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current posts

 
Fri 23rd August 2019 21:53 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock weds 21/08 min temp 10.6c
They are still coming in good numbers here. 255 moths of53 species. FFY : Cochylimorpha straminea (1) ; White-spotted Pug (1) ; Canary-shouldered Thorn (1) Pale Mottled Willow (1) and Hedge Rustic (1). There will be a Mompha sp. to add after Paul Wilkins has wielded his scalpel. Others of note : Honeysuckle Moth (1) ; Beautiful Plume (2) ; Rusty-dot Pearl (3) ; Blood Vein (2) ; Maidens Blush (2) ; Dusky Thorn (1) ; a late Scarce Footman (1) ;Silver-y (6) ; Antler Moth (1) ; Dark Swordgrass (1). Top score goes to LYU (48).
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Fri 23rd August 2019 17:05 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Another clear night but still 94 moths of 34 species. FFY were White-shouldered House-moth, Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix, Codling Moth, Eudonia delunella, Udea fulvalis, The Magpie, Canary-shouldered Thorn (3), Turnip Moth, Small Square Spot, Square-spot Rustic and Knot Grass.
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Thu 22nd August 2019 11:26 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
21/8/19 - a slightly better night, with twice as many moths as on the 19th (i.e. 24 !!!) No new ones, but a fair variety with 14 species, including a very fresh, presumably second generation, Spectacle.
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Wed 21st August 2019 21:31 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
43 species last night but just two new for 2019 - Six-striped Rustic (3) and a Cydia splendana - only a few Rusty-dot Pearls and a Silver Y putting in an appearance for the migrants.
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Wed 21st August 2019 16:55 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Last night looked promising but the clouds cleared. Nevertheless I recorded 71 moths of 22 species. FFG were Agriphila selasella, Small China-mark and Pyrausta despicata. FFY were Garden Rose Tortrix, Cydia splendana, Beautiful Plume, Blood-vein, Yellow Shell, Purple Bar, Double-striped Pug, Vine's Rustic (3) and The Spectacle. In most numbers were Large Yellow Underwing (16) and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (10). I also had three Jersey Tigers, which spent much of the morning sharing Buddleia and Verbena bonariensis with Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshells and Large Whites.
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Wed 21st August 2019 15:21 by Ian Mathieson
Norton sub Hamdon
Very little happening here with just a gentle drift towards more Autumnal moths. Lesser Broad Bordered, Setacious Hebrew Character, Flame Shoulder and Square Spot Rustic made up the majority of a moderate catch. They were joined by second generation Lesser Swallow Prominents and Common Wainscot.
The highlight of the last week though was a female Brown Hairstreak in the garden followed a short while later by my first Clouded Yellow of the year. I am unaware of any records of Brown Hairstreak breeding within 10 miles of here but they won't lack for Blackthorn in my neighbour's garden.
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Tue 20th August 2019 10:11 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
19/8/19 - just 12 moths last night, probably a bit too chilly for much activity.  Ho hum.
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Sun 18th August 2019 11:23 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
17/8/19 - continuing with the Actinic alone, just 18 moths last night, with only one FFY, a worn Shaded Broad-bar (Faded Broad-bar?) (looked like it had been around the block a few times, but not visited my trap!)
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Fri 16th August 2019 17:49 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
15/8/19 - what a difference not having the use of the MV trap !!  The Actinic alone produced a mere 13 moths last night, which is poor even allowing for the full moon.  The only one of interest was a FFY (second-generation) Purple Bar.  I suspect that the MV's bright light normally brings in moths which then choose the blue light instead.  Who knows?
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Fri 16th August 2019 15:15 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock
271 moths of 56 species of which 105 were Agriphila tristella. A handful of migrants - Rusty-dot Pearl (2) ; Rush Veneer (2) ; Vestal (1) and Small Mottled Willow (1).  Others of note : Pyrausta despicata (1) ; Catoptria pinella (6) ; Barred Hook-tip (1) ; Blood Vein (2) ; Purple Bar (1) ; Lime-speck Pug (3) ; Tawney-speckled Pug (1) Common Wave (2) ; Jersey Tiger (1) and Six-striped Rustic (4).
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Fri 16th August 2019 12:05 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
A record 19 Jersey Tiger in the garden trap this morning.

