Monday, 13 August 2018

Fen wainscot etc

Fen wainscot?

Alan Diver,

Black micro puzzle

May I ask for help with this rather sinister arrival? Many thanks in anticipation.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp

Sunday, 12 August 2018

A couple of moths for checking

I have a couple of moths from last night's garden trap that I would like to double-check. The first I think is a Common Wave (as opposed to a Common White Wave).

The second moth I thought might be a candidate for Agriphila selasella (as opposed to tristella). The forewing length was 12mm, smaller than the 2 tristella that were also in the trap.

Finally, if I could also add this rather tatty third individual. I am assuming Parapoynx stratiotata (Ringed China-mark)?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Micro queries

Please could somebody point me in the right direction for these two micros, in Garsington last weekend.

Many thanks,
Andrew Callender

Westcott, Bucks

In the warmer if rather damp conditions in the garden last night there was a recovery in overall moth numbers with just short of 200 individuals from 44 species.  Heart and Dart showed signs of action again with 27 of them coming to light, the first double-digit count here for a month.  Maybe it has been hiding away during the hottest of the weather, as happens annually to Large Yellow Underwing.  There was nothing new for the year, although Green Carpet and White-point put in their first second-brood appearances.  The biggest surprise was the salt-marsh species Ancylosis oblitella which came to light yet again, this time two of them of which one was very dark.  Pammene aurita was still around too, its eighth appearance here since 21st July having seemingly had a good season on our rather small sycamore.

Ancylosis oblitella (but see comments below), Westcott 11th August

Pammene aurita, Westcott 11th August

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Heart and Club vs. Turnip

At the moment I'm having  both species at the same time and with their large variance of colours am having some trouble telling the difference on some examples. Am I alone and is there a certain way to get it right?

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Vapourer moth and spider

Vapourer moth  on  plum leaf.

Do we have any arachnid specialists on board?
12cm leg tip to leg tip.

Alan Diver

Orange Sallow

It was another very poor night for moths in the garden last night but amongst them was this Orange Sallow, yet another very early moth.  For VC24 there are roughly 200 records of which only nine are from August (eight of them in the final week of the month) and this is now the earliest by more than a week.

Orange Sallow, Westcott 10th August
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Friday, 10 August 2018

Numbers Crash

Well, we do desperately need the rain.  Last night's garden collection comprised a meagre 42 moths of 22 species:  Orange Swift (1), Agapeta hamana (1), Celypha lacunana (1), Agriphila straminella (1), Agriphila tristella (7), Agriphila selasella (3), Blood-vein (1), Common Carpet (1), Currant Pug (1), Lesser Treble-bar (1), Brimstone Moth (1), Pale Prominent (1), Flame Shoulder (2), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (2), Feathered Gothic (1), Straw Underwing (9), Flounced Rustic (2), Cloaked Minor (2), Vine's Rustic (2) & Straw Dot (1).  Nothing there to shout about, although at least Feathered Gothic was new for the year.  Continuing the trend being followed by many other species it was early, in this case a week earlier than I've ever recorded it before.

Feathered Gothic, Westcott 9th August
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


New to posting on this blog...and testing it with a couple of micros I'm unsure about, maybe Aethes smeathmannia and Phtheochroa sodaliana ?? plus a possible Spruce Carpet? All trapped 5 August. Any advice gratefully received! Apologies for photos in pots, but with the lids off, and for quality of pics.
Merton, near Bicester

Phtheochroa sodaliana ?

Spruce Carpet?
Aethes smeathmannia?

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Small Ranunculus

A Small Ranunculus in my garden trap last night, only the second of these I have seen at this site, the previous one on 29 August 2013.

Richard Ellis

Thriving species

Like Dave, I am having a terrific number of Gold Spots this year, along with lots of Blood-veins, Thorns of the various sorts, Mother-of-Pearl micros (easily the most numerous) and Poplar Hawks. The latter made their debut on the night of 6/7 May this year and are still going strong - seven in the trap last night. Whether they are attracted by the careful little nests my granddaughter makes for them before release, is an open question.

Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Which pyrausta?

Are these both pyrausta, and if so, aurata? The first is from May and the second is from this week.

A few orange swifts have been visiting, plus straw spots, mother of pearl and brown house moths.

This is my first light brown apple moth.

Common carpet

Lesser yellow underwing (I think). I saw the yellow but couldn't photo it.

Is anyone else having trouble with hornets? They're forcing me indoors most evenings at the moment.  

Ermine problems

Can anyone suggest a species?  I was looking at Apple and Spindle...but the photo is not great and it then flew away!

Barnaby Briggs, Iver, Bucks

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Mini moths and ID's please

Can I first say how grateful I am for the patience and expertise of DW etc in responding to my posts.

There have been several posts about undersized 
moths this year. Here is an example, this
Beautifully marked, Blood vein, has only a FW
Of 12mm compared to expected 15/18.

Cloaked minor?

