Sunday, 30 September 2018

Merveille du Jour again

The season's second Merveille du Jour for the garden, this time a really fresh example, turned up last night amongst an otherwise typical collection of exactly 100 moths from 13 different species, more than half of which were Lunar Underwings.

Merveille du Jour, Westcott 29th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Friday, 28 September 2018

Home versus Away

Here at Westcott cloud cover for much of the time meant that it was a good one for quantity last night with 211 moths of 26 species coming to the garden actinic trap.  More than half of the total was provided by Lunar Underwing (119), with Beaded Chestnut (19) and Black Rustic (18) next in line.  Acrolepia autumnitella and Mallow were new for the garden year-list but the rest of the catch was much as expected:  Carcina quercana, Epiphyas postvittana, Clepsis consimilana, Celypha lacunana, Eudonia angustea, Common Marbled Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, Turnip Moth, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Green-brindled Crescent, Deep-brown Dart, Brick, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow & Frosted Orange.

Acrolepia autumnitella, Westcott 27th September

Mallow, Westcott 27th September

I also took three MV lights to Rowley Wood (close to Black Park, north of Slough) for the usual three hours but, in contrast to the conditions back at home, clear skies there and that bright moon meant that the results were fairly dire, the traps managing only 56 moths of 21 species between them.  The only slightly noteworthy items were a late-ish male Vapourer and a second-brood Riband Wave. 

Vapourer, Rowley Wood 27th September

Riband Wave, Rowley Wood 27th September

Riband Wave does sometimes have a second brood (I had one in Bernwood Forest back on 1st September too) and this reminded me that a couple of weeks ago a Plain Wave came to light in Bernwood but that species isn't known to have a second brood.

Plain Wave, Oakley Wood 10th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Finemere Wood, Bucks

Last night it seemed like another good opportunity to try for Clifden Nonpareil at Finemere but unfortunately, once again, there was no sign of the moth.  Two MV lights were run from dusk until just after midnight (longer than the usual three hours) and they caught 120 moths between them - and only the one Hornet!  There were 30 different moth species altogether which seemed to be quite a decent haul for the time of year.  Amongst them were Figure of Eight (4) and Merveille du Jour (3) which I thought were rather early but a check of my own records showed that I've had earlier examples of both species, 14th September (in 2006) for Figure of Eight but only a day earlier for Merveille du Jour (in 2013).  The others comprised Carcina quercana, Blastobasis adustella, Acleris rhombana, Acleris emargana, Celypha lacunana, Epinotia nisella, Epinotia tenerana, Eudonia pallida, Common Marbled Carpet, Red-green Carpet, Light Emerald, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Green-brindled Crescent, Brindled Green, Deep-brown Dart, Red-line Quaker, Brick, Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow, Chestnut, Straw Dot & Snout.

Figure of Eight, Finemere Wood 26th September

Merveille du Jour, Finemere Wood 26th September

Back home at Westcott the actinic trap in the garden brought in 23 species and they also included a Merveille du Jour so that's one more ticked off the list.  Lunar Underwing (73), Beaded Chestnut (20) and an unexpected burst of activity from Large Yellow Underwing (18) provided the highest counts.  It was nice to see singletons of Bordered Beauty and Small Wainscot amongst the remainder although both looked rather tired.  I haven't seen Small Wainscot here since three appeared in the garden trap back on 9th July.

Small Wainscot, Westcott 26th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 



This Tissue was attracted to our house lights last night (Loosley Row, Bucks). Only the second record for here, the first being in April 2011.


Box Moth arrives in Longwick

I thought it would be a while before it arrived here given I am still  missing a number of recently expanding species which seem to like the urban "heat island". However a pristine Box Moth was one of the very few things sitting in the trap this morning (with only Large Yellow Underwing, Lunar Underwing, Black Rustic, acleris variegana and Epiphyas postvittana for company).

The clepsis dumicolana colony is now well into its second brood with yesterdays afternoon sunshine and high temperatures encouraging eight of them to fly around.

The weather has curtailed my trapping attempts recently but I am struck by the fact I have not seen a single Red Underwing  (never mind a blue one which also has yet to reach here!) nor any sallow species except Centre Barred!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Westcott, Bucks

Not an overwhelming result from last night's garden trap, probably due to both temperature and that bright moon, but amongst the 19 species were two more that have now been ticked off the list of those few moths which are still left to be seen here this year:  Green-brindled Crescent and Brick.

Green-brindled Crescent, Westcott 25th September

Brick, Westcott 25th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Apodia bifractella

Because of on-going forestry work, in order to carry out the final M40 Compensation Area butterfly transect of the year this afternoon I had to walk through Bernwood Forest from the Oakley Wood car-park rather than driving through as usual.  During the three mile round trip from car-park to site and back I inspected a large amount of fleabane in the ditches along the main forest track.  Much of it was over for the year but there were still some flowers and, contrary to expectations, in Shabbington Wood I found two rather worn examples of the gelechid Apodia bifractella feeding on them.  This is quite late for the moth, which normally flies in July and August, but it may well still be worth inspecting fleabane flowers if you have any locally because this appears to be an under-recorded species.  It does also come to light (I had some that way on Ivinghoe Beacon back in July) but daytime searching is likely to be more productive because if present they are quite easy to spot on the flowers.

