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current posts

 
Wed 31st May 2006 18:05 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog

Weather Impacts

There is no disputing that the last week or two have been pretty dismal down here and the question of what impact this might have on the Lepidoptera comes to mind.  The impact on the Lepidopterist is quite clear; what affect this has on the insects themselves perhaps not so.

However, I do believe they are very opportunistic creatures.  Take the butterflies.  A couple of days ago things were generally grim and I was caught in a shower that turned to hail.  No sooner had this stopped and the sun just broken through when a male Orange Tip (A. cardamines) was out and flitting about next to me.  That most butterflies become active instantly the sun is out is well known of cause.  One striking example of this for me was on a visit to Arnside Knott in Cumbria last year.  At this incredible locality in June last the weather was very iffy: with odd showers between glints of sunshine.  As soon as the sun broke through, one face of the hillside was literally covered with Dark Green Fritillary (A. aglaja).  They all seemed to take to the wing together and as soon as the sun was obscured, they all dropped to the ground.  It was a bizarre and striking sight as this repeated every ten minutes or so.

It is more difficult to see this sort of phenomena with moths - particularly when your perspective is from a single bright light in the middle of a dark wood.  In fact we are hardly ever privy to the private life of moths and the closest we get to see them going about their business is perhaps peeking with a torch at the ivy blossom.

Most moths don't seem too phased by a bit of drizzle or light rain and it is probably the temperature that is most important as far as activity is concerned.  'Ideal' conditions are not exactly known and must vary between species.  The fact that a particularly good catch equals a 'good night for moths' seems logical but I guess that most individuals maximise what small fragments of suitability are available to them.

So I do think that a prolonged spell of 'bad weather' dents the morale of the Lepidopterist rather more than it does that of the Lepidoptera themselves!

link
Mon 29th May 2006 10:45 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor 27th May Brimstone, Buff Ermine, Common Marbled Carpet, Flame Carpet, Flame Shoulder, Garden Carpet, Green Carpet, Heart & Dart, Light Emerald, Purple Thorn, Ruddy carpet, Rufous Minor, Scalloped Hazel,Shuttle-shaped Dart, Treble Lines
link
Fri 26th May 2006 13:57 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog

If you go down to the woods...

Yesterday morning, quite unexpectedly, the sky went blue and working down in Devon I thought I'd pop over to see euphrosyne the Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Haldon Forest in my lunch break.  It could be done: 10mins drive there and back, 15mins brisk walk to the site, yes.

So, off I went.  Parked up on the roadside and set a cracking pace through the woods and there they were.  I saw five or six in half an hour: and how good to see them.  But must get back so off I trot.

Back to the car in good time and then I find -- I've lost my key.  I normally put my keys, valuables etc in a rucksack, which contains sensible things like a waterproof, water, compass, whistle, even a GPS.  Today for some strange reason I didn't.  Maybe it was the spur of the moment decision to make the trip, I dont know.  Oh no, maybe it was stuffing my glasses case in my pocket and taking those out.  So I backtracked the route I'd taken and desperately scanned the ground but quickly decided this was pretty hopeless.

Back to the car and not a person in sight.  What next?  I don't have a mobile phone.  I have not had one for a couple of years now and always promote the freedom of not having one (add your own comment here!).

After pondering my situation for 10 minutes or so a truck appeared in the distance and I thought I'd wave them down and see if they had a phone.  The truck pulled up and the driver leaned out of his window.  One side of his face was heavily tattooed - most dramatic.  After explaining my situation he said he didn't have any credit on his phone but offered to give me a lift back to the Ranger's Office, which he had passed a mile or so down the road.  Appearances are deceptive and this was a thoroughly nice bloke.

The Ranger was excellent, not only did he have a phone in his hut but made me a coffee.  Being in this situation I felt like I should make a single call and as I'm a member of the RAC decided to contact them for advice.
"You are not covered for lost keys, sir"
"Oh, what now then?"
"Depending on the key type we can either: arrange for a lock-smith to come out and make one or failing that, tow you to the nearest Main Dealer where they can get you a key"
"Sounds great, lets do that."

