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current posts

Tue 16th July 2019 00:31 by Chris Iles
Exmoor Mires, 6 July 2019
I spent 6 July on the Exmoor mire restoration sites at the very western edge of the county, with the original intention of searching for dragonflies.  However, it proved a far better day for butterflies and moths.  A few species not often reported here proved to be quite common and widespread, whilst there was one very notable find.

Small Argent & Sable, with the mire at Comerslade in the background.  It was present at most of the sites visited, and abounded on Codsend Moor.
Small Argent and Sable 06072019

Catoptria margaritella, found fairly widely in small numbers.  It crops up fairly widely across Exmoor, not just on mire sites.
1314 Catoptria margaritella

Crambus uliginosellus at Codsend Moor, only the second VC5 record, the other being in 1915.
1297 Crambus uliginosellus

Mon 15th July 2019 20:24 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock Sat.13/07/19
I think the 3/4 moon may be the reason for the lower catch Paul.  I "only" had 388 to work through - while watching the cricket.  One FFG : Slender Brindle (1).  Eight FFY : Agriphila straminella (2) ; Water Veneer (1) ; Oak Hook-tip (1) ; Pine Carpet (1) ; Phoenix (1) ; Satin Beauty (1) ; Heart and Club (2) and Lesser BBYU.  Others of note : Ghost Moth ; Northern Spinach ; Barred Straw ; Small Yellow Wave ; Swallow-tailed Moth ; Beautiful Hook-tip ; Poplar Grey ; Small Dotted Buff ; Clay (2) and Dark Sword-grass.  Most notable was the lack of LYU - only two.
Sun 14th July 2019 13:21 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
13/7/19 - much quieter last night, for reasons not obvious.  Just 136 moths so far, of 35 species, including a FFG Leopard Moth - I have only ever recorded this moth once before, in 2007, at my former home in East Lydford.  Quite a surprise.  Three FFYs, Buff Arches, Scalloped Oak and Shoulder-striped Wainscot.  Common Footman (27) the most numerous this time.

p.m. 14/7 - a further 19 moths rounded up, including a FFY Meal Moth, Pyralis farinalis, and 8 more Common Footman.

Sun 14th July 2019 11:19 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 14/7/19
A good morning today, had 60 species in the trap. Highlights were:

Marbled Beauty, Marbled Green, Cypress Carpet, Vestal, Scalloped Oak, Rosy Footman, Brussels Lace, Muslin Footman, Yellow-tail, Buff-tip, Swallow-tailed moth, Shark, Rusty Dot Pearl, Buff Arches, Anania coronata, Dingy Footman, Dusky Sallow, Smoky Wainscot, Acrobasis marmorea, Rhodophae formosa, Acrobasis suavella, Catoptria falsella, Crambus pascuella, Agonopterix alstromeriana.

Sat 13th July 2019 12:15 by Ian Mathieson
Norton sub Hamdon
Good trapping in the last week with more than 300 macros in the trap on every occasion. These numbers would have doubled if I had included the grass moths and other micros. I take my hat off to those of you who do record them. I must have had 50 Mother of Pearl moths yesterday morning trying to unsettle the ones I wanted to record. Variety has also increased and I recorded my 200th species of the year on 7th July just 19 days after recording my 150th. That was the average date but the 200 came up a clear week earlier than the average.
Recent highlights have been Brown Rustic, Dark Umber and my first ever Four Dotted Footman. I must admit that this moth has not really come to my attention before and I initially thought it was a small Four spotted Footman. When I did properly identify it I was surprised to see how widespread it is in the county and makes me wonder why it's taken nearly 20 years to come to my garden.
A pupa that I found amongst Alder Buckthorn I had collected from the garden for Brimstone caterpillars has hatched into a Tissue. This is a moth I have only recorded occasionally at light and not for several years so it is good to find it breeding in the garden.
Fri 12th July 2019 17:30 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
I seem to be back into the swing of trapping now! Last night produced 300 moths of 43 species. I had my largest haul of Chrysoteuchia culmella - 125 - and some will have been missed. They were supported by 44 Heart and Dart. Also of interest were The Shark (2), Clouded Border, Chinese Character and Dot Moth. Since I resumed trapping so late in the year I've decided not to report FFYs at this stage.
Fri 12th July 2019 16:47 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
11/7/19 - a similar night to other recent ones, just over 200 moths, and 41 species, of which there were 4 FFYs, Yellow-tail (2), Anania coronata, Apple Ermine (2), and Grey Tortrix agg.  C.culmella taking over as the most numerous, with 56.  Probably a few more to round up this evening, as usual.

