Monday, 26 May 2014

Open the floodgates!

Seems an appropriate post header, as looking at the forecast, I think we're in for a fairly grim week's weather. However, the last couple of weeks have combined considerable busy-ness elsewhere with quite a spike in moth numbers - over 80 a couple of times, and a maximum species count of 33 - which will no doubt be overtaken later in the summer but has felt fairly spectacular anyway. As before, quite a few species seem to be turning up early in or slightly before their expected flight season; and new species for the year (one or two lifers, too) turning up more or less every night: even last night, which was not great weatherwise, we had our first Silver Y and Setaceous Hebrew Character of the year. Perhaps the most striking record was a Telechrysis tripuncta on 23rd May, which is not a very common species.

There isn't space for more than a sample of what we've seen over the last fortnight, but I've posted a few below. All told we're now up to 124 species on the challenge: 116 moths and eight butterflies.

Elachista argentella, 16/5/14 (a lifer)

Figure of Eighty, 18/5/14 (another lifer!)

Iron Prominent, 23/5/14

Peach Blossom, 17/5/14

Puss Moth, 18/5/14

Scorched Wing, 21/5/14

Friday, 23 May 2014

Another 21 species to add.Up to 33 with best nights mothing yet.

 Broad Barred White
 Cabbage Moth
 Clouded Bordered Brindle
 Common Marbled Carpet

Epiblema Cynosbatella

 Eyed Hawkmoth
 Lime Hawkmoth
 Poplar Hawkmoth
 Small Rivulet
 Rustic Shoulder Knot
 Shuttle Shaped Dart
 Swallow Prominent
 Treble Lines
Bee moth

Also had Garden Carpet, Dark-Barred Twin Spot, Light Brown Apple moth, Silver Y, Many Plumed  & Waved Umber.:)

Peering at leaves

There’s been a bit of a lull here in Beds. on the trapping front, but we did a bit of leaf mining last month. This allowed us to confirm the presence of Eriocrania unimaculella from last month’s trap and to add a few new species to our year list (one of which turned out to be a beetle!).
Eriocrania sangii

Some other micros floating around while we were peering at leaves in the garden were: Phyllonorycter harrisella, Esperia sulphurella, and Argyrotaenia ljungiana. A recent new addition to the Lodge was Carpatolechia proximella, which is the 7th Beds. record for this species.  The Hawk-moths have started appearing, with Lime and Poplar our sightings so far, and we’ve had the usual Flame Shoulders, Rustic Shoulder-knots, Treble Lines etc. in the trap recently. One of April’s highlights was an Alder Moth, which is an uncommon resident in Beds.

Our butterfly total is lagging at the moment on just 7 species but we’ve had 68 moth species so far, which takes our total up to 75.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

May 21st

What a night for moths . Just been through my photos. 32 macro sps 7 micro (nearly all new)
Highlights: Mullein, Light Brocade, 2 Eyed Hawks, 2 Ochreous Pug, Dark Brocade ... 14 were NFY

The new micro:
Syndemis musculana, calopita robustella, Epinotia rubinosana (scarce pine one here).. One I'm not sure about but could be Eucosma obumbratana ? Help required

...,,,,.,,,.. Just worked out my mystery micro Cudia ulicetana. Another new one for me!

Whetstone, Leics. - A few more

I've managed to add another 28 species since the last update, from 3 and a bit nights trapping. I usually run two traps overnight, dusk - dawn, but last night I just ran one trap from dusk - midnight before the forecast deluge (which certainly arrived, boating lake at bottom of garden this morning). Only real highlight has been the first garden tick for the year - Phyllonorycter harrisella. 649th species, 343rd micro and 12th Phyllonorycter for the garden. Here are the additions:

