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current posts

Sun 28th June 2009 16:43 by Dave Ayling
Friday 26th June 2009 Bossington Beach
A good night with 64 species caught. Mike Ridge and Robin Clatworthy were up on the hill above us and also apparently had a good night. The highlight for me was my first Lime Hawkmoth. Other species of note were Brussels Lace, Fox Moth, Dusky Brocade, Dog's Tooth, Ghost Moth, July Belle, Lime-speck Pug, Map-winged Swift, Pale shouldered Brocade, Pebble Prominent, Ruby Tiger, Sandy Carpet and Shoulder-striped Wainscot. We also had two very nice micros: Platytes cerussela and Trachycera marmorea. Jame McGill tells me the former is only known from this area. Thanks to Pat Owen for her invaluable help in catching them all and to James for doing the micros for me.
Sat 27th June 2009 08:45 by Ian Mathieson
Yesterday morning provided an almost overwhelming number of moths in the trap. In pouring rain I counted 495 Macros from 63 species with half as many again flying away before I could identify them. New moths for the year included Cypress Carpet and Common Emerald. I also had my first Plain Wave since 2001. This is another moth that I doubted my original record for and wondered how I was able to identify back then as the literature only describes a different texture to the wings. However the moth I caught yesterday was like a smaller Riband Wave but its resting posture was strikingly different with its wings more closely held to its body. If that is a characteristic pose it is a very obvious identification feature.
    Although day flying Scarlet Tigers are quite common here it is more unusual to get them in the trap so to have 11 at one time was exciting.
    Thu 25th June 2009 19:47 by Ian Mathieson
    Good numbers of moths over the last few nights with my garden highlights being my first Clouded Brindle and Dusky Brocade since 2004. This was in the time before digital photography arrived here and without a photo I was beginning to doubt my own records. There are still very few migrant moth records from around the country that I can see. Can someone explain how we can have huge numbers of Painted Ladys come over apparently on their own. It is only today that I saw my first Red Admiral of the year apart from a couple much earlier that I guessed had over wintered here.
    Wed 24th June 2009 10:47 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

    Recently the warmer nights with minimum temperatures ranging from 11 to 14 degrees have attracted over 50 species per night to the trap. Those new for the year include Beautiful Snout, Buff Arches, Sandy Carpet, Fan-foot, Brussels Lace, Small Yellow Wave, Green Silver-lines, Heart & Club, Plain Golden Y and Lackey.

    Mon 22nd June 2009 17:53 by James McGill
    I reared this adult Agonopterix atomella from the larva at Merryfield on 31st May. This is the first record of the species in VC5 since Turner's book was published. I am pleased it is still with us as the foodplant, dyer's greenweed, is quite scarce now.

    703 Agonopterix atomella

    Thu 18th June 2009 22:38 by Ian Mathieson
    A series of reasonable catches here over the past few nights with a whole list of new species for the year. Still nothing remarkable in the trap with the best moth probably being my first Green Silver Lines since 2004.
    Wed 17th June 2009 17:57 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

    We trapped in the nearby wood last night and not in the garden and attracted 40 species. New for the year were Drinker, Maple Prominent, Double Square-spot and Small Fan-foot.  Otherwise the highlight was the astonishing bright green of six fresh Green Arches.

    Tue 16th June 2009 12:09 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10 degrees

    A much quieter night with only 20 species in the trap, one another beautiful fresh Eyed Hawkmoth.  New for the year were Barred Yellow and a Garden Tiger. The last is a most striking variety with white forewings which I have never seen in the wild before.  It reminds me that about eight years ago Mike Bryan showed a moth group meeting a range of Garden Tiger varieties he had bred at Bishops Lydeard where he was then living. Many had white forewings.

    Sat 13th June 2009 20:49 by John Bebbington
    MONDAY 15 JUNE - change of venue for moth night
    Change of venue

    Mike Ridge has changed the venue for Monday night. Meet at the Fox & Badger Public House at 2115 sharp and drive in convoy to a private woodland. Any queries contact Mike on 01278 450793 tonight or tomorrow.
    Sat 13th June 2009 18:13 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - min temp 13 degrees

    A much warmer night with over 50 species in the trap including new for the year - Brussels Lace, Ghost Moth, Dark Arches, Purple Clay, Oak Hook-tip, Snout, Small Seraphim, Sharp-Angled Peacock also two micros C. culmella and L. forsterana which I always feel is too big to be called a micro !

