Thursday, 31 July 2014

Westcott, Bucks

The garden trap here is continuing to perform really well with around 120 species per night even though the night-time temperatures have cooled down a little.  The smart red micro Zelleria hepariella was added to the year list on 27th July followed by Ypsolopha horridella, Acleris emargana, Bordered Beauty & Small Rufous on 28th July and Eulamprotes atrella, Aproaerema anthyllidella, Cochylis dubitana, Agapeta zoeganaUdea lutealis, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla & Bordered Pug on 30th July.  The Bordered Pug is the first I've seen in the garden since 2006 (if only all worn pugs were as easy to identify!).

Zelleria hepariella, Westcott 27th July

Small Rufous, Westcott 28th July 
Bordered Pug, Westcott 30th July

In contrast to the garden, trapping sessions in local woodland over the past week or so have been very poor and the "late-Summer lull" is definitely under way there.  For example, a three-hour session with a single MV trap in Bernwood Forest last night (30th July) produced only 31 macro species.  There was far more micro activity, with Carcina quercana, Pandemis corylana, Agriphila straminella and Phycita roborella around in some numbers, but again little of any great interest amongst the 40 or more species recorded.  Just about the most exciting thing in the trap (apart from the 10 hornets...) was the aberrant example of Pandemis corylana illustrated below which had no markings at all!

Aberrant Pandemis corylana, Bernwood Forest 30th July

Dave Wilton


A thorny question

As well as Dusky Thorns in my garden trap this week, I also had the 2 individuals below. I believe the first is an August Thorn (quite orange in colour and the wings held at a shallow angle), while the second is a September Thorn (paler in colour and the wings held at a steeper angle). Confirmation would be very helpful.

In addition, I would be grateful for help with the moth below. The forewing measures 17mm, and I thought perhaps Dusky Brocade?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bradenham, Bucks

Yesterday a concerted effort was made to re-find the rare plume moth Oxyptilus pilosellae which came to one of my traps on the National Trust estate here at this time last year, that being its first sighting anywhere in the UK since 1964.  Martin Albertini, Peter Hall and I, accompanied by plume expert Colin Hart, searched the area unsuccessfully during the afternoon but we did also take the opportunity to look for Striped Lychnis larvae.  In excess of 170 were counted, which is quite a good result for the site, although a few were found to be carrying the eggs of a parasite as can be seen in the picture below.

Parasitized Striped Lychnis larva at
Bradenham, picture taken by Peter Hall

In the evening we were joined by Mark Telfer and a number of MV lights were run across the site.  The target moth did eventually put in an appearance with three males being caught, which was a very pleasing result.  Other noteworthy species seen included Acompsia schmidtiellus, Pempeliella dilutella, Royal Mantle, Beech-green Carpet, Jersey Tiger, Square-spotted Clay, Rosy Minor and Tree-lichen Beauty.

Dave Wilton
Jersey Tiger at Bradenham, picture taken by Peter Hall

Oxyptilus pilosellae at Bradenham,
picture taken by Peter Hall

IDs + question on Privet Hawk

The question re Privet Hawk is that I had several in the garden - I have Privet and Lilac - I probably need to trim the privet that I've let grow and flower - I don't want to accidently remove eggs or larvae - are the ylarge enough now to see or should I leave it for a few weeks before hand pruning the privet?

IDs for today, I think I have;

Blastobasis decolorella
Bulrush Wainscot
Caloptilia syringella

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Another Tree-lichen Beauty

The range of Tree-lichen Beauty continues to expand with one in our Beaconsfield garden this morning. Interestingly, as with Barnaby Briggs's observation, it was on the outside of the trap.

Limnaecia phragmitella

I've identified this moth as Limnaecia phragmitella, seems to be a long way from home if so as there aren't many bullrushes in central Aylesbury. Can anyone confirm this ID please?

Ryan Clark, Aylesbury

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

For ID / Confirmation Please

From the last few days.

The first I think must be a Mother of Pearl but i didn't realise they could be so yellow?