Having made my single call I had a good chat with the Ranger.  A couple of ladies who were lost turned up.  The time passed very pleasantly.

A tow truck arrives and the driver explains that he'll have to take me to a dealership in Exeter.  Great.  We go back to the car, he uses a very ingenious method to get in and release the handbrake - after insisting that we check the boot for keys first.  The car is attached and off we go.

So, feeling close to sorting this out now (if rather late back from lunch) the man at the counter in the Exeter reception flicks through his diary.
"It's going to be Tuesday before we can even look at this"
"Oh-but the RAC said..."
"We can't magically make keys appear"
I explain that whilst I do accept being a total idiot for loosing my key, any suggestions as to how I might get out of this situation would be most welcome.  They finally offer me a courtesy car so I can go back to work, then home to Yeovil and return to Exeter with a spare key tomorrow!

So, if you go down to the woods today - remember my little adventure!

link
Fri 26th May 2006 10:50 by Jack Astley
Closworth 25th.May
Striped hawkmoth
Alder kitten.

Striped Hawk-moth

link
Wed 24th May 2006 09:15 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog

Why record everything?

I have been asked the same question a couple of times recently: why record everything?  Isn't it a lot easier to go through your trap and pick out only new or interesting species?  Why bother with all those things you know everyone is getting and are widespread and common?

Of cause, that is entirely up to you - and I can see the attraction.

My view is that a 'complete' picture is important.  Without records for all species it is impossible to put the scarcer species into context.  Having a number of recorders in Somerset all regularly trapping and recording their catch has enabled us to form a very clear picture of species status from the data itself.  Subjectivity eliminated.  If everyone just recorded what was new/interesting then we would end up with a very odd view of our Counties' moths.

Furthermore, it would be even better (possibly best) if a very regular system of trapping could be established across the region.  Rather like transects used in Butterfly recording.

The weight added to Butterfly Conservation's bid for funding the National Moth Project came from the Rothamstead trapping records.  Here lights at fixed locations have been run for years - giving a reliable series of counts to highlight abundance trends.  Again, if these hadn't included all species then, as I'm sure you can imagine, the data would have been pretty useless.

The other factor in recording everything is time of cause and I know that "spare time" is a valuable commodity for everyone.  Recording a very full trap in the peak of season isn't easy and any systems or tools that help must be welcome.  However, with recording technology now, at least entering the data is becoming quite painless.  I always list straight into a notebook from the trap, pot anything for confirmation or a further look, then bash the lot into the computer from my notebook later.  Others use a Dictaphone to record as they go through the trap and I this too is a very good idea.

Of cause, there are some of us that still don't like or use computers.  If you do keep a notebook of all sightings then the Group will be happy to enter this onto our database for you.  However, as they are unlikely to be reading this please pass these sentiments on.

link
Tue 23rd May 2006 10:34 by Jack Astley
Closworth 22nd May
Silver y 8
Shuttle shaped dart 1
link
Sun 21st May 2006 07:53 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Trap in garden last night (Robinson 125W - ST5715, VC9, Dorset):

  • 1395 Udea ferrugalis 1
  • 1738 Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata 1 *
  • 1832 ?Currant Pug Eupithecia assimilata 1 *
  • 1902 Brown Silver-line Petrophora chlorosata 1
  • 1997 Sallow Kitten Furcula furcula 1 *
  • 2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 1
  • 2102 Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta 6
  • 2160 Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea 2
  • 2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
  • 2302 Brown Rustic Rusina ferruginea 1
  • 2334 Rustic Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens 1
  • 2380 Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica 3
  • 2441 Silver Y Autographa gamma 11
  • 2450 Spectacle Abrostola tripartita 1

* indicates found outside the trap.

Two of the three Treble Lines were the bilinea form.

This brings the total species for the year so far to 61.

It did look a bit grim last night, however the Alners Gorse joint Dorset/SMG visit was back on again at the last minute so it will be interesting to see how that went.  Needless to say I didn't venture out - the Dorset moth'ers are impressively hard-core!

link
Sat 20th May 2006 09:50 by David Evans
Recorder's remarks etc.
Due to the awful weather we had to cancel the night at Middleroom Wood last night. The trip to Dorset and Alners Gorse is also off. Mike Ridge and I hope to trap at Middleroom Wood later in the week Call me if you are interested in coming, provided the weather gets a lots better.
link
Sat 20th May 2006 09:06 by Jack Astley
Closworth 19th May
Silver Y 2.
Buff ermine
Coxcomb prominent
link
Thu 18th May 2006 08:18 by David Evans
Mike Ridge trapped Witch Lodge Fields on the 12th May and got a good haul. Including lots of pugs. (don't we love pugs)

1722 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet 1
1724 Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
1738 Epirrhoe alternata Common Carpet 3
1747 Anticlea derivata Streamer 2
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet 2
1769 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet 4
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 8
1819 Eupithecia exiguata Mottled Pug 2
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug 2
1875 Asthena albulata Small White Wave 4
1881 Trichopteryx carpinata Early Tooth-striped 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet 4
1906 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 6
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 1
1936 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber 5
1957 Lomographa bimaculata White-pinion Spotted 7
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent 3
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock 6

What a mixture of early and later moths which must be due to the weather.

link
Wed 17th May 2006 20:35 by David Evans
I have trapped at the National Trust, Lytes Cary, and the Cary More Enviromental Centre for a couple of years here are the results from last night which was a bit cold and damp

Cary More Enviromental Centre

697 Agonopterix arenella 1
946 Aethes rubigana 1
1724 Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 1
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 2
1834 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug 1
1858 Chloroclystis v-ata V-Pug 1
2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y 1

Lytes Cary

998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 1
1906 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 2
1994 Phalera bucephala Buff-tip 2
2003 Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent 1
2028 Calliteara pudibunda Pale Tussock 1
2060 Spilosoma lubricipeda White Ermine 3
2063 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 9
2069 Tyria jacobaeae Cinnabar 1
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 2
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 1
2198 Mythimna impura Smoky Wainscot 1
2278 Acronicta megacephala Poplar Grey 2
2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y 1

At Home in Chard not much as there is too much ambient light

1356 Evergestis forficalis Garden Pebble Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
1817 Eupithecia pulchellata Foxglove Pug Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
2278 Acronicta megacephala Poplar Grey Furnham Crescent, Chard 1

link
Wed 17th May 2006 10:08 by Jack Astley
16th May Closworth
Buff arches 2
Waved umber
Scoparia ambigualis.
link
Tue 16th May 2006 22:23 by David Evans
Recorder's remarks etc.
As Promised I have started to go out to the Public to bring moths to the attention of as many as I can reach. I was invited to go to Fyne court to show the Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserve Managers what we can do and how we can help them. The exhibit included Pictures traps infomation on how many moth records were on their reserves and real live moths to whet their appetite. I was one of the many groups interested in Wildlife that were present

Somerset Moth Group Exhibit

It was a pity the Reserve Managers who have been asking for such a display for years did not turn up

link
Tue 16th May 2006 16:46 by David Evans
I did Merryfiled on Saturday night the 13th May. No micros just amazing

1676 Cyclophora annularia Mocha 3
1722 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet 1
1759 Ecliptopera silaceata Small Phoenix 1
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 18
1834 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet 5
1906 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 9
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 1
1920 Odontopera bidentata Scalloped Hazel 1
1936 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber 1
1981 Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth 1
2011 Pterostoma palpina Pale Prominent 1
2063 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 12
2078 Nola confusalis Least Black Arches 1
2092 Agrotis puta Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 8
2291 Craniophora ligustri Coronet 1
2380 Charanyca trigrammica Treble Lines 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock 4

James and I love Cockchafers at Merryfield (Bats)

link
Tue 16th May 2006 11:22 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor Thurs 11th May Brimstone, Silver Y, Hebrew Character, Nut-tree Tussock, Common Quaker, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Scorched Carpet, Pine Beauty, White Ermine, Cream-spot Tiger, Flame Shoulder, Pale Pinion, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Brindled Pug, 20 plume moth, Least Black Arches, Eudonia Angustea, Light Apple Moth. + Lots of Cockchafers!
link
Mon 15th May 2006 08:54 by David Evans
Out in the Blackdowns again to get Live moths to show the Wildlife Trust Reserve managers at Fyne Court on Saturday. Pity only a few turned up Managers that is. But a good selection of moths.
649 Esperia sulphurella Buckland Wood 1
1722 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet Buckland Wood 1
1747 Anticlea derivata Streamer Buckland Wood 2
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet Buckland Wood 6
1760 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet Buckland Wood 2
1768 Thera obeliscata Grey Pine Carpet Buckland Wood 1
1834 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug Buckland Wood 1
1883 Acasis viretata Yellow-barred Brindle Buckland Wood 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet Buckland Wood 1
1902 Petrophora chlorosata Brown Silver-line Buckland Wood 2
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn Buckland Wood 1
1919 Selenia tetralunaria Purple Thorn Buckland Wood 3
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed Buckland Wood 4
1949 Paradarisa consonaria Square Spot Buckland Wood 1
1951 Aethalura punctulata Grey Birch Buckland Wood 2
1981 Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth Buckland Wood 1
1999 Stauropus fagi Lobster Moth Buckland Wood 2
2006 Pheosia gnoma Lesser Swallow Prominent Buckland Wood 1
2007 Pheosia tremula Swallow Prominent Buckland Wood 1
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent Buckland Wood 8
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Buckland Wood 4
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock Buckland Wood 1
2469 Scoliopteryx libatrix Herald Buckland Wood 2

1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet Castle Neroche 2
1768 Thera obeliscata Grey Pine Carpet Castle Neroche 1
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet Castle Neroche 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug Castle Neroche 2
1853 Eupithecia dodoneata Oak-tree Pug Castle Neroche 1
1902 Petrophora chlorosata Brown Silver-line Castle Neroche 1
1999 Stauropus fagi Lobster Moth Castle Neroche 2
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent Castle Neroche 2
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Castle Neroche 7

1722 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet Dommett Moor 1
1724 Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet Dommett Moor 2
1728 Xanthorhoe fluctuata fluctuata Garden Carpet Dommett Moor 1
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet Dommett Moor 2
1759 Ecliptopera silaceata Small Phoenix Dommett Moor 1
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet Dommett Moor 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug Dommett Moor 2
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug Dommett Moor 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet Dommett Moor 1
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn Dommett Moor 1
1936 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber Dommett Moor 1
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed Dommett Moor 2
1981 Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth Dommett Moor 1
2003 Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent Dommett Moor 1
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent Dommett Moor 3
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker Dommett Moor 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Dommett Moor 2
2306 Phlogophora meticulosa Angle Shades Dommett Moor 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock Dommett Moor 5

2063 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
2186 Orthosia gracilis Powdered Quaker Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
2278 Acronicta megacephala Poplar Grey Furnham Crescent, Chard 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock Furnham Crescent, Chard 2

1768 Thera obeliscata Grey Pine Carpet Luxhay 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug Luxhay 1
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed Luxhay 1
1999 Stauropus fagi Lobster Moth Luxhay 1
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent Luxhay 2
2014 Drymonia dodonaea Marbled Brown Luxhay 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Luxhay 6

1676 Cyclophora annularia Mocha Prior's Park Wood 1
1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe Prior's Park Wood 1
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet Prior's Park Wood 2
1759 Ecliptopera silaceata Small Phoenix Prior's Park Wood 3
1768 Thera obeliscata Grey Pine Carpet Prior's Park Wood 1
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet Prior's Park Wood 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug Prior's Park Wood 1
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug Prior's Park Wood 1
1883 Acasis viretata Yellow-barred Brindle Prior's Park Wood 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet Prior's Park Wood 1
1906 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth Prior's Park Wood 2
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn Prior's Park Wood 1
1920 Odontopera bidentata Scalloped Hazel Prior's Park Wood 2
1927 Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty Prior's Park Wood 1
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed Prior's Park Wood 6
1957 Lomographa bimaculata White-pinion Spotted Prior's Park Wood 1
1961 Campaea margaritata Light Emerald Prior's Park Wood 1
1999 Stauropus fagi Lobster Moth Prior's Park Wood 1
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent Prior's Park Wood 3
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character Prior's Park Wood 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock Prior's Park Wood 2

If I only came to Somerset to see Mochas aren't we lucky

link
Sat 13th May 2006 09:16 by Jack Astley
Closworth.12th.May.
Sallow kitten,Puss moth.Pebble prominent.
link
Sat 13th May 2006 07:52 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Trap in the garden last night (Robinson 125W - ST5715, VC9, Dorset):

  • 0436 Pseudoswammerdamia combinella 2
  • 0648 Endrosis sarcitrella 1
  • 1651 Chinese Character Cilix glaucata 1
  • 1776 Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria 1
  • 1906 Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 3
  • 1931 Peppered Moth Biston betularia 1
  • 1936 Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria 1
  • 1995 Puss Moth Cerura vinula 1
  • 2063 Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica 1
  • 2102 Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta 1
  • 2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 2
  • 2289 Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis 2
  • 2425 Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli 2
  • 2450 Spectacle Abrostola tripartita 3

More P. combinella and a few other first for the year here but still a short list for middle of May.

Moths in the House

Just heard via the Butterfly Conservation BAP Priority Newsletter that moths are getting closer to being on the Government agenda.  As a result of the 'State of British Moths' publication, Madeleine Moon (Labour MP for Bridgend and member of the Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has tabled an Early Day Motion to highlight their plight.  This is already showing support from 97 MP's.

I wasn't sure what an EDM was so looked this up:

An Early Day Motion, or EDM, is a motion put down ("tabled") by Members of Parliament calling for a debate on a particular subject. In practice, there is rarely time to debate EDMs nowadays and their true modern-day purpose is to enable MPs to draw attention to an issue and to canvass support for their views by inviting other Members to add their signatures in support of the motion.
Source: http://edmi.parliament.uk/edmi/ link

Good to see that BC is already raising the profile of moths - and they haven't really started the new scheme yet.  Unfortunate that moths are best sold on as biomass for birds though!

See the full details at: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=30495 link

link
Thu 11th May 2006 09:20 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Trap in the garden last night (Robinson 125W - ST5715, VC9, Dorset):

  • 0436 Pseudoswammerdamia combinella 3
  • 0464 Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella 3
  • 0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
  • 0998 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 1
  • 1334 Scoparia ambigualis 1
  • 1725 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe ferrugata 2
  • 1879 Seraphim Lobophora halterata 2
  • 1906 Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 6
  • 2063 Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica 6
  • 2064 Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa 2
  • 2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 2
  • 2102 Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta 2
  • 2188 Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 2
  • 2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
  • 2441 Silver Y Autographa gamma 1
  • 2450 Spectacle Abrostola tripartite 1

Plus one geometer yet to identify.  Later - also Seraphim (an unusual form) so made quantity above two.

Not sure about the status of P. combinella in Dorset but this is very thin on the ground in Somerset.  Good to see the Ruby Tiger: this doesn't seem to come to light often in its first brood for some strange reason.

Fairly good conditions last night down here.  Electric storm (but no rain) early evening and although we had a near full moon, this was mostly obscured (at least from 22:00-midnight).

One other visitor to the trap last night was Melolontha melolontha (Common Cockchafer or may-bug) - there were at least 20!

Although I checked the trap at 07:00 (perhaps too late) there wasn't a single moth outside the trap - I think the birds have now discovered this is breakfast.

link
Tue 9th May 2006 12:44 by Jack Astley
8th May Closworth.Scorched carpet and Knot grass.
link
Tue 9th May 2006 08:42 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog

Weather Singularities

As we all know, the British weather is all but predictable.  However, did you know that there are 'singularities' or periods of weather with fairly predictable patterns and generally high confidence of that prediction?

Have a look at the very clever Metcheck website: metcheck weather singularities link

It is interesting (and perhaps encouraging) to see that the last half of May is traditionally warm and settled (88% confidence) and we are in a predictably cool period where westerlies are rare.  The chart on this page does make interesting reading but I'd still be nervous about planning a holiday around it!

link
Mon 8th May 2006 14:52 by David Evans
Here are the records from Mike Ridge's Skinner trap just down the road from my equipment. I want you to all note that I gave Mike the best place hence the numbers of moths seen GRRRR

6 Eriocrania subpurpurella 1
701 Agonopterix ocellana 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 1
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet 1
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 8
1919 Selenia tetralunaria Purple Thorn 2
1927 Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty 3
1936 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber 1
2003 Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent 2
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent 1
2015 Drymonia ruficornis Lunar Marbled Brown 1
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 1
2243 Xylocampa areola Early Grey 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock 2

Thanks to all for your help

link
Sun 7th May 2006 21:21 by David Evans
Well We eventually had our Next BC Meeting which was to be held at Mount Fancy Reserve which has only ever been trapped once. However we had a major access problem. I had been led to believe the gate could be lifted off. It seems I was in error. So MY APOLOGIES TO ALL
We went instead to Staple Common which was much higher more exposed and getting colder all the time, Hence the short list. We will do better.

1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 1
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 2
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 2
1919 Selenia tetralunaria Purple Thorn 2
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed 2
2008 Ptilodon capucina Coxcomb Prominent 1
2015 Drymonia ruficornis Lunar Marbled Brown 2
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 1
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock 4

Mike Ridge's Moths to come but atleast he had two Micros.

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Sun 7th May 2006 18:57 by Jack Astley
6th May Closworth,one Plutella xylostella.
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Sun 7th May 2006 13:34 by Mark Yeates
SMG Website
Added hyperlinks from any thumbnail images to the main picture page.

Thus, if you now use a markup of say [[thumb:2188 Clouded Drab]] giving:

2188 Clouded Drab

Any user can click this image to see the picture reference page and associated data.

Considered doing this for all images: but not sure this is the right thing to do.

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Sun 7th May 2006 09:03 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Trap out in the garden last night (Robinson 125W - ST5715, VC9, Dorset).

  • 0464 Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella 2
  • 1818 Marbled Pug Eupithecia irriguata 1
  • 1906 Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 1 *
  • 1994 Buff-tip Phalera bucephala 1
  • 2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 3
  • 2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
  • 2450 Spectacle Abrostola tripartite 1

It did look fairly promising last night but as you can see it wasn't that ideal.

However, there is one interesting moth (not that all moths arent interesting).  The pugs are a notoriously difficult group but the Marbled Pug Eupithecia irriguata is a fairly easy one (see: ukmoths).  If you look this up in Skinner (1984 or 1998), or the new Riley and Prior's British and Irish Pug Moths (2003) which incidentally is very good for this group both say this is 'very local' in the south.  The SMG VC5 and 6 Status for this is "Occasional and local" which stacks up.  Not sure about the status here in Dorset.  Looking through our records, I see that Jack has taken one back in 1997 at Closworth.

Later..

I happened to visit Jack out at Closworth this afternoon and he told me that he thought he had removed his record for Marbled Pug as it was queried and he didnt keep the specimen or take a photo.

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Sat 6th May 2006 14:48 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Finally! - Just published Turner's 1955 checklist resolved to current names - together with some biographic and constructional notes.

See Notes on Turner (1955) for background, and

Turner's 1955 List for the resolved list.

The list is big and already I have noted a problem in printing this from the web page - so will look into that.  It does download fairly quickly though.

Now this information is digitised, it will be interesting to use this in combination with modern data on the website and elsewhere.

It is, I think, very important that we know exactly what we had in the County before we can say what has changed.

The data has been checked very thoroughly but if you do spot any mistakes please let me know via Contacts.

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Sat 6th May 2006 10:03 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Out to the woods last night for the group meeting at Mount Fancy.  We couldn't get good access to the original site so decided to debunk to nearby Staple Common.  Pretty cold by the end of the night and struggled to get maybe 20 species between us - I'm sure David will report the account and full species list elsewhere.  Didn't take a trap and teamed up with David.  I very much enjoyed this, David is excellent company and I'd almost forgotten how good it is to be out amongst the moths.

David and Mike out trapping
Organisers: David Evans (sitting) and Mike Ridge - both in characteristic positions - with lamp and sheet.

