Monday, 30 September 2019

Westcott, Bucks

The garden MV trap has now been officially "retired" for the winter and, over the next six months at least, I'll be relying solely on the twin-30wt Actinic.   I was really pleased with the results from its solo performance last night when it brought in 397 moths, better than any of the combined counts from the MV and Actinic traps over the previous three nights.  This total was provided by 29 species, of which the three illustrated below were new for the 2019 year-list:

Large Ranunculus, Westcott 29th September

Blair's Shoulder-knot, Westcott 29th September
Yellow-line Quaker, Westcott 29th September

Large Ranunculus is very uncommon here, this being only the fifth garden record.  The other two are regulars and were expected sooner or later, their first appearances varying annually between the last week of September and the first week of October.

The rest of the catch last night comprised Acleris variegana, Epiphyas postvittana, Eudonia angustea, Mallow, Willow Beauty, Light Emerald, Green-brindled Crescent, Angle Shades, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow, Dusky-lemon Sallow, Beaded Chestnut (24), Red-line Quaker, Brick, Lunar Underwing (195), Brindled Green, Deep-brown Dart, Black Rustic (77), White-point, Turnip, Dark Sword-grass, Large Yellow Underwing (34), Lesser Yellow Underwing, Square-spot Rustic & Setaceous Hebrew Character.  Lunar Underwing is well past its first thousand garden sightings for the year (3,570 in 2014 is the target to beat!) while Black Rustic is currently only 43 short of last season's record-breaking site total of 421.

Macro-moths due any day now are Large Wainscot and Merveille du Jour, while I'm still hopeful of getting Pine Carpet and Tawny Pinion (Pale Pinion was recorded here at the beginning of September).  In October I will see the November Moths, Feathered Thorn and Sprawler, along with Grey Shoulder-knot, Satellite and the three Chestnuts (Dark, Dotted and Chestnut itself) although those last five have already been recorded this year back in the spring after hibernation from 2018.  October is also usually the best month for migrant species so fingers crossed for my annual record of Vestal if not something more exciting.  November should bring December Moth, Winter Moth, Scarce Umber and Mottled Umber then that'll be it for the year.    

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks         

Fox Moth

I came across this rather splendid fully grown Fox Moth caterpillar at Stoke Common today.

Adam Bassett

Peppered Moth Larva?

I found this caterpillar, which is about 5cm long, eating the leaves of a peony in my garden yesterday afternoon. I couldn't see any others on the same plant. Checking my books, it looks like the larva of a Peppered Moth. Comments please.

John Clough, Marlow

Sunday, 29 September 2019

National Moth Nights

Well, at least they're done and dusted for another year so maybe we can now expect some better weather!  I ran an actinic and an MV in the garden on each of the three nights and the results weren't too bad.  The first (Thursday 26th) produced 298 moths of 24 species, the second (Friday 27th) 325 moths of 29 species and the third (Saturday 28th) 358 moths of 34 species.  It may seem a bit counter-intuitive that last night, when it rained all the way through from dusk until dawn, turned out to be the best but it is often the case that rainy nights are good for moths.  The overall species count here for those three nights came to 50, comprising 9 micros and 41 macros.  There were no real surprises, no migrants and the NMN target of Clifden Nonpareil didn't show (I had my annual garden record several weeks ago now).  Late examples of Heart & Dart and Flounced Rustic were perhaps noteworthy, while local specialities Figure of Eight and Dusky-lemon Sallow were good to see.  Mallow seems to be doing particularly well this year.  Not a guaranteed annual visitor to the garden, four of them came to light last night and they take my count for the year to 12, the first time it has ever reached double figures.  There was just the one species new for the year over the NMN period, a Green-brindled Crescent on the 27th.

Green-brindled Crescent, Westcott 27th September
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks      

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Two garden goodies

On the evening of 26th I did my routine check of the trap and saw to my surprise a Bordered Straw sitting on the table that supports the trap. Unfortunately it flew off before I could pot it. The following morning, among all the Lunar Underwings and Setaceous Hebrew Characters, was a Dewick's Plusia. Both were garden firsts.

David Ferguson, Beaconsfield

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Autumn is here...

In terms of numbers and species recorded, recent days in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire have taken a distinctly autumnal feel. Various sallow species, Black Rustic, Autumnal Rustic and the like (and, inevitably, loads of Lunar Underwings) have started showing up in varying numbers. The two photos below are pretty typical species:

Brown-spot Pinion, 20/9/19

Sallow, 22/9/19
A couple of micros from almost a fortnight ago are leaving me a little perplexed: the first is clearly a crambid, but I can't decide what species; and the second looks as though it could be Ypsolopha vittella, but I'd be grateful of corroboration!

