Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Westcott, Bucks

Further additions to the garden year-list here at Westcott have continued to creep in over the past week:

(14th) Paraswammerdamia nebulella, Pterophorus pentadactyla, Lackey, Buff Arches
(15th) Bryotropha terrella, Teleiodes vulgella, Ancylis achatana, Small Clouded Brindle, Rustic
(16th) Clepsis spectrana, Celypha striana, Hedya salicella, Dwarf Cream Wave, Common Footman, Clay
(17th) Archips crataegana, Gypsonoma minutana, Plain Golden Y
(18th) Mompha ochraceella, Cydia pomonella, Anania perlucidalis, Dingy Shears
(19th) Lyonetia clerkella, Prays fraxinella, Metzneria lappella, Cochylis nana, Ditula angustiorana, Orthotaenia undulana, Gypsonoma sociana, Gillmeria pallidactyla, Large Emerald, Scarce Footman, Yellow-tail, White Satin, Common Rustic agg.

On the 14th I also had the moth below which is probably just a lesser-spotted White Ermine but I'll get it checked for Water Ermine anyway because it was larger and sat "differently" to a normal White Ermine.

Archips crataegana appeared on both the 17th and 18th and is another first-timer for the garden.  As Andrew Kershaw said, the night of the 19th was quite good for micros and I had quite a reasonable selection of 40 different micro species here.  The garden list has now passed 300 moth species for the year, the earliest that has happened this decade apart from in 2017 when it occurred four days earlier.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Toadflax Brocade - the sequel

Having posted a picture of the Toadflax Brocade caterpillar last Sunday (the 7th) and said that no adults were about, I have now seen an adult - hanging on to a different purple toadflax plant in the garden. As it was swinging around in the breeze and not in a very convenient place to take an in situ photo, I potted it up, took its portrait, and then returned it to the plant.

On some adjacent vegetation in the same flower bed, I then found this Scarlet Tiger.

And I only went out in the garden to drink a cup of tea.
Steve Trigg, Cookham

An increase in micros plus a query - Longwick

Much better yesterday evening with four species of Hawk Moth and an increase in micros such as Anania's Perlucidalis and Coronata as well as Archips Xylosteana. However most interesting was a potential first for me and the garden in Shaded Pug - which hopefully can be confirmed from the rather rushed shot prior to rushing off to work!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Stoke Common specialists

Martin Albertini and I ran a handful of MV traps at Stoke Common again last night in the hope of getting Silvery Arches, a scarce priority noctuid which was last recorded at the site in 2015.  We did see the rather common Grey Arches, actually a species not reported here for 30 years, but that was as close as we got!  On the plus side, a pair of Rosy Marbled was very nice to see because, despite Stoke Common being perfect habitat for this diminutive tortrix look-a-like, the moth has not previously been recorded here. 

Rosy Marbled, Stoke Common 18th June

Amongst the other 150 or so species recorded were Anarsia spartiellaPempelia palumbella, Fox Moth (two females), Scallop Shell, Small Seraphim, Grass Wave, Barred Red, Bordered White, Red-necked Footman, True Lover's Knot, Minor Shoulder-knot, Suspected, Small Angle Shades, Scarce Silver-lines & Dotted Fan-foot.

Pempelia palumbella, Stoke Common 18th June

Bordered White, Stoke Common 18th June

Grass Wave, Stoke Common 18th June

Suspected, Stoke Common 18th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Peppered moth variant et al

Peppered moth f. insularia/ f.carbonaria

In either event, what is it doing in rural Oxfordshire?

Burnished brass

Lesser cream wave?

Willow beauty

Alan Diver

IDs and confirmations please.

I think I have

 Aleimna loeflingiana

Two Double Square-spots

Unknown micro - 2 pictures of same individual


Treble-bar or Lesser Treble-bar. The overall colouration is more like a Treble-bar but the size is perhaps indicates lesser. I've stared at various images of the inner bar - maybe lesser?

Eucosma metzneriana

This micro was in my garden trap on Sunday night, and looks to me like Eucosma metzneriana (fw length 9.5mm).

I had an example of this moth last year, on virtually the same date, which was verified by genitalia examination. Should I keep this specimen as well for checking?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Monday, 18 June 2018

Wildflower meadows near Quainton, Bucks

This afternoon, having checked that a Black Hairstreak colony still survives on a blackthorn copse along the boundary of some private wildflower meadows at Doddershall to the west of Quainton, I then spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the meadows themselves.  There seemed to have been a mass emergence of Six-spot Burnet with 135 counted in just a part of one of the three meadows and they included several mated pairs.  Forester (3, all very faded) and Silver Y (1) were also recorded.  Good to see that Forester is still present here because I failed to find it at the site last year.