Apodia bifractella, Shabbington Wood 25th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Leaf mine

My first couple of attempts at identifying leaf mines turned out not to be moths.
However, this one found on beech this morning looked as if it might be Stigmella tityrella?
As I am new to looking at leaf mines confirmation or correction would be welcome.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Possible Pearly Underwing

Having had the occasional Turnip turn up over the last few weeks this one looked a little different.

I wondered if it was a Pearly Underwing? Although not shown in these images there was no sign of any feathering on the lower half of the antennae.

Otherwise a very small catch last night with an Angle Shades the only one of any note.
Heart and Dart seem to have finally come to an end. I got 5 on the 16th September. Although the books mention a small second brood these were all very worn individuals.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Large Wainscot

105 moths of 19 species braved the weather to reach the actinic trap here at Westcott last night, including a nice year-first Large Wainscot.  Large Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character re-appeared, although only a handful of each, with the top performers being Lunar Underwing (57), Black Rustic (14) and Beaded Chestnut (9).  I expect those last three species will make up the bulk of the catch here for the next few weeks.

Large Wainscot, Westcott 22nd September

Although I saw one at Finemere Wood three weeks ago, Brick is overdue in the garden and I expect Mallow, Feathered Thorn, Green-brindled Crescent and Blair's Shoulder-knot will appear any day now.  As we head into early October there will be the Novembers, Merveille du Jour, Grey Shoulder-knot and (hopefully) Tawny Pinion to look forward to, then later in the month Figure of Eight, Sprawler and Scarce Umber, with December Moth to follow in November.  Anything else for 2018 will be a bonus because Winter Moth and Mottled Umber were seen here way back in January and Red-green Carpet, Pale Pinion and the three Chestnuts (Dark, Dotted and Chestnut itself) were all recorded in the spring after hibernation.

One bonus autumn species I can see appearing here sooner or later is Oak Rustic which seems to be creeping its way northwards.  It is already one to look out for in Berkshire and Oxfordshire during October, if not yet in Bucks.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks      

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Westcott, Bucks

Having been away for the past week, it is interesting to see how the contents of the garden trap at Westcott seem to have changed considerably over the intervening period.  The weather last night wasn't conducive to much moth activity but 14 species did turn up:  Acleris variegana (2), Brimstone Moth (1), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (1), Square-spot Rustic (1), Common Wainscot (1), Brindled Green (1), Deep-brown Dart (1, the rather anonymous-looking specimen shown below), Black Rustic (16), Beaded Chestnut (2), Lunar Underwing (19), Pink-barred Sallow (1), Flounced Rustic (1), Frosted Orange (1) & Straw Dot (1).  Nothing new there, but the lack of Large Yellow Underwings and Setaceous Hebrew Characters was a bit of a surprise.

Deep-brown Dart, Westcott 21st September

Over the previous week I'd trapped five times in a garden near Bideford in Devon and got just over 50 species between those sessions, with Large Yellow Underwing and Willow Beauty easily the most abundant.  The others were all moths of late-summer and included none of the autumnal species caught here last night - there was not a single sallow of any description to be seen.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


Magic in Merton

I didn't expect much last night as it was still blowing a gale when I set the trap, but this morning I found the moth I've dreamed about! It flew away strongly once I'd taken a photo.
Linda Murphy,  Merton

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Dancersend caterpillars

I've been seeing a number of these small caterpillars on the flower heads of Knapweed at Dancersend. Can anyone help with identification?
Many thanks
Mick Jones

Large - and bright - Ranunculus

I had real trouble with this moth this morning, in spite of its being so distinctive and attractive. But I'm 99 percent sure that it's a Large Ranunculus which was here in September 2013 but not otherwise, albeit a notable lighter one than Dave's recent arrival and with much brighter orange than shown in Waring, Townsend and Lewington. The iPad Mini camera can mess things about - eg the bottom right picture is over-bright, but the actual specimen is both light and vividly-oranged.

Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Second Brood Small Emerald

First one this entire year.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Sadness in Grendon Underwood

A moth that I've wanted to see for 20 years visited a few days ago. Unfortunately it probably ended up in the belly of a bird.

While out walking on our estate, my partner found a discarded wing. This is the underside forewing of a Clifden Nonpareil. Just need to see the other three wings.

Phil Cutt
Grendon Underwood

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Autumnal Museum Moths

A few nfys at the museum last night; Deep-brown Dart, Lunar Underwing, Beaded Chestnut, Brown-spot Pinion, Sallow, Orange Sallow and Acleris sparsana; the latter was new for the site also, as was Cypress Carpet.

But I'd appreciate a view on this micro (retained just in case...)

Dave Morris
Chalfont St Giles

Patience rewarded, and 2 micro queries

I have been reading about Hummingbird Hawk-moth sightings all over the place, and in particular daily sightings on the Westcott buddleia. However, on my own buddleia bushes there have been plenty of butterflies but not a single hawk-moth. Until that is yesterday, when finally a Hummingbird Hawk-moth decided my garden was worth a visit after all.

In the garden trap on Sunday night, I also found my first Old Lady of the year - another moth I had almost given up hope of seeing in 2018.
I also trapped a couple of micros I would like advice on. In his post the other day, Adam mentioned Epinotia nisella being a common moth in his garden. I wondered if this moth below is also an E. nisella?

The second micro shown below has a forewing length of 7mm and any suggestions as to its id would be appreciated.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Ypsolopha horridella update

On 22nd August I posted a photo of a dark, worn Ypsolopha. Then on 4th September Dave Wilton posted an image of Y. horridella which Nigel Partridge spotted as showing some similarities with my moth. Peter Hall has now checked the moth in question and it is indeed Y. horridella.
This reinforces the value of this blog - many thanks to all concerned.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Elephant Hawk

Rather surprised to get a late-flying Elephant Hawk here last night. -  never had one in September before:

Also a late-flying Red-barred Tortrix.  Meanwhile Box Tree Moth, Cydalima perspectalis, continues to appear here in growing numbers, 8 last night and 5 the night before.

Richard Ellis

Monday, 17 September 2018

Brown-veined Wainscot

Back on 22nd July I posted a picture of this moth.

Both Martin Harvey and Martin Townsend suggested it was a Brown-veined Wainscot. The moth has now been examined, and I can confirm that the Martins were absolutely correct. A new addition to my garden list.

Steve Trigg, Cookham


Large yellow underwing eggs

Alan Diver

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Joy in Newport Pagnell

My son had bought me a tour of Stamford Bridge for my 70th birthday and was coming to pick me up at 0900hrs this morning.  I decided not to set traps at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve on Saturday night as is my usual practice but would at home in the garden in Newport Pagnell.

 I stepped out this morning and confess to thinking it would be the usual LYU, Set Herb Char, Vines R dominated catch when there on my shed was this little beauty.  I rushed back for my Johnsons Cotton Buds container and when I returned it was gone.  However, it had fallen to the ground and was captured.

We were a little late for Stamford Bridge but blue certainly is the colour for me.

Marlow Bottom 15/9/18

Just the three hornets in the trap last night, so they are reducing in number and only took a couple of moths.

Fairly usual fare, but Dotted Chestnut is the first example here that hasn't been in the Spring.

A Red Underwing at the bottom of the trap had me excited for a split second, hoping for the blue underwing and another Cydalima perspectalis - these still seem to be sporadic visitors and my box bushes are still ok at the moment. A fresh looking Carcina quercana may have been a second brood. I had four Epinotia sp, two of which were definite nisella, a common moth here, but the other two were fairly grey and will go for dissection. I suspect that they will also be nisella, though I read that grey nisella are supposed to be unusual. I have no Aspen anywhere nearby that I know of, so think cinereana is unlikely, but you never know.

Grey E. nisella or cineceana

The more usual E nisella
Adam Bassett

Large Ranunculus

I had the unexpected pleasure of re-acquainting myself with this species last night, the first to visit the garden since 2011.  Deep-brown Dart was also new for the year amongst a slightly improved collection of 139 moths from 40 different species.

Large Ranunculus, Westcott 15th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Westcott, Bucks

Things have gone quite quiet here with the cooler nights but new-for-year species are still turning up to keep the interest going.  On the 13th I had Acleris sparsana, Beaded Chestnut and Lunar Underwing, while last night produced my fifth Cypress Pug of the season, a Dusky-lemon Sallow and what I think is a Dotted Rustic (awaiting dissection to confirm).

Cypress Pug, Westcott 14th September

Dusky-lemon Sallow, Westcott 14th September

Possible Dotted Rustic, Westcott 14th September

As you can see, the putative Dotted Rustic was in very poor condition but it is a male of the correct size and shape with (to the naked eye) fairly simple antennae and brownish hind-wings.  I haven't had a record here since 2015 but it is certainly one to keep an eye out for at this time of year.  Like some of the Noctua species, Dotted Rustic emerges around July then goes into hiding for the hottest part of the summer before re-appearing about now (it is actually quite similar in size and shape to Lesser Yellow Underwing).  It is another moth whose numbers seem to fluctuate wildly from one year to the next.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

Pinion-streaked Snout

I initially assumed this was a micro after trapping it last night in my Sonning garden. But then after a quick and fruitless flick through Sterling and Parsons' excellent book, I suddenly remembered the Snouts/Fan-foots page in Skinner where there a few which look just like they should be micros. Sure enough, there it was - Pinion-streaked Snout - a parish first and lifer for me.

ID please?

Struggling with this Scop / Eudonia - can someone help?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Friday, 14 September 2018

Thursday, 13 September 2018

IDs please

I've had lots of new moth visitors in Speen over the last 2 weekends. Some I am confident with my IDs, such as Chinese Characters, but others for which I'd appreciate a second opinion.

Firstly, I think this is an anania coronata.

A feathered gothic

An agonopterix arenella

An agriphila geniculea

An agriphila straminella

A dotted wave

A double-striped pug

I'm not certain at all what these last 2 are, so I'd appreciate you telling me please.