Crambid sp., 12/9/19

Possible Ypsolopha vittella, 12/9/19
Steve Goddard

Buttoned snout, Oak nycteoline etc

Like DW buttoned snout. New to me

Oak Nycteoline. Another new one
Beaded chestnut?

Pearly underwing?

Brown-spot pinion?

Eudonia pallida

Mottled beauty?

Alan Diver

A migrant at last

In rather mediocre conditions I was quite pleased with the results from the garden last night.  Hiding behind all the crane-flies and Lunar Underwings in the actinic trap was a smart Scarce Bordered Straw, while potted up at 10pm feeding on ivy blossom about five metres away (and totally ignoring the light) was a fresh female Buttoned Snout, neither of which was on my list of species to be expected this year.  Scarce Bordered Straw is the first real sign here of all the migration which has been going on over the past week or two, while I'm sure Buttoned Snout has been resident for years on the hop growing in our garden but the adult has only been recorded here twice before, once in the trap in May 2006 and then again in June 2018 when one came to the light of the kitchen window.

Scarce Bordered Straw, Westcott 25th September

Buttoned Snout, Westcott 25th September

The total catch last night amounted to 329 moths of 34 species.  The macros comprised Mallow, Spruce Carpet, Red-green Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Willow Beauty, Light Emerald, Straw Dot, Buttoned Snout, Beautiful Hook-tip, Silver Y, Scarce Bordered Straw, Pale Mottled Willow, Vine's Rustic, Angle Shades, Frosted Orange, Rosy Rustic, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow, Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing (109), Deep-brown Dart, Black Rustic (51), Common Wainscot, White-point, Turnip, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Large Yellow Underwing (26), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Square-spot Rustic & Setaceous Hebrew Character (46).  The only micros were singletons of Lyonetia clerkella & Eudonia angustea, the former being an example of its dark form which I rarely see here.

Lyonetia clerkella, Westcott 25th September

The previous night's catch in similar damp and breezy conditions was roughly the same in quantity (35 species) although there were more micro-moths, including Elachista canapennella, Aproaerema anthyllidella, Acleris emargana, Acleris variegana, Epiphyas postvittana, Eudonia pallida & Hypsopygia costalis, while additional macros comprised Cypress Pug, Brimstone Moth, Dusky Thorn, Snout & Burnished Brass, so there are still plenty of moths out there for the upcoming National Moth Nights (Thursday through Saturday).

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks      

Micro query - Longwick

A fairly thin and typically autumn catch here last night. A single Diamond Back being the only migrant. A second generation Carcina Quercana brought some variety. Micros included Y Sequella and what looks like a eucosma of some sort pictured below. Wing length 9mm with a striking cream head. Suggestions appreciated.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

A reasonable result from a wet night

The moths were tucked up safe and dry and it was only me that got a soaking at 6am when trying to close up the trap.  35 species seemed a reasonable result even though there were no decent migrants amongst them and only one moth new for the year, a Dark Spectacle.  It was nice to see a pair of Mallows and the season's eighth garden Cypress Pug, my second male Vapourer in consecutive nights and yet another Red Underwing, these amongst all the expected seasonal moths which didn't seem at all phased by the monsoon conditions. 

Dark Spectacle, Westcott 23rd September

The previous night produced a slightly lower species count (32 in all) but amongst them were two more garden first sightings for the year, Figure of Eight and Red-line Quaker.

Figure of Eight, Westcott 22nd September

Red-line Quaker, Westcott 22nd September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks    

Eudonia angustea?

The shape looks right but not sure about the markings even given it's worn.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford

Monday, 23 September 2019

Which Acleris?

Any suggestions for this one? Approximately 11mm in length.

A Clifden Nonpareil turned up here on Friday night and a second last night so persevering with putting the trap out most nights has paid off. Despite many photos and comments on this site and others I was still not fully prepared for how impressive the moth actually is in the flesh!

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Longwick, Bucks

No migrants in Longwick but one query!

A fairly drab catch on Saturday night but as others have said a few more micro's including nephopterix angustella ( which I guess could actually be a migrant in some situations?) and the lovely ypsolopha sequella. The rest of the catch was dominated by Common Wainscot with five White-point a higher than normal total for here.

I am a little confused by the Noctuid below - perhaps because it is both a rather dark specimen but also by the effect of the wing damage to the right hand side. What markings are visible beneath the rather melanistic tone suggest a dart species and the 17-18mm wing length would also suggest that too. Logically it is Deep Brown Dart but it just doesn't look convincing!