    Thu 11th June 2009 21:37 by Doug Miller
    doug miller westonzoyland
    Humming-bird Hawk Moth feeding on Valerian 2130 in garden
    Thu 11th June 2009 20:07 by John Bebbington
    BC Goat Moth and Forester Moth survey
    Hi everyone

    I have just had an email from Caroline Kelly at BC asking me to pass on recording forms for Goat and Forester moths to anyone who is likely to be working in areas where they occur / might occur. Text as follows:

    Dear County moth recorder, Please find attached the proposed site survey forms for the Goat and Forester moth that have been sent out to the relevant VC’s these species have occurred in recently (from 1980). We are asking volunteers and staff to add some extra detail to their survey notes this year to try to establish a clearer picture of their ecology, as to date, there is very little information available. As, I am sure you are aware, the Forester and Goat Moth became UK BAP Priority species in 2007, we are currently endeavoring to collate as much information about their current habitat, larval foodplant and nectar requirements to create a clearer understanding of their ecology. This information will be compiled with the intention of being used to inform management decisions and to produce locations maps. I am writing to ask if it would be possible for you to pass on the attached site survey form to recorders that you know will be going to sites in your area where the Forester or Goat moth occur. We understand and appreciate the time that volunteers spend recording and do not wish to ask that site survey forms are completed by every recorder. The information being requested is envisaged to not take too much time to complete as they are mainly visual observations. We would appreciate if you could send us any records of Forester/Goat moth that you receive (with or without the additional information we are requesting). If we receive any records of these species directly from recorders we will ensure that you will be sent the records. On the survey form the field ‘Grid ref of negative searches’ is mainly for sites that are visited where the species has previously been recorded but signs or sightings of the species were not recorded on that particular visit. We would appreciate any information if you (or other recorders) are on sites that they occur in, this year or in the future. Thank you for your time Regards Caroline Kelly Conservation Officer

    Anyone requiring forms please email me and I will send them

    Thu 11th June 2009 09:58 by Doug Miller
    doug miller westonzoyland
    Over the last few nights catches have been mediocre to say the least apart from Silver Y last night 16 Tues just 5 and Monday 14 has this moth arrived in numbers is it a sign of better things to come.
    Wed 10th June 2009 21:45 by John Bebbington
    Brussels Lace larvae
    David Agassiz and James McGill came over this evening to look for Acleris umbrana larvae on the unflailed sloe arond here. Although they found a couple of larvae which may turn out to be A. umbrana and some other interesting micros the higlights for me were two larvae of the Brusssels Lace Cleorodes lichenaria which David found. I've looked for this caterpillar in vain over the last 4 years.

    Brussels Lace larva 2
    Larva in habitat

    Brussels Lace larva 1
    close-up of larva.
    Tue 9th June 2009 22:43 by John Bebbington
    Langport 9 June 2009
    A Striped Hawkmoth nectaring on Red Campion in the garden this evening but by the time I had fetched camera and net it had gone! I staked the honeysuckle bushes out for the next hour but nothing at all came in.
    Tue 9th June 2009 08:07 by John Bebbington
    Langport 9 June 2009
    Only one migrant so far this week - a single Diamond-back. New for the year over the last 2 nights have been Phlyctaenia coronata, Privet Hawk, Common & Buff Footman, Ingrailed Clay and Shoulder-striped Wainscot.

    This rather beautiful specimen of 143 Nematopogon metaxella was by my pond yesterday evening. The larva feeds on detritus in damp places.
    143 Nematopogon metaxella
    143 Nematopogon metaxella

    Juliet Cryer sent me this image of a pair of Eyed Hawkmoths in her greenhouse.
    Eyed Hawkmoths mating
    Eyed Hawkmoths mating (Juliet Cryer)
    Tue 9th June 2009 07:25 by Ian Mathieson
    Firsts for the year last night were Purple Bar, Privet Hawk Moth and Miller. On Sunday I walked through clouds of Painted Ladies here which I guess were part of another wave of migration but apart from the occasional Silver Y I am not seeing any sign of moth migration in my trap.
    Sun 7th June 2009 15:04 by David Evans
    The Bournmouth Echo
    Hello Somerset Moth Group from the Bournmouth Echo(name cribed from the local paper down here)

    All is well down in Bournmouth but the weather for moths has been dire. Whilst you have all been getting good stuff, down here has been very poor and slow. However I have at last made it out and with the help of eleven actinic traps had a fair haul of moths at a prime site called Merritown Heath just north of Bournmouth Airport. The site is very important for many things mainly reptiles and amphibians but also has the biggest alder wood I have seen in many a year. As for moths they are very under recorded so Phil Sterling has procured me a key and allowed me full access.

    On the 27th May 2009 the moths included Sloe Pug

    1859 Sloe Pug 2

    Rosy Marbled looking and settling just like weird Chinese character

    2396 Rosy Marbled 1

    Pinion Streaked Snout which I have rarely seen

    2484 Pinion Streaked Snout

    And much to my surprised over 30 Lesser Treble Bar which I had never seen before twenty of which were in one trap

    1868 Lesser Treble Bar 1.

    Other moths included Fox moth, Birch Mocha in double figures, Cream Spot Tigers, Brindled White Spot, May Highflyer, and Narrow winged Pugs.

    A few Micros added to the list included a variety of Scoparias mainly S. ambigualis but with a few S. angustea, also others micros including B. lacticolella and P. bicostella.

    Finally and keeping what Phil considers was the best till last a Small Grass Emerald. The picture has a horrible orange glow but it still records a fine moth.

    1670 Small Grass Emerald 1

    That's all for now my best wishes to the group

    David Evans

    Sun 7th June 2009 12:54 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

    Here Saturday was wet all day from dawn and sorting the catch indoors for the previous night (GMS night) was difficult - we had 40 species including firsts for the year - Common Swift, and Small Clouded Brindle.  With the heavy rain continuing we did not trap last night.

    Sat 6th June 2009 11:15 by Bill Urwin
    Last night was a night of mixed fortunes. After watching England snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 20-20 against Holland, I went out to trap with Paul Chapman, forgetting to put on my moth trap at home before I left. Once set up at Walton Common, it started to rain and in using my net to protect the 400Watt bulb from explosion by thermal shock, I managed to partially melt the net on the bulb :-)

    On returning home, I saw that my ever thoughtful wife had compensated for my stupidity by putting on the moth trap so my spirits lifted slightly. This morning, my spirits were given an enormous boost by discovering that I'd caught Portland Ribbon Wave, only the second Somerset record. My wife is a star :-)

    1714 Portland Ribbon Wave BU09

    Portland Ribbon Wave

    Fri 5th June 2009 17:04 by John Bebbington
    The last few nights in Langport
    The last few nights have shown a dramatic improvement in trap catches with 758 individuals of 107 species since last Sunday. This is despite the attentions of families of Robins, Blackbirds, Great Tits and Blue Tits, and next-door-but-one's cat sitting by the trap at night catching moths! The frogs have also started to search through the undergrowth around the trap. There was a pristine set of Bordered Straw wings by the trap on Monday morning.

    Some interesting micros on the night of 2nd - thanks (again) to James McGill for determination.
    1212 Rhyacionia pinivorana (Tortricidae)
    1212 Rhyacionia pinivorana (Tortricidae)

    954 Eupoecilia angustana (Tortricidae)
    954 Eupoecilia angustana (Tortricidae)

    1133 Epinotia bilunana (Tortricidae)
    1133 Epinotia bilunana (Tortricidae)

    1485 Phycitodes maritima (Pyralidae)
    1485 Phycitodes maritima (Pyralidae)

    Also a nice Figure of 80 - not common in my trap.
    Figure of 80 male
    Figure of 80 male

    The Elephant and Small Elephant Hawks have started to nectar on our Honeysuckle - I'm hoping that one of the influx of Striped Hawks might join them!
    Large Elephant Hawk nectaring on Honeysuckle
    Large Elephant Hawk nectaring on Honeysuckle
    Fri 5th June 2009 16:12 by John Bebbington
    Moth meeting at Cleaves Wood (nr Bath)
    Mike Ridge will be holding a trapping evening at Cleeves Wood near Norton St Philip (ST758576) on Monday 14th June. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Mike on 01278 450793 before Monday 14th for details of meeting place.
    Fri 5th June 2009 15:38 by Bill Urwin
    New moths last night, a nice Eyed Hawkmoth and a Puss Moth.