Previous double-figure counts: 11 on 21.7.2018 and 10 on 26.7.2018.

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Thu 15th August 2019 18:21 by Sue Davies
Tree House Butleigh
A decent haul with some nice common moths including Oak Eggar, Straw Underwing, Bordered Beauty, Pebble Hook-tip, Jersey Tiger, Dusky Thorn, commonest Orange Swift. A few Diamond- Backs, first for site 0293 Gracillaria syringella 15.014 SD1915.014 Gracillaria syringella
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Mon 12th August 2019 10:01 by Paul Newman
MV trap wanted
My ancient home-made MV trap has finally become virtually unusable (basically, it's falling apart!!) Does anyone have, or know of, a good second-hand one that I can buy please?  I am reluctant to pay large sums for a new one, but if I must, I will !!  My contact details are on the website.
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Mon 12th August 2019 09:50 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
10/8/19 - only a small catch again, 57 moths of 23 species, including one FFY, a Small China-mark.
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Sat 10th August 2019 15:18 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset 8th August
On Thursday, at our local allotment site, I was pleased to find at least eight Cinnabar Moth caterpillar moths feeding on groundsel plants. In over ten years, I have never encountered adults at the site.
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Sat 10th August 2019 14:46 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock.  Weds.07/08
Calming down a little, 'only' 232 moths of 64 species.  One FFG - Maidens Blush (1).  FFY : Garden Rose Tortrix (1) ; August Thorn (1) ; Dusky Thorn (2) ; Sallow Kitten (1) ; Copper Underwing (1) ; Ear Moth agg.(1) ; Flounced Rustic (2) ; Square-spot Rustic (1) and Dotted Clay (1). Others of note : Purple Thorn (1) ; Pale Prominent (1) ; Four-spotted Footman (1) and Lychnis (1).
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Sat 10th August 2019 11:43 by Chris Iles
Withial Combe SWT reserve, 2 August 2019
This was a good night for moths at this small woodland reserve south of Shepton Mallet - a steeply-sided combe where the canopy is dominated by ash with an understorey of wych elm and hazel.  There are plenty of similar, often larger, woods in the Mendips which might produce good results.

Langmaid's Yellow Underwing, 3rd Somerset record.  I found the moth dead at the base of the trap, and had it been alive I would probably have passed it over as Lesser Broad-bordered.  Are others occurring in the county undetected?

Lesser-spotted Pinion, new 10km square, likely to be breeding on the wych elm in the wood.  I deliberately targeted this species, placing the traps under stands of its foodplant, but only caught a single individual.  Perhaps it is reluctant to come to actinic light.

Agriphila selasella.  The trap was awash in grass moths.  There were 12 of these amongst its more common cousins.  I have only ever caught this species as single moths before.

Evergestis pallidata, 4 of these pyralids which like damp, open woodland.

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Thu 8th August 2019 08:05 by William Langdon
Recent Sightings
Garden trapping has been fairly quiet recently and has begun to feel distinctly autumnal with the first Flounced Rustics and Canary-Shouldered Thorns of the year. Highlight has been two Vestals and one Udea ferrugalis last night giving a tantalising hint of migrant activity.

Away from home, now is a good time to look for leaf mines. Neale has kindly confirmed that this is the mine of Trifurcula cryptella, found after a bit of searching on Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil at Langford Heathfield. It appears to be the second county record (and first for VC5) of this nationally scarce A moth, with the other record coming from Shapwick, but it's probably worth looking for in other damp woodland locations.

