Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Brindled Green and Sallow

No blue wonders here in Cookham. Last night's garden trap yielded 44 moths of just 12 species, with Lunar Underwing by far the most numerous (20).
However, there were 2 new for year species, a Brindled Green and a Sallow.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Another Blue Wonder

Barry Murrer had a very active Clifden Nonpareil in his garden north of Thatcham, Berks last night.  Unfortunately it had escaped by this morning so the only record is the hasty phone-camera shot below from about 9pm, before it was coaxed inside the trap, but there's no doubt about what it shows! 


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Red-line, Yellow-line...

There's been nothing much to report from the garden at Westcott, Bucks over the past week (apart from a lack of moths!).  However, both Red-line Quaker and Yellow-line Quaker appeared last night amongst a catch of 65 moths from 13 species.

Dave Wilton

Yellow-line Quaker & Red-line Quaker, 28th September

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Loosley Row, Bucks

Only seven species to the trap last night but Small Wainscot is a new one for the garden.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Caterpillar ID

I found this Caterpillar while gardening today, it was on a blade of grass right near Willow-herb and Salvia one of which is probably more likely what it would eat. Think it may be a Pug, possibly Lime-speck? would be grateful for a definite ID and what it eats.
Not much else happening here in MK, species wise struggling to get 8-12 per night. NFY's this week Large Ranunculus and Deep-brown Dart (20th) and Pink-barred Sallow (22nd). Pink-barred is apparently having a good year, its my first here since Oct 2012.

Also this well-marked Lunar Underwing, not seen one like this before.
Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes.

Pale Mottled Willow?

This is a species I've had problems with in the past - it usually is partially hidden and I fail to get it out of the trap to photograph properly.

Has the black costa markings and a hite of white in the kidney spots.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

If a job's worth doing!

Temp. down to 6.2 last night - 101 moths of 16 species for the GMS. First Barred Sallow of the year with LYU still leading up here. To complete the collection this little fellow which may or may not be positively identified. FW9mm and Crambidae family?. Thanks for any help.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Friday, 25 September 2015


Can anyone kindly identify this unhelpful little chap? I tried for a better picture but he or she fluttered away?  Many thanks in anticipation. Now back to waiting for a Clifden Nonpareil.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Red-necked Footman larva

I've recently received the picture below from Jon Clifton who photographed it near Halton, Bucks in early September.
They tend to feed on lichens on trees and should be about for a couple more weeks before pupating.  So with fewer moths in traps to identify, spend your time looking for larvae.

Thanks to Jon for supplying the picture.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Dropping right off

Down to 3 or 4 species now so thought I would look at a micro which I normally ignore. This looks a bit like the picture of Eudonia angustea. can it be confirmed by photo?

Also I guess these two will be Lunar Underwings but thought I would check?

Tom Stevenson, Benson

BSK and Chestnut

Loaded with an unusual sense of enthusiasm and optimism following the recent records of Clifden Nonpareil locally I decided to run my September survey at Bagley Woods last night where this time last year it was also the scene of this glorious moth. However, despite a pair of Red Underwings which might have initially got my heart racing if they hadn't been fully displayed from the start, I was to have no further record this year. In fact, despite the cloudy and warm night which partly caused my misplaced optimism, there were very moths in total. New for the season were Blair's Shoulder-knot and Chestnut and it was nice to see 6 Frosted Orange (5 in one trap) - a moth I rarely catch more than one of two of in a night. Sallow species were notable by their absence with only a single Pink-barred and a single Barred among the catch. Marc Botham, Didcot

Frosted Oranges, Bagley Woods 23-09-15

Grey Dagger larva

Yesterday whilst looking for brown hairstreak eggs, I spotted this Grey Dagger larva basking in the sun on a blackthorn twig at Gosford, near Kidlington.  It was about 15mm long.  Also there were seven blue-bordered carpet eggs - two doublets and a triplet - but no brown hairstreak eggs sadly.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Westcott, Bucks

The night of the 20th brought 290 moths of 28 species to the garden, while the previous four nights had delivered a further 22 different species, so there are still plenty of moths out there waiting to be caught if only the temperature would hold up sufficiently.  New for the garden year list on the 20th were Cypress Pug and Dusky-lemon Sallow, while last night (22nd) saw the addition of Barred Sallow.  Bucks has fewer than 20 previous records for Cypress Pug.  The moth has been around as an adventive species for quite a while now (and there is certainly no shortage of leylandii for its larvae to feed on), so it seems odd that it is still quite scarce locally.