p.m. 12/7 another 22 moths & 2 species.  Nothing of note to add. Totals now 231/43.

Wed 10th July 2019 23:32 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
A really good night with 77 species and no less than four FFG macros: Large Emerald, Four-dotted Footman, Small Dotted Buff and a Tawny Shears. Lots of FFY including: Leopard (only my second record here), Short-cloaked Moth (2), Rosy Footman (2), Muslin Footman (4), Large Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Dun-bar, Yellow Tail, Rusty-dot Pearl (2), White Plume Moth, Acleris kochiella, Eucosma campoliliana, Aethes rubigana, Pammene fasciana, Anania lancealis and Crambus perlella (3)
Wed 10th July 2019 14:14 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
Yesterday afternoon a Hummingbird Hawkmoth paid a brief visit to my back garden. Another one turned up this lunchtime and spent some time egg-laying on the Hedge Bedstraw.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth 100719

Wed 10th July 2019 10:56 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
9/7/19 - MV trap back in action last night, after a spot of DIY.  So far 197 moths of 40 species, including 8 FFYs, Swallow-tailed Moth, Coronet, Rivulet, July Highflyer, Broad-bordered YU, Common Emerald, Mother of Pearl (3), and Acleris forsskaleana.  Not QUITE as many H & Dart, Dark Arches, Uncertain, or C.culmella, but even so there were over 20 of each, accounting for half of the total catch.
Wed 10th July 2019 07:26 by Sue Davies
Monday7th TreeHouse Butleigh
Left lures out in the garden all afternoon and collected these...Orange-tailed & Red-belted Clearwings. Orange-tailed Clearwings SD19 Red-belted Clearwings SD19
Mon 8th July 2019 11:43 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
7/7/19 - A minor disaster befell my 15-year-old home-made (not by me, I hasten to add) MV trap last night, as the bulb assembly collapsed into the trap.  Not good news, especially for the dozen or so moths that got cooked by the heat from the bulb (which stayed lit).  The result was a mere 37 moths (including the dead ones) of 20 species in the MV, although the Actinic fared better with 71 of 17. (Total species overall 29).  The only FFYs were a Drinker, and a noticeably small Common Rustic, which I have recorded as a "Lesser", rather than "agg".  Common Footmen were the most numerous, with 23.

DIY repairs to be done I think !!

I had a 'phone call last evening from a former SMG member, Tony Pennington, who had an amazing 35 Elephant Hawks in his trap the other night.  Quite remarkable, as Tony seldom traps these days .

Mon 8th July 2019 10:06 by Simon Phelps
Middlezoy 6/7/19
Another good night on Saturday here in the garden. I had 57 species. Had an incredible 79 Dark Arches and 42 Heart and Dart!

Highlights were:

Gold Triangle, Rosy Footman, Blood-vein, Buff-tip, Eyed Hawkmoth, Light Arches, Double Lobed, Broad-barred White, Haworth's Pug.

Sun 7th July 2019 21:17 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock Friday 5/7/19 min temp 14.2c
Back in the saddle after last weeks bonanza. This time a "meer" 531 moths of 99 species. FFG was a Small Plume (subject to confirmation) and Eudemis profundana. FFY were : Anania lancealis (1) ; Udea prunalis (3) ; Rush Veneer (1) ; Garden Pebble (2) ; Agriphila inquinitella (1) ; Single-dotted Wave (1) ; Scalloped Oak (1) ; Lobster Moth (2) ; Common Footman (3) ; Beautiful Hook-tip (4) ; Beautiful Golden-Y (1) ; Shark (1) ; Dun-bar (1) and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (1).
Sun 7th July 2019 18:36 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
My second trapping session of the year produced 205 moths of 30 species. Highest counts were of Heart and Dart (44) and Dark Arches (29, my highest ever). Also of interest were 13 Elephant Hawk-moths and a True Lover's Knot (my 4th record and first since 2013 when I had 3). Yesterday lunchtime a brief foray into the garden produced The Phoenix, Garden Tiger and Hummingbird Hawk-moth within one minute!
Sun 7th July 2019 18:14 by Steve Pilkington
Highlight here was a FFG Kent dark arches. Looking at the website map and the sightings records it first appears in 2009 (Pam Campbell). The next one, taken from the maps, is 2014, then 2015(2) 2016(3)2017(5) 2018(3).So getting more frequent and being located in increasing numbers of 10K squares. Apart from the numbers (600+/87 app), this was one of those lovely colourful trappings - lots of bling - it made me wish I had my g'children here. Swallowtails(4) Herald, Elephant hawk(4) Small elephant, Poplar hawk(3) Garden tiger, Ghost(female) Magpie and lots of Emeralds.

One other FFG was Brown tail.

17 - FFY were Garden tiger, Chinese character, Small dusty wave, Swallowtail(4), Broad bordered yellow underwing, Poplar grey, Grey dagger, Herald, Fan-foot, Ghost' Yellow tail, A.forsskelana, Chilo phragmitella, Anania crocealis, Rhodophera formosa, Ostrinia nubialis and Plutella xylostella. With a handful of micros still to resolve.

Sun 7th July 2019 17:26 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
My second trapping session of the year produced 205 moths of 30 species. Highest counts were of Heart and Dart (44) and Dark Arches (29, my highest ever). Also of interest were 13 Elephant Hawk-moths and a True Lover's Knot (my 4th record and first since 2013 when I had 3). Yesterday lunchtime a brief foray into the garden produced The Phoenix, Garden Tiger and Hummingbird Hawk-moth within one minute!
Sat 6th July 2019 22:02 by William Langdon
VC5 Sightings
Having returned from University, the trap has been out in the garden on 3 nights - just over 100 species in total. Nothing hugely exciting, but a few species new for the garden - Green Arches (long-awaited) and Phycitodes binaevella, while Privet Hawk and Lilac Beauty were only the second here.

Apart from these three nights, most of the mothing has been by day.

Up at Haddon Hill on 23/06: Lead-Coloured Pug (2), Orthotaenia undulana (6), Catoptria margaritella (1), Bilberry Tortrix (8), Psyche casta larva (1), Olethreutes arcuella (1), Common Heath (2), Argyresthia brockeela (1), Smoky Wave (12), Cydia ulicetana (1), 4-Dotted Footman (1), Argyresthia retinella (3).

On some fantastic grassland by the West Somerset railway near Watchet (ST056426) on 24/06, highlights were Dichrorampha sequana (1), Pyrausta despicata (2), Aethes tessarana (3), Homeosomona sinuella (1), Delplanqueia dilutella (2), Endothenia nigricostana (2), Elachista subocellea (1), and Dowdy Plume. Some of these seem to be real rarities in VC5 - a testament to what a great spot this is, as are the nearby slumped cliffs, with Little Thorn and Narrow-Bordered Bee Hawk by day. It'd be really worth doing some trapping to see what turns up, though sadly I don't have any kind of mobile set-up, if anyone does, I'd be very interested!

Today, a single Six-Belted Clearwing to a lure in a nice meadow near Hoccombe, and then more luck with the Clearwing lures at Ash Priors Common, with 3 Red-Belted, 3 Orange-Tailed, 1 Yellow-Legged and 1 Red-Tipped! The latter two look to be the second modern VC5 records. Surprisingly, no Six-Belted here but perhaps a bit late in the day and windy when I tried.

Sat 6th July 2019 18:05 by Benjamin Bond
Wellington 06/07/2019
Caught 402 moths of 75 species last night! Highlights were: Small Dusty Wave, Small Fan-footed Wave (2), Elephant Hawk-moth (14), Snout (2), Spectacle, Swallow-tailed Moth (6), Small Yellow wave, Dot Moth (2), Scalloped Oak (2), V-Pug, Peppered Moth, Common Carpet, Barred Straw (2), Poplar Hawk-moth, Sycamore, Light Arches (3), Clay (3), Buff Ermine (3), Carden Carpet, Green Pug (2), Peach Blossom, Treble Brown Spot, Small Blood-vein (2), Single-dotted Wave, Common Emerald, Grey Arches, Cabbage Moth, Pale Mottled Willow, Coronet, Fan-foot, Hypsopygia glaucinalis (2), Palpita vitrealis (FFG), Beautiful Plume, Ash Bud Moth, Cherry Fruit Moth, and Lychnis (4).
Fri 5th July 2019 22:39 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
78 species and counting, FFY included: Obscure Wainscot (2), Buff Arches, Marbled White-spot, Scalloped Oak (3), Common White Wave, Common Emerald (2), Single-dotted Wave, Brindled Plume, Bryotropha terrella, Acleris forsskaleana, Plutella porrectella and Scoparia basistrigalis (2),
Fri 5th July 2019 17:33 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
4/7/19 - another warm night, and a goodly catch, if not spectacular.  217 moths of 39 species, including 5 FFYs - Burnished Brass (2), Elephant Hawkmoth, Yellow Shell, Gold Triangle and Codling Moth.  As before, the bulk made up of Heart & Dart (53), Dark Arches (40), Uncertain (21) and Common Wainscot (21).  Probably some more to round up later on.

a.m. 6/7/19 last evening's round-up produced a further 25 moths and 5 species - nothing new or exciting.

Thu 4th July 2019 12:26 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull
As previously reported I trapped three FFG on the night of 28/6 (Acrobasis consociella, Cocksfoot Moth and Red-necked Footman)

This has now increased to six FFG following the determination of Syncopacma larseniella, Phycitodes saxicola and Monochroa tenebrella by Paul Wilkins.

Thanks Paul.

Wed 3rd July 2019 19:21 by Steve Pilkington
3rd July. Clear night and the temperature dropped. 265 moths 59 species. I also had a large haul of Uncertain(23) I have not checked back but I am pretty sure this will have been the largest by far of this species from a trap on my plot. Other big numbers were the usual suspects -LYU(23), Dark arches(42) Heart and dart(43) and SHC(14).

FFG was Shark. FFY Privet hawk, Magpie, Dun-bar(2) Small fan foot, Agraphila straminella, Scoparia basistrigalis,C.plebejana and Large fruit tree tortrix.

Wed 3rd July 2019 14:52 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
2/7/19 - much the same in terms of both numbers and variety - 151 moths of 26 species.  Only two FFYs - Double Square-spot and Eudonia pallida.  46 Heart & Dart and 23 Dark Arches the most numerous, and a surprising number (19) of Uncertain.  I doubt if I have ever had more than 8 or 10 of these at a time before.

addendum - 5 more moths rounded up last evening, including an unusually marked FFY Dun-bar.

Tue 2nd July 2019 14:37 by Paul Newman
I feel for you Tim, I get an attack of the vapours if I get past 300 - I shudder to think what over 1000 is like.  Well done for dealing with them !!
Mon 1st July 2019 20:49 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise - Belated report for Friday 28/06
Apologies for the delay but I have been lying down in a dark room for 24 hours. At 0400 on Sat morning I checked the first trap and uttered "O MY GOD".  I have identified 753 moths so far from the two traps - not counting the c 200 Garden Grass Veneers. There were also up to 100 moths, mainly micro, that were too worn to ID. A total haul of over 1000 moths!  Three FFG : Brindled Plume (1) ; Cherry Bark Moth (1) and Red-necked Footman (1).  48 FFY (highlights) Yarrow Plume (1) ; Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (13) ; Scoparia ambigualis (1) ; Catoptria pinella (1) ; Buff Arches (1) ; Elephant Hawk Moth (3) ; Small Dusty Wave (2) ; Clay Triple-lines (1) ; Vestal (2) ; July Belle (1) ; Northern Spinach (3) ; Barred Straw (1) ; Swallow-tailed Moth (1) ; Barred Red (2) ; Clouded Buff (1) ; Grass Emerald (2) ; Small Emerald (1) ; Four-dotted Footman (1) ; Miller (1) ; Dot Moth (2) ; Clay (1) ; Double Lobed (1) ; True Lovers Knot (1) and Green Silverlines (1).  Heart and Dart (109) ; LYU (96) were top scorers.  Next time I trap it will be a ticket only event with bouncers to keep out the LYU which I think of as the Hells Angels of the moth world. Now, I think I'm going to lie down again.  I nearly forgot, 126 species identified so far.
Mon 1st July 2019 16:18 by Steve Pilkington
26th June. Large numbers but insufficient time to count the LYU, Dark arches, SHC and Heart and darts. 73 species.