Taxon Vernacular Earliest
94 Cilix glaucata Chinese Character 17/05/2014
95 Isotrias rectifasciana
96 Electrophaes corylata Broken-barred Carpet 17/05/2014
97 Phyllonorycter leucographella Firethorn Leaf Miner 17/05/2014
98 Paraswammerdamia nebulella
99 Mompha subbistrigella
100 Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 17/05/2014
101 Blastobasis lacticolella
102 Eupithecia dodoneata Oak-tree Pug 17/05/2014
103 Smerinthus ocellata Eyed Hawk-moth 17/05/2014
104 Eupithecia indigata Ochreous Pug 17/05/2014
105 Timandra comae Blood-vein 17/05/2014
106 Phyllonorycter harrisella
107 Plagodis dolabraria Scorched Wing 18/05/2014
108 Cabera pusaria Common White Wave 18/05/2014
109 Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth 18/05/2014
110 Lacanobia oleracea Bright-line Brown-eye 18/05/2014
111 Hepialus lupulinus Common Swift 19/05/2014
112 Hoplodrina ambigua Vine's Rustic 19/05/2014
113 Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
114 Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 19/05/2014
115 Eupithecia assimilata Currant Pug 19/05/2014
116 Eupithecia subfuscata Grey Pug 19/05/2014
117 Xanthorhoe montanata Silver-ground Carpet 19/05/2014
118 Celypha lacunana
119 Plutella xylostella Diamond-back Moth 21/05/2014
120 Notodonta dromedarius Iron Prominent 21/05/2014
121 Zanclognatha tarsipennalis Fan-foot 21/05/2014

Diamond-back Moth


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Whetstone, Leics. - Back in the Game

I couldn't quite believe it myself when I realised that the garden traps had not been on since 29/04/2014. Half-way through May and no trapping in the month - ridiculous! No surprise then that once they were back on I've quickly amassed a good few yearticks, although the first night back on (14th) was pants. Both last two nights much better, and hopefully a few more tonight (17th). Up to 93 now (87 moths, 6 butterflies). Latest additions are:

Taxon Vernacular Earliest
57 Phlogophora meticulosa Angle Shades 04/05/2014
58 Coleophora serratella [larval] 14/05/2014
59 Odontopera bidentata Scalloped Hazel 14/05/2014
60 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 14/05/2014
61 Chloroclysta truncata Common Marbled Carpet 14/05/2014
62 Syndemis musculana
63 Eupithecia exiguata Mottled Pug 15/05/2014
64 Tinea trinotella
65 Xanthorhoe ferrugata Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet 15/05/2014
66 Coleophora albicosta
67 Elachista argentella
68 Lomographa temerata Clouded Silver 15/05/2014
69 Argyresthia trifasciata
70 Prays ruficeps
71 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug 15/05/2014
72 Scrobipalpa acuminatella
73 Abrostola tripartita Spectacle 15/05/2014
74 Epirrhoe alternata Common Carpet 15/05/2014
75 Caloptilia robustella
76 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 15/05/2014
77 Hydriomena impluviata May Highflyer 15/05/2014
78 Phyllonorycter stettinensis
79 Calliteara pudibunda Pale Tussock 16/05/2014
80 Tyria jacobaeae Cinnabar 16/05/2014
81 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 16/05/2014
82 Eupithecia intricata arceuthata Freyer's Pug 16/05/2014
83 Epiblema cynosbatella
84 Eurrhypara hortulata Small Magpie 16/05/2014
85 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 16/05/2014
86 Cabera exanthemata Common Wave 16/05/2014
87 Tethea ocularis octogesimea Figure of Eighty 16/05/2014
88 Argyresthia cupressella
89 Bucculatrix nigricomella
90 Apamea sordens Rustic Shoulder-knot 16/05/2014
91 Agrotis exclamationis Heart and Dart 16/05/2014
92 Pasiphila rectangulata Green Pug 16/05/2014
93 Pieris brassicae Large White 17/05/2014

Bucks Garden

I've done a bit of trapping out and about over the last couple of weeks, and had about 60 species in woodland-edge sites, but in my garden, it is very quiet, and I only have two to add for the last week:

