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current posts

Sun 31st May 2009 17:12 by James McGill
I found a patch of dyer's greenweed away from the main area at Merryfield earlier this spring. I looked there today and was pleased to see a dozen Grapholita lathyrana larvae. There were also other caterpillars. The one in the picture below will need rearing to sort out the id.

dyer's greenweed larva

Sat 30th May 2009 18:54 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees

The best night of the year so far with 37 species including new for 2009 - Clouded Silver, Cinnabar and Small Angle-shades.  We also had a var.combusta the dark variety of Clouded Bordered Brindle and three beautifully fresh Elephant Hawk-moths. Doug, here we have an enthusiastic Blue Tit which is quite unafraid of us and attends us at trap opening in the morning. He is particularly partial to White Ermine moths!

Sat 30th May 2009 14:47 by Doug Miller
doug miller westonzoyland
Looking at other members records my catches have been very poor not helped having a Great Tit choosing to nest just above my trap location, my only moth of note being a Silver Y on the night of the 27th, last night a liitle better with 23 macro species including Lime and Elephant Hawk Moths
Fri 29th May 2009 15:52 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 11 degrees

28 species including three firsts for the year - Elephant, Alder and Scorched Wing.

Fri 29th May 2009 08:53 by Bill Urwin
Straw Dot the only new for the year species this morning.
Thu 28th May 2009 16:49 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 11 degrees

As others have reported we had a better night here last night with 25 species with Chineses Character, Coxcomb Prominent, Small Magpie, Lychnis and Diamond-back Moth new for the year.  While typing this I see yet another Painted Lady moving through the garden at high speed !

Thu 28th May 2009 15:02 by John Bebbington
Like Ian I had my best night so far - 133 individuals, 38 macros and 12 micros with a few unidentified micros to confirm. Micros included Diamond-back and Rush Veneer. Images to follow.
Thu 28th May 2009 12:13 by Ian Mathieson
My best night of the year here with 121 macros from 34 types. 11 of these were firsts for the year and included my first garden Seraphim.  The other new ones for the year were Mottled Pug, Ruby Tiger, Dark Spectacle, Willow Beauty,Straw Dot, Mottled Rustic, Pale Mottled Willow, Orange Footman, Light Brocade and Cabbage Moth.
Thu 28th May 2009 11:38 by Bill Urwin
A warmish night last night. Not huge numbers of moths - highlights being Orange Footman, Dusky Brocade, Clouded Silver, Large Nutmeg, an early Snout and two Diamondback moths.
Wed 27th May 2009 16:14 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9 degrees

A miserable wet night with only 9 species in the trap but they included two firsts for the year - Shark and Smoky Wainscot.

Tue 26th May 2009 22:03 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees

We had 25 species in the trap last night including Clouded Border and Seraphim - both firsts for the year. On the ground near-by was a pristine fore-wing of a Puss Moth, presumably a victim of a bat!

Mon 25th May 2009 11:19 by Bill Urwin
A migrant in the trap this morning, in the form of a very pale Bordered Straw with tattered wings. A nice looking Alder moth was new for the year.

2281 Alder Moth BU09

Alder Moth

Mon 25th May 2009 10:31 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10 degrees

A warmer night with 24 species including firsts for the year - Beautiful Golden Y, Flame, Straw Dot, Lobster and on a window P.purpuralis.

Sun 24th May 2009 19:04 by Bill Urwin
Trapping on Friday night brought the first Gold Spot of the year and two Rustic Shoulder Knots. I had my very first Rustic Shoulder Knot last year so perhaps they are on the increase.

2439 Gold Spot BU09

Gold Spot

Sun 24th May 2009 17:05 by Bill Urwin
In a two hour walk at Lyes Cary this afternoon we must have seen 70-80 Painted Lady butterflies all tazzing northwards as fast as their wings would carry them. Look out Scotland, here they come. Not yet as prolific as in the 1996 invasion year when I counted over 1,000 an hour passing me on the Haldon hills in Devon one day but if the weather gives us any southerlies over the next week expect the hordes to arrive. There were hundreds of thousands reported from northern Italy this week. all heading this way :-)
Sun 24th May 2009 12:29 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - min temp 6 degrees

A clear colder night with only nine species in the trap which was disappointing after a week which included a number of firsts for the year- Buff Ermine, Marbled Brown, Pale Shouldered Brocade, Poplar Kitten, Poplar Grey and Rivulet.  Also on one night in the local wood we had Broken-barred Carpet, Yellow-barred Brindle, Small White Wave and, I am pleased to say John, a P. conwagana.

Sun 24th May 2009 12:20 by Bill Urwin
Robin, Ian, James and I went out to Orchard Wood on Thursday night and despite a poor haul by comparison to earlier years did manage to find Blomer's Rivulet and Pauper Pug.

1872 Blomers Rivulet BU09

Blomer's Rivulet

Sat 23rd May 2009 20:17 by John Bebbington
I had this rather beautiful micro in the trap on Wednesday night, along with 39 other species - by far the best night of the year to date.
1011 Pseudargyrozota conwagana
1011 Pseudargyrozota conwagana

We walked out to Burton Pynsent monument in Curry Rivel late afternoon and there was a single Painted Lady patrolling the bare ground round the monument.
PAinted Lady basking
Sat 23rd May 2009 16:54 by Chris Iles
The first Burnet Companions of the year today, at Haydon batch ST682535 and Orchardleigh ST776508 - both in new tetrads as far as I am aware.
Sat 23rd May 2009 10:25 by Ian Mathieson
A reasonable night last night with firsts for the year in my garden of Flame Carpet, Brown Rustic, Ochreous Pug and what will hopefully be the first of many Heart and Darts. Whilst out this morning I saw at least 6 Painted Ladies which is 4 more than I saw in total last year.
Sat 23rd May 2009 09:14 by Bill Urwin
Spent a very pleasant morning in Dorset yesterday with James and Mark Parsons looking at micro larvae found on Dyer's Greenweed. This is in preparation for a quick search at Merryfield. we found the larvae of four different moths, all in spinnings in the terminal shoots. We have put tentative identifications to them but will breed them through to confirm. If anyone has already bred such material through and can confirm any of the species, I would be glad to hear from them.

Dyer's Greenweed larva1 BU09

probably Grapholita lathyrana

Dyer's Greenweed larva2 BU09

probably Mirificarma lentiginosella

Dyer's Greenweed larva3 BU09

probably Agonopterix atomella

Dyer's Greenweed larva5 BU09

probably a Cnephasia

Fri 22nd May 2009 00:27 by Chris Iles
15+ Grass Rivulets seen this lunchtime on Bath Golf Course.  The rough here is managed as limestone hay meadow and has an abundance of yellow rattle for the larvae.
Tue 19th May 2009 21:42 by Bill Urwin
Went out to Shapwick this morning - more in hope than in anticipation. I'd promised Butterfly Conservation that I would do some counts of Argent and Sable. The rain finally stopped at 12:30 so I went out to one of the favoured sites and waited, the cows were highly suspicious of this new thing in their midst. At 12:40 the sun appeared and at 12:50 the first Argent and Sable flew in and landed right next to me. Hmmmm no camera. I went back to the car and got myself set up and returned. Miraculously the moth was exactly where I had left it. Typically it took off just as I started focussing and went into a Birch about 3 metres up. Fortunately another two moths flew past and finally I managed to get one to land for long enough to snatch a quick photograph. My total count was 7-10 individuals with three together at one point. This is still early in their flight period so hopefully with a bit of fine weather we can look forward to a good year for them.

Also managed to get a shot of Marbled White Spot just before the rain began again in earnest.