FFG was Cream wave, Beautiful plume, , Lozotaenia forsterana, Swammerdamia albicapitella, Eucosma hohenwatiana and Neosphaleroptera nubilana.

FFY were Barred yellow, Blue bordered carpet, Scalloped oak, Early thorn Aethes tesserana, Dichromorpha plumbana, Mompha ochracaella and Swammerdamia pyrella. .

1st July 275 moths 58 species. FFG Argyresthia brockaella and Endothema ericetana.

FFY Common wave, Cloaked minor, Silver Y, Plain golden Y, Lackey (only my third of this species '06 and '16), White plume, Cyclamen tortrix, Barred fruit tree tortrix, Homoeosema sinuella, Red barred tortri and Clepsis consimilana.

Mon 1st July 2019 11:05 by Ian Mathieson
Norton sub Hamdon
The end of June finally brought good numbers of moths to my garden with 369 macros on 23rd, 523 on 25th, 204 on 27th and 392 on the 29th. At least 60% of these have been Heart and Darts, Large Yellow Underwings or Dark Arches and it is encouraging to see them at their most numerous for a number of years. However variation in species is still disappointing and some common varieties are in very short supply or even not appearing at all. I am yet to see a single Buff Tip and have only only had 2 Peppered moths. Hawk Moths are also in low numbers. Elephant Hawk had been 90% down on this time last year but I did have a more encouraging 8 in the trap on Sunday morning.
The sunshine has allowed good numbers of Currant Clearwings on a patch of Thyme. They are quite flighty and accurate numbers are hard to get but I think they have reached double figures on occasions. Currant Clearwing on Thyme
Mon 1st July 2019 11:02 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
30/6/19 - Nothing like your catch Steve, but that seems to be the norm here - reasonably good numbers, but relatively few species.  Same again last night - 158 moths, 31 species. including 1 FFG, a Beautiful China-mark, and 4 FFYs, Common Footman (2). (he first of probably many), Short-cloaked Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, and Hypsopygia glaucinalis.  36 Heart & Darts, and 26 Dark Arches again the main contributors.
Mon 1st July 2019 10:51 by Steve Chapple
Belated Friday night (28th June) report
I couldn’t resist putting out the traps on Friday night despite the fact that I had two very busy family days ahead and other commitments. The downside was that I've had very little sleep, domestic issues..., 300+ moths to sort and missed a lot of Glastonbury, the upside was a record 92+ species, one NFG, a beautiful Phtheochroa rugosana, and lots of FFY including: Miller (2), Lilac Beauty, Lime-speck Pug, Fan-foot, Heart and Club (5), Double Square-spot (3), Double-lobed (2), Coronet, Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Clay, Flame Carpet, Homoeosoma sinuella, Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Dioryctria abietella, Gold Triangle and Beautiful Plume. Eyed Hawkmoths (6) have done well here this year, and also Striped Wainscot with three on Friday night.

Phtheochroa rugosan SC19
Phtheochroa rugosana (under artificial light)

Dioryctria abietella SC19
Dioryctria abietella

Update: At the final count there was 103 species - by far my largest species count here at Pen Elm. Many thanks to James McGill for identifying Piniphila bifasciana, another NFG micro.

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