26. Common Pug
27. Common Marbled Carpet.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Gradual improvement

Numbers still seem a little low here in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, but there have been some nice additions to the year list (now at 73: 65 moths plus eight butterflies) and to our garden list in the last week or so. One of the latter was a very striking White-pinion Spotted (as opposed to a White-spotted Pinion!), which I took at first to be an albino Green Carpet, until corrected by wiser heads; we also, after a couple of false starts, got a decent photo of a Syndemis musculana, which I think had shown up a couple of times previously but we hadn't snapped it well enough. On top of that, we've had a couple of Rustic Shoulder-knots, a rather early Coronet and a Poplar Hawkmoth, as well as a steady stream of Muslin Moths, Shuttle-shaped Darts and Flame Shoulders: all of which is keeping up interest, but I'm very much looking forward to the first really substantial catch of the year.

Coronet, 9/5/14

Rustic Shoulder-knot, 8/5/14

Syndemis musculana, 6/5/14

White-pinion Spotted, 8/5/14

Friday, 9 May 2014

A couple in the trap (Bucks)

A couple of new species for my list in the trap last night; the wet and wind, again, didn't help...

23. Dwarf Pug
24. Scalloped Hazel
25. Light Brown Apple Moth

Thursday, 8 May 2014

New garden with more moths!

Cheers from Norway all!

Last autumn I moved to a new place not far from my former. I've noticed that moth-trapping seems better at the new site, despite only being a tiny kilometer away. Read my update in the garden moth challenge from May 2013. The vegetation is better, with spontanious trees surrounding the garden rather than Sitka Spruce. Have a look at the garden moth gallery here.

The highlight of the year so far, an Oak-tree Pug trapped 7th of May 2014. This was the first county record, and the northernmost in Norway.

I am doing a #microbigyear in my garden in 2014, doing an effort identifying most of the animals I find. I am closing in on 200 species. The moth list so far contains of 57 species up to 8 May 2014, including four aggs: 

Species Scientific name
First date
Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria 28.02.2014
The Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 03.03.2014
Rusty Birch Button Acleris notana 04.03.2014
Autumn Green Carpet Chloroclysta miata 09.03.2014
Heath Button Acleris hyemana 10.03.2014
March Moth Alsophila aescularia 10.03.2014
Yellow Horned Achlya flavicornis 10.03.2014
Variable Smudge Ypsolopha ustella 10.03.2014
Caloptilia betulicola/elongella 11.03.2014
Pale Brindled Beauty Phigalia pilosaria 12.03.2014
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 14.03.2014
Agonopterix ciliella/heracliana 27.03.2014
Perth Button Acleris abietana 27.03.2014
Clouded Cosmet Mompha langiella 27.03.2014
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 27.03.2014
The Satellite Eupsilia transversa 28.03.2014
Red-green Carpet Chloroclysta siterata 28.03.2014
Smal kveldvikler Epinotia crenana 29.03.2014
Pine Beauty Moth Panolis flammea 30.03.2014
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 30.03.2014
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 30.03.2014
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 30.03.2014
Small Engrailed Ectropis crepuscularia 30.03.2014
Early Grey Xylocampa areola 31.03.2014
Red Chestnut Cerastis rubricosa 02.04.2014
Early Flat-body Semioscopis avellanella 02.04.2014
Orange Underwing Archiearis parthenias 04.04.2014
Rannoch Sprawler Brachionycha nubeculosa 04.04.2014
Eriocrania semipurpurella/sangii 07.04.2014
Satin Lutestring Tetheella fluctuosa 08.04.2014
Early Tooth-striped Trichopteryx carpinata 08.04.2014
December Moth Poecilocampa populi 08.04.2014
Green-veined White Pieris napi 19.04.2014
Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma 22.04.2014
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 22.04.2014
Yellow-barred Brindle Acasis viretata 23.04.2014
Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli 23.04.2014
Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla 23.04.2014
Dawn Flat-body Semioscopis steinkellneriana 23.04.2014
Stigmella confusella/lapponica/sorbi 23.04.2014
Flame Carpet Xanthorhoe designata 23.04.2014
Lilac Leafminer Gracillaria syringella 23.04.2014
Southern Midget Phyllonorycter dubitella 24.04.2014
Red-letter Flat-body Agonopterix ocellana 28.04.2014
Glaucous Shears Papestra biren 28.04.2014
Scarce Prominent Odontosia carmelita 28.04.2014
Pale Feathered Bright Incurvaria pectinea 28.04.2014
Scalloped Hazel Odontopera bidentata 28.04.2014
Barred Umber Plagodis pulveraria 29.04.2014
Edinburgh Pug Eupithecia intricata 29.04.2014
Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 29.04.2014
Brown Silver-line Petrophora chlorosata 07.05.2014
Oak-tree Pug Eupithecia dodoneata 07.05.2014
Dwarf Pug Eupithecia tantillaria 07.05.2014
Pale-shouldered Brocade Lacanobia thalassina 08.05.2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

43 In Hants And Mystery Moth- Help With ID Please

I'm fairly certain I have seen this moth before but I can't find it in my books, so any help with ID be most welcome :-) It appeared in our room last night and buzzed around for ages before finally settling long enough for a photo.

Up to 43 species for the year here so far which isn't bad considering the moth box hasn't been out as much as I'd have liked. Highlights so far include Lunar Marbled Brown and an Emperor Moth seen in Dartmoor last week.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bucks Daytime Moth

One more flying around the garden in the sunshine this morning; luckily it settled for id, although not long enough for a photo:

22. Pyrausta aurata

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Still very quiet in Bucks

Every night it just seems to be either cold or wet (in the whole of April I had 10 moths in the garden, and this morning, frost on the car...), but I do have a few more species to add to my garden list for the year:

20. Caloptilia syringella
21. Acleris cristana
22. Water Carpet (new for the all-time garden list)

The 50 Mark

Today I reached 51 Lepidoptera recorded in the garden this year. This includes 46 moths, 1 moth type and 4 butterflies. We were away from mid March to mid April so there is some catching-up to do. I look forward to warmer weather and lots of moths!

Number 50 is Yellow Belle

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Whetstone, Leics. Update

Haven't updated for a while, and in truth I haven't done too much garden trapping since the last update. Cold and/or wet nights put me off and I had a few days away in Devon around Easter. Nevertheless, I've somehow managed to squeeze a few new for year species into the few trap nights and (along with one more butterfly) I'm now up to 56 species. Additions since my last update are:

Taxon Vernacular Earliest
32 Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth 30/03/2014
33 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 30/03/2014
34 Panolis flammea Pine Beauty 30/03/2014
35 Agonopterix alstromeriana
36 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 09/04/2014
37 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 09/04/2014
38 Semioscopis steinkellneriana
39 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 10/04/2014
40 Acasis viretata Yellow-barred Brindle 10/04/2014
41 Pieris rapae Small White 14/04/2014
42 Agonopterix arenella
43 Eupithecia pulchellata Foxglove Pug 24/04/2014
44 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 24/04/2014
45 Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet 24/04/2014
46 Esperia sulphurella
47 Acronicta rumicis Knot Grass 24/04/2014
48 Chloroclystis v-ata V-Pug 28/04/2014
49 Xanthorhoe fluctuata Garden Carpet 28/04/2014
50 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber 28/04/2014
51 Eupithecia tripunctaria White-spotted Pug 28/04/2014
52 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet 28/04/2014
53 Nola confusalis Least Black Arches 29/04/2014
54 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet 29/04/2014
55 Agrotis puta Shuttle-shaped Dart 29/04/2014
56 Mamestra brassicae Cabbage Moth 29/04/2014

Expecting things to start ramping up during May, though I'm also hoping my replacement 22W Synergetic ring turns up soon - someone in the household has managed to smash another one in the shed for me, probably whilst lazily trying to extracate a scooter without bothering to move the trap. Had to use my 80W actinic combo on 29th.

Foxglove Pug

Knot Grass - a bit knackered but pleased as not annual in my garden

Flame Carpet - also worn but this was a garden tick last year so good to see another

Least Black Arches - always a season marker for me