Six-spot Burnet, Doddershall Meadows 18th June

Forester, Doddershall Meadows 18th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Numbers up in Longwick but lacking quality?!

The Moth weekend produced bigger numbers but nothing hugely exciting. I wish I had been at College lake rather than helping revise A-level business studies!

A few new for the year appearing such as nephopterix angustella, fanfoot, double square spot, dark arches, barred straw and common emerald and the always attractive epiblemma foenella.

A few queries, firstly perhaps a Pempelia sp ( I think I have had this before but it wasn't identifiable from photographs?), possibly a Eucosma Hohenwartiana and a scoparia possibly lacustrata?

Assistance very welcome!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Toadflax Brocade

I haven't recorded an adult Toadflax Brocade in my garden so far this year, but today I did find a couple of caterpillars on the purple toadflax.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Poplar kitten, barred yellow and pug

Poplar kitten

This and the barred yellow below just make my heart want to sing!

My life is in your hands DW. I'm stood on a chair with a rope round my neck.
If you tell me this is a common pug, I'm going to jump!!

Alan Diver

Saturday, 16 June 2018

House micro

Found this flying around in the house (Benson, OXON) today. It looks to me like a Metalampra italica. My internet searches indicate this is unusual so thought I had better check with others much more experienced than me. Grid squares are 2mm.

Two queries

Could I please have some advice on the following. The first following an early query - Eucosma?
The second found in the trap this morning.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

NMN event at College Lake, Bucks

Nick Bowles (BC) and Neil Fletcher (Bucks Invertebrate Group) led a very successful event for National Moth Night at BBOWT's flagship College Lake reserve in Bucks this morning which involved opening a number of moth traps in front of interested members of the public.  Five of us (Neil, Martin Albertini, Rob Payne, Gordon Redford and myself) left traps running at the site overnight on Friday and the combined result was well over 150 species and will be closer to 200 by the time pots have been inspected.  There were plenty of "crowd-pleasers", including a good selection of Hawk-moths (Privet, Lime, Eyed & Poplar, plus lots of Elephant & Small Elephant) and plenty of colourful and cryptic moths such as Buff Arches, Peach Blossom, Small Emerald, Barred Yellow, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Buff-tip, Bordered Sallow & Burnished Brass.  The Hawk-moths in particular provided no end of photo opportunities on an adjacent tree-trunk, that's when they weren't being man-handled by small children.  Good job they are so accommodating!

Pretty Chalk Carpet, College Lake

Bordered Sallow, College Lake

From my own point of view some of the "boring brown jobs" were just as interesting!  Wetland species included Clepsis spectrana, Calamotropha paludella (including a couple of the white form sporting black spots which are a feature of the colony here), Donacaula forficella, Schoenobius gigantella, most of the China-marks, Obscure Wainscot (15 of them in my own trap down in the reeds and it was present in most of the others too), Silky Wainscot & Dotted Fan-foot.  Amongst the others were a number of Elachistas which will require closer attention but one that could be identified straight away was the smart Elachista subocellea.   All in all a very worthwhile event with some interesting and useful records.

Elachista subocellea, College Lake

Obscure Wainscot, College Lake

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Two more micros

I think the first of these is Enarmonia formosana - certainly an attractive moth when examined closely. The second (images 2 and 3) looks a bit like Ancylis uncella but I may well be completely on the wrong track with this? Both about 9mm in length and caught last night. Confirmation/correction welcome.

I am not getting many moths around the trap at present and I am wondering whether the blackbirds are actually visiting during the night and not waiting until dawn to see what's for breakfast.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Marlow Bottom

15th June - I attracted 80 species to my garden trap last night. Nothing too unusual and nothing new, but it was pleasing to see two Great Oak Beauty along wit the more usual Willow, Mottled and Pale Oak Beauty. Both these moths were resting outside the trap on flower pots.

A single Archips crataegana was amongst the micros.

Rather fresh specimens of Fern and Toadflax Pug looked as though they had just emerged, whereas the two Mocha were showing signs of coming to the end of their first emergence and I always enjoy seeing Lilac Beauty. I have posted below an example of Treble Lines that I think is called ab. semifuscans. I don't remember seeing this form before, but may well have done as Treble lines is a common moth here. I have never had the dark form ab. obscura.

Adam Bassett

Friday, 15 June 2018

Gold spot etc

Gold spot

Ghost moth (Male)


Green oak tortrix

Beautiful plume?

Alan Diver