As usual, Lunar Underwing is trying its level best to become the year's most abundant garden moth. More than 600 have been recorded here over the past two weeks and I should get plenty more before its season comes to an end in late-October. 

Cypress Pug, 20th September

Dusky-lemon Sallow, 20th September

Barred Sallow, 22nd September
Dave Wilton

A Bucks blue

During the night of 17 September 2015  Alan and Juliet Gudge at Frieth had a Clifden Nonpareil (Catocala fraxini) to their garden moth light.  The slight delay in reporting this is because Alan wanted to check that a local butterfly breeder, who also releases, hadn't reared any Clifden Nonpareils.  Luckily it turns out that they don't breed moths.

I believe this to be the fifth Bucks record.  The first was at what is now Cliveden Estate (formerly Clifden) near Taplow in the 1700s and supposedly the first British record.  The next three were from 2013 &14 at Dinton and Princes Risborough in 2013 and Turville Heath in 2014.  These three and the Frieth one are all within a circle of approximately 10km diameter.  Could they be established locally?

Thanks to Alan for supplying the information and picture

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Autumnal Mix

Unfortunately the Black Rustic got away so it had to be a power trio, Beaded Chestnut (first this year), Brown-spot Pinion (first this year) and Lunar Underwing.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Mark's Wainscot

As a comment to Mark's blog posts on the wainscot which he found to have very dark coloration on further inspection, here is a Common Wainscot I caught at Lonesome farm, Benson in 2012 that was clearly some aberrant form, showing this dark coloration on the underside. Marc Botham

Monday, 21 September 2015

Nature imitating Art

The moths here have clearly been reading the blog. This Black Rustic and Deep Brown Dart shared an eggbox overnight and thoughtfully arranged themselves for my morning inspection in just the manner of Dave's educational post last week.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

White-point to White-speck

Having had my first White-point for the house here in Longwick on Monday last week, Friday evening provided my first White-speck for the site.

Update and LYU

241 Moths last night of 21 species. My first Orange Sallow, 2 Black Rustic ,2 Rush Veneer and a Dark Sword-grass. First Large Ranunculus on the18th. Last nights total included 179 LYU, I seem to get very large totals in my actinic- over 300 on occasion. Is there any particular reason why my  garden seems to hold such large quantities of this particular moth?.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Incomparable in West Oxfordshire

Yesterday morning (19th September) I had an early call from Martin Corley, a veteran moth'er who lives just 15 minutes from me.  He told me that for the first time in all his decades of running moth traps on his farm at Littleworth, near Faringdon, that a Clifden Nonpareil had flown in and would I like to come and see it?  It was great to share this arrival with Martin as he had never seen one in this country.  Sorry about the fuzzy photo but like us, the moth was all of a flutter - please note that Martin was wearing a matching sweater.  He is wondering if the species may be breeding locally - only time will tell.

Meanwhile, I have to be satisfied with some lovely autumn moths, Canary-shouldered Thorns, Beaded Chestnuts, Lunar Underwings and Brown-spot Pinions here in Bampton, along with dozens of Large Yellow Underwings.

