Langport 24-31 October 2009
Not much to report from this part of the world - just one Rush Veneer and one Silver Y in the last week plus the usual autumn species.
A surprise this morning though - a pristine Buff Arches sitting by the trap.
James McGill has identified 2 micros for me: 290 Caloptilia semifascia
and 1041 Acleris sparsana
My Leek Moth pupae hatched earlier in the week - a pretty little species despite its pest status!
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 13 degrees
It was a good night for migrants here - Vestal 3, Rusty Dot Pearl 5, Rush Veneer 4, Dark Sword Grass 2. We also had two firsts for the year, a Dark Chestnut and a Brick, in a total of 26 species.
Because of the milder weather have run my trap twice recently to try to find any immigrants. So far have only managed Rush Veneer and 1 very dark Vestal (probably born here!). However, I have had my first November moth of the year, along with Merveille du Jour, Black Rustic,Yellow-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, Red-Green Carpet, Blairs Shoulder-knot, Spruce Carpet. and Brindled Green.
Have also been looking at the new Moths Count Distibution maps (http://www.mothscount.org/maps/94/NBN_Maps.html) which are very interesting.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 12 degrees
We had our first Feathered Thorn for the year but more suprising a White Ermine which usually ends its season here in June - except in 2006 when I noted a second brood in August.
The Atropos flight arrivals page has been full of migrant activity in the last few days so it was good to catch a Delicate and a Vestal last night.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 13 degrees
We had our first Satellite for the year and a number of Chestnuts , also several migrants, Rush Veneer, Rusty Dot Pearl and Dark Sword-Grass. Sorry to learn about your wind-blown trap Doug. That used to happen to me with my Robinson trap with the standard rain shield until I changed to covering the lamp with a Pyrex bowl which puts a bit of weight on the collar. Unfortunately the new metric Pyrex bowls don't fit the original trap but one can find the old two pint bowls with their seven inch diameter in Charity shops! If there is a howling gale I put a brick in the trap and I always put capillary matting (as used by nurserymen) on the floor of the trap to absorb excessive moisture.
doug miller westonzoyland
After a number of very poor catches and finding the trap scattered across the yard during high winds it was decided to give the trap a rest, however with the warmer nights forcasts i tried last night 26th the list as follows,
Angle Shades 1
Beaded Chestnut 3
Blairs Shoulder Knot 1
Black Rustic 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Cypress Carpet 5
Green Brindled Crescent 1
Grey Pine Carpet 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 3
Shuttle Shaped Dart 1
Large Yellow Underwing 1
November Sp: 2
Red Line Quaker 2
Over the weekend a Red-green Carpet was my 273rd macro of the year, beating my previous best number of species set in 2004. As we are now coming towards the end of the season it would be interesting to hear member's views on 2009. From my garden in Norton Sub Hamdon it has seemed very promising with good numbers of moths in the Spring and the Autumn. Considering the lack of migrants, the number of different species seen is very encouraging after two very poor years.
Not many moths about this week but I have had Pale Mottled Willow, Brick, Grey shoulder-knot and Mottled Umber as well as a few stragglers like Light emerald and Straw dot.
The last few nights have been very disappointing, with only 3 moths between 2 traps on both 17th & 19th.
The only one worth a mention was a Green-brindled Crescent on 17th.
Still, must keep trying!!
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 7 degrees
Home after a few days holiday to find little change in the catch apart from Grey Shoulder-Knot and a lot of Red-Green Carpets, some quite large, which I always examine carefully in the hope of finding an Autumn Green Carpet but no luck as yet.
Despite the heavy rain there were a good number of moths last night including a very suprising Scarce Bordered Straw. I have just checked the Portland Observatory website and they don't seem to have any records recently so I don't know where it came from. I also had a wonderfully marked Common Marbled Carpet with a totally black middle section to the wings and a white stripe underneath. It doesn't look like anything illustrated in the books and almost looks more like a Water Carpet than a Common Marbled.
Reasonable numbers of macros in the last week with Green Brindled Crescent, Red Line Quaker, November Moth and Brick being firsts for the year.
Saturday 10th October, Crewkerne 20:00 to Midnight
A dry windless night but only about 10 species trapped. Surprised that one of them was a Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
Also had a white ermine.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9 degrees
Despite a wet night we had 22 species the best being a Flounced Chestnut - only our fourth record and our first since 2006.
1479 Indian Meal Moth Plodia interpunctella
Another unwelcome find - this time in our kitchen - was 1479 Plodia interpunctella
(Indian Meal Moth).
Apparently there are only 5 previous county records and none since 2003. It's a pest of stored grain etc and has prompted a careful search through our larder! We hope that it came in from outside!
Leek Moth larva and cocoon
Here are 2 images - Leek Moth larva and cocoon. I have kept several pupae to photograph the adult. Like Ian, I do everything I can to encourage moths, but this species is most unwelcome.
Leek Moth larva
Leek Moth cocoon
Last night was the first night for two months that neither Large Yellow Underwing or Setacious Hebrew Character were the dominant species in my trap. This time the most numerous moth was Black Rustic. Amongst them I had a Deep Brown Dart, only the second year that I have caught this species. I first saw it in 2007 and assumed that I had had it in previous years but misidentified it as a Black Rustic however its absence until today makes me less likely to believe that.
My leeks have also been attacked and almost ruined by the Leek Moth. It is ironic that I spend a great deal of time encouraging moths into my garden but now would happily eradicate what is still being classed as a county rarity.
Great excitement here as I have just seen my first Humming-bird Hawkmoth for the year nectaring on our last few Buddleia flowers. I did'nt see one in 2008.
Leek Moth outbreak
I have been away on holiday in the USA and came back to find that the leeks on our allotment in Curry Rivel had been devastated. What had been 4 rows of large healthy plants has resulted in 4 helpings of leek soup!
The culprit is 473 Acrolepiosis assectella - the Leek Moth
- and it appears that it has been a problem as far afield as Taunton. According to the UK Moths website it is not common enough to be a pest in the UK, but can achieve this status in parts of continental Europe.
The buzz among allotment holders is that the moth must have migrated from France! Is it a migratory species? I don't know the answer.
A few of the allotment holders who were around when the outbreak started sprayed their leeks and it seems to have worked.
Like Peter I had my first Merveille du Jour on Friday night - the highlight of an otherwise poor GMS night catch.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 8 degrees
Despite (or because of?) the colder night we had our first Merveille du Jour of 2009.