    1995 Puss Moth BU09

    Puss Moth

    Thu 4th June 2009 19:09 by Chris Iles
    Good numbers of Chimney Sweeper and a few Grass Rivulet at Edford Meadows SWT reserve in the east Mendips on 1 June.
    Thu 4th June 2009 14:22 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 14 degrees

    An excellent night with 50 species in the trap. Highlights were the firsts for the year Eyed Hawk-moth, Lunar Thorn (2), Knotgrass, and, for me a lifetime first, Silver Hook.

    Thu 4th June 2009 13:24 by Ian Mathieson
    An excellent night here again with 347 macros from 44 species. Nothing unusual and no migrants at all. The totals included 48 Small Square Spot which appears to be continuing the good year it had last year. This total is as many as I caught in total all year between 2003 and 2007. I also had 55 Heart and Darts which also appears to be recovering from the two previous poor years. Although they are not as exciting to find in the trap as many of the migrants I guess that good numbers of common moths are more beneficial to the ecosystem as a whole. I also saw the first of hopefully many Scarlet Tigers in the churchyard here at Norton Sub Hamdon.
    Thu 4th June 2009 09:55 by Bill Urwin
    Despite the cooler conditions as the cold front came through last night, I still managed over forty species. Three Diamondbacks and a Silver Y provided the migrant interest. New species for the year included Coronet, Poplar Hawkmoth, Large Yellow Underwing and Caloptilia robustella.

    0287 Caloptilia robustella BU09

    Caloptilia robustella

    Wed 3rd June 2009 21:35 by Bill Urwin
    A better night last night, with forty-four species. Highlights included my first Elephant Hawkmoth for this year, Figure of Eighty, Treble Brown Spot, Orange Footman and Poplar Kitten. I spent today wandering around the Shapwick and Catcott area with Robin Clatworthy looking at Argent and Sable sites. We saw several, including females ovipositing on Bog Myrtle and nectaring on Bramble. At Catcott, we also found a really fresh Four Dotted Footman.

    1711 Treble Brown Spot BU09

    Treble Brown Spot

    2040 Four Dotted Footman BU09

    Four Dotted Footman

    Wed 3rd June 2009 12:32 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 14 degrees

    Firsts for the year included Blood-vein, Shears, Burnished Brass and, no doubt the first of many, a Large Yellow Underwing.

    Wed 3rd June 2009 09:47 by Ian Mathieson
    A much quieter night with the highlight being my first Oblique Carpet since 2004.
    Tue 2nd June 2009 23:15 by Bill Urwin
    Robin Clatworthy and I went to Exmoor today to see if the Small Argent and Sable was on the wing yet. Unfortunately it was not, neither did we come across any Wood Tigers. Robin saved the day by producing this beautiful Small Marbled that he had caught in his trap last night. I also managed to get a photograph of a very flighty Green Hairstreak that was on gorse near Wimbleball Lake.

    2408 Small Marbled BU09

    Small Marbled

    1555 Green Hairstreak BU09

    Green Hairstreak

    Mon 1st June 2009 16:12 by Peter Tennant
    Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 12 degrees

    Another good night with 50+ species. New for the year included Barred Umber, Figure of Eighty, Pebble Hook-tip. Green Arches, Buff Tip, Middle-barred Minor and Thistle Ermine. Recent migrants include Silver Y, Rush Veneer and I have never seen so many Diamond Back moths.

    Mon 1st June 2009 13:03 by Ian Mathieson
    An excellent night last night with162 Macros of 43 species. I find that there are some moths I find more exciting than others and two of these, Scorched Wing and Shoulder Striped Wainscot, were caught last night for the first time this year. Other first timers were Small Rivulet, Cinnabar, Clouded Silver, Chocolate Tip, Coronet and Light Emerald. I suffer from House Sparrows here who chase any moths that fly away whilst I'm checking the trap. This morning one was perched on the plastic Sparrowhawk I hang up to frighten them off. Several nights ago I came across a newt waiting patiently by my trap for its supper.

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