think this is a Willow Beauty larva, it was found crawling up our garage yesterday. Length is approx. 35mm.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Late Marbled Beauty

Although there was nothing new for the year, more than 80 moths of 26 species to the garden actinic trap last night seemed quite a good result considering that it rained until midnight then the temperature fell sharply under clear skies.  Rather unexpected was the Marbled Beauty below, which the books say flies in July and August, but on checking I see that there have been a good number of records throughout September in Bucks for well over a decade now and even one for October. 

Marbled Beauty, Westcott 18th September

The rest of last night's catch comprised Acleris variegana (1), Epiphyas postvittana (1), Celypha lacunana (1), Eudonia angustea (2), Common Marbled Carpet (3), Double-striped Pug (1), Brimstone Moth (7), Lilac Beauty (1), Light Emerald (3), Turnip Moth (1), Large Yellow Underwing (13), Lesser Yellow Underwing (3), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (4), Square-spot Rustic (8), Common Wainscot (3), Black Rustic (4), Lunar Underwing (13), Centre-barred Sallow (2), Sallow (3), Copper Underwing (1), Flounced Rustic (1), Dark Arches (1), Pale Mottled Willow (2) & Snout (2).  Further items new for the year over the previous couple of nights included Cypress Pug (17th) and Pink-barred Sallow (16th).

Pink-barred Sallow, Westcott 16th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Monday, 18 September 2017

New sightings in Speen

Last night I saw 2 yellow brimstones, a square spot rustic and a snout. But I think I also saw 2 eudonia angustias. They were less than a centimetre long. Please can someone confirm if I've got it right. Thanks.

Merton, Oxfordshire

Along with the usual early Autumn moths in the garden Skinner 2x30W Actinic trap last night, a Cypress Pug:

Query on a leafmine - Longwick

Ran the trap for the first time in a while last night with limited success. A rather battered acleris holmiana and a lilac beauty being the main points of interest in an otherwise hum drum collection of early autumn species.

However my query is this mine found this morning on jasmine. Of course it may not be lepidopterous but I couldn't see an obvious candidate

Friday, 15 September 2017

Westcott, Bucks

At last some ivy flowers have begun to open in the garden and at last a couple of the common autumn moth species have started to appear in the trap.  On Wednesday night I had my first examples of both Sallow and Lunar Underwing.  The Lunar Underwing was one of the typical grey examples, which are by far the most common form here, while last night a brown one turned up.

Sallow, Westcott 13th September

Lunar Underwing, Westcott 13th September

Lunar Underwing, Westcott 14th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Macro Moths

Is the Upper Thames Moth site sponsoring, or have any intention of sponsoring, anything in the new book which is due next year.
I notice that other groups seem to be doing so as ,of course, do individuals if they wish.

At last...Brown Spot Pinion

I think the first proper autumnal species here. Hopefully more to come but this year some regular moths have been entirely absent I think.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Macro ID help needed

The lack of markings on the first one has had me going round in circles. (length 18mm).
The second I thought might be a Pale Mottled Willow although I can't see any white spots around the kidney-mark. (length 14mm).
The final picture of a wasp/fly?? was from last week. Not something I have had in my trap before.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

another ClIfden Nonpareil

After two in 2015 in my garden in Henwick, Thatcham, and one in daylight on August bank holiday Monday this year another turned up tonight, so hopefully evidence of a local colony. I've noticed that they are reluctant  to to enter a trap, but prefer to perch outside, so perhaps a good idea to check around the trap now and again during these darker evenings.

More ID help please

I'd appreciate some help identifying these moths please. The first one looks a bit worn. I'm guessing that I might also have a fan-tail and maybe a wainscot. Thanks in anticipation.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Shaded Broad-bar? /Treble-bar

Seen while out walking today. Not typical. Any help,etc.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)