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Fri 5th May 2006 12:01 by Mark Yeates
SMG Website
Oops! Fixed picture upload so this allows Titles starting with a number.  Previously this had the same rule as page names - which must start with a letter.

Kim Lever's Slide Capture Project

One group asset is the slide collection donated by Kim Leaver a few years ago.  This has many good images of local moths.  We are looking at how best to digitise these at the moment and have just uploaded 4 samples (all footmen) as tests.  These were scanned from the slide at about 1000 pixels/inch and then cropped slightly to remove edge effects.  Having then digitally balanced the images they were further reduced to 640x480 pixels.  The uploaded images are website automatic reductions from these files.

Will be doing some more trials to refine this process before going for the 'big capture'.  There are a few hundred in his set!

I'm still not sure about the size of the images on the web page - and keep thinking maybe they should be bigger.

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Fri 5th May 2006 08:11 by Mark Yeates
Chairman's Blog
Trap in the garden last night (Robinson 125W - ST5715, VC9, Dorset).

  • 0464 Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella 15
  • 0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
  • 1738 Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata 1 *
  • 1750 Water Carpet Lampropteryx suffumata 1 *
  • 1906 Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 2 *
  • 1997 Sallow Kitten Furcula furcula 1 *
  • 2003 Pebble Prominent Notodonta ziczac 1 *
  • 2007 Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula 1 *
  • 2008 Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina 1
  • 2015 Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis 2
  • 2063 Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica 2
  • 2102 Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta 3
  • 2186 Powdered Quaker Orthosia gracilis 1
  • 2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 2
  • 2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 3
  • 2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 1
  • 2441 Silver Y Autographa gamma 1
  • 2450 Spectacle Abrostola tripartita 1

A * indicates found outside the trap.

The first moth on the list, the small but distinctive micro Plutella xylostella, is a migrant.  If you are not familiar with this see ukmoths.  One of the few micros with a common name from its distinctive markings.  It isn't easy to imagine this tiny moth migrating!

Tipped it down with rain here last night.

Later...

Also, just seen in the garden:

1361 Pyrausta aurata 1 - flying about the herb border, and
1995 Puss Moth Cerura vinula - wings left by bats

1361 Pyrausta aurata Pyrausta aurata

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Wed 3rd May 2006 06:56 by David Evans
Tried to help James increase the species list for Merryfiled Airfield to over 600 Species. But failed.

MerryField airfield 30th April 2006
0670 Depressaria daucella 1
1680 Maiden's Blush (Cyclophora punctaria) 2
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 5
1747 Streamer (Anticlea derivata) 2
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 1
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 5
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1
1881 Early Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx carpinata) 1
1888 Scorched Carpet (Ligdia adustata) 2
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) 6
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 4
1919 Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 2
2015 Lunar Marbled Brown (Drymonia ruficornis) 3
2063 Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica) 1
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis) 1
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 3
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 4
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 18
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2469 Herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix) 2

Nice to see the first Maidens Blush of the year

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Mon 1st May 2006 11:32 by Mark Yeates
SMG Website
Done some tidying up on the Picture view page and included a copyright/re-use statement:

"Copyright and re-use notice.  The Copyright © for this image is with the picture Credit given above and it may be used in any non-commercial way provided this is stated, together with the given Permalink as source.  All other rights reserved."

Any objections/suggested revisions to this please let me know.

To see this in action click Pictures recently uploaded and choose any picture.  Or, use the A-Z Picture Index in a similar way to see all images.

Also, added Editing of picture data.  If you are logged on and view any picture you'll see an 'Edit picture data' button - click this.  You can change a picture title and the system will attempt to find all references to this in all pages and change the names.  However, note this is case sensitive and if the case used in a page doesn't match the case of the title it will not change.  Worth checking that your pictures are still visible after a title change and manually editing if need be.  You can only edit pictures you have uploaded.  If you see an error in another user's picture then either contact them directly or let me know.

To change an image (i.e. replace and exiting picture file with another) you need to delete the original (by clicking the Delete button on the picture edit page, then upload your new image to replace this.

Finally, fixed a bug where if you were looking at a picture and then logged-on, the image data was lost.

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