48 - Trifurcula cryptella mine

48 - Trifurcula cryptella mine

At Dead Woman's Ditch this week, I also found several mines of Stigmella myrtillella, a Bilberry feeding specialist that is also probably quite under-recorded. Most of the mines I found were on lush plants growing under the shade of the oaks rather than on the open heathland. Also here were Twin Spot Carpet, Holly Tortrix, Argyresthia goedartella and conjugella, Epagoge grotiana, Cydia ulicetana, Monochroa cytisella and a Silver Y, as well as the mines of Lyonetia clerkalla and Phyllonorycter sorbi on Rowan.

72 - Stigmella myrtillella mine

72 - Stigmella myrtillella mine

Yesterday I headed down to Hurlstone Point and Porlock Marsh for a wander, and was pleased to find lots of the spiral mines of Enteucha acetosae on the point, already recorded here by James McGill a few years ago.

118 - Enteucha acetosae mine

118 - Enteucha acetosae mine

Down on the marsh Bucculatrix maritima mines were abundant on the Sea Aster, along with several Eucosma tripoliana and a brief view of a male Red-Veined Darter. The highlight came in Bossington village though, with mines and adults of the lovely little Cosmopterix pulchrimella abundant around Pellitory of the Wall, which appears to be the second record for Somerset. This is another species that is on the march and worth looking out for, seemingly preferring coastal sites in other parts of its English range.

896b - Cosmopterix pulchrimella

896b - Cosmopterix pulchrimella

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Wed 7th August 2019 12:29 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
6/8/19 - yet another quiet night, just 82 moths, 34 species, including FFG Sallow Kitten and Ypsolopha scabrella and FFY Knot Grass.  More escapees to round up later.
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Tue 6th August 2019 20:56 by Chris Iles
Small Ranunculus as a garden resident
Small Ranunculus as a garden moth
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Tue 6th August 2019 09:02 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 5/8/19
43 species in the trap this morning, highlights:

Dusky Thorn, Buff-tip, Vine's Rustic, Iron Prominent, Southern Wainscot, Knot Grass.

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Mon 5th August 2019 20:56 by John Bebbington
Death's Head larva found near Wells
Fenella Williams sent Rob Grimmond a photo of a mature Death's Head larva found in a potato patch at Easton, near Wells, yesterday. Time to check your potatoes AND any large patches of Woody Nightshade near you!

Death's Head larva from Easton nr Wells
Death's Head Hawk-moth 5th instar larva ©Fenella Williams 2019

PS I walkd a long stretch of the Bridgwater and Taunton canal - where I found 3 lrvae in 2010 - no joy. The Woody Nightshade was all pristine.
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Mon 5th August 2019 15:41 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
4/8/19 - another mediocre total last night - just 87 moths, of 34 species.  FFYs were Oak Eggar, Orange Swift (2) and 2 early Flounced Rustics.  17 Common Rustic agg.  the most numerous, but only one Common Footman !!  Another male Four-spotted Footman, but still no females.

p.m. 5/8 - a further 17 moths and 9 species out from hiding in the porch from this morning, including 3 more FFYs - Peach Blossom, Garden Pebble and Garden Rose Tortrix.  No more Common Footmen.

