Friday, 17 September 2021
|Clifden Nonpareil, 16th September|
I saw Dave's post about finding Autumnal Rustic for the first time in Bernwood Forest and his lament about the disused railway cutting at Salden (near Mursley) where he had eight to light twelve years ago, but which has been destroyed as a habitat by East-West Rail's work to re-construct the railway line.
Salden cutting is just down the line from my garden - about 3¼ km - and the almost-adjacent Salden Wood is slightly closer. Even though my garden is not near any significant piece of good woodland, I had a total of nine Autumnal Rustic in my own garden last year, spread across four nights in an eight-day period starting on 14th September. So when I set out the traps on Wednesday night (15th), I was keeping my fingers crossed.
Two individuals duly turned up: I found one outside the trap at about midnight, and the other was found when I emptied the trap the next morning. Under "habitat", the guide book says "Heathland, moorland, rough grassland, downland (provided it is not heavily grazed) and other open country, on light sandy or chalky soils. Also fens, shingle beaches and open woodland." Well, in my intensively-grazed corner of the heavy clay of Aylesbury Vale, most of those are noticeable by their absence. The reference to rough grassland does intrigue me because in my village there is an area of rough grassland where grazing was abandoned ten or more years ago and it is gradually scrubbing over. Unfortunately, that area lies immediately south of the Varsity Line, and EWR have built one of their haul roads across a part of it. If that's where the local Autumnal Rustics call home, then they have escaped destruction by a gnat's whisker.
Considerably more likely though is that they have taken a slightly longer flight from somewhere on the greensand heath or woodland just over the county boundary in Bedfordshire. Indeed, a glance at iRecord shows a cluster of records from Heath & Reach, which is only about 8 km from my garden and 11 km from Salden.
Newton Longville, 15th September
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
|Sallow, Westcott 10th September|
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
|Epinotia trigonella, Oakley Wood 13th September|
|Autumnal Rustic, Oakley Wood 13th September|
Monday, 13 September 2021
I've been seeing a lot of White-point Mythimna albipuncta this year, I've had seven or eight a few times. Last Saturday I had quite an unusual one, the white-point, which is usually quite round in this one was very extended. I've seen a few where the spot was not quite round, but never one as unusual as this.
I was quite excited at first, assuming it was something else, but the more I looked at it, I could not rule out White-point. Worth knowing that the "point" can vary quite a bit!
|White-point Mythimna albipuncta 11-ix-2021 Walter's Ash|
Walter's Ash, VC24
Failing to id some new (to me) moths from my trap on 7 Sept, a nice warm evening. The totrix looks like a marble but doesn't quite fit any descriptions I've found and I don't know where to start with the lovely leaf look alike
. So your help would be much appreciated. Many thanks
With Dave's post as a reminder I did as he said go out and about in the village looking for leaf mines.
Pictured are a couple of Blackthorn leaf mines which look a little like the Lyonetia pictures Dave posted but they might not be quite the same? Also I found mines on Willow - sadly the photo has focussed on ones which might not be lepidopterous as opposed to the mine which is out of focus below! The mine seem to start in the petiole - I wondered if it was possibly Phyllocnistis saligna?
I am working through quite a few mines which were visible on hazel at the moment. One thing about staring at leaves - you actually see larvae! I came across at least three species including well grown Vapourer and Pale Tussock.
Approximately three-quarters of last night's catch was accounted for by two noctuid species, with 166 Common Wainscot and 72 Setaceous Hebrew Character, but there were a couple I wasn't entirely certain about. However I'm pretty sure this is a Lunar Underwing
Sunday, 12 September 2021
|Oak Lutestring, Finemere Wood 11the September|
|Oak Lutestring, Finemere Wood 11th September|
|Figure of Eight, Finemere Wood 11th September|
|Brindled Green, Finemere Wood 11th September|
Saturday, 11 September 2021
Today I found a couple more mines on very young blackthorn planted recently by HS2 Ltd in BBOWT's meadows on the south side of Finemere Wood. The whips had only a short amount of stem and a few leaves protruding above their rabbit protectors. The mines were at a fairly early stage but the larvae soon consume most of the interior of the leaf and the blotches then become blindingly obvious!
|Mines of Lyonetia prunifoliella, 11th September|
I was beginning to think that Clifden Nonpariel was avoiding me as everyone else seemed to be catching them, but perseverance eventually paid off and I was pleased to see this one in my trap last night. A truly impressive moth.
Along with the usual for the time of year I was surprised to catch a Clouded Silver last night. I see that they are reported as occasional Autumn immigrants on the South Coast but I was certainly not expecting one here.