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Littleworth Common, Bucks

Martin Albertini and I made another visit here last night.  Most of the moths were the expected autumn fayre and the hoped-for Neglected Rustic didn't put in an appearance (in fact the only heathland specialist was a single example of Aristotelia ericinella!), but there were still one or two interesting moths.  It was good to get a decent haul of Oak Lutestring (one on the heath and eight in the adjacent woodland), while Lesser Swallow Prominent and a very battered Tree-lichen Beauty were a bit of a surprise.

Oak Lutestring, Littleworth Common 21st September

Lesser Swallow Prominent, Littleworth Common 21st September
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Westcott, Bucks

It was a good night for numbers here last night too (499 moths of 50 species) but the only possible migrants were Dark Sword-grass (1) and Plutella xylostella (3), perhaps along with Turnip (5).  Mallow and Brick were new for the year-list, taking the garden to 600 species so far in 2019, while the big numbers were provided by Setaceous Hebrew Character (120), Square-spot Rustic (86), Lunar Underwing (43), Common Wainscot (35) & Black Rustic (33).  As Adam said, it was a particularly good night for micros with 15 species appearing here, including a pair of second-brood Hypsopygia glaucinalis.

Mallow, Westcott 21st September

Brick, Westcott 21st September
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

Marlow Bottom weekend

A contrast in weather conditions between the nights of 20th and 21st was evident in my catches with only 18 species in the former but 44 species in the latter.  No sign of any hoped for migrants though apart from three Diamond-backs.

Last night's milder weather encouraged a few more micros out e.g. Ypsolopha parenthesella, sequella and ustella and Argyresthia goedartella, pruniella and another semitestacella. An example of Metalampra italica seemed a little late, while within the Epinotia, a greyish example of nisella (probably) will be retained for Peter and a slightly beaten up tenerana was new for the garden.

Three Brindled Green all looked nice and fresh, as did a Black Rustic and Brown-spot Pinion, while Mocha is getting a bit tired.  A Cypress Pug was my second this year with just patchy trapping.

Ypsolopha sequella
Argyresthia semitestacella
Epinotia nisella (possibly cinereana)
Epinotia tenerana
Metalampra italica
Brindled Green
As an edit, blogger isn't allowing me to comment on posts at the moment, although I can still make posts under my ID.  I wanted to comment on Dave Wilton's recent post re second brood Pretty Chalk Carpets.  I looked back through my garden records and found that I have had September records in 2004/06/08/09/10/18, with the latest records being 23/09/06, 22/9/10 and 15/09/18, so if these later dates indicate a second brood, then it appears to have been doing so for a number of years.

Adam Bassett

A few Worminghall moths

44 species last night including a nice selection of autumn moths including Dusky Lemon Sallow and a few migrants including a single Vestal and six Diamond-backs. 

 Dusky-lemon Sallow 
 Left to right: Centre-barred Sallow, Rosy Rustic, Sallow, Frosted Orange, Barred Sallow, Canary-shouldered Thorn and Dusky-lemon Sallow
Vestal (a tired looking one) 

Peter Alfrey
Worminghall, Bucks 

Orange Sallow

My first Orange Sallow. Odd considering the village is full of Lime trees. Also first of the Brown-spot Pinions - three in the trap this morning. Black Rustic yesterday.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Homefield Wood

Three hours with two lights in Homefield Wood near Marlow, Bucks last night produced mostly seasonal moths but they did include Pretty Chalk Carpet (a pair) which must be further evidence that this species is becoming double-brooded.  I've had late-September records previously, in 2015 also at Homefield and in 2016 at Brush Hill near Princes Risborough.

Pretty Chalk Carpet, Homefield Wood 20th September

Dogwood was growing close to one of the trap sites and contained several active and vacated mines of Antispila petryi, my first records of the species under that name (it had previously been erroneously identified as A.treitschkiella which is still a British species but feeds on Cornus mas rather than Cornus sanguinea).  While photographing a leaf with two active mines this morning it became clear that one of the larvae was in the process of creating its distinctive cut-out, within which it would pupate.
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks   

Friday, 20 September 2019

Dewick's Plusia in South Bucks

I've just heard that Alan and Juliet Gudge had a Dewick's Plusia on 19 Sept at Little Frieth. Thanks to them for letting me post  the sighting.
2018 Bucks had its first ever Dewick's Plusia, both from the South of the county.
Those published on the blog recently were in the North of the county.