Least black arches?

Red-barred tortrix?

Struggling with this Pug? with a black tail
Checked with original, and it isn't a photographic apparition.

Alan Diver,

Two additions to Cookham garden list

I put my actinic light out in the garden last night, as opposed to the usual MV trap. I generally get slightly fewer moths with the actinic, but importantly some different moths as well.
Thus I was rewarded with 2 new moths for the garden list. The first was a Jersey Tiger (the yellow form lutescens) which has already appeared on this blog, so I won't add another photo. The second new moth was a Beautiful Yellow Underwing. This is a really lovely moth, as I hope the photo below shows.

The moth was a little camera shy when it came to displaying the yellow hindwings, but they can be seen in the shot below.

I thought I would also post a picture of the Blood-vein that appeared last night. I have never seen one before so pink in the lower half of the wings.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Westcott, Bucks

Last night's collection of garden moths comprised 470 individuals of 82 species and recent catches have been fairly similar with between 70 and 80 species depending on the number of micros around.  Most of the big numbers just now are coming from Brimstone Moth, Flame Shoulder, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Common Rustic agg. and Straw Dot.  Heart & Dart and Large Yellow Underwing are beginning to show evidence of emerging again following their summer break but I've seen no sign here yet of Square-spot Rustic (having said that it'll no doubt turn up tonight!).

The biggest surprise last night was a Sallow, ten days earlier than I found one in the Marsh Gibbon RIS trap last year and that was itself a remarkably early sighting.  It makes me wonder what, if anything, we'll be looking at when autumn really gets here!  Other moths new for the year were the dreaded Box-tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis, the migrant season's first Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella and a Hoary Footman.  I had another Ancylosis oblitella, the third since its appearance on 4th August, as well as a mini-invasion of Pyrausta purpuralis with nine trapped and another three found indoors.  I'm not entirely sure where they will have come from because although it is a garden regular the moth has never before appeared in those kind of numbers.  Stable-mate Pyrausta aurata breeds on our cat-mint and there were two of them in the trap last night too.  Flounced Rustic has appeared a few times already and I've included a photo of last night's fairly typical specimen below because this is another rather non-descript moth which can cause ID problems.  The black bar in the centre of the wing is generally the key thing to look for (although beware some forms of Common Rustic which can look similar).

Sallow, Westcott 7th August

Flounced Rustic, Westcott 7th August

Gold Spot continues to have an exceptional season here.  Unusually I had two first-brood sightings (10th and 13th June) then what I assume are now second brood specimens which have been seen nightly since 17th July.  As of last night I've had 84 individuals here including a couple of daytime sightings on the buddleia.  Not bad at all for a species that prior to 2018 wasn't seen here every year and hadn't ever got into double figures.

Gold Spot, Westcott 4th August

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks



A Tissue, new for me. Bigger than I thought they were, pictures I'd seen made it look like a browner version of a Yellow Shell.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Is this an alpinana?

I think this is Dichrorampha that right?

Barnaby Briggs, Iver, Bucks

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Another batch for IDs please

After successfully ID'ing all but one of my recent sightings in Speen yesterday, I have another batch that I haven't been able to identify at all and so I would appreciate some help.





But I'm very confident that this one is a Ruby Tiger!

Not Red, but Dark Crimson Underwing

I heard yesterday from Russell Ness who lives near the M4 junction 7 to the West of Slough.  He sent details of several recently-recorded species, including Jersey Tiger, Gypsy Moth, Oak Processionary, the pyrale Duponchelia fovealis but, best of all, on 5th August a Dark Crimson Underwing Catocala sponsa.

Whilst the site is a couple of hundred metres into modern Berkshire (Slough), it is in the Bucks vc24 recording area for which there is only one previous record of the species and that was in 1844 at Black Park just North of Slough.  In those days it was resident in a number of southern English counties, as well as being a suspected migrant. Today it is known to be resident in a few localities in Hampshire and Wiltshire as well as being a migrant. There have been a number of reports of suspected migrants along the South coast in recent weeks.  With the current weather (about to end) this could be either a true migrant or just a wanderer from established UK colonies.

It is only in the last few years that Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini has become established locally after having been a great rarity.  Could Dark Crimson Underwing be going the same way over the next few years?

Thanks to Russell for sending in his record and allowing his picture to be posted on the blog.

Dark Crimson Underwing 5th August (Russell Ness)
Martin Albertini
County Moth Recorder for Bucks

Ring any Belles?

May I just ask for help with this one. It looks Belle-ish or Barred Strawy but doesn't seem quite right.  Many thanks in advance   Martin Wainwright, Thrupp

Micro help please

hi, I think I may have

Eudonia lacustrata

Eudonia mercurella

swammerdamia pyrella - looks less coppery than brown at the wing tips

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Garsington, Oxford

Potential small plume

Potential small plume
FW circa 8mm

Hopefully clearer shots than my original post.

Alan Diver