Monday, 1 March 2021

Double-striped Pug?

Still February, just, but this beast was sunning itself on a window frame yesterday afternoon!

I'm guessing Double-striped, but please put me straight. If so, shouldn't be flying yet?

Thanks, David

Sunday, 28 February 2021



Sorry, this may be too big an ask but there are so few moths around here on these icy nights that I am keen to ID the ones which do brave the temperatures. Apologies for the quality of this image, shown at two different exposures, but it was taken at 11.30pm on the assumption that the moth would still be there in the morning. It wasn't. My guess would be Chestnut or Dark Chestnut but I would appreciate any advice, if possible.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Acleris spp. (again)

To add to the queries on over-wintering species of this genus (below), on a night earlier this month my garden light trap yielded the following two micros:

Moth 1 (left) with a forewing length of 8.5 mm has an elongated costal blotch (or two overlapping blotches), the outer getting close to the wing apex, and could therefore be A. schalleriana.

Moth 2 (fw 8 mm) with a narrower profile, a costal blotch with a central clear area, and a slightly reticulate wing appearance. This one I thought more likely to be A. ferrugana/notana.

Both moths have short raised scales in rows, on the inner margin of the blotch and elsewhere.  Pleased to have any comments.

John Thacker (Harwell, Oxon)

Agonopterix heracliana?

 It's looking a bit tired. I can't see any sign of pink. If it can't definately be ID's then I've retained it and it can go for the chop.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Acleris sp.

Friday night's haul was thin - just four moths of three species.  I suspect that the full moon and clear sky had an impact, as did the forced substitution of one of my lights, my actinic strip having been shattered on Wednesday night by an especially strong gust of wind acting on an inadequately-secured trap.  While I'm waiting for a replacement light to arrive, I used a 40W U-shaped fluorescent light last night, but I think it doesn't give out much UV.

The March Moths and the Common Quaker were quickly written down, which left me with the micro below to scratch my head over. Initially, I was wondering if it was Acleris hastiana or A. cristana.  A look at Sterling & Parsons and at MBGBI eliminated cristana.  The location and size of scale tufts are a factor; hence the approximately side-on photo (taken in the lid of one of the few pots that I haven't cleaned since last year!).

I find that the ability to search this blog is really useful (top-left corner on the desktop version; unfortunately absent on the mobile version).  When I searched it for A. hastiana, I came across Dave's post of 16th December about a possible A. hastiana or A. umbrana, with Martin T's comment pointing towards A. schalleriana, which I hadn't considered.

Further research does suggest to me that "my" moth is A. schalleriana, but searching this blog for that species brought up my post of 5th October last year in which I had misidentified a moth as A. schalleriana which was really A. variegana.  Most examples of A. schalleriana have a notable trianglar mark on the costa, but they can be obscure, which is certainly the case here.  Incidentally, while writing this entry this evening, I decided that I needed to re-take the top-down photo to better show the triangular mark, so the photo below is in artificial light.

The forewing length is 9mm, which puts it precisely in the overlap between schalleriana and hastiana.  I'm definitely leaning towards schalleriana, but it might be hastiana, so perhaps I should get it dissected.  Either of those species would be new for the garden list.

Tim Arnold
Newton Longville, Bucks

Friday, 26 February 2021

Westcott, Bucks

In direct contrast to the previous week, this seven-day period has been quite good in the garden, in fact better than is usual for this time of year.  Last Friday (19th) produced my first Clouded Drab of the season, albeit one with a mal-formed forewing although that didn't seem to affect its ability to fly.  On Saturday night five species came to the light, including Acleris hastiana and Satellite, while on Sunday there were nine species including another example of Acleris hastiana as well as Emmelina monodactyla, Dotted Border and Hebrew Character which were new for the year.  The two pictures below give an indication of just how variable Acleris hastiana can be.  There are many more forms, some of them actually quite colourful (in contrast to these two!).   

Acleris hastiana, Westcott 20th February

Acleris hastiana, Westcott 21st February

Monday night (22nd), when it was cooler and very windy, ended up being a blank for moths but they re-appeared each subsequent night with numbers of the three most common Orthosia species (Common Quaker, Clouded Drab & Hebrew Character) showing signs of an increase.  Wednesday night was actually quite good with eight species altogether, including garden year-list additions Acleris kochiella, Tortricodes alternella and Silver Y.  The Silver Y was the only sign of any migration here during the recent period of southerly winds. 

Silver Y, Westcott 24th February

Last night (Thursday 25th) it turned rather cooler again but, as is often the case, those few hours after sunset came up trumps before the temperature dropped too far.  Four species appeared, of which Agonopterix alstromeriana was new for the year here.  The list now stands at 26 species (15 macros).

Agonopterix alstromeriana, Westcott 25th February

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks  

Thursday, 25 February 2021

ID Confirmations please

 First good night this year. Only 5 moths  but it feels like a good start.

First moth I saw was a particularly smart Satellite


Second out of the gate was what I think is a Small Quaker


 And then what I assume is a sooty looking Spring Usher

 Inside the trap was this Chestnut. The clear black & white edging suggests a Dark Chestnut rather than Chestnut, but I wonder if this one is actually an early dark Red Chestnut?

The final moth was a standard looking Hebrew Character.

Other than the Satellite I'd appreciate some definate IDs.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Dark Chestnut or just a dark Chestnut?

 This somewhat tatty individual in my trap last night. What do people think?

Dave Morris

Seer Green

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Pale Pinion

 First of year in Sherington 

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Today (Tuesday 23th Feb) in my garden in Berghers Hill South Bucks feeding on daphne. Did it overwinter?