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current posts

Tue 14th July 2020 18:49 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
Fifth garden record of Lobesia littoralis this afternoon. Previously three in Jun/Jul 2014 and one Aug 2017.

Lobesia littoralis 140720

Tue 14th July 2020 09:58 by Nigel Cottle
Tim is quite right that these species are, confusingly, listed as Cat. 2 in the Verification Guidelines. However, as I mentioned previously the Comments field for all four states: "Occupied larval web or bred only". Perhaps the Cat. 2 designation in this instance refers to adults that have been bred through from larvae.

There is a comprehensive summary here:

This states that: Y.padella/cagnagella/malinellus/rorrella are all very similar with 3 or 4 rows of black dots on a white or whitish ground colour and not more than 8 dots in the most dorsal row. Differences in forewing pattern do not distinguish the species with absolute certainty. and

There are no reliable genital differences between these 4 species.

I would, therefore, suggest that we should be recording them as Yponomeuta sp.

Mon 13th July 2020 21:21 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise, Little Quantock. Sat 11/07/2020
179 moths of 60 species. 9 FFY plus a potential FFG. FFY: Honeysuckle Moth ; Dioryctria abietella ; Eudonia mercurella (2) ; Small Fan-footed Wave ; Cloaked Carpet ; Swallow-tailed Moth (2) ; Buff Footman ; Coronet and Dun-bar (2).  The potential FFG subject to confirmation is Phyllonorycter maestingella.  I have had some results back from Paul Wilkins for moths sent for Gen.det.  Apologies for the delay in posting them but I have been having some health issues.  09/05/2020 : Elachista canapennella (also on 31/05) ; 26/05/2020 : Coleophora caespitiella ; 28/05/2020 : Dichrorampha aeratana and Cydia nigricana ; 31/05/2020 : Coleophora mayrella and Scoparia ambigualis and finally on 09/06/2020 Coleophora pyrrhulipennella.  Many many thanks to Paul for his time and expertise.  RE- GRADING GUIDELINES FOR MICRO MOTHS On checking the Mothscount website and following the trail to the grading guidelines I saw that the ' Difficult' Ermines are down as being cat.2 needing a good photograph for confirmation. That was why I was happy to post them last year and perhaps others have been this year. If as seems likely they got it wrong (typo?) perhaps they should be told.
Mon 13th July 2020 18:38 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A good night last night, with 102 moths of 32 species. FFY were Red-barred Tortrix, Gypsonoma sociana, Bud Moth, Euzophera pinguis, Pine Carpet (2), The Coronet and The Snout. Heart and Dart numbers are diminishing now (11), being overtaken by Chrysoteuchia culmella (15) and Eudonia Lacustrata (12)
Mon 13th July 2020 15:57 by Rob Grimmond
Grading Guidelines for Micro-moths
Following on from Nigel Cottle's post yesterday, I think it would be useful to remind everyone where they can find the Grading Guidelines and Verification Guidelines for micro-moths. Click on and go to the bottom of the list where you can download them.
Mon 13th July 2020 13:51 by Maurice Pugh
Curry Rivel
Evening of 12.7.2020

48 moths of 24 species. NFG were Codling moth, Euzophera pinguis and Jersey Tiger. Amongst others were Anania coronata x 4, Box-tree moth, Common Emerald, Yellow-tail x 2, Ruby Tiger and Coronet x 2.

Mon 13th July 2020 10:09 by Paul Newman
Re Difficult species IDs
Nigel - guilty as charged re Apple Ermine.  It is perhaps a weakness of the MapMate recording system that I and several others use, that such potential pitfalls are not flagged up with a warning.  I have looked further at the "Taxon" field options, and there is a choice under "Yponomeuta" which offers "Small Ermine Moths" as a possible entry.  I have amended my past records to this , so that they are hopefully now more accurate, or perhas less inaccurate. 

Thanks for pointing this out - I must have missed your comments last year !!

Sun 12th July 2020 22:19 by Steve Pilkington
Cocklake 12th July
113 other moths plus 100+ Common and Dingy footman, 70% the former. 41 species FFY were Dusky Sallow (only 2nd record-2018), Agriphila tristella, Dingy footman, Engrailed, July highflier and Drinker(2).
Sun 12th July 2020 18:03 by Nigel Cottle
difficult species & database integrity
Apologies for getting on my soapbox but I think this is important.

Over the last few days the following species have been reported here:

1. Coleophora lutipennella – this (as with many Coleophoridae) is a Verification Cat. 4 species and as such requires gen. det. to identify.

2. Apple Ermine – I posted this last June and will do so again: Adult Yponomeuta rorella (Willow), Y. padella (Orchard), Y. malinellus (Apple) and Y. cagnagella (Spindle) can only be reliably separated by DNA analysis. Even gen. det. is not conclusive.

The only other way to be sure of what species you have is to find larvae on the foodplant and breed through.

Indeed a comment in the Verification Guidelines for these four species states: "Occupied larval web or bred only"

3. Grey Dagger – As noted in the literature Dark Dagger / Grey Dagger males can be identified by careful inspection of the genitalia of the live moth; otherwise gen. det. is required.

4. Acleris ferrugana - A. ferrugana is a Verificaton Cat. 4 species and gen. det. is required to separate it and A. notana.

I don’t want to offend anyone or teach you to suck eggs and it is, of course, up to individual observers if they want to add such species to their garden list without gen. det. confirmation. But in the interest of the integrity of the Database and to save him work please don’t submit such records to the CMR. If you don’t have a copy of the Micro Moth Grading Guidelines they can be downloaded from the link on the A – Z Page Index page.

Sun 12th July 2020 12:04 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
11/7/20 - Benjamin - you can have some of my Common Footmen - I had 103 last night, and there will probably be more to round up this evening.  Altogether 161 moths so far, but only 24 species with just one FFY, an Apple Ermine.
Sun 12th July 2020 09:42 by Benjamin Bond
Wellington 12/07/2020
Caught 174 moths of 48 species last night. Highlights: Common Footman (3), Swallow-tailed Moth, Scalloped Oak (5), Grey Dagger (3), Phoenix, Elephant Hawk-moth, Brussels Lace, Wormwood Pug, Juniper Webber, Purple Thorn, Garden Pebble (2), Herald, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix, and Acleris ferrugana.
Sat 11th July 2020 18:10 by Nigel Cottle
kingston-st-mary garden
I trapped for three hours last night. 173 of 53 (43 macro, 10 micro).

Diamond-back Moth, Red-barred Tortrix, Peach Blossom, Mocha, July Highflyer, Small Phoenix, V-Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Swallow-tailed Moth, Peppered Moth, Engrailed, Common Emerald, Yellow-tail, Rosy Footman, Fan-foot, Plain Golden Y, Dun-bar, Dot Moth, Clay etc.

Sat 11th July 2020 09:01 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
Addendum to 9/7 - the late night round up produced a further 21 moths and 3 species, totals now 158/40, with 13 more Common Footmen (75) and a FFG September Thorn, a first also for my 10km square, apparently.
Fri 10th July 2020 21:26 by Steve Chapple
8th July 2020
A much better night (despite the unforecast rain) with 64 species, including 9 FFY: Haworth's Pug (2), Magpie, Double Lobed, July Highflyer, Aethes rubigana, Coleophora lutipennella, Endotricha flammealis (2), Rhopobota naevana, Holly Tortrix and Hypsopygia costalis, Gold Triangle (4).
Fri 10th July 2020 17:37 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A very good trap last night - 121 moths of 38 species. One of the highlights was an FFG Catoptria pinella (my 5th new species this year). FFY were White Plume Moth, The Drinker, The V-pug, Ruby Tiger (2), True Lover's Knot, Cabbage Moth, The Lychnis, The Clay and Grey Dagger agg. (2). Other notables were 9 Elephant Hawk-moths and a Poplar Hawk-moth. Heat and Dart is still the main species (25), followed by Common Footman (14) and Common Rustic agg. (15). I also had my first adult Jersy Tiger of the year (after caterpillars in May).

The True Lover's Knot record is interesting. I first recorded this heathland and moorland species in 2013, with 2 records. I had no further records till 2019 and now this year. I suspect it's breeding locally on heather, possibly in my garden.

Fri 10th July 2020 13:42 by Maurice Pugh
Curry Rivel
Trapped until 2330hrs 9.7.2020

47 moths of 24 species.

NFY were Celypha striana, Ruby Tiger and Flounced Rustic. Others of note were Garden Grass Veneer x 17, Early Thorn, Sycamore, Dusky Sallow, Drinker x 2 and Silver Y.

Fri 10th July 2020 11:58 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
9/7/20 - A good night's catch, with 137 moths so far, of 38 species, including no fewer than 9 FFYs - Oak Eggar, Dingy Footman (2). Dusky Sallow, Yellow-tail, Beautiful Golden Y (2), Dun-bar, Mother of Pearl, Eucosma cana and Bird-cherrY Ermine.  Also a second-generation Purple Thorn - the first gen. one I had in April was a FFG, so clearly established here, which is good to see.  62 Common Footmen the main conrtributors again.
Fri 10th July 2020 11:00 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 09/07/20
Relatively poor again but slight improvement, up to 33 species.

Great to get my first Jersey Tiger of the year, always a joy to see. Ruby Tiger, Muslin Footman, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and Donacaula forficella nice to see too.

Thu 9th July 2020 20:01 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
Night of 8/7. 110 moths of 32 species (20 macro, 12 micro).

FFY: Jersey Tiger

Micros included Bird-cherry Ermine, Thistle Ermine, Bee Moth, Agapeta hamana, Celypha striana, Ancylis achatana, Euzophera pinguis and Endotricha flammealis.

Thu 9th July 2020 17:22 by Maurice Pugh
Curry Rivel

Trapped until 2330hrs 8.7.2020

80 moths of 30 species. NFY were Water Veneer, Small Rivulet and Lesser Yellow Underwing. Species of note..Orchard/Apple Ermine x 20. Box-tree Moth, Lappet and Marbled Green.

Wed 8th July 2020 17:16 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset - Postscript for 6th July
In my report I omitted another FFY - Scalloped Oak. So 58 moths of 19 species.
Tue 7th July 2020 17:52 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
57 moths of 18 species last night - a cool and clear night again. FFY were Purple Thorn (my 5th record and first since 2017), Swallow-tailed Moth and Double Square-spot. Heart and Dart just hanging on as most numerous species (14).
Tue 7th July 2020 12:08 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
6/7/20 - 117 moths of 30 species. including just two FFYs - Bordered Beauty and Gold Triangle.  Common Footman (46) by far the most numerous - Heart & Dart (only 6) fading fast.

Addendum p.m. 7/7.  A further 14 moths, & 2 species, totals 131/32.  8 more Common Footmen - 54 in total.

Sun 5th July 2020 22:16 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
51 species on a breezy and very mild night.  Clepsis consimilana, Smoky Wainscot, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Nutmeg, Lilac Beauty, Blue-bordered Carpet, Muslin Footman, Maple Pug and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing all FFY.
Sat 4th July 2020 09:21 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 3/7/20
Very poor catch last night, surprising considering the weather and time of year. Only 21 species. Highlights were Scalloped Oak, Early Thorn, Ghost and Nutmeg.
Fri 3rd July 2020 20:19 by Nigel Cottle
reply to howard's query:
Howard, unfortunately many of the maps on this website are inaccurate / out of date etc. and have been for a number of years.

What you need to do is:

1. From the Home Page click on A-Z Page Index

2. Click on Distribution Maps (temporary page) and scroll down to Nutmeg.

Fri 3rd July 2020 19:00 by Howard Parsons
Portishead 3-6-2020.
I had a Nutmeg in my garden trap this morning and looking in the Atlas of Larger Moths there seem to be few records in our area also there are no dots on the distribution map for this species on this web site. So how scarce is it ?Nutmeg 3-7-2020
Fri 3rd July 2020 17:21 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
The forecast for the next few days didn't look too promising so I decided to trap last night, which turned out to be cool, clear and moonlit. The result was an unexceptional 36 moths of 14 species. The highlight was a FFY Lobster Moth, my fourth record and first since 2015.