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon
Friday, 10 September 2021
Had a fairly uneventful trap full last night with only Maiden's Blush as a fairly irregular visitor amongst the large volumes of currently common noctuids. However I am confused by the moth below which was resting on the shed outside of the trap this morning.
Looking at the guides and internet most of the options appear to be in the wrong season or to be unlikely in Longwick at best. I thought it looks closest to Horse Chestnut but that would seem unlikely too! Thoughts welcome.
Thursday, 9 September 2021
|Pale Oak Beauty, north Bucks 7th September|
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
I found this presumed pyralid this evening in the house. Lots of windows open, so presumed to have flown in, several other moths, craneflies etc.present.
Forewing length 12mm. The size seems to rule out most things that look similar, mostly adventive Vitula / Ephestia spp.
Suggestions most welcome!
Walter's Ash, VC24
|Caloptilia cuculipennella, Westcott 7th September|
|Beautiful Marbled, Westcott 7th September|
|Hedya salicella, Westcott 6th September|
|Buff Ermine, Westcott 5th September|
|Mines of Chrysoesthia drurella, Westcott 4th September|
|Chrysoesthia drurella adult, Westcott 25th May 2015|
Most examples of these two species are not difficult once you've become familiar with them. In Mark's latest posting, look at the shape of the forewing, in particular the breadth, and also the shape of the termen (outer edge). Mark's other post shows an extreme pallens. These are very uncommon but do crop up when numbers are high, and examples with extensive dark scales on uns forewing are not uncommon especially 2nd brood.
I have never seen a 2nd brood impura in spite of seeing many claims (no doubt due to over-focussing on hindwing colour), and I doubt its existence. As far as VC23 is concerned, in current climatic conditions I consider any records of it beyond about 20th or so of August to be dubious and in need of confirmation. The odd late straggler cannot be ruled out. I would be happy to dissect possibles.
It has been quite good this week in the garden MV. Consecutively, Dark Crimson Underwing, Clifden Nonpareil and this morning Cydia amplana.
Tuesday, 7 September 2021
Given the warm night last night, I ran a couple of traps in the garden. About 40 species recorded, including a few moths which I did not immediately recognise and which I hope are interesting. And several others that I have not seen since last year and needed some time to remind mysolf what they were!
I think this is Vagrant Piercer Cydia amplana but I would welcome confirmation or correction. New for me if it is.
Really not sure about this, looks like it might be a worn Six-striped Rustic Xestia sexstrigata, but not convinced. I've tried unsuccessfully to turn it into several other things. I have a nagging doubt that I've overlooked something obvious. Your views most welcome.
I'm completely flummoxed by this one. Can't seem to match to anything obvious.
This one had me confused for quite a while, but I have persuaded myself it is Green-brindled Crescent Allophyes oxyacanthae. Hopefully someone can confirm or correct.
All have been retained, just in case.
Walter's Ash, VC24
I have run my traps twice in the last week. Sunday night was after a warm day and produced significantly more moths than on the first night of the month, but only a few more species. I haven't made a final tally of either night yet, but the 1st produced around 220 moths of about 35 species, whereas the 5th was my busiest-ever September night with around 450 moths of about 40 species.
The difference was largely made up by huge numbers of Square-spot Rustic and Common Wainscot. I am going cross-eyed counting all of the "X", "V" and "I" tally marks in my notebook, but I think there were 177 of the former and 113 of the latter. Neither night produced anything particularly noteworthy, but there were a couple of satisfying appearances:
The 1st produced my first-ever record of Small Square-spot (two, in fact), and the 5th produced five in total. Sunday night also produced a couple of Cypress Pug: I have had these in past years, but feared I would have lost them when I had the two biggest out of five huge Leyland cypresses felled earlier this year.
An almost-exception to the "nothing particularly noteworthy" summary was a late and tatty example of Common/Lesser Common Rustic. This is a rare visitor to my garden - there were none at all in 2020 - possibly because I do very little trapping between mid-July and late August due to absence and other commitments.
One of the moths on the 1st was hard to identify as it was very dark. My provisional conclusion is that it is simply a very dark form of Phycita roborella, but I'd be glad for any confirmation. I'm familiar with the normal form and know that some can be fairly dark, but this one is very dark. There are two versions of the photograph below: one is substantially unmodified; the other has been fiddled with to try to show up any pattern or colour.
|Possible Phycita roborella|
Newton Longville, 1st September 2021
(top: natural colour/contrast; bottom: enhanced)
Newton Longville, 5th September 2021