Mary Elford

Still they come

A small note and a small picture, just to bear out Dave's comment on my last post that good things are still to be expected. The Sallow and the Bordered Beauty - lovely moth! - are both new for me this year.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Westcott, Bucks

New for the garden year list over the last week have been Orange Sallow, Sallow & Svensson's Copper Underwing (all 13th) and Mallow & Beaded Chestnut (both 16th).  Lunar Underwing has taken over as 'top dog' in the trap and numbers of both Large Yellow Underwing and Square-spot Rustic have started to tail off.  Last night's collection to the actinic comprised 157 moths of 23 species which seems a fairly typical result now.  They included my tenth Red Underwing of the year and a slightly different form of Red-green Carpet.

Orange Sallow, 13th September

Mallow, 16th September

Red-green Carpet, 18th September

Some local woodland trapping last night didn't produce all that much although five examples of Buff Footman after an absence of several weeks was a little unusual and suggestive of a second brood (Marc Botham and I had one on 23rd October last year).  Epinotia trigonella, Vapourer and Small Wainscot were nice to see amongst the more regular species, while the only moth to get into double figures was Eudonia truncicolella which seems to be appearing everywhere that I trap at the moment.  For the benefit of Mark Griffiths (see below) I've just taken a quick happy-snap of one of the Small Wainscots, admittedly a rather heavily marked example.

Small Wainscot, 18th September

Dave Wilton

another shot of that wainscot

I had another look and found that the upperside of the underwings are also grey. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a proper shot and while trying to put it into a larger container I lost it. But you can just about see it here

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

IDs / Confirmations please

hi, I'd appreciate some confirmations on these.

 I think the first Thorn is a Dusky Thorn.

I think the next two might be a Small Wainscot, some photos in books look very close, others in other books look way off!

Finally Celypha lacunana? Again the UK moth site shows flight period extends to August only.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

First - for me and ID help please

I don't remember seeing one of these - Black Rustic before and, what's more, I don't need help to ID it!
This, on the other hand, having just about decided that it is a moth and not a caddis, has me completely beat.

Tom, Benson

iD help please

Can someone identify this please?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Double Dart?

Not having had one before and knowing that they can vary as to their markings I wanted to check if this is indeed a Double Dart? FW18mm. Only 200 LYU last night, things are dropping off!. Good night for Pale Mottled Willow with 7 and a couple of Rush Veneers.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Welcome trio

Rain in the evening, rain in the morning, but in between, three of my favourite Autumn moths arrived last night: Large Ranunculus, Frosted Orange and that Darth Vader of the moth world, Black Rustic. Four each of the last two plus loads of Large Yellow Underwings and their russety or grey pals.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Stigmella anomalella?

hi, I'm wondering if this leaf mine is Stigmella anomalella? Looking at the leaf mine site it looks as if it is one of that family and this seems to be a long gallery. It's on a cultivated rose but it's one of those huge sprawling things.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Orange Sallow

I'm pretty fond of the Sallows and Orange Sallow in particular so it was nice to see my first of the year this morning in a trap I leave out at work each night at CEH in Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford.  Other than that things have been pretty poor recently, species lists dropping quicker than the temperature which felt particularly low last night. The only thing keeping me entertained is counting all the Large Yellow Underwings that seem to take great pleasure in hiding in amongst the vegetation around the trap whilst those in the trap all seem to cram together in groups on the egg cartons - I had 24 in just 2 dimples in one egg carton the other day. Marc Botham, Didcot

Orange Sallow

Oak Lutestring

Marc Botham's recent mention of Oak Lutestring at Bagley Woods reminded me that I should be looking for this species now in some of the ancient oak woodland local to me in Bucks, from which there has been a noticeable lack of records in recent years.  Two nights ago a three-hour trapping session in one of them with just a single MV trap produced the specimen shown below, at a site where the moth was last seen by me in 2007, so I'm hopeful that it will still be found elsewhere too.  The catch was actually quite a diverse mix drawn from 35 species (13 of them micros) and included Chevron, Red-green Carpet, Magpie, Dun-bar (in good condition, my latest ever sighting) and Webb's Wainscot.  Only three hornets to deal with was a definite bonus for this time of year!

Oak Lutestring, 15th September

Webb's Wainscot, 15th September

Dave Wilton