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Mon 5th August 2019 13:01 by Tim Howard
Wall Common
In amongst the Common Blue and Brown Argus Butterflies this morning I found a Pyrausta despicata.
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Sun 4th August 2019 13:28 by Nigel Cottle
netherclay lnr. night of 3rd august.
It’s been more than three months since I last trapped at Netherclay so I ran a 125w MV Skinner for 2½ hours last night. 267 moths of 63 species (44 macro, 19 micro). The following were all additions to the site list: Ypsolopha parenthesella, Caloptilia stigmatella, European Corn-borer, Drinker, Flame Carpet and Slender Brindle.
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Sun 4th August 2019 09:41 by Sue Davies
Friday 2nd
Another micro with a possible ID thanks to Neale. Found on top of the trap, quick snap and alas it was off while reaching for the pot! Ginnidomorpha agg. Probably alismana, close to pond with plenty of food plant Water Pantain. Ginnidomorpha agg. alismana SD18
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Sat 3rd August 2019 21:11 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
75 species last night including a FFG: Acrobasis suavella, thanks (again) to James for confirmation. Nice to see Oak Eggar, Dog's Tooth, Least Yellow Underwing and Bryotropha affinis (2) after a lapse last year. Also Aethes smeathmanniana, Bucculatrix nigricomella, Eupoecilia angustana and Garden Rose Tortrix were all FFY. Jersey Tiger (4) including f. lutescens are always a treat.
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Sat 3rd August 2019 20:11 by William Langdon
Thurlbear Quarrylands - 03/08/2019
Nice walk at Thurlbear Quarrylands this morning. My original intention had been to look for Dingy Skipper larvae, but soon got distracted by moths. The best was Stephensia brunnichella - a lovely little Nationally Scarce B Elachistid which mines Wild Basil. I was looking for the mines at the time and noticed the adult perched low on the foodplant (and never did find any mines). It looks to be the first for VC5, and the 3rd modern Somerset record - one to look out for on woodland edges on alkaline soils, doubtless under-recorded.

0592 Stephensia brunnichella

0592 - Stephensia brunnichella

Other moths were Shaded Broad-Bar, Silver Y, Common Carpet, Yellow Shell, Rush Veneer, Crescent Plume, Eucosma hohenwartiana, Eucosma campoliliana, Agriphila straminella, Epilema costipunctana, Lathronympha strigana, Cochylimorpha straminea and Gracillaria syringella. and other leaf mines Euspilapteryx auroguttella (on St John's Wort), Phyllonorycter coryli (Hazel), Phyllonorycter lantanella (Wayfaring Tree), Copotriche marginea (Bramble), Phyllonorycter nigrescentella (a rather scarce, making blisters on Bush Vetch, already known from the area), Ectoedemia septembrella (St John's Wort), Bohemannia pulverosella (Apple), and the ubiquitous Stigmella aurella on both bramble and agrimony. Leucoptera laburnella mines were also found on Dyer's Greenweed, with several adults swept from the plant - the Dyer's Greenweed feeding form (wallesella) is considered by some to be a separate species.

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Sat 3rd August 2019 14:56 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock. Thursday 01 Aug
497 moths of 95 species.  FFG: Small Blood-vein (1). A further 13 FFY : Honeysuckle Moth (1) ; Parsnip Moth (1) ; Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (1) ; Cydia splendana (1) - Euzophera pinguis (3) ; Hypsopygia glaucinalis (2) Agriphila tristella (17) ; Shaded Broad-bar (2) ; Tawney-speckled Pug (1) ; Iron Prominent (1) ; Four-spotted Footman (2 - M+F) ; Rosy Rustic (1) and Scarce Silver-lines (1) Others of note : Chinese Character (3) ; Mocha (1) ; Cloaked Carpet (3) ; Barred Red (1) ; Herald (1) ; Rosy Footman (8).  Top scorer was Common Footman (48) - enough to staff Buckingham Palace.
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Sat 3rd August 2019 13:34 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
2/8/19 - still not too many moths here - just 133 of 40 species.  FFY were Single-dotted Wave (2), Pebble Prominent and Mallow.  Common Rustic agg. (17) taking over as the most numerous.
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Sat 3rd August 2019 11:26 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 2/8/19
58 species in the trap this morning, highlights:

Rush Veneer, Swallow Prominent, Diamond-back, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Carcina quercana, Campion, Blood-vein, Lathronympha strigana.