1787 Argent and Sable BU09

Argent and Sable

2410 Marbled White Spot BU09

Marbled White Spot

Tue 19th May 2009 19:02 by Chris Iles
Small Yellow Underwing in the meadows at Sham Castle, Bath, yesterday and today.  Also Small Copper which has reappeared after being wiped out here by the heavy rain in May/June 2007.
Tue 19th May 2009 10:15 by John Bebbington
Although, like Ian, I have had poor catches recently I out the trap out last night anyway - the pick of the bunch was a pristine Cream-spot Tiger.
2058 Cream Spot Tiger male

I've had a request from the chairman of the Butler Memorial Trust which runs the 'green' burial ground at Westcombe. They are holding an open afternoon on Sunday 12th July and are looking for someone to be there to talk to visitors about moths. Unfortunately I will be in Shropshire teaching photography on the day, so is anyone able to help? I will visit the site beforehand and give them some ideas.

Please contact me if you can help - this could be a good site!
Mon 18th May 2009 10:31 by Ian Mathieson
This year appears to becoming increasingly similar to the last two summers weatherwise with a warmish dry spell in early Spring being followed by continuous wet weather. As I write this it is pouring down outside and the forecast is for at least four days of similar weather. It hardly seems worth putting the trap out. Last night the highlight from a handful of insects was my first Setacious Hebrew Character of the year. When this is the highlight you know that things are poor.
Fri 15th May 2009 23:02 by Bill Urwin
Dashed out to Great Breach Wood this afternoon to check if there were any caterpillars of Barred Tooth-Striped. I thought I was on to one until I noticed the great pyramid like structure at its rear end. Further research at home reveals it to be Copper Underwing. The Latin name of Amphipyra pyramidea sort of gives you a clue ;-)

2297 Copper Underwing larva BU09

Copper Underwing larva

Fri 15th May 2009 10:54 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees

We did not trap on Wednesday night as the weather seemed so awful but probably we should have as last night seemed even worse yet we had 15 species of which 4 were firsts for the year - Treble Lines, Heart & Dart, Treble Brown Spot and Ruby Tiger.  The latter is interesting as until catching one in May 2008 I had never caught any of the first brood.

Fri 15th May 2009 10:26 by John Bebbington
Less good last night but I had one Silver Y and one Dark Swordgrass. Also the red form of the Dark-barred Twinspot Carpet.
Red form of Dark-barred Twinspot Carpet
Red form of Dark-barred Twinspot Carpet
Thu 14th May 2009 17:35 by Jack Astley
Closworth 13th May
one Alder kitten
Thu 14th May 2009 17:22 by Bill Urwin
Just to show it is possible to continue mothing even in the rain. I just had a look in my back garden to see what it looked like for trapping tonight. The constant rain of today had grounded this mass emergence of Psychoides filicivora and confined it to the undersides of the emerging Hart's Tongue Fern fronds.

200 Psychoides filicivora BU09b

Psychoides filicivora

Thu 14th May 2009 16:27 by Bill Urwin
Went up to Draycott Sleights last night to see what the count of Light Feathered Rustic might be on a dark, still, warmish night, as opposed to the cool night with full moon that brought out five of them on Friday last. It turns out that the answer was one!!!

It was joined by over forty other species so not a bad night. Galium Carpet, Shears, Rustic Shoulder Knot and Treble Bar were new moths for the year and there were a few nice weevils to be seen in the undergrowth to add to the general natural interest. I can only think that the high winds of the last few days have driven all the Light Feathered Rustics down to Brean and Berrow. Be interesting to see if Brian Slade gets an influx :-)

1740 Galium Carpet BU09

Galium Carpet

2147 Shears BU09


Thu 14th May 2009 13:23 by John Bebbington
Although Tuesday night was dire last night was the best of the year with 28 macro species including 6 year firsts: Peppered Moth, Poplar hawk, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Treble-lines, Vine's Rustic and Burnished Brass (4 of these!). There was also a Yellow-tail larva on the Wistaria next to the trap.
2030 Yellow-tail larva on Wistaria
2030 Yellow-tail larva on Wistaria

While walking the dog in the fields below the house this morning I disturbed 2 Diamond-backs. No sign of the Painted Lady migration here but the daytime weather has been poor.

