GMS 28 March 2008, Langport
A poor night with just two Hebrew Character, one Clouded Drab and one Early Grey. Min temp 3˚C.
Here's another lichen-feeding micromoth, Luffia ferchaultella. Cases can be found, often gregariously, on tree trunks and also other suitable surfaces like this farmland gatepost.
After a dreary run of miserable weather and catches at last a more encouraging night with 30 moths of 8 species including Red Chestnut and Clouded Drab - both my firsts for 2008.
Infurcitinea argentimaculella is a lichen-feeding micromoth. The larvae can usually be found on Lepraria, in silken tubes covered by fragments of this. Look on walls and tree trunks - though poorly recorded it's distributed throughout the county. Beware possible confusion with lichen-covered ivy though.
Just received a message, through the website, from Roger Morris of the Hoverfly Recording Scheme
who was interested in the picture of Volucella zonaria
taken by Bill amongst our website images. This being a good record! He said he'd happy to have a go at ID from photos if members see anything interesting. Contact: .
GMS 21 Mar 08, Langport
Despite a bright full moon and a minimum temperature of 3˚C there were 2 Hebrew Character and 1 Small Eggar in the trap this morning.
Orange Underwing is a nice day flying moth to look for in the early spring. They can be found flying on sunny days around birches. It's on the wing now and could be around till mid-April.
Most records in Somerset are from the Levels. There are a few sites on Exmoor, the Quantocks and the Blackdowns but I think it is under-recorded.
GMS 14 Mar 2008, Wiveliscombe.
Sixteen moths of eight species. The only new ones for 2008 being Acleris literana and Shoulder Stripe.
GMS 14 Mar 08, Langport
A very good night in the garden trap - the rain held off overnight - 41 individuals of 15 species. The pick of the bunch was a Dotted Chestnut - my third for the garden - and there was a male Small Eggar.
2260 Conistra rubiginea
Total catch: Diurnea fagella
1, Emmelina monodactyla
2, Small Eggar 1, March Moth 1, Shoulder Stripe 2, Double-striped Pug 2, Dotted Border 1, Early Thorn 2, Oak Beauty 2, Small Quaker 5, Common Quaker 3, Clouded Drab 3, Twin-spotted Quaker 1, Hebrew Character 14, Dotted Chestnut 1.
Just for interest I have been researching portable generators suitable for moth-trapping and found that Paulls of Martock sell a 0.7kva petrol generator for around £76. I have bought one but not yet used it so I'll let you know how it goes!
GMS 7 MARCH 2008 - Whitefield, Wiveliscombe
Wild and windy with rain squalls but nine moths of five species. March Moth, Hebrew Character, Oak Beauty 2, Common Quaker 3, Small Quaker 2.
GMS 7 March 08, Langport
Despite a minimum temperature of 2˚C I had 15 individuals of 8 species in the trap last night.Emmelina monodactyla
1, Diurnea fagella
1, Dotted Border 1, Early Thorn 1, Small Quaker 3, Common Quaker 3, Hebrew Character 4, Clouded Drab 1.
Hello to the SMG. Just to let you know I am still alive and trapping when the weather allows. I put out four actinics on the Stour Valley local nature reserve last night. Sat at home later in the evening I recieved a call from the ranger who could not stop giggling down the phone. She explained that the police whilst looking for a missing person had found a "Glowing Light". The on duty ranger went to see the "Glowing Light" and explained to the Police that it was okay it was a moth trap. He went to approach the " Glowing Light" only to be stopped by the Police who explained that no one dare approach until the Bomb Squad arrived to declare it safe. When they arrived the ranger repeated that it was a moth trap and after some discussion unclipped the old battery and put the moth trap in the back of his van and went home.
Fun here in Bournemouth. The ever alert Police however failed to notice three other glowing lights nearby. Thank goodness and the 30 various moths including a yellow horned added up to seven species.
Best wishes to all
Reply re Arthur Hayward's Collection
I have just received a very interesting and informative reply from Ray Barnet to my recent post about the Hayward collection. I'm sure this will be of interest to members, here it is in full:
Re Arthur Hayward collection.
Here at Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery we do not consider any of our collections lost but actually being held and cared for in the public interest. By publishing information on our holdings (as per the document by Sam Trebilcock (now Sam Hallett)) we aim to draw attention to the collections which not only provide voucher specimens (vouching for the original identification should it be challenged) but also are an excellent resource for assisting identification by allowing comparison with accurately identified material.
Members of SMG may be interested that several local collections have been added to Bristol's holdings in the last 20 years notably those of Stephen Blathwayt (Weston-super-Mare, 1930s-1980s), John Hadley (Weston-super-Mare and Teignmouth) and most recently Ken Poole's (Weston-super-Mare) following his death last year.
The collections are available to view by appointment with the curator (currently, Acting Curator is Rhian Rowson whilst Sam is on maternity leave (tel: 0117-9223598)). Recent visitors have included Paul Chapman to view the Blathwayt collection and Roy McCormick to see the Hadley material from Devon. I have also recently been in e-mail correspondence over the Hayward collection with James McGill.
I would suggest to anyone who does retain specimens themselves that they should consider arranging to deposit the material with a local museum, if not immediately then consider leaving it to a museum in your will. So often interesting material (not just specimens but notebooks etc) is really lost to future generations by their future care being overlooked.
Finally I would add that the "Moths of the Bristol Region" is only a few months off being ready to send to the printers and this will include information on not only moths but collectors and collections from the North Somerset/Bath & NE Somerset area (as well as Bristol and South Gloucestershire).
Ray Barnett, Collections Manager, Bristol's Museums, Galleries & Archives
At last, more than one moth in my two traps!! Last night produced a March moth, a Shoulder Stripe, 7 Hebrew Characters and 4 species of Quaker - 7 Small, and singles of Common,Twin-spot and Powdered (this is a bit early I think). Altogether more in one night than November to February inclusive (it's been a dire Winter for moths here).
Spring moths are beginning to appear! Singles of March Moth, Common Quaker, Small Quaker and Twin Spot Quaker have been in my garden trap this week as well as the Early Thorn which I reported last month.
Arthur Haward's Collection
Just made an interesting discovery concerning the possible whereabouts of Arthur Hayward's collection. Hayward (who died in 1962 aged 67) was a Somerset Microlepidopterist par excellence and contributed much to the local knowledge. In fact is was his 'card index' that formed the basis for Turner (1955). I had assumed that his collection was 'lost' and this was common knowledge.
I just found the following in a Bristol Museum publication entitled 'A summary of the
entomology collections in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery 2007' by Samantha Trebilcock, Biology Curator. An entry reads:
G.B. Coney (died 1945)
Another collection which added to the re-growth of the museums collections after the second world war. There are over 30,000 specimens of 1700 species of British lepidoptera, all with data, in 150 drawers. This collection included 'micros' of A.R. Haywood another well-known Somerset collector. Coney's collection is notable for the spectacular arrangement of its drawers with many good aberrations and varieties. Some, like the hermaphrodite Small Skipper have been figured in Frowhawk and were said to be unique. This collection already complete and rich in varieties was added to further after Coney’s death by B.W.Weddell, a Wiltshire collector.
For your information the collections document is at http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/download/asset/?asset_id=22696049
Langport, 1 March 2008
My wife found this Scarlet Tiger caterpillar among dead Lungwort (Pulmonaria
) leaves in our garden. Nice to know that we have them breeding here.