Sunday, 30 June 2019

A few recent(ish) highlights...

I haven't found time to post all that much from Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, in recent months, and indeed the garden trap hasn't been out as often as it might have been. My impression of the year is that it's been a little disappointing in numbers, but that species have turned up a little earlier than last year (and that, for some reason, Poplar Hawkmoth is having a really poor year). A few nice catches in the last few weeks/months:

Blotched Emerald, 22/6/19 - a garden first

Lime Hawkmoth (f. brunnea), 10/5/19 - the first of this form I've seen 
Privet Hawkmoth, 18/6/19 - only my second garden record
Steve Goddard

Diplodoma laichartingella No 2

Below is a record shot of the second Diplodoma laichartingella that appeared in my trap last night.

And also an addendum, there was some discussion on here recently re Nemapogons. I had N. koenigi last night which turns up now and again, although N. cloacella is much more frequent. I thought it might be interesting to note how black koenigi is in comparison to cloacella.

Previous records of both below, though both moths fade:

N. koenigi is very black

N. cloacella is more varied
Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

My first hawk moths

I was very excited yesterday to find this privet hawk-moth on the outside of my trap

and 2 small elephant hawk-moths inside.

This morning I found this magpie moth on my day-lily. Another first for me.

It's going to take quite some time to go through the photos of all of the other moths in my trap this weekend. I'm afraid I'll be asking for help with some IDs before too long!

Speen, Bucks

Anania crocealis?

Checking as it would be a new one for the garden.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Moth buses

The trap was very busy last night, though mostly geometers and micros and a lack of variety in the noctuids. 92 species recorded so far. Probably the most surprising was another Diplodoma laichartingella. It is just as feisty as yesterday's moth, so I have yet to take a photo, but looks pretty much the same as the specimen I have kept for Martin. It was at the bottom of the trap, though I read somewhere yesterday that they aren't attracted to light.

Two new moths for my garden list were Cochylis molliculana and Neosphaleroptera nubilana.

Whilst seconds for the garden were Ethmia dodecea and Dichomeris marginella.

It was also pleasing to get four Scarlet Tigers, only the second year I have had them here.

Finally, does anyone want to comment on this pug?

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Scarlet Tiger

A nice Scarlet Tiger in the trap here last night, the first I have recorded at this site.

Richard Ellis

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Good day for Clearwings

I've had three of my pheromone traps out in the garden since 10am this morning.  The tally by 2pm was Red-belted Clearwing (1) and Orange-tailed Clearwing (16 so far).  It seems to be a good day to try for them if you have the lures!

Orange-tailed Clearwings, Westcott 29th June

Orange-tailed Clearwings, Westcott 29th June

Red-belted Clearwing, Westcott 29th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Garden Dart?

Not sure about this one.  Despite it being common can't remember ever having one to refer to. Maybe a very dark Turnip moth? Help please. (Or Heart and Club!)

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

Diplodoma laichartingella

I found this little micro fluttering on my lounge ceiling this morning and potted it.  It is very lively and even after the fridge it was straight up and out of the pot, so my record photo is through the pot I'm afraid.  To me, it looks like Diplodoma laichartingella, which is not only a new moth but a new family for me.  Comments welcome.

A better image below.

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

A record catch with a couple of queries please

Trap run on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning with a record for me of 253 moths and 50 species.
90 Heart and Dart, 53 Dark Arches and 18 Riband Wave.

I have a couple of queries.
Firstly the near white micro below.

Secondly, I had 16 of these. I get extremely confused as to whether these are Uncertain/Rustic/Vine's Rustic.
To me they look like Uncertains due to the Brown colour and faint middle cross band. However, when I have attempted to hold them down and look at the hindwing, some of them seem to be really white like a Vine's Rustic. I don't like doing this as many scales seem to come off. Most of the Vine's Rustic I have had in the past always seem to have a Grey forewing which I count as a positive ID. As regards a Rustic, I don't really know where to start.

Tony Towner
Tilehurst garden.

Pug ID & Bird's Wing

Help please with this slightly worn pug.

This Bird's Wing was somewhat easier to ID. A first for me and the garden.

Dave Ferguson, Beaconsfield

Friday, 28 June 2019


I get a number of Hedya nubiferana here but can't quite arrive at a decision on this one. Help please.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

A couple of queries

I caught the two moths below last night and would welcome thoughts.  The first is very dark and I've lightened the photo a bit to try and see any markings. I think it is probably a dark Bryotropha terrella, but it seems to be lacking the dark dots mid wing and the wings also seem a bit broad. At 8mm length, it is the right size.

The second I have recorded as Bryotropha affinis, 5mm length.  Is there any need to get this checked? Seems nicely speckled and matt in appearance, so should rule out similar species.

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Marlow Bottom 27 June

Another new moth for my garden last night was Grapholita lobarzewskii. Just checking whether the photo is adequate for ID on this rather distinctive looking moth rather than gen. det.

Nothing unexpected otherwise and I wonder whether the stiff breeze affected the catch.  It was nice to see Large Tabby though, although fairly regular here.

Adam Bassett

Clay and White-point

Most years I get one or the other and I usually have to check here - I think today I have handily both, Clay at the top and White-point at the bottom. I'm making the IDs based on wing shape and size. Am I right?

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Any offers?

This worn noctuid appeared in the garden trap here at Westcott on 24th June.  The moth was similar in size to Dark Arches (perhaps just a little smaller) and it could perhaps be a melanic example of that species, but I wondered if I've missed something else?  It'll go off to be checked in the usual way later in the year but I've placed the image here in case it jogs someone's memory!

Unidentified noctuid, Westcott 24th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Very new to this and need help

 I have been relying on Andy Newbold for answers, but he suggests I post this picture as I could only come up with Square Spotted Clay
Would appreciate any help

Ypsolopha nemorella

Just found this Ypsolopha nemorella sitting on the window frame near the trap, another new species for my garden.

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Marlow Bottom 26 June

As ever, I'm not getting the numbers or variety of moths as Westcott, but nevertheless I was pleased to get another new macro for the garden last night, Dark Spectacle:

I also got this very black looking elachista (I think).  It seems to have a pale blotch rather than a stripe, but I was wondering if it is elachista gangabella.

A couple of Diamond-backed Moths showed that some migrants are getting through here.

conversaria type Mottled Beauty was only about the third or fourth of this type for the garden. Do others see this variant much?

Adam Bassett

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Westcott, Bucks

The last few nights have made a great deal of difference to the garden year-list, such that it is now only ten species behind last year's count of 358 species by 25th June.  Indeed, it may in fact be ahead because last year's list includes dissections but this year's queries won't get sorted until the winter.  With two 100+ species nights (23rd & 24th) now under the belt, new arrivals have been pouring in and have included the following:

(20th)   Pandemis cerasana, Clouded Brindle
(21st)   Epagoge grotiana
(22nd)  Scrobipalpa costella, Archips crataegana, Ancylis achatana, Epinotia abbreviana, Hypsopygia
            costalis, Blue-bordered Carpet, Barred Yellow, Freyer's Pug, Clay, Dingy Shears, Snout
(23rd)  Coptotriche marginea, Argyresthia albistria, Mompha ochraceella, Depressaria radiella, Carpatolechia
            fugitivella, Cochylis hybridella, Agapeta zoegana, Aleimma loeflingiana, Calamatropha paludella,
            Parapoynx stratiotata, Anania coronata, Anania perlucidalis, Rhodophaea formosa, Blotched
            Emerald, Common Emerald, July Highflyer, Green Pug, Swallow-tailed Moth, Broad-bordered Yellow
            Underwing, Fan-foot
(24th)  Tischeria ekebladella, Argyresthia retinella, Yponomeuta evonymella, Prays fraxinella, Parachronistis
            albiceps, Pexicopia malvella, Hedya salicella, Spilonota ocellana, Gypsonoma dealbana, Acentria
            ephemerella, Udea prunalis, Delplanqueia inscriptella, Pterophorus pentadactyla, Buff Arches, Small
            Fan-footed Wave, Yellow Shell, Phoenix, White Satin, Blackneck
(25th)   Lappet, Scarce Footman, Lunar-spotted Pinion

Both Tischeria ekebladella and Pexicopia malvella are completely new species for the garden.

Pexicopia malvella, Westcott 24th June

Carpatolechia fugitivella, Westcott 23rd June

Delplanqueia inscriptella, Westcott 24th June

Phoenix, Westcott 24th June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Mothing in the Clouds

Martin Albertini and I ran traps on the Grangelands nature reserve and its adjacent rifle range in the Bucks Chilterns last night.  The forecast had seemed quite acceptable, but unfortunately the drizzle lingered longer than expected during the afternoon, as did low cloud over the Chilterns.  The weather was reasonable when we set up the lights but shortly after dark the cloud descended again and we were left operating in decidedly reduced visibility.  Not only was it wet underfoot but in the cloud everything above ground soon became very damp too, even though it wasn't raining!  We were at first heartened by the tremendous amount of moth activity, all four traps soon becoming very busy indeed, but after a while it was clear that only a few species were turning up.  Take away Small Elephant Hawk-moth (100+), Heart & Dart (150+), Shears (150+), Dark Arches (500+) & Reddish Light Arches (50+) and we weren't left with a great deal.  It was definitely a noctuid night, with geometers very sparse and micros almost non-existent apart from grass moths.  The final total did in fact come to about 90 species but it didn't seem that many while we were there!

Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Grangelands 25th June

Amongst all these common moths were a few nice species, though.  Lappet was nice to see, the first Chilterns record for at least eight years, as was the uncommon brown form of Lime Hawk-moth.  A double-digit count of Green Arches was also good to achieve and some of them were actually still green rather than having faded to their usual dull grey!

Lappet, Grangelands 25th June

Lime Hawk-moth, Grangelands 25th June

Green Arches, Grangelands 25th June

However, the best catch of the evening was a Satin Lutestring which came to one of the lights on the rifle range.  This was a first record for VC24.

Satin Lutestring, Grangelands 25th June

Satin Lutestring, Grangelands 25th June
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks