Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Vestals, and a micro for checking

My garden trap attracted 2 Vestals last night, although both were on the surrounding grass rather than in the trap. Here is a photo of one of them.

Can I just check that the moth below is Blastobasis adustella? It normally holds its wings tighter to the body.

Finally, I'm guessing that it is impossible to say what the moth below might be?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Dingy Footman?

I think this is a late Dingy Footman?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Copper Underwing ID

As per request, here's a video of how I identify Copper Underwings. It does take a little practise. About 1 in 5 still manage to escape my clutches, so persevere. Also attached is the plate from the older bible of Skinner which may help.

Peter Hall

Monday, 29 August 2016

Another Vestal

To add to the list of recent sightings, this rather washed-out Vestal was flying across a grass field at Windmill Hill, just south of Waddesdon, today. First one I've seen for quite a long time.

Martin Harvey (Bucks)

Clay? and Coppers?

Up first I think a Clay - I've read it has the back chevron but my reference doesn't say if that is characteristic.

A couple of Coppers - anyone able to ID these as the normal Copper?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Jersey Tiger again

On 27th August I was cutting the hedge about 11am in Bierton, Bucks, when something interesting flew very close and then settled.  It was a Jersey Tiger, the first I have ever seen.

Helen Hyre

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cypress Pug

I had this Cypress Pug in my garden trap last night at Beenham, Berks. This is the first one that I have seen in 12 years of trapping. I was wondering, how common is this usually in the UTB area?

Thanks Derek Brown

Agonopterix liturosa

One of these came to our house lights last night in Loosley Row. Could someone please let me know its status in Bucks.


Vestal and Gypsy

After hearing about the influx of Vestal i was pleased to get my first ever here in my Aylesbury garden trap this morning. A couple more of note were a Gypsy moth (local or immigrant?), Udea ferrugalis and a Small Wainscot.  Dave Maunder
The Vestal, male, 28-8-2016

Gypsy Moth, male, 28-8-2016

Small Wainscot, 28-8-2016

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Numbers up, and an odd footman (?)

Some improvement in numbers of the commoner moths in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, this last week, with Large Yellow Underwing finally putting in respectable performances (22 in the trap on 24th August), and micros such as Celypha lacunana and Epiphyas postvittana starting to show in reasonable amounts. Pleasing new species for the year have included Old Lady on 25th August (just the one, but always a good species to see), Rosy Rustic on the same date and Tawny Speckled Pug on the 26th.

Tawny Speckled Pug, 26/8/16
A micro which might be Coleophora trifolii (but equally might not be pin-downable), around 7mm long, showed up in the trap on the 25th; and I've been puzzled by the species below, which looks like a footman, but was very small -- 11mm, and doesn't really seem to fit in with any of the footman species. About the only other vaguely similar species I could find was the micro Spuleria flavicaput, but that's way too small, and isn't about at this time of year.

Possibly a footman? 25/8/16
Possible Coleophora trifolii, 25/8/16
Possible Coleophora trifolii, 25/8/16
As ever, any help with/confirmation of identification gratefully received.

Steve and Xander Goddard

A few more questions

Firstly is this a Blue-bordered Carpet? About the only thing of interest from a disappointing catch last night apart from a couple of Centre-barred Sallow which were new for me.

Secondly is this one a Hedge Rustic? After my last attempt I would be interested to know although I caught this one on the Isle of Mull last week among some interesting catches.

 Finally is this Acleris laterana? From Monday night's catch in Sibford.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Angle Shades? from a different - er - angle.

Have been looking at this one and it's confusing me. Any help much appreciated.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Help needed with some tricky micros

There were some tricky micros in my garden trap this week - well, tricky for me anyway.
I think this first one is Cochylis molliculana.

The next 2 I am struggling to identify.

Finally, a very lively micro that really didn't want its photo taken, and this is the best shot I have. I thought it might be Parectopa ononidis?

Steve Trigg, Cookham


Two nice arrivals amid a welter of Large Yellow Underwings: a Peacock or Sharp-angled Peacock - I'd guess the latter from Richard Lewington's marvellous paintings but would appreciate advice; both would be new for me - and a Sycamore. I very much like the handsome appearance of the latter in spite of its subdued colouring. The Peacock, which I have renamed more appropriately in my heading, fluttered off straight after this one snap, which I was lucky to get.

With apologies for the awful photos, can the two below be identified by a kindly and patient expert? The first was minute as you can tell from the eggbox detail. My best guess for the second is a Ringed China-mark but that is a bow at a venture.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Friday, 26 August 2016

White Point?

Confirmation please that this is indeed a White Point. My first Maidens Blush of the year too and Large Yellow Underwings just beginning to pick up. Wednesday night was the best night in a while.
Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Tort ID please?

Sorry about the even poorer quality of photos but can anyone do an ID from these pics - I've not been able to get a decent match.I got my first Rush Veneer for many years and a fresh Maiden's Blush which is always nice to see.

The other pic I think is a tired July Highflyer?

On the miniature theme from yesterday there was a tiny Holly Blue in the garden today.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Orange, copper and silver

I had both a male and female Orange Swift in my garden moth trap this week, and took a quick photo of them together. The female is not only much larger, but also the dark form.

I tend to record my Copper Underwings as aggs, as I am not confident enough to distinguish between the 2 species. Below is an underside photo of one caught this week. Can one tell which species this is from this view, or do you need to be able to see more of the hindwing?

Finally, I thought the silvery moth below might be a possible candidate for Hoary Footman?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Another (moth?) larval case

This beautiful larval case with a neat lid, 5mm long, was found on a Wych Elm leaf at Dancersend. Is it from a micro-moth? Can anyone help with an ID or a suggestion about where to go with my investigations?
Many thanks
Mick Jones

Westcott, Bucks

The last two nights have been very good in the garden.  In fact last night, despite intermittent heavy rain, I got 598 individuals of 91 species which is excellent for this stage of the moth season.  New species for the year continue to appear:

(23rd August)  Acleris rhombana, Pammene populana, Nephopterix angustella
(24th August)  Aglossa pinguinalis, Platyptilia gonodactyla, Tawny Speckled Pug, Frosted Orange,
                        Lesser-spotted Pinion

Nephopterix angustella, Westcott 23rd August
Platyptilia gonodactyla, Westcott 24th August

Frosted Orange, Westcott 24th August

Lesser-spotted Pinion, Westcott 24th August

The Acleris rhombana has been retained for critical examination because it seems rather early.  Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis hasn't been recorded in the garden since 2007 while Platyptilia gonodactyla was last seen here in 2009, so it was particularly nice to see the return of those two micros (the plume in fact came to the outside light rather than the trap itself).  You might have to take my word for the Lesser-spotted Pinion which had obviously seen better days but it will also get critical examination just to be absolutely certain - beggars can't be choosers when it comes to the condition of moths which are completely new for the garden list!  This is new macro No.3 for 2016. 

I spoke too soon about Large Yellow Underwing because 69 came to light in the garden here last night.  They haven't yet caught up with Small Square-spot (94 last night) but I'm sure it won't take long.  Amongst last night's also-rans were fresh singletons of Figure of Eighty and Yellow-tail.  I haven't seen either for weeks now and the Figure of Eighty at least must be a second brood.

Despite good conditions for migration I continue to get only Udea ferrugalis and Nomophila noctuella in the garden.  However, an otherwise uninteresting performance from a single MV in the M40 Compensation Area at Bernwood Forest last night did produce the Vestal shown below.

Vestal, Bernwood Forest 24th August

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

IDs please

Nothing particularly exciting but I've been getting a few strange moths (like the worn centre barred sallow yesterday and the mouse moth below).

First wave is extremely worn but apart from Riband Waves I've not had any - can anyone work out what this one is?

Second - seemed more grey than most of the Riband waves and I've not seen any of those for a few weeks

Third and fourth - sorry about the poor pictures - despite being in the fridge for 3 hours and then the deep freeze it was hot to trot and I couldn't get a side view.

Finally - I thought I'd caught a large tortrix - but looking at it, I think it's a Mouse Moth but tiny.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford