Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - GMS 30 May - Min Temp 11 degrees
A better night after several in which the rain was too heavy to make it sensible to put out the trap. We had 26 species including the following firsts for 2008:- Alder, Heart and Dart, Currant Pug, Elephant Hawk-moth and Cream Wave. Flying in the garden by day was a Yellow Shell - my earliest record.
doug miller westonzoyland
Friday 30th May first Large Yellow Underwings otherwise pretty grim for this time of the year.
0533 Coleophora anatipennella (Pistol Casebearer) from Langport
Thanks to James McGill for an instant ID on this specimen of Coleophora anatipennella ('Pistol Casebearer') which was on a garden hedge just down the road from my house. It is approx 5mm across.
An interesting Micro and a common caterpillar
0925 Phtheochroa rugosana
is an exquiisite Tortricid - I can remember catching this in my parents' kitchen as a kid.
1640 Drinker Moth is much more common and this larva was sunning itself in a rare fine spell yesterday evening.
Now is a good time to look for Argent and Sable on the Levels. Please keep an eye out on sites in the Brue Valley with bog myrtle and regenerating birch. It would be good to find it at Westhay. Thanks to Stuart Holdsworth for this picture from today.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 23 May - Min Temp 12 degrees
A much better night for GMS with 36 species:- Broken-barred Carpet, Poplar Grey and Pebble Hook-tip were new for 2008.
Alder moth 23 May Closworth
Just to let you know I have moved 'over the border' into Devon. New details on Contacts
I'll be continuing my roles of Chairman, acting Macro Recorder, MapMate Hub, Custodian of the Group Dataset and Web-master if that is acceptable to the Group. Maybe we'll review the situation at the AGM later this year.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 22 May - Min Temp 10 degrees
At last a little warmer, though still miserable for late May, and 21 species in the trap including a few firsts for 2008 :- Flame, Marbled Brown, Purple Bar and Shoulder Striped Wainscot.
James, I was very interested in your report of trapping a female Muslin Moth as I regularly trap lots of males but the only female I have seen here was flying over the lawn in bright sunshine.
A few recent odds and ends.
A striking common cardinal beetle, Pyrochroa serraticornis.
A female Muslin Moth that visited my light trap.
The distinctive feeding signs of Incurvaria pectinea, a leaf miner that can be found at the moment particularly on hazel and birch. Each larvae will cut out its small blotch mine to make a case from which it will finish feeding on the ground.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 18 May - min temp 4 degrees.
Despite a much colder night with only 14 species we had three year ticks in the garden trap:- Small Square-spot, Treble Lines and White Shouldered House Moth.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 17 May - Min Temp 10 degrees.
Only 16 species including the intermediate form of the Peppered Moth f. insularia. Also my first Epiblema cynosbatella and Udea olivalis for the year.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 16 May, min temp 11 degrees
Only 12 species with the best a lovely fresh Eyed Hawkmoth - my first for 2008.
doug miller westonzoyland
First for the year Silver Y, Smokey Wainscot and Garden Pebble, just 12 species. 16th May.
doug miller westonzoyland
Just 13 species at Westonzoyland last which included a "Common Rustic" and the first Cinibar
Langport 14 May
A very poor night here compared to Peter's catch - only 13 species, but including a lovely Peach-blossom (one of my favourite moths) which I photographed in the morning.
When I looked for it later on it had made its own choice of hiding place.
My Emperor larvae are feeding ravenously on Blackthorn - this means that I can sleeve them out on my allotment and let them more or less look after themselves! Here they are just after hatching.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - May 14
Despite heavy rain and minimum temperature of 9 degrees we had 25 species in our garden trap including two firsts for 2008 - Sharp-angled Peacock and a lovely fresh Lime Hawk-moth.
Day-flying moths have become more in evidence during the recent warm dry spell. I have recorded Burnet Companion and Small Yellow Underwing since the weekend, the latter on three sites, two of which are new. Also an upsurge in moths, particularly Geometridae, disturbed during the day.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - May 12 and 13
A warmer night, min temp 14 degrees, produced over 35 species including many firsts for 2008 such as Angle Shades, Clouded Silver, White-pinion Spotted, Chocolate Tip, Lychnis, Scorched Wing, Chinese Character, Bee Moth, Coronet, Common Marbled Carpet, Grey/Dark Dagger, Grey Birch, Ingrailed Clay, Herald and only the second Great Prominent I have ever had here. Last night, with min temp only 11 degrees, there were only 19 species with Buff Ermine the only first.
Another warm night last night with a nice selection of moths including a lovely Mocha, Waved Umber, Seraphim, Orange Footman, Lesser Swallow Prominent and Pale Tussock.
- May 16 Draycott Sleights
- May 30 Exmoor
- June 7 Cothelstone (Quantocks)
- June 13 Exmoor
- June 27 Staple Common (Blackdowns)
- July 4 Exmoor
- July 11 Thurlbear Quarrylands
- July 25 Shervadge wood (Quantocks)
- Aug 1 Staple park Wood (Blackdowns)
- Aug 8 Hurlestone Point / Bossington
- Aug 22 Buckland Wood (Blackdowns)
- Aug 29 Exmoor
- Sep 5 Witch Lodge (Blackdowns)
- Sep 12 Bickenhall Wood (Blackdowns)
All organised by Mike Ridge Check with Mike nearer dates for exact meeting spot etc.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - May 9 - 11
The warmer weather here this week-end produced a number of firsts for the year including Coxcomb Prominent, Maidens Blush, Mocha, Flame Carpet, Lobster, Peach Blossom, V-Pug, Common Wave, Barred Umber, Poplar Hawk and Ruby Tiger.
"Blind" Emperor Moths
Tony Liebert, who lives at Crowcombe Heathfield (01984 - 667327), has a number of Emperor moth eggs of which both the parents are "blind". He would be happy to pass these on to any interested members - but hurry as they will soon be hatching!
More moths in cop., these are Pancalia leuwenhoekella. The butterfly, er, got in the way of some other micros I was trying to photograph.
GMS 9 May 2008, Langport
A better night with minimum temp 11.5˚C. Common Swift 1, Light Brown Apple moth 3, 20-plume moth 1, Chinese Character 2, Red Twinspot Carpet 5, Dark-barred Twinspot Carpet 2, Garden Carpet 2, Common Carpet 2, Green Carpet 7, Mottled Pug 1, White-spotted Pug 1, Waved Umber 2, Scalloped Hazel 1, Brimstone 9, Chocolate-tip 1, Cinnabar 1, Muslin 15, Least Black Arches 2, Pale Tussock 1, Flame Shoulder 3, Grey/Dark Dagger 1, Poplar Grey 1, Bright-line Brown-eye 1, Clouded Drab 1, Hebrew Character 3, Spectacle 1.
Is anyone planning to go to the moth event at Barrington on June 1? It would be nice to offer a few more lights around the place on the evening before to give the best possible coverage. If anyone is going can they give me a ring and I'll see what can be arranged to add more people. Neroche Primary School is having a visit from someone from Butterfly Conservation on the evening of June 12. I will also be joining in with that if anyone fancies a trip out.
doug miller westonzoyland
after a very late start in trapping "4th May" amongst the more common moths was a Rush Veneer
Following on from James McGill's new garden moth, I too had a garden tick last night in the form of Rustic Shoulder Knot. The supporting cast included Mocha 2, Least Black Arches 2, Orange Footman, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Alder Moth.
Just received the following message from Dr Hannah Rowland:
I am writing to ask for your assistance. I am researcher at the University of Liverpool, I study the colouration of adult moths and larvae by analysis of digital photographs. I have been trying to source Alder moth adults because the larvae are so interesting, as I am sure you know changing from ‘bird poo mimics’ in the first few instars to brightly coloured later instars. I saw that Alder moths seem to be quite widely distributed within Somerset and was hoping if your group trap mated females or find larvae you would be able to send them to me so that I could document their development. I would of course return the pupae so as not to disrupt the biodiversity of your region. Your help and that of your group would be most gratefully received.
If you can help please contact Hannah on
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - May 8 - Min Temp 14 degrees
Firsts for 2008 here in our garden trap : - Tawny-barred Angle, Common Carpet, Peppered Moth, White Ermine, Scalloped Hazel and Orange Footman.
After around a dozen attempts stretching back to early February my garden trap finally got off the mark for the year on Monday night with a single V-Pug. Low catches are the rule here as the garden backs onto an A-road with the street lighting placed as inconveniently as possible against the back wall.
My garden on the edge of Taunton is not a good place to moth trap. But as the light does all the work for me even I can catch something nice occasionally. This is a rather faded Pinion-spotted Pug, a moth which is quite rare in Somerset. Turner lists a previous occurrence for Taunton in 1865. Perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough.
Langport 7 May 2008
The first Silver Y of the year in the trap last night.
David Agassiz kindly sent me the images below for the website. He says "pupae of Agdistis meridionalis from Steep Holm, its only known Somerset site, collected 5th May from Limonium binvervosum, one emerged the next day". This is a scarce plume moth nationally and has a very interesting resting posture as you can see.
Here's an under-recorded micro to look for at the moment. It's Metriotes lutarea and the larval foodplant is Stellaria holostea (greater stitchwort). Good places to look are deciduous woodland, like in the photo below, or nice lanes. You can find adults sat round on the flowers. Sweeping can also reveal them if they're not in obvious view.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - 6 May
Firsts for the year included Small White Wave, Pale Prominent, Dark Swordgrass and a May Bug!
This is Argyrotaenia ljungiana, a tortrix moth. I reared it from larvae collected off gorse at Bossington last October.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - May 4
With a minimum temperature of 13 degrees, the warmest night here yet for 2008, we had a number of firsts for the year. Pale Tussock, Least Black Arches, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Green Carpet, Foxglove Pug and a Sycamore, which is another moth appearing earlier than quoted by the authorities.
2 micro species identified by James McGill
Thanks to James McGill who identified 2 micros from my trap last night.
130 Incurvaria masculella
822 Scrobipalpa acuminatella
James illustrated the larval mine of this species in October last year (see October 2007 archive).
GMS 2 May 2008, Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6C
Hebrew Character 7, Early Grey 2 and Brindled Pug, Clouded Drab, Brindled Beauty, Knot Grass, Red Green Carpet, Powdered Quaker, Pale Pinion, Nut Tree Tussock, Red Twin-spot Carpet and Purple Thorn.
While we were checking the trap our House Martins arrived!
GMS 2 May 2008, Langport
A poor night again, with min temp 8˚C. Brimstone 10, Muslin 1, Least Black Arches 1, Clouded Drab 2, Hebrew Character 11, Early Grey 1, Herald 1.
The National Trust at Barrington Court will be running a Mothing Breakfast event on 1 June as part of their Hidden Nature Week and they hope to encourage adults and children alike to get more involved in moth life.
They will be setting out traps the night before in their orchards and identifying the various moths the next morning with local expert James Phillips.
The event runs from 9am - 12am and prices are £6 adults, £2 children. As it's an early start they will be providing croissants and coffee.
If you have any questions, please contact Simon Hill (Assistant to Visitor Services Manager)
Tel 01460 243121, OR (MAIN OFICE) 01460 241938