Friday, 30 December 2016

Hornet Moth at Bernwood Forest

Hornet Moth cocoons (upper photo - the lower of the two appears to have been predated) and exit holes (lower photo).  

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas Moths

Streatley on the evening of the 25th - a female Mottled Umber climbing up an illuminated fence-post.

Bernwood Forest today - a prolonged and largely futile search for the early stages of butterflies which turned up only a single egg of that honorary nepticulid, the Brown Hairstreak (this was 2 metres into the Bernwood Meadows BBOWT reserve).  Made worthwhile right at the end when I noticed a stand of mature poplars just around the corner back in the forest proper which had the emergence holes of Hornet Moth larvae at the base.  Lacking the means to extract the remains of the cocoons from the holes, I hacked off some chunks of bark which I have brought home, and there are at least 2 (vacated) cocoons inside (will post photos later).

The emergence holes and cocoons can remain in existence for at least 10 years after the emergence of the moth, so I do not know if the population there persists.  The holes are reasonably easy to find at the base of poplars where these are free of obstructing vegetation and I have found them in all three counties.  Still never seen the adult though...

Monday, 26 December 2016

Moth pupa on beech leaf?

I spotted this bright green pupa on a beech leaf, still on the tree, at Dancersend Reserve this morning. Can anyone point me in the right direction for an identification? I doubt it will be there long, unless it is very distasteful to birds.

Happy Xmas to everyone.

Mick Jones

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Day Moth

Not very exciting, but better than nothing at all - the example of Mompha epilobiella below was found indoors today, just to keep the interest going at this quiet time of year.  Needless to say, the twin-30wt actinic light is on in the garden right now and Mottled Umber has turned up already, so there are still one or two things out there when the weather is vaguely suitable.  Merry Christmas, one and all!

Mompha epilobiella, Westcott 25th December
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Monday, 19 December 2016

Merry Christmas

My trap is now serving for a couple of weeks as a Christmas illumination - but it's still attracting the odd moth. Last night's solitary arrival was this Winter Moth, actually sleeping just outside the bowl. Interesting how much dew it has collected without damage to itself.  Merry Christmas one and all, and thanks again for the outstanding help.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Update: more moths attracted by the curious structure last night - a Mottled Umber and what is probably a Winter Moth but am just submitting it for expert attention because of the amount of petticoat showing. MW

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Acleris hastiana

I had this Acleris hastiana on Friday night, a new moth for my life list. Northants moth group have its status as rare in the county, i was wondering what its Buckinghamshire status is?

Apart from a Scarce Umber on the 2nd December and a Rusty-dot Pearl on the 14th Dec, everything thing else has been expected. Winter Moths, Mottled Umbers, Dark Chestnuts, E postvittana, December Moths, Bricks, Red-line Quakers, Feathered Thorn and Satellite are the December species trapped.

Year end totals Macros 218, Micros 132.

Darren Seaman, Miton Keynes

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Presumed Amblyptilia

Not a great deal gained by putting out the trap a couple of recent nights in Wolvercote, Oxon., but the individual below was on top of the trap on 13th December. I'm assuming it's an Amblyptilia acanthadactyla lured out of hibernation by the mild temperatures, but it looks a little faded: if anyone knows of a similar species which ventures out on winter nights, do let me know!

Presumed Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, 13/12/16
Steve Goddard

Friday, 16 December 2016

Winter Moth?

I don't think I've had one of these before which is a suprise - can someone confirm? It did spend a fair amount of time with it's wings closed up - and played dead for some time.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Mottled Umber

4 moths attracted to my garden trap last night, of which the highlight for me was my first Mottled Umber. (It is not dissimilar to Dave's specimen - thanks for sending him down to Cookham Dave!)

The other moths were singles of December Moth, Epiphyas postvittana and Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearl).

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Winding Down Again

On Thursday night the actinic at Westcott attracted Emmelina monodactyla (1), Winter Moth (4) and Mottled Umber (1), but in similar balmy weather conditions last night all that arrived was Angle Shades (1).  The Mottled Umber was a first for the year here and completes all that I can reasonably expect in the garden for 2016.  An Angle Shades at this time of year, one day later than an example caught in 2015 (which was my first adult December record), could well be a migrant.  I had one to MV light in Bernwood Forest last night too.   

Mottled Umber, Westcott 8th December

Angle Shades, Westcott 9th December

With dissections now complete (thankyou Peter) the garden moth list stands at 629 species for the year, 316 of them macros.  Even though for at least the first six months it didn't look as if it could possibly turn out to be 'a good year', that overall total is actually only four short of the number achieved in 2015.  Abundance is another matter, however, with some of the regular big-hitters producing far lower totals than usual. 

Only another three weeks and the year list starts off all over again - can't wait!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Not much in Longwick

Just one moth last night and one the night before. Last night's was a scarce umber - the night before a winter moth species. I have never seen a Northern so have posted the photo of Thursday nights moth for comment.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Happy times are here again

A quartet of moths from a trio of species, in the eggboxes after last, mild night.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

A late Turnip

Decent haul in the Robinson trap at Ali's Pond in Sonning last night - plenty of December Moths, Feathered Thorns and Winter Moths, plus Red-Green Carpet, Red-line Quaker, Satellite, Mottled Umber and a pristine-looking and unusually late Turnip Moth.


Double-striped Pug

My 4 moths this morning included a Double-striped Pug - brood 4 probably. The others were Winter Moth, Scrobipalpa costella and E. postvittana. No December Moths yet this year.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Caloptilia stigmatella

Rather than the usual postvittana it was nice to get the little chap illustrated below to light in the garden here last night.  Otherwise, though, the results were disappointing for such a warm night although the breeze early on may have had something to do with it.  The only other moths were December Moth (2), Winter Moth (4), Feathered Thorn (1) & Red-line Quaker (1, quite late).

Caloptilia stigmatella, Westcott 7th December

I also ran an MV trap in some local oak woodland for a few hours and the species tally there was equally as disappointing:  December Moth (62, including eight females), Winter Moth (23, not a single candidate for Northern Winter amongst them), Feathered Thorn (3) & Mottled Umber (3).  The count for December Moth might seem good but it is actually not at all unusual, being quite typical for woodland around here at this time of year. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Moths are flying again

After nearly a fortnight of very cold nights and zero moths in my garden, last night stayed at a balmy 7 degrees and 16 moths arrived in the trap - 10 December Moths, singles of Red-green Carpet, Winter Moth and Dark Chestnut, and 3 Epiphyas postvittana.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Your Moth Records

Following a mammoth effort over the past month, tonight I've finally finished getting my records for 2016 into MapMate so I now feel justified in reminding everyone else of the importance of your own moth records and the need to get them to your County Moth Recorder as soon as possible!  The cut-off for data to be included in Butterfly Conservation's planned Atlas of Britain and Ireland's Larger Moths is the end of this year.  That data has to have been received by BC from the CMRs no later than 31st March 2017 and the CMRs need time to check it prior to that deadline, so the sooner you can get your records to them the better.

While data will never be turned away in whatever format it is submitted, our CMRs each have different preferences for the way(s) it should be sent so, if you haven't passed on records in previous years, please contact the appropriate Recorder first to find out how they would prefer to receive it.  Their contact details (and much more information besides) can be found by clicking on the "Your Records" tab at the top of this page.