Sunday, 20 October 2019

Penn Wood, Bucks

Following on from Martin Harvey's post below about caterpillars found on beech yesterday, we did indeed record a good selection of lepidoptera leaf-mines (along with numerous other invertebrates of various life stages) even though Penn Wood certainly isn't the most diverse woodland in the county, has little in the way of under-storey and contains rather too many non-native species!  A full list has yet to be compiled but illustrated below is a small selection from those mines which I brought home to photograph for one reason or another.

Stigmella microtheriella mines, Penn Wood 19th October

Stigmella microtheriella mines, Penn Wood 19th October

The above was obviously a highly favoured hazel leaf when the female moth came to lay her eggs.  I wonder if these two larvae have a chat on their way past each other?!  Shown below are an active mine on hawthorn and a vacated mine on rowan.

Stigmella perpygmaeella mine, Penn Wood 19th October

Stigmella nylandriella mine, Penn Wood 19th October

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Summer moths for ID

Sadly I've got really behind with ID'ing moths from the photos that I took in late July / early August. I'd appreciate some help with these.









Thanks, Jacqui
Speen, Bucks

Caterpillars on Beech

We had a very enjoyable trip to Penn Wood with the Bucks Invertebrate Group this morning, in gorgeous sunshine and good company. The focus was on leaf mines, and I expect that Neil Fletcher and Dave Wilton will have a good long list to report. A couple of caterpillars on Beech were also found.

A caterpillar of Ancylis mitterbacheriana (Red Roller) had completely folded over a Beech leaf and sealed it well with silk. The caterpillar hiding inside was well marked with spots and patterns around the head.

Pairs of overlapping Beech leaves stuck together with silk, and showing brown feeding blotches, were the signs for another tortrix moth, Strophedra weirana (Little Beech Piercer).

Friday, 18 October 2019

Cnephasia genitalana & Depressaria douglasella

Just had a small batch of moths ID'd by Peter Hall. Two according to the micro moth book are interesting

Cnephasia genitalana 25/8/2019

Depressaria douglasella  3/9/2019

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Confirmations & a Clifden Nonpareil

Small but interesting catch last night.

I think I have a Beaded Chestnut and then a Chestnut rather than a Dark Chestnut (wing shape and no grease). Can someone confirm or correct?

More obvious was a very sleepy Clifden. I think this is the latest I've caught one. Also a Feathered Thorn.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Scarce Bordered Straw

A Scarce Bordered Straw in the trap here last night, also a Silver Y, otherwise just the usual suspects, total 37 moths of 14 species:

Richard Ellis

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Feathered Thorn

Somewhat later than I might usually have expected it, Feathered Thorn finally put in an appearance in the garden last night.  20 other species joined it in the trap, comprising Agonopterix alstromeriana (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Red-green Carpet (2), November Moth sp (2), Green-brindled Crescent (3), Barred Sallow (1), Pink-barred Sallow (1), Sallow (3), Beaded Chestnut (1), Red-line Quaker (2), Brick (1), Lunar Underwing (4), Dark Chestnut (1), Blair's Shoulder-knot (1), Merveille du Jour (2), Deep-brown Dart (1), Black Rustic (5), Large Yellow Underwing (11), Lesser Yellow Underwing (1) & Setaceous Hebrew Character (3). 

The overall counts of both species and moths were roughly the same the previous night, with numbers significantly reduced now, but different species present then were Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Epiphyas postvittana, Acleris rhombana, Common Marbled Carpet, Silver Y, Pale Mottled Willow, Chestnut, Satellite, Brindled Green & Square-spot Rustic so there's still a fair bit around.  No real sign of any migration here, though!

Feathered Thorn, Westcott 15th October
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Migrants still despite the weather

I turned on the trap here in Longwick last night almost by accident in that I had to make an unexpected visit to the shed and decided to switch on the trap for a few hours before bed as it wasn't actually pouring with rain. When I went to turn it off imagine my surprise to see a pristine Vestal sat on the trap! Needless to say I left the trap on but added only one Beaded Chestnut, three Green Brindled Crescent, a Large Yellow Underwing and what is probably only a battered Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing - but I will check!

So things are still flying out there!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

A leaf mine query from Longwick

Given the rain I had a scout around the garden for leaf mines today and came across these two on a dwarf maple of some description ( its dwarf because I keep cutting it down!). Looking at the mine keys I assumed they were stigmella mines but the options on maple were limited and the ones I found looked closer to illustrations of aceris than speciosa - which seemed unlikely! I'm guessing there is another option perhaps from sycamore ? Interested in peoples thoughts.

Westcott, Bucks

Despite some soggy egg-boxes it has been worthwhile continuing to run the garden actinic trap over this very wet weekend.  There has been nothing new for the year-list since those mentioned in Friday's post but there have been one or two things of interest.  My second Heart & Dart of the month was one.  A check of the Bucks database shows a dozen previous October sightings for the species (in 1990/95, 2003/05/06/07/17) but in the context of some 11,000 records that's a tiny number.  The moth is double-brooded but the first normally fades away in August and the much smaller second brood usually comes and goes in September.

Heart & Dart, Westcott 11th October

Another new species for the season has been Dotted Chestnut.  It first appeared at Westcott in 2006 but has been a guaranteed annual visitor only since 2015.  Sightings here are almost invariably in the spring after hibernation (two visited during March this year) and this is only my third autumn record. 

Dotted Chestnut, Westcott 11th October

Now that Black-spotted Chestnut has found its way into the county, hopefully it won't be too long before that species joins the garden list as well.

Last night (12th) I had my first example this year of the dark form of Green-brindled Crescent (form capucina) which has no green brindling on it at all.  It is quite common and at first glance could be confused with other dark species which are around at the moment, but the white crescent marking two-thirds of the way along the rear of the forewing is usually quite noticeable.

Green-brindled Crescent f. capucina, Westcott 12th October

Green-brindled Crescent f. capucina, Westcott 12th October
Mallow continues to astound me this year and I've now had 32 individuals since the first on 21st September.  This includes three which appeared last night, comprising two in one piece and the third as a set of four wings on the patio thanks to our bat population.  My previous highest yearly count was just three, achieved in each of 2010/13/15/17/18, and there have been several years when I've not seen it at all.  I know that one of our neighbours has been growing hollyhocks this year and long may he continue to do so!  This is one of the food-plants used by Mallow and could well be the reason why they've suddenly increased in numbers.  In addition I had numerous examples of Pexicopia malvella (the Hollyhock Seed Moth) to light this summer which I assume will have come from the same source.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks