Wednesday, 31 July 2019

100 moths sleeping together

I took this photo paddle boarding on the Oxford Canal (near Kidlington, Oxfordshire). It was 100 moths all together under a bridge. Is this hibernating or mating or keeping warm???

It was last week so pretty warm. I've never seen this before. Anyone else see this???? Thanks Jon

A hint of Migration

Amongst Monday night's garden moths were three Silver Ys (they've not been all that regular here yet this year) along with singletons of Udea ferrugalis Rusty-dot Pearl and Nomophila noctuella Rush Veneer.  Last night's collection was a very mediocre selection indeed apart from this one, a very welcome if slightly worn Delicate.  It was the first garden record for five years.

Delicate, Westcott 30th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Common Rustic?

Trying to find an example that looks like this.
Help appreciated.

Steve Lockey (Garsington)

An Anarsia sp in Newport Pagnell

Is it just me that finds that the moths you don't recognize straight away but are clearly marked that lead you to think I'll have no trouble sorting that out often turn out to be quite the opposite.  Well here is one that I thought would be relatively easy and has proved otherwise.

This came to the Robinson trap in my garden in Newport Pagnell on 12th July and I thought it to be Anarsia lineatella but it seems that, if indeed it is an Anarsia, it is more likely to Anarsia innoxiella.  It has apparently caused confusion in the past.  I did wonder about it though as there is only a textual reference to lineatella in the Micro moths of GB and I. Nice looking moth though. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Westcott, Bucks

Sorry this is going to be rather long but there's a bit of catching-up to do.  Nightly garden catches continue to be good or bad here dependent entirely upon the weather.  After a run of mediocre results, last night's was quite good with 105 species to the MV and 78 to the actinic for a total of 121 altogether, although there were only four new for the year list.  Continuing with the year's additions, I've now had the following (those awaiting final confirmation by dissection are marked *):

(24th)  Roeslerstammia erxlebella, Agonopterix liturosa, Rhyacionia pinicolana, Ostrinia nubilalis,
            Straw Underwing
(25th)  Acleris laterana*, Acleris emargana, Bulrush Wainscot
(26th)  Monopis laevigella, Stathmopoda pedella, Monochroa lutulentella*, Birch Mocha, Maple Pug,
            September Thorn, Rosy Minor
(27th)  Ypsolopha horridella, Bordered Beauty, Ear Moth*
(28th)  Chilo phragmitella, Flounced Rustic
(29th)  Pediasia contaminella, Udea ferrugalis, Dark Spinach, Twin-spotted Wainscot

That takes the year's garden species total to 526 which is about 50 fewer than for the same date last year.  When this blog was part of the BC Upper Thames Branch web-site and Peter Hall used to produce annual statistics, it was generally the case that from 1st August only 100 further species remained to be reported before the end of the year, so we're definitely on the downward slope now - roll on 2020!  

Stathmopoda pedella, Westcott 26th July

Pediasia contaminella, Westcott 29th July

Chilo phragmitella, Westcott 28th July

Pediasia contaminella with its rather unusual nose-down resting posture was another garden first, while Stathmopoda pedella (seen in 2014) and Chilo phragmitella (seen in 2018) were both on their second ever known visits to the garden.  The Stathmopoda is a fantastic little beast, which when fully at rest sticks its hind-legs up and out like an extra pair of wings!  Just what it hopes to achieve by taking up that pose is anyone's guess.  

Birch Mocha, Westcott 26th July

Bordered Beauty, Westcott 27th July

Flounced Rustic, Westcott 28th July
Twin-spotted Wainscot, Westcott 29th July

The rather bruised and battered Birch Mocha was a completely new species for the garden.  It was the second birch-feeding macro-moth to join the list this year (after Suspected earlier in the month).  While we do have three mature birches in the garden and there are others dotted around the village, both moths usually require established birch woodland of which there is not a great deal locally, so they were presumably wanderers.  Another completely new species for the garden, Twin-spotted Wainscot completes the set for those Wainscots currently known from Bucks (...until L-album eventually gets here!).        

As mentioned in the post from Mark Griffiths yesterday, Flounced Rustic is now on the wing.  This is another common moth which can regularly cause ID problems because it is such a highly variable species.  However, in the centre of the fore-wing the black bar with a 'v' at either end is usually a constant feature. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Mompha sp. ?

I assume this is a Mompha species. 5.5mm in length. Nothing much in the way of markings.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris

Shaded Broad-bar and help with IDs

There were several Shaded Broad-bars on a grassy bank to the north of Marlow a few days ago, and I think a photo may be of interest because the Waring/Townsend/Lewington handbook says that it comes to light only in small numbers.

I would appreciate help with the ID of the following moths, all of which have come to the actinic light trap here in my garden over the last few nights. The first might simply be a Common/Lesser Common Rustic, except that the colour of the kidney marks looks wrong? My suggestion for the second is that it's a Confused. The third is a small moth, perhaps a Single-dotted Wave. The fourth is another small moth - could it be a Cloaked Minor? And the last is perhaps a Dusky Brocade? 

My thanks for your help.

John Clough, Marlow

Green arches?

I think Green arches. Grateful for ID.

Alan Diver

Horse chestnut leaf miner.

Probably the smallest moth I've tried to photograph.
Horse chestnut leaf miner.

Alan Diver

Leaf mine

I'm still trying to teach myself about leaf mines - I find quite a few around the garden and am slowly keying some to species.  I think this one below on rose is fairly straight forward as Stigmella anomalella, Rose Leaf Miner, but would appreciate confirmation.


I'm also realising how common Psyche casta is here, having found another three larval cases in the greenhouse yesterday. It's a shame the adult males don't show up in the trap.

I haven't put the trap out since the 27th and not much of note in that one, but did get three Waved Black and a nice fresh second generation Clay Triple-lines. Pine Hawk-moth was also new for the year. I also realised that the front of the house won't be used as a trap site again this year, as a nearby wasp nest relocated to it overnight (30-40 insects wasn't much fun!).

Adam Bassett
Marlow Bottom

Monday, 29 July 2019

PS. Dingy footman - Grey and yellow forms together.

Dingy footman. Or should that be footmen?

Alan Diver,

Yellowish Dingy footman

Dingy footman
(fair to name it ab. stramineola?)

Alan Diver

IDs please

Sorry to wheel out yet another Thorn but this one, apart from looking like it hasn't fully inflated it's wings, it seems to have more of a kink on the cross line.

The second is I think is a Flounced Rustic?

Mark Griffiths, Garsinton, Oxford

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Balsam carpet plus 2 other beautifully marked macros.

Balsam carpet

Sallow kitten (playing dead)

Silver Y

Alan Diver

A couple of quick ones

A couple from last night in my Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, garden: I'm pretty sure these are August Thorn (which would be a garden first) - it seems to tick most of the boxes the Bible suggests; and Small Phoenix, which I've had before, though not very often.

Presumed August Thorn, 27/7/19

Presumed Small Phoenix, 27/7/19
Many thanks!

Steve Goddard

Rosy Footman, and some micro queries

My garden trap was out on the very damp warm night of Friday 26th, and so I suppose it is not surprising to find 162 Acentria ephemerella (Water Veneer) the following morning. Even discounting the Acentria, there were still more micros than macros in the trap (125 individuals of 36 species versus 117 individuals of 27 species).
New macros for this year's garden list did include this nice Rosy Footman.

Of the micros, there are a couple that are completely new to me, such as this one below which I think might be Endothenia quadrimaculana (fw just over 11mm)?

The small black and white individual below (fw 5mm) looks like Parachronistis albiceps - a moth I have recorded before.

Finally, I rescued this moth from the damp but it died on me, so it is not showing its correct resting posture. However, I thought it might be one of the Caloptilia species (fw length 6mm)?

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Quite a big night

Not surprisingly, given the temperatures, Thursday night produced a big garden catch here in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire: I ran my mercury light, instead of the more usual actinic. Few hugely outstanding species, but large numbers, with Least Carpet (normally quite a rare treat here) one of the species that are doing well.

A few individuals I'm not sure of, which would push the night's count further up if pinned down:

Possibly a Grapholita lobarzewskii? - some 6mm long, so not a poorly marked Enarmonia formosana.

A Monopis, but can it be pinned down to a particular species?

Maybe Schoenobius gigantica?

Should be an identifiable pug (looks a little like Double-striped, but I don't think so).
No real ideas on this, though it looks fairly readily identifiable.

Obviously an Yponomeuta, but again, can it be pinned down to a species?
As ever, all thoughts gratefully received.

Steve Goddard

Oleander Hawk-moth reported in Oxford

An Oleander Hawk-moth reported in Oxford night of 26 July - from Twitter

Clipped picture from the Twitter feed here... quite a sight!