Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Esperia sulphurella

Surprised to find an Esperia sulphurella in my garden trap this morning.  I've not seen one in February before.  The photo is not so good but I think you can make out the white rings half way along the antennae.

Others in the trap were Common Quaker and Acleris cristina (both firsts for the year) and a Chestnut.

Richard Ellis

Monday, 18 February 2019

Woodland moths

I took an MV trap to Shabbington Wood in Bernwood Forest for a few hours last night but it probably wasn't worth the effort due to the lack of promised cloud cover, that bright full moon and mist which formed when the temperature plummeted.  Just eight species came to light and Spring Usher was the only one to appear in the expected numbers:  Tortricodes alternella (35), Small Brindled Beauty (34), Pale Brindled Beauty (26), Oak Beauty (2), Spring Usher (170), Dotted Border (14), Common Quaker (5) & Chestnut (3).  The Spring Usher total included five females (quite variable in their markings) which I found underneath the sheet at packing up time, while the Dotted Border total included a mated pair.

Small Brindled Beauty, Shabbington Wood 17th February

Spring Usher female, Shabbington Wood 17th February

Spring Usher female, Shabbington Wood 17th February

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Tinea sp

This tineid appeared in the house today. I get quite a few T.pellionella, mainly in the summer months, but this seemed slightly different in that it was obviously quite big c10mm in length. Also, when potted, it was much less active than T.pellionella normally is here (maybe because it's colder?). I took a record shot, but managed to drop the specimen behind the radiator, so am waiting for it to reappear to pot up for Peter.

Could it be T. pallescentella based on size, or can T. pellionella get this big? The wing also looks more mottled than I am used to seeing on pellionella.

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Sunday, 17 February 2019

This week's garden records

No surprises, but here at Westcott moths (plural) have continued to appear at the conservatory windows each night over the past week, brought to them by the actinic light being run indoors.  The week's total has comprised Agonopterix heracliana (9), March Moth (2), Pale Brindled Beauty (9), Oak Beauty (1), Spring Usher (5), Dotted Border (2), Early Moth (5), Common Quaker (1) & Chestnut (1).  The Oak Beauty on Friday night and Common Quaker last night were firsts for the year.  Oak Beauty doesn't appear annually here and this is my first ever February garden record (out of just over 30 over the years), but it can be out at any time from January onwards in local woodland.

Oak Beauty, Westcott 15th February

Common Quaker, Westcott 16th February

Another tiny (2mm) Nepticulid was found wandering around on a window indoors yesterday and it looks as though it may be a different species to the one found in similar circumstances on 6th February.  I'm intrigued to know what it is and where it might have come from, especially at this time of year.  I haven't retained any leaf mines indoors this winter and there have been very limited opportunities for anything to fly into the house from outdoors, so perhaps it has emerged from cut flowers or pot plants.  We'll see. 

Nepticulid sp., Westcott 16th February

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Westcott, Bucks

Things are still ticking over here, probably more so than usual for February even though we've had some poor weather.  Last night's collection of moths brought to the conservatory windows by the twin-30wt actinic light was fairly typical and comprised March Moth (1, first of the year here), Pale Brindled Beauty (3), Spring Usher (1), Dotted Border (1) & Early Moth (2).  Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher are both having their best winter ever here.  None of the Orthosia species has been seen yet but I'm sure they'll start arriving soon enough.  Micros have been in short supply with only Ypsolopha ustella and Agonopterix heracliana putting in appearances so far, but I did find a tiny Nep (wing length only 2mm, so not the best of pictures below) wandering around indoors on our bathroom window a couple of days ago.  That could prove interesting and is the first moth of 2019 potted up for Peter Hall to dissect so I should find out what it is in about a year's time! 

March Moth, Westcott 9th February

Nepticulid sp., Westcott 6th February

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Friday, 8 February 2019

Oak Beauty & Dotted Border

The garden actinic light attracted 5 moths last night. 3 Pale Brindled Beauty, and 2 new additions for 2019 - 1 Oak Beauty and 1 Dotted Border.

Oak Beauty - Cookham 07-Feb-19

Dotted Border - Cookham 07-Feb-19
Meanwhile, Early Moth continues to avoid my garden. I have only ever recorded two, both in February 2017.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Clouded Drab

Just started putting out the trap again, not much, a couple of Pale Brindled Beauties yesterday, this morning a Clouded Drab.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Back to the Moths...

After a warmish day which saw off the last of the snow, it was highly likely that the first part of last night would produce something before the temperature hit zero degrees again, so I ran the twin-30wt light inside our conservatory.  Sure enough, the moths started to appear at the windows soon after dark and by 10pm I'd had Pale Brindled Beauty (11), Spring Usher (1) & Chestnut (1) along with ichneumonid wasp Ophion obscuratus (1).  The only subsequent additions during the night were further singletons of Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher to give a final total of 15 moths - not a bad result in the garden after two weeks off, even if there was nothing new for the year.

Westcott, 4th February
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks