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current posts

Thu 31st July 2008 18:18 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

A lovely fresh female Oak Eggar was the highlight in our garden trap last night when the min temperature was 15 degrees and we had 66 species. Other firsts for the year included Least Yellow Underwing, Cabbage Moth, Garden Rose Tortrix and Shaded Broad-bar. Also the first Shuttle-shaped Dart since May - presumably the second brood.

Thu 31st July 2008 11:37 by Ian Mathieson
Last night I had a Pine Hawk Moth in the trap. This is the first one I've ever seen let alone had in my garden. My last three trappings have also produced a Speckled Wood, A Ringlet and last night a Red Admiral. On 28/07/08 I had a female Calamotropha paludella which may be a first for ST41.
Thu 31st July 2008 11:16 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
Thursday night gave new for the year Cream Bordered Green Pea, Slender Brindle and Alder Kitten, also a Comma Butterfly as the trap light was switched on at 2150hrs could it be an early riser, not the brightest of mornings.
Wed 30th July 2008 12:49 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

The wind and heavy rain last night put me off putting out the trap but at least I have time to enter the records of the previous few nights which as Doug reports include some interesting firsts for the year including :- Dun-bar, Rosy Footman, Yellow Tail, Magpie, and Copper Underwing.  I also have also seen several second brood Ruby Tigers. Oddly I also had one in May the first time I have recorded one so early here. Trapping near the stream at the bottom of the valley here I had two firsts for ST02 (and my lifetime!) Small China-mark and Donacaula forficella.

Tue 29th July 2008 18:44 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
Some new for year over several nights, 25th Least Yellow Underwing, Dunbar, Maidens Blush Thanks to James, 28th Lesser Spotted Pinion, Small Waved Umber Dark Spinach and Peacock, numbers have increased in species and totals.
Sun 27th July 2008 10:41 by James McGill
There have been some strange things around this week. I found the butterfly last weekend in the woods near Taunton. The moth visited my garden trap last night. When things turn up this far inland they usually come mob-handed so keep looking!

2436 Dewick's Plusia

Large Tortoiseshell

Sat 26th July 2008 17:13 by Mark Yeates
Just seen that Brian's Goosefoot Pug is illustrated on the NHM website at:

NHM - Goosefoot Pug link

There's posterity for you.

Sat 26th July 2008 12:41 by Ian Mathieson
A better night here as well with over 350 macros and 66 different species. I also had my first Leopard Moth. Other firsts for the year include Magpie Moth, Yellow Tail, Coxcombe Prominent and Oak Hook Tip. I also had 4 Silver Ys and a Pearly Underwing which I hope are early signs of migrants. I still haven't had a Garden Tiger since 2006. Is anyone else catching them this year?
Fri 25th July 2008 20:08 by Bill Urwin
Like Peter, I had a much better night last night with over 60 species and several new species not found the night before. These included Leopard Moth, Purple Thorn, Lunar Spotted Pinion, September Thorn, Dark Umber, Common Emerald, Clay, Phoenix and Short-cloaked Moth.

0161 Leopard Moth BU

Leopard Moth

1919 Purple Thorn BU2

Purple Thorn

Fri 25th July 2008 13:21 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

At last a really warm night produced over 70 species in our garden trap including 75 Large Yellow Underwings and 24 Dark Arches. New for 2008 were Ear Moth, Blue-bordered Carpet, Cloaked Carpet, Dark Spectacle, Scarce Silver-lines, and Shark.

The Moths of Hertfordshire by Colin Plant

Until it arrived today I had forgotten that I ordered this attractive book a year ago at the pre-publication offer and I am most impressed with it. The history, status, distribution and phenology of both macros and micros are covered in detail and the presentation in A4 hardback is delightful. Included is a special article about the long-term Moth Studies at Rothamsted and the book has set a standard which will be difficult to better.  Details from

Fri 25th July 2008 12:00 by David Agassiz
Oegoconia deauratella at Weston
Last night being warm produced some more micros, among them Oegoconia deauratella, apparently not previously recorded from Somerset.  This is the easiest of the three Oegoconia spp. to determine since it is predominantly black, the only other species I have had here is O. quadripuncta.
Thu 24th July 2008 17:10 by Jack Astley
closworth 23/7/2008
Leopard moth found this afternoon
Thu 24th July 2008 15:56 by Jack Astley
23rd july closworth
Pyrausta aurata,Hysopygia costalis, Ebulea crocialis,Short-cloaked moth,Pebble hook-tip.
Thu 24th July 2008 14:23 by Bill Urwin
Over forty species last night. no large numbers, Common Footman being the most numerous species. Orthopygia glaucinalis was a nice addition along with Rosy Footman, Muslin Footman, Black Arches, Brussels Lace and Yellow Shell.
Wed 23rd July 2008 17:14 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

The warmer weather is producing much more interesting catches though, as others are reporting, the quantities of individual species of common moths such as Dark Arches, Large Yellow Underwing, Heart and Dart and Common Rustic are much lower than usual here. Recent firsts for 2008 include Small Emerald, Sharp-angled Carpet, Muslin Footman, Slender Brindle, V-Pug and Pyrausta purpuralis.  Seven Purple Thorns in one night was unusual.

Tue 22nd July 2008 21:33 by Ian Mathieson
Things appear to be getting better at last although individual numbers are still well down here. However the numbers of different species are still holding up quite well. Recent new moths for the year have included Rosy Footman, Small Yellow Wave, Phoenix, Scarce footman, Small Fanfoot, Vapourer and last night my first ever Plain Pug.
Sat 19th July 2008 10:48 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
Friday night 18th produced only 26 Macro species, new for the year Magpie, True Lovers Knot and Marbled Green, the stong winds through the night did not help.
Sat 19th July 2008 08:53 by Mark Yeates
Just received a note from Richard Cottle, who was visiting the county and recorded Red-tipped Clearwing and Scarlet Tiger, both seen on Sunday 13th July at Priddy Mineries.

Very good records (both of them new 10km squares).  For current distribution and status see:

Red-tipped Clearwing and Scarlet Tiger

Thu 17th July 2008 10:40 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

2008 started here with a very dull first few months moth-wise with cold nights producing in the garden trap counts sometimes down to single figures. However things have improved in the last ten days with catches of 30 to 50 species a night including the following firsts for the year - Large Emerald, Swallow-tail, Dot Moth, Wood Carpet, Engrailed (second brood), Clay, Light Arches, Four Dotted Footman (C. mesomella). Last week my sister saw the Scarlet Tigers at Hestercombe but sadly they were not flying when I went there yesterday.

Sun 13th July 2008 08:42 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon 13/07/08
My first night's trapping after a week away. The moths were slightly better with a Lappet being the highlight. This is the first I've had since 1999. I also had a Blue Bordered Carpet, my first of the year and not an annual here in Norton.

I have read the comments about Small Tortoiseshells. Despite searching I have found only one small nest which produced about 10 adults and a similar number of parasites which I have sent off to an address that was asking for them in Butterfly Conservation magazine. I also found a larger nest of Peacocks of which about 25 adults emerged but a larger number were parasatized by what looks like the parasite in the photo. Since then I have come across several adult Small Tortoisehells flying over nettle patches, mainly in the Crewkerne area but haven't seen any other adult Peacocks. Are these two other ' unloseable ' butterflies that are going to become much more scarce in future years?

Sat 12th July 2008 19:45 by David Agassiz
Weston-super-Mare 11th July
Last night there were few moths, but I was amazed to find E. lichenea (Feathered Ranunculus) at such an early date.  There was also a smooth honey-coloured Wainscot, just like M. favicolor (Mathew's Wainscot); there is salt-marsh within range, but this species is not known West of Hampshire.  Since most, but not all, Continental specialists doubt the existence of this taxon, and the genitalia are scarcely different, I had better just call it M. pallens (Common Wainscot) - a case for DNA examination. David Agassiz
Fri 11th July 2008 09:18 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
New for the year last night Brussels Lace, Drinker, Garden Tiger and Rosy Footman. also the "L" missing from yesterday.
Thu 10th July 2008 14:45 by Dave Ayling
St. Audries - Tuesday 8th July 2008
Managed nearly 2 hours of trapping in a friend's garden in St. Audries before rain arrived. 49 species including Short-cloaked Moth, Phoenix and Cabbage Moth which were all new for me. Also Beautiful Snout, Clay and Brown Rustic which I don't see very often.
Thu 10th July 2008 14:26 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
A bit more than expected last night the 9th one migrant Papita Vitrealis.
Thu 10th July 2008 06:10 by John Bebbington
Langport 9 july
A single Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella in the trap last night along with 4 Silver Y.
Tue 8th July 2008 21:48 by John Bebbington
Sturmia bella & migrants
Further to Mark's comments there have been a fair number of Small Tortoiseshell around here but on 30th June I found a 'nest' of Peacock larvae all killed by Sturmia bella. The fly puparia were still on the web and I have them potted up at home.
Sturmia bella puparia with dead Peacock larvae

Lots of Silver Y nectaring on Honeysuckle, Red Valerian and a large ornamental Salvia in my garden at the moment, even in the wind and rain, wirh 2-3 in the trap most nights.

A single Dark Swordgrass Agrotis ipsilon in the trap on the night of 5th July.
Tue 8th July 2008 19:08 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
July 7th i did think things were improving with 5 Silver Y and 6 species of waves, then i saw the weather forecast.
Tue 8th July 2008 16:24 by Mark Yeates
Not a moth but I have just seen a Small Tortoiseshell battling against the wind up here in Chippenham (not even in Somerset!).  There has been increasing concern for this species as numbers have dramatically declined over the past two years - possibly due to a new parasitic tachinid Sturmia bella.  This is the first I have seen anywhere this year.
Sat 5th July 2008 12:09 by Mark Yeates
Terry Coult recorded a Yellow-legged Clearwing Synanthedon vespiformis near the Youth Hostel at Street (opposite the 'Collard Hill Car Park'). Here is his excelent photo:

0374 Yellow-legged Clearwing

0374 Yellow-legged Clearwing

Distribution is shown below.  This species we have designated "Occasional and Local" and you can see just how scarce this is - although, like other clearwings, it may be under-recorded.

Note: if you are 'logged on' and go to the species details page you can click the dots to see where the records come from.

Fri 4th July 2008 12:31 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

Ian, I completely agree with your view that it has been a strange year so far moth-wise.  It seems to me to be entirely down to the generally low night time temperatures.  For example last night, July 3, it was down to 8 degrees and I had only 15 species in the garden trap with only one first for 2008 a Scalloped Oak while on July 2nd when 12 degrees was the lowest and I had 40 species including the first Buff Arches and the first second brood Early Thorn.

Thu 3rd July 2008 17:56 by Ian Mathieson
Macros so far this year from Norton Sub Hamdon
I have finally succumbed to the children's pressure and am now connected to the internet. I have so enjoyed reading through the latest sightings that I will try to join in on a regular basis. I am having a strange year moth-wise. The number of different species is standing up reasonably well but the number of individuals is about 20% of what it was in 2003 and 2004 and less than half of the numbers even for last year. However we have not yet had a night where the weather conditions would lead me to expect a bumper catch. Up to the end of June I had recorded 170 different species of macro in my garden. The highlights have been my first Tawny Pinion on 15/03/08, Dark Spectacle on 08/05/08, Narrow Winged Pug on 09/05/08, Poplar Kitten on 20/05/08, my first live Lobster Moth on 11/06/08 ( I'd only found a pair of wings left by the local sparrows before), and my first Lackey since 2002 on 25/06/08.
Thu 3rd July 2008 09:30 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
Those forecasting warm muggy nights seem to forget Westonzoyland, another poor return total of 58 macros for 30 species new for year Dunbar Plain Golden Y and Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing.
Wed 2nd July 2008 10:03 by John Bebbington
I agree with Doug - generally poor this year with the best being 27th June with 173 individuals of 69 species. Almost all the new species were micros (thanks to James McGill for IDs!). One nice specimen was the Large Tabby shown below.

1421 Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis
1421 Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis
Tue 1st July 2008 10:20 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
30th June still very poor just 33 macro, new for year Shoulder Striped Wainscot and Double Square Spot, looking back through records for this date numbers of species were about 50 for the night thedifference being in the totals for the day ie; last night Heart & Dart 10 in 1995 197.

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