Gold Triangle
Honeysuckle Moth
Couldn't find the next one (2 pics)
I noticed one of the Scarce Footman looked very grey and wondered if it might be a Hoary Footman - however the yellow margin to the wing and the likelihood the underwing is straw seeing as the underside of the hindwing is orange - puts it as a Scaerce Footman, yes?
Small Rivulet

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford


These two large pugs came to the house lights (Loosley Row, Bucks) on the 19th July. I keep going back to them but cannot come to a satisfactory ID. I don't think they're Freyer's as the discal spot is normally touching or very close to the fascia beyond it in that species, whereas here there is a noticable space between the two.

Best guess at the moment is Pimpinel . . .


Monday, 28 July 2014

For confirmation/ ID

From last night, I think I have;

Agriphila tristella
Catoptria falsella
Copper Underwing - I'm assuming I'll need to record this as Copper Underwing ag?
Pine Carpet
Sallow Kitten
Yellow Barred Brindle
Aspilapteryx tringipennella

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Trap Envy

I've very envious of Steve and Xander's 400+ catch at Wolvercote over the weekend. A mile or so south of there here in central Oxford things have been rather quiet with only four New for Year moths achieved, namely Shaded Broad-bar, Broad-barred Yellow Underwing, Acrobasis advenella and Euzophera pinguis. I do have a couple of queries which could well also be year ticks if they prove to be what I think they are.

The first I'm thinking is Bryotropha domestica and the second I'm thinking is Parornix scoticella judging by its white palps and tuft.

Adam Hartley

Bryotropha domestica?
under-exposed Parornix scoticella?...
...and over-exposed Parornix scoticella?

A few longer shots

As usual from the last few nights in Wolvercote (like various others, we haven't been able to resist putting the trap out every night), a few species we haven't been able to place to any degree - any help with them would be much appreciated. The first may be Acleris aspersana, the second a notably small pug (forewing about 8mm); then there are a couple of unknown micros, and a possible Elachista species. All help much appreciated. Steve and Xander Goddard.

Possible Acleris aspersana, 26/7/14 
Small mystery pug, 26/7/14

Unknown micro, 24/7/14

Possible Elachista, 27/7/14

Unknown micro, 27/7/14

Large catches

Although a few of the recent catches in Wolvercote, Oxon, have been a bit smaller than I'd have expected, Saturday night's was a record-breaker for us, with over 400 individuals of over 80 species: there were large numbers on plants around the trap in the morning (the birds can't have been concentrating) and some interesting individual records - notably six Maiden's Blushes, a species of which we've only had singles on two occasions last year (there were none in the trap last night, so it was presumably a hatch or an influx of some sort). Metalampra italica  has shown up once or twice, too.

Maiden's Blush, 26/7/14
As ever, we have some uncertainties, mainly in the micro department, and we'd be grateful for any help with them. First up, a couple of macros which I think are Wormwood Pug and a female Bulrush Wainscot; what I think may be a Eudemis profundana, which was about 8mm long (the colour patterns seem about right, but the colours not quite); what might be a Eudonia pallida (but equally may just be a not-very-clearly-marked mercurella); and a possible Borkhausenia fuscescens. Do those look about right? Steve and Xander Goddard.

Possible Wormwood Pug, 24/7/14

Presumed female Bulrush Wainscot, 25/7/14

Possible Eudemis profundana, 26/7/14
Possible Eudonia pallida, 26/7/14
Possible Borkhausenia fuscescens, 24/7/14

Clematella season

Described as widespread and locally common, I think the rather attractive micro Nemapogon clematella is probably under recorded.  Certainly there were fewer records in Bucks than you might expect last time I was informed.  I get it quite regularly this time of year, but nearly all my records are from inside the house - there were 2 yesterday, 1 in the bedroom and 1 in the lounge.  Living next to a wood helps, as the larvae feed on wood fungus and rotten wood:

Another widespread moth that appeared at my porch light this week was this rather fresh looking second generation White-spotted Pug, included here because I thought it was a nice looking example:

Adam Bassett, Marlow Bottom

Sunday, 27 July 2014

ID Confirmations please

From this morning. I think I have;

Dark Fruit Tortrix
 a worn pug - these have started to appear - all are worn(?) - I've not seen a pristine one at all
Eudonia mercurella x 2
Red Twin Spot Carpet
Shaded Broad Bar
Trinia trintotella (2 pics)
Argyresthia goedartella
Dark Sword grass
Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner - this one drove me crazy, it was tiny, about 3mm long and it would not sit still so I had to take photos blind and hoped that one would come out ok.

Mark griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.