Taunton VC5 - a new recruit.
Being new to moth trapping and a new member of the moth group everything at the moment is so new and exciting. From empty traps in February to my relatively modest catches now it's been a completely new experience.
In the last couple of weeks with the change in the weather the early spring Orthosias have now been superseded by a whole new group of moths most of which are completely new to me. Last Sunday I got my first Bee Moth, Green Carpet, V-Pug, Dingy Shell, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Bright-line Brown-eye and Spectacle (what fantastic names some of these moths have). On Friday I added Lime-speck Pug, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Vine's Rustic.
Whilst my catches have been somewhat modest in the middle of Taunton to some recorded elsewhere I think it's been a bit of a blessing in disguise as I already spend hours sometimes trying to identify the Orthosias, Carpets and especially the Pugs. Then there are the micros - well that's another story.
Numbers much lower here than some of you are getting, despite rural setting. Contributory factor probably lack of mature woodland within visible proximity of light-trap. 30 moths between 8 species last Friday night (28th May) but did include several firsts for the year, including Cinnabar and Common Wainscot.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9 degrees
Firsts for year here arriving just before the rain - Broom Moth, Scorched Wing, Buff Tip, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Cinnabar, Purple Bar, Small Fan-foot and just one of the reported influx of Silver Ys.
doug miller westonzoyland
One moth that i had not seen before A Pinioin-spotted-Pug was in the Wednesday night trap it is now resting in the refrigerator waiting for John to come home
I have also noticed an influx of Silver Y moths in the last couple of days, disturbing a number from meadows at dusk yesterday and during the day today. Two other meadow moths apparent during the day that seem to be having good years here are the Burnet Companion and the little grass moth Crambus lathoniellus
A night-time walk here in Midsomer Norton today saw two pairs of Ghost Moths in their strange mating position, the female dangling from a flower-head, the male dangling from the female.
Langport VC6 26 May 2010
Just before setting off for the Lake District we walked the dog in the fields below Newtown (A372) and we disturbed at least a dozen Silver Y moths. I hope that this is the beginning of a decent migration!
Last night provided 67 macros of 34 species with 10 new firsts for the year including Elephant, Eyed and Poplar Hawk Moths. With these latest sightings I have reached the century of macros for the year, possibly a few days earlier than normal.
whitefield, Wiveliscombe - the min temp over the last few nights 12 degrees.
The warmer weather has produced the emergence of a rush of our regular early summer moths including - Lobster, Lunar Thorn, Maidens Blush, Flame Carpet, Rivulet, Small Angle-shades, Yellow-barred Brindle, Marbled Brown, Clouded Silver and Elephant Hawk-moth. Also flying in the garden today, a month late, our first Holly Blue.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 12 degrees
Like Ian we had our first Setaceous Hebrew Character also Ingrailed Clay, Scorched Carpet, Shears, Foxglove and V-pug. We were also pleased to get another Great Prominent - only the third we have had here.
Again there were not many individuals here but there were a number of different species including the first of two of the most numerous species, Setacious Hebrew Character and Heart and Dart. Other firsts included Flame Carpet and Sandy carpet. However my personal highlight was my first garden record of White-pinion Spotted.
I have just heard from Mike Ridge that he and Robin caught a Pinion Spotted Pug last night at Berrow Dunes. This is only Somerset's second recent record
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees
Here at home we had 21 species including firsts for year Green Carpet and Coronet while in the local wood we had 33 species including FFY - Lychnis, Buff Ermine, Orange Footman 8, Pale Shouldered-brocade, Square Spot, White Pinion-spotted and a single Grey Birch - a moth we have only taken three times before.
Over the last two nights here we have only had 96 individual macros but from 39 different species. Last night alone I had 11 first for the years including 2 Orange Footmen, V pug, May Highflyer, Scorched Carpet, Clouded Bordered Brindle, Brown Silver-Line and Lime Speck Pug. The weather is certainly looking good for a bumper weekend- what is it about National Moth Night that always seems to produce poor weather.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 12 degrees
Like Ian we had a much better night with 70 moths of 29 species including a number of firsts for the year including Lime Hawk-moth, Brown Silver-line, Flame, Spectacle, Treble Lines and Clouded-bordered Brindle. We also had 14 May Bugs!
A much better night last night with a number of firsts for the year. These included Lime Hawk Moth, Scalloped Hazel and Buff Tip.
A similar National Moth Night here with very little happening. My only moth of note was a Puss Moth which are unusual in my garden and by no means an annual visitor. I also had my first Maybug of the year. Let's hope the warmer weather forecast for the end of the week will improve things.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees
Another dull night with only 15 moths of six species the only notable one being the fourth Mullein we have had here in twelve seasons.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 5 degrees
Back after a cold holiday visiting chateaux on the Loire we put the trap out because it was National Moth night but with little hope. Our view was justified as we had only three species and eight moths , one very worn Waved Umber, six Hebrew Characters and our first Poplar Hawk for the year.
On 9th May 2010 I found a micro in Ashcombe Park, Weston-super-Mare that appears to have no previous records in the UK. Since posting on the internet, no-one has been able to identify it.
Langport VC6 11 May 2010
Trapping here at Langport has been extraordinarily poor over the last week. Cold north-easterlies have really been a problem but I suspect that habitat loss is a major contributor - all the brownfield sites to the south of my garden (Old Kelways and 3 derelict gardens) have been developed or bulldozed flat during the last 12 months.
