Wednesday, 13 November 2019

(Lack of) Plumed Prominent

Last night I ran a couple of MV traps in Homefield Wood and a third in another nearby wood not far from Marlow, Bucks.  Both sites have in the past produced fair numbers of Plumed Prominent but on this occasion none at all came to light at either location between 5pm and 9pm (in my experience the males are usually active between 6pm and 8pm).  Weather-wise it was a reasonable evening at about 5C with just occasional light drizzle and from the very start there was activity around the traps from flies and lacewings which is always a good sign.  Indeed, a good selection of moths did appear for this time of year, including Caloptilia semifascia, Ypsolopha ustella, Plutella xylostella (the dark form), Diurnia lipsiella, Emmelina monodactyla, Acleris ferrugana/notana, Acleris sparsana, Pine Carpet, Spruce Carpet, Red-green Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, November moth agg., Green-brindled Crescent, Beaded Chestnut, Yellow-line Quaker, Brick, Satellite, Black Rustic & Oak Nycteoline,  In fact it was almost like stepping back a month because there was no sign at all of things like December Moth, Winter Moth, Feathered Thorn, Mottled Umber or Sprawler which I've been getting at home for some weeks now.

Ypsolopha ustella, Homefield Wood 12th November

Diurnea lipsiella, Homefield Wood 12th November

Spruce Carpet, Homefield Wood 12th November

Oak Nycteoline, Homefield Wood 12th November

The 12th is the latest November date on which I've tried and failed to see Plumed Prominent at a known site.  Leaving aside the fact that Marc Botham and I saw three at Warburg in Oxon last week (a different micro-climate, maybe?), another result of generally warming temperatures could be that the flight periods of some of our cold-loving moths are being pushed back.  Whatever the reason, perhaps I'll attempt to look for it again later this month if the opportunity arises.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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