I was surprised later in the morning to see male Early Bumblebees Bombus pratorum nectaring in the garden - very early for males even of this species.
Thu 14th May 2009 11:02 by Ian Mathieson
The last two nights have both had reasonable catches with 20 macro species last night with firsts for the year including Shears, May Highflyer and Lime Hawk Moth. The Lime Hawk Moth appears to be f. brunnea. It is a beautiful reddish brown colour and the first I have seen like this.
Wed 13th May 2009 16:50 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

Sunday May 10th was our best night yet of the year mothwise with 15 species in the garden trap including the first Treble Bar and a White Ermine while flying in the afternoon I saw a very fresh Silver Ground Carpet.  Encouraged by this we put a trap in our local wood and recorded 27 species including yearly firsts of Brown Silver Line, Peach Blossom, Least Black Arches, Hexadactylla, Spruce Carpet, Orange Footman (11), White Pinion-spotted, and Small Angle-shades.  This wood produces melanic specimens of several species and we had a very dark Coronet and a Tawny-barred Angle var nigrofulvata. The last two nights have been dull in comparison with Clouded Bordered Brindle the only new arrival in the garden trap.

Mon 11th May 2009 22:36 by Bill Urwin
Ian, I saw a Painted Lady today at Thurlbear, so perhaps they followed you back. Also saw Duke of Burgundy, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper. Several male Adela reaumurella were swarming at the end of one particular Hazel branch. I had seen several Adela rufimitrella yesterday on Hedge Garlic plants at Ham Hill. The reaumurella have much longer antennae and in the males, completely black heads. They were a bit of a trial to photograph in the stiff breeze that was blowing. New moths for the garden last night included Oak Hooktip and Chinese Character.

0152 Adela rufimitrella BU09

Adela rufimitrella

0150 Adela reaumurealla BU09

Adela reaumurella

1582 Duke of Burgundy BU09

Duke of Burgundy

1532 Dingy Skipper BU09

Dingy Skipper

1534 Grizzled Skipper BU09

Grizzled Skipper

Mon 11th May 2009 22:36 by Bill Urwin
Ian, I saw a Painted Lady today at Thurlbear, so perhaps they followed you back. Also saw Duke of Burgundy, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper. Several male Adela reaumurella were swarming at the end of one particular Hazel branch. I had seen several Adela rufimitrella yesterday on Hedge Garlic plants at Ham Hill. The reaumurella have much longer antennae and in the males, completely black heads. They were a bit of a trial to photograph in the stiff breeze that was blowing. New moths for the garden last night included Oak Hooktip and Chinese Character.
Mon 11th May 2009 07:20 by Ian Mathieson
A slightly better night last night with 4 Rustic Shoulder Knots as firsts for the year along with Sandy and Scorched Carpets. I have just returned from a few days in southern Spain and can report large numbers of Clouded Yellows and Painted Ladies just waiting to be blown over here. However I only saw a few Humming Bird Hawk Moths and a single Silver Y amongst very few moths observed.
Sun 10th May 2009 17:41 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp only 4 degrees and windy.

Only nine moths of seven species - one our first Poplar Hawk of the year.

Sun 10th May 2009 13:06 by Bill Urwin
Robin Clatworthy and Mike Ridge ignored all bad portents of low temperature and full moon on Friday night. They trapped at Draycott Sleights and I'm very glad they did as they caught 5 Light Feathered Rustic. To get that number on such a poor night should bode well for numbers on a warm, moon-free night. The moth is fond of places that are bare and stone-rich so Draycott fits the bill exactly. The adults are quite variable and I have shown two below to give an idea of the range. Compare these to the very pale form from Dungeness, pictured from earlier this month.

2084 Light Feathered Rustic BU09b

Light Feathered Rustic - a light one

2084 Light Feathered Rustic BU09c

Light Feathered Rustic - a darker form

Sat 9th May 2009 11:53 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

Windier and colder and the poorest catch for many weeks - only six moths of three species for GMS night !

Fri 8th May 2009 09:52 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

A wet and windy night with only five species in the trap including a Lime Hawk which I suspect is the individual I trapped on May 2nd.  Thanks James for confirming the ID of the Horse Chestnut I recorded on May 4th.

Wed 6th May 2009 15:57 by John Bebbington
I've just attended an excellent Celypha woodiana workshop run by James McGill at Barrington Court. He had put a trap out the previous evening and although the catch was poor there was one individual of 431 Yponomeuta sedella. The larval foodplant is Orpine or related cultivated species of Sedum.
431 Yponomeuta sedella
431 Yponomeuta sedella
Tue 5th May 2009 22:28 by Bill Urwin
Ruby Tiger, Garden Carpet, Heart and Dart and V-Pug all new for this year last night. Also a little something that James will need to see tomorrow. Tonight I've had a Pale Tussock sitting on the outside of the trap already. This afternoon came across this Green-veined White that for once behaved itself and sat prettily while I snapped away.

1551 Green-veined White BU09

Green-veined White

Tue 5th May 2009 16:33 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

It seemed colder - perhaps our thermometer is too sheltered from the North-westerly ! However we had two certain firsts for the year Common Carpet and Shuttle-shaped Dart and a probable Horse Chestnut - rather pale and still to be confirmed.  Interesting how almost all the Somerset records of this moth come from VC5. Up to now I have only had one in ten years.

Tue 5th May 2009 07:51 by John Bebbington
A poor catch last night - strong cold NW wind - but two firsts for the year, Mocha and Small Waved Umber.
Mon 4th May 2009 18:37 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

The catch was only in single figures but included two firsts for the year - Scalloped Hazel and Adela reaumurella.

Sun 3rd May 2009 21:34 by John Bebbington
Langport 3 May 2009
No Lime Hawks here in Langport but a better night last night with 39 individuals of 17 species including this rather beautiful Parornix sp.Unidentified Parornix sp.

Yesterday afternoon a female Muslin Moth flew across the garden and settled amongst the daisies on the lawn - only the third female I have seen.Female Muslin Moth on Daisy flowerhead

I had a 'phone call from someone in Ash (Martock) who had found a 'scorpion' in her bath - it turned out to be a Fly Bug Reduvius personatus nymph. It readily consumed a dead Rhyngia hoverflywhich had drowned in my coffee!
Reduvius personatus nymph feeding
Sun 3rd May 2009 17:40 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

Only twelve moths of nine species last night but we were delighted to get our first Lime Hawk-moth for the year but less pleased to see a Maybug - no doubt the first of many!

Sat 2nd May 2009 18:14 by Bill Urwin
Nothing new in last night, Fridays have really been poor since I started the Garden Moth Survey, hopefully they will pick up soon. I went to Dungeness yesterday and managed to see some of the pale forms of some moths, such as the Light Feathered Rustic and Tawny Shears. In the warm sun, several dragonflies had emerged, including Brachytron pratense, the Hairy Dragonfly. Today on Portland, I found a Drinker caterpillar while watching the Collared Flycatcher that has taken up temporary residence there. My tiny looper caterpillar has grown some, still not sure which it is but I'm sure it knows.

2084 Light Feathered Rustic BU09

Light Feathered Rustic

Hairy Dragonfly

Hairy Dragonfly

1640 Drinker larva BU09

Drinker larva

looper caterpillar 2

my little looper

Sat 2nd May 2009 08:31 by Jack Astley
1st may
two Least black arches
Fri 1st May 2009 12:46 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6 degrees

Despite heavy showers, (1 inch of rain overnight) we had four firsts for 2009 in the trap Iron Prominent, Peppered Moth, Green Carpet and Garden Carpet also only the second Brimstone Moth two weeks after the first appeared.  The second lot of "our" House Martins also arrived!


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