Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Lockdown Moths

At least the sunny days recently have encouraged a bit of moth activity (and, unfortunately, bat activity) here for the early part of each night.  However there has been little of interest amongst them since Shoulder Stripe and Early Thorn were added to the garden year-list on the 18th.  Each subsequent night the catch has been entirely of Orthosias, so last night I decided to try two lights for the first time this year but it didn't make much difference!  The MV managed 11 moths of six species but was still out-performed by the actinic which caught 21 moths of five species.  The only non-Orthosias were Diurnea fagella and Dotted Chestnut to the MV and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla to the actinic (a rather worn specimen but a garden year-list addition, 41st species for 2020 to date).

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Westcott 24th March

The adult macro-moth list for the garden currently stands at 27 species.  Looking back over the last 15 years, it means that 2020 currently lies in third place for the highest number of macros achieved here in the first quarter (the total reached 37 in both 2017 and 2019).  Hopefully something else will turn up before 31st March but I suspect that 3rd place is set in stone now!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Dave, it seems that the daytime weather is more important than I thought. I had a double-blank last Friday night after a grey, cool and windy day, but I also got a reasonable result on Tuesday night following the warm and sunny day and despite the temperature dropping rapidly after sunset. My actinic had 20 moths of 7 species: an Early Grey and an Agonopterix heracliana broke the Orthosia monopoly. The LED had 17 moths of 6 species, with the sole non-Orthosia being … Amblyptilia acanthadactyla! This was only the second example in two years. Indoors, I keep getting Mompha subbistrigella and Nemapogon cloacella, and I wasn't exactly excited yesterday when their monopoly was broken by Hofmannophila pseudospretella, aka the Brown House-moth.


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