Heart and Dart is still the mainstay, making up almost a half of the catch. It's been the third best year here for this species since I started trapping, with 361 individuals to date. The best previously were 659 in 2015 and 384 in 2014.

Thu 2nd July 2020 17:50 by Rob Grimmond
Postscript for 30th June Combe St Nicholas
When releasing the moths the next evening, I discovered a FFY Dark Sword-grass that I'd overlooked. It's my 9th record.

Yesterday (1st) I flushed a FFY Yellow Shell in the garden.

Thu 2nd July 2020 15:09 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
1/7/20 - 115 moths so far, but only 23 species, including FFYs Double Square-spot, Scalloped Oak, Small Fan-footed Wave (2), and Anania coronata.  Common Footman (34) taking over from Heart & Dart (17) as the largest in number. No sign yet of Dingy Footman - watch this space.

Addendum p.m. 1/7 - 5 more Common Footmen rounded up, plus a FFY Grey Dagger caterpillar found on my clothing, presumably landed on me while I was puttimg my hens to bed - there are several apple trees there, and this beastie must have been disturbed from a leaf.  At least with the larvae, you can tell the difference between Dark and Grey Daggers !!

Thu 2nd July 2020 13:24 by Nigel Cottle
Thurlbear Wood
The weather last night wasn't ideal but I ran a 20w Actinic Skinner in Thurlbear Wood for two hours anyway.

86 moths of 31 species (20 macro, 11 micro).

Macros included beautifully fresh Large Emerald, Magpie and Black Arches + Lackey, July Highflyer, Fern, Engrailed, Brussels Lace and Yellow-tail.

Micros included: Nemapogon clematella, Paraswammerdamia nebulella, Aleimma loeflingiana, Eudonia delunella and Variegated Golden Tortrix.

Wed 1st July 2020 15:56 by Nigel Cottle
Netherclay lnr
Several fairly common leaf miners recorded during a walk around Netherclay this morning including Callisto denticulella on Apple and Phyllonorycter rajella on Alder.

Callisto denticulella 010720

Callisto denticulella

Phyllonorycter rajella ups 010720

Phyllonorycter rajella ups

Phyllonorycter rajella uns 010720

Phyllonorycter rajella uns

Wed 1st July 2020 15:12 by Ian Mathieson
Splendid Brocade
The contents of a sanitised pot left on the doorstep of Robin Clatworthy have now been confirmed by him to be a Splendid Brocade. According to the distribution map it is only the 2nd somerset record after Peter Tennant's one in VC6 about 15 years ago.
Wed 1st July 2020 15:12 by Ian Mathieson
Wed 1st July 2020 14:46 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
Night of 30/6.

Just 58 of 21 here on what was a rather breezy night.

FFG: Phycita roborella and Short-cloaked Moth.

FFY: Scalloped Oak & Double Square-spot.

Wed 1st July 2020 13:54 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
addendum to 29/6/20 - the evening round-up of strays produced a further 11 moths of 4 species, including two more FFYs, a Small Fan-foot and a Scoparia ancipitella.  This last is a regular, if not frequent, visitor here - I record just one singleton each year, but where others of the same species are, I know not.
Wed 1st July 2020 10:49 by Nigel Cottle
I have now received the following gen. det. results from Paul Wilkins to whom many thanks:

Priors Park Wood 2nd June:

Cnephasia asseclana (Flax Tortrix), Phylloporia bistrigella and Epinotia fraternana. The E. fraternana record now seems to be the second for Somerset (see William Langdon's Willett Hill post dated 13th June).

Bishops Hull 19th June:

Cnephasia pasiuana, seemingly the first modern VC5 record and about the 10th from Somerset as a whole.


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