1750 Lampropteryx suffumata
David Agassiz and John Langmaid have corrected my ID of Galium Carpet - it's a worn Water Carpet! Apologies for that.
We walked along the old railway line north of Chard on Sunday - there were spectacular swarms of Chironomids round the leeward sides of the Oaks by the sewage treatment works and the House Martins were having a real feast. There were also several male specimens of Adela reaumurella
sitting quietly by the track.Adela reaumurella
The Bournemouth Echo - news from David Evans
I had an email from David over the weekend. He says:
"Well! What a year for moths. I have fared far worse than you in Somerset mainly do to the cold sea breeze I guess. As far Messrs. Ridge and Clatworthy getting 500 moths at Wych Lodge on my birthday on the 13th March well defies belief. It may be hot during the day but at night even last week the temperature dipped into freezing.
However last Friday I set out 8 actinic traps in Hurn Forest just north of Bournemouth. This is a large Forestry Commission area mostly pines on ancient heath but close to water meadows with some broadleaved woods particularly oak, alder with natural understorey. Really mixed habitat which could be very interesting and sometimes a bit scary. For those that know me I do not like spiders and opening the traps each had its own odd looking small spiders eating my moths. However little did I know what was in store for me when I put the traps away today there on the floor of my 4X4 was a raft spider. Male thank goodness which is slightly smaller than the female? BRRRRR.
However my purpose for writing was to tell you of the interesting moths that I found. I include the species list for the night of which the highlights were the Scarce Prominent and 3 Ringed Carpets (photos below), plus Birch Mochas varying in colour from dark to light in mint condition. Several Micros were also found but these are destined for Phil Sterling when our determinations on two showed them in the rare category.
My best wishes to all
Hurn Forest 7th May 2010, using 8 actinic traps
461 Ypsolopha ustella 1
1645 Falcaria lacertinaria Scalloped Hook-tip 1
1677 Cyclophora albipunctata Birch Mocha 4
1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 1
1759 Ecliptopera silaceata Small Phoenix 1
1768 Thera obeliscata Grey Pine Carpet 3
1846 Eupithecia nanata Narrow-winged Pug 2
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 9
1853 Eupithecia dodoneata Oak-tree Pug 1
1881 Trichopteryx carpinata Early Tooth-striped 20
1902 Petrophora chlorosata Brown Silver-line 10
1905 Pachycnemia hippocastanaria Horse Chestnut 2
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 2
1920 Odontopera bidentata Scalloped Hazel 1
1927 Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty 2
1939 Cleora cinctaria Ringed Carpet 3
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed 8
1951 Aethalura punctulata Grey Birch 1
2010 Odontosia carmelita Scarce Prominent 1
2063 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 2
2139 Cerastis rubricosa Red Chestnut 4
2179 Panolis flammea Pine Beauty 1
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 3
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 18
2425 Colocasia coryli Nut-tree Tussock 1
Ringed Carpet (Hurn Forest, ©David Evans)
Scarce Prominent(Hurn Forest, ©David Evans)
Today, after a fortnight of no sightings, I have seen 3 Small Tortoiseshells several miles apart. All 3 looked reasonably fresh insects but are much too early to be this year's generation( I only saw my first caterpillar nest today). Last year I had a third brood of caterpillars that I collected in September which pupated in mid October. Most hatched in November but some pupa failed to emerge but continued to look healthy for a while before dying sometime during the winter. Is it possible that the butterflies I saw today overwintered as pupae rather than as adults as other Nymphalidae such as the Queen of Spain Fritillary do?
Blue Anchor - Sunday 9th May
A cold night with only 7 species but one of these was a Silver Cloud. This is the 2nd of this species I have had in the garden, the first was in April 2007.
Cockles Fields SWT reserve, 7 May:
1 Water Carpet
1 Scalloped Hazel
1 Flame Carpet
1 Brindled Pug
20 Hebrew Character
3 Clouded Drab
1 Common Quaker
1 Flame Shoulder
Also 1 Green-veined White found at roost near the trap.
At home in Midsomer Norton a definite shift away from the Orthosias, with the Light Brown Apple Moth, Brimstone Moth and Garden Carpet appearing and starting to dominate the catch in the last couple of weeks.
58 moths of 20 species here including 8 new firsts for the year. This took me past the 50 species for the year mark. Every year since 2003 the 50 has been passed in the first few days of May except in 2007 when it was reached in April and I had 75 species by this date. 2007 turned out to be my worst ever year.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 11 degrees
47 moths of 21 species incxluding our first Pale Tussock for the year, another Dark Swordgrass and a very late Dark Chestnut.
A suprising find amongst a moderate catch was a Latticed Heath. The only other one I have ever seen around here was in September 2005 at a time of great migrant activity.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 8 degrees and several heavy showers
Only seven species in our garden trap but four were firsts for 2010 here- Chocolate Tip, Flame Shoulder, Brimstone Moth and White Ermine. For the first time this year we also put out a trap in a local wood and had 15 species including several Engrailed and one Least Black Arches.
Leeside, Blue Anchor - Fri 30th April
A quiet evening, only 8 species but that included a Shoulder Stripe which is a first for my garden.