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Sat 3rd August 2019 07:38 by William Langdon
03/08/2019 - Nr Stogumber
A reasonably good night with about 85 species in the skinner MV. Nothing new for the garden, but some evidence of the migrant activity that others have been enjoying on the east coast with a Vestal, 2 Diamond-Backed Moths and 1 Udea ferrugalis. New for the year were Epinotia nisella, Oak Hook-Tip, Pebble Prominent, Scorched Carpet and Gold Spot. Other nights in the last week have been a bit cooler and less productive, but Slender Brindle was new for the garden on 01/08, as were Celpyha rivulana and Notocelia roborana on 25/7, and an H. resplendella leaf mine on a young birch on 02/08.
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Fri 2nd August 2019 19:41 by John Day
Friday 2nd August, Yeovil
Another Jersey Tiger but the Mocha this morning was a real bonus!
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Fri 2nd August 2019 17:46 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Not a bad night, with 178 moths of 45 species. FFY were Honeysuckle Moth, Ypsolopha scabrella, Tachystola acroxantha, Blastobasis adustella (2), Agriphila tristella (15), Gold Triangle, Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Small Fan-footed Wave, Small White Wave (3rd record and first since 2015), Early Thorn, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (2), Setaceous Hebrew Character, The Clay and Rosy Minor. The most numerous species was Common Rustic agg. wth 25.
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Fri 2nd August 2019 13:57 by Sue Davies
Tree House Butleigh
A good night in the garden, 73 spp. FFY Four-spotted Footmen, 2 male and a nice female. Jersey Tiger. Two garden first micros, Indian Meal Moth and 0868 35.031 Helcystogramma rufescens SD19 Helcystogramma rufescens
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Fri 2nd August 2019 11:02 by John Bebbington
A brief walk on Ham Hill yesterday afternoon yielded one small Hummingbird Hawk-moth larva; several patches of stripped Lady's Bedstraw (larvae presumably pupated) and four mature Privet Hawk-moth larvae on Ash saplings. Also several Painted Lady on Buddleia - probably a new influx as the larvae from earlier arrivals in Langport are still only 3rd or 4th instar.

I now have 20 Hummingbird Hawkmoth pupae from the larvae on our planted pot of Lady's Bedstraw.

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Thu 1st August 2019 19:04 by Nigel Cottle
castle neroche. night of 31st july
I trapped at Castle Neroche until 01:00h this morning. 295 moths of 71 species (50 macro, 21 micro):

Ypsolopha parenthesella, Plutella xylostella, Carcina quercana, Blastobasis adustella, Alucita hexadactyla, Agapeta hamana, Notocelia uddmanniana, Cydia splendana, Cydia fagiglandana, Phycita roborella, Euzophera pinguis, Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Pyrausta purpuralis, Anania crocealis, Udea ferrugalis, Pleuroptya ruralis, Eudonia lacustrata, Eudonia mercurella, Agriphila tristella, Agriphila straminella, Catoptria pinella, Oak Eggar, Drinker, Elephant Hawkmoth, Dwarf Cream Wave, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, Blood-vein, Shaded Broad-bar, Common Carpet, July Highflyer, Small Rivulet, Clouded Border, Dusky Thorn, Early Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Willow Beauty, Grass Emerald, Iron Prominent, Pebble Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pale Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Black Arches, Ruby Tiger, Rosy Footman, Four-spotted Footman, Dingy Footman, Common Footman, Nut-tree Tussock, Knot Grass, Coronet, Copper Underwing, Uncertain, Rustic, Small Rufous, Dark Arches, Dun-bar, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Wainscot, Smoky Wainscot, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Least Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Common Rustic agg. & Marbled Minor agg.

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Thu 1st August 2019 15:16 by Nigel Cottle
an addition to the list of somerset micro-moths
On the morning of 26/7 I found an Elachista sp. in my garden trap. This turned out to be 38.048 (BF632) Elachista consortella - the first Somerset record. My thanks to Paul Wilkins for the gen. det.
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Thu 1st August 2019 09:49 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
31/7/19 - another quiet night last night - only 76 moths of 27 species, including FFY Pale Prominent and Canary-shouldered Thorn (2).  Lots of Common Footmen again (26 so far).  As usual, more to round up this evening.

p.m. 1/8 round-up produced just 3 more moths, and 1 more species - nothing new.

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