I caught a Double Line at Thurlbear on Monday. Last night there was another in my garden - and also the first Fox Moth I have seen in Taunton. I suppose the northerlies encouraged it to come down from the Quantocks.
Varied Coronet in Midsomer Norton
I had a Varied Coronet in the trap on 22 June - I am rather hoping there are a few others around and that they may stay and breed, as I am growing Dianthus gratiopolitanus
as well as masses of a secondary foodplant, bladder campion.
The cloud and rain overnight improved the numbers and species, new for the year Gothic, Peach Blossom, Small Blood-vein and Swallow-tailed Moth also Peppered Moth f carbonaria, was someone asking for records of these?
A busy week-end with catches of about 50 species a night. New for the year here - Gold Spot, Lilac Beauty, Lackey, Swallowtailed Moth and Barred Straw and in our local wood - Waved Carpet. This seems to be a very local species as nearly half the Somerset records come from here. We also had another Double Line. Glad to see your record Doug as, with you and James reporting it, it seems to be moving east!
In what was a poor night for numbers the surprise was the second Double Line ever recorded on my site.
Re: Please identify
You may want to have a look at Dark Tussock. Looks very similar.
dark tussock - thanks for the identification
Cockles Fields SWT reserve 25/6/10
Ghost Moth (4)
White Ermine (2)
Buff Ermine (5)
Buff Arches (1)
Lobster Moth (1)
Poplar Hawk-moth (1)
Dark Arches (2)
Heart and Dart (10)
Purple Clay (1)
Flame Shoulder (3)
Turnip Moth (1)
Setaceous Hebrew Character (1)
Straw Dot (2)
Large Yellow Underwing (5)
Middle-barred Minor (3)
Mottled Beauty (4)
Willow Beauty (1)
Small Phoenix (1)
Common Pug (2)
Clouded Silver (1)
Latticed Heath (1)
Sharp-angled Peacock (2)
Silver-ground Carpet (1)
Blomer's Rivulet (1)
Small Magpie (2)
Udea olivalis (1)
The warm weather is encouraging moths to disperse locally. I caught the first Double Line for my garden in Taunton on Thursday night. This species is found locally in the unimproved grasslands, heath and wood edges of west Somerset. It also tends to wander, as Michael Barry caught it nearby when he lived at Hillfarrance. On Friday night I recorded Grey Arches for the first time at home. This is more widespread north of Taunton and I had seen it previously at Hestercombe, so not very surprising.
I saw quite a few Small Argent and Sable this week around Pinkworthy on Exmoor. This moth is day-flying and occurs across a large area of the moor, though it is still considerably underrecorded. Look for it in the afternoon, particularly after 3pm when there is a strong flight. It would also be good to find it on the Quantocks - the heath west of Dead Woman's Ditch looks suitable.
Friday night GMS
No Elephant Hawk Moths at all in my garden in Taunton and only one Hawk Moth (Poplar) for the year but I did get some nice moths in the trap last night. Seven Willow Beauties, two Riband Waves, one Light Emerald and also a Clay and a Buff Ermine which are both new for my garden. Just 31 macros and 9 micros last night but with a clear night, a full moon, an actinic light and trapping in the middle of town I suppose it's to be expected.
doug miller westonzoyland
Over the past week Elephant Hawk-moths numbers have been into double figures the best being 16 in one night has anyone else noticed higher numbers than normal, my first Humming-bird Hawk -moth this evening feeding on Valerian.
Last month I hatched out some Brimstone eggs laid on Buckthorn in my garden. While the butterfly caterpillars were developing, a brown chrysalis appeared one night on the floor of the pot. I assumed it was from another species of caterpillar that was already on the foodplant that I hadn't noticed. It hatched today into a Dark Umber, a moth I haven't seen in my garden for 5 years. Perhaps it shows that there is more in the garden than I catch at light traps and perhaps I ought to try different recording methods on top of the light trapping.
I had a pug two nights ago that I have tentatively identified as Triple Spotted Pug. It is not a perfect match in the books and I need a second opinion before I am happy with the id. Last night had clear skies and less moths. Highlight for me was only my third Tawny Barred Angle and my fifth Clouded Brindle.
Collard Hill 20/6/10
Not exactly the target species, but there were very impressive numbers of the pretty little pyralid Pyrausta despicata
out - more than I can remember seeing before. Also a number of Six-spot Burnet larvae on the slopes. I saw neither moth nor lure myself, but apparently someone summoned a Six-belted Clearwing to pheromones on the hill.
Success here on our hillside depends very much on the nighttime temperature. On Friday night it was 9 degrees and we had 206 specimens of 51 species including firsts for the year - Thistle Ermine, Brussels Lace and Double Line while last night it dropped to 6 degrees and we only had 73 specimens of 19 species and no firsts. However things improved this morning when a Humming Bird Hawk-moth appeared nectaring on valerian.
I caught a new micro species for VC5 in Taunton last night, Argyresthia cupressella. No doubt it will be very happy here along with Psychoides filicivora, Cameraria ohridella, Argyresthia trifasciata, Epiphyas postvittana and friends!
Easily the best night of the year with 350 macros from 54 different species. 9 new firsts for the year including Light Arches, Blood Vein,Small Angle Shades and Common Emerald. This total included 135 Heart and Darts, the most in a single night since 2006.
A good number of moths last night with Brussells Lace, Scarlet Tiger,Buff Arches and Snout being firsts for the year. However my most suprising moth was a very fresh looking Hebrew Character.
Robin James and I trapped at Shapwick on Tuesday night, in preparation for a moth event there this Friday. I managed 30 species of macro, with the highlight being Four-dotted Footman. In another recent trapping session there, I also recorded three Cream-bordered Green Pea. Nice to see a few more Heart and Dart around and also good numbers of Elephant Hawkmoth. An unusual visitor to the sheet was a Marsh Frog which is an abundant species in the vicinity.
Despite overnight conditions not being very suitable recently with cold clear nights (my car thermometer read 6c last night) I have been catching good numbers of moths here. Highlights recently have been my first Cream Wave and Pale shouldered Brocade for a number of years. However most pleasing to see is the large numbers of Heart and Darts which seem to have recovered from the population crash of 2007 here. Although it is exciting to catch rareties a healthy common moth population must be better for the eco-system as a whole.
Weston moths in May
Weston May highlights started with a Mocha at Weston woods on 8th. This species then became regular throughout the month. At the same site a Merveille Du Jour larva spent 3 days on an oak trunk from 15th. The first Little Thorn caught on 16th, becoming regular to the months end and often seen nectaring on Cow Parsley. On 19th a Yellow Belle caught during the afternoon near the end of Sand Point. 21st May seemed a very early date to trap my first Clouded Magpie. The only garden highlight was my first Miller on 22nd. The first Geoffrella alabonia
were seen on 24th at Sand Point. My first moth twitch involved a trip to D.Agassiz garden for a Privet Hawk-moth lifer. During the month, 5 Small Eggar larval webs found: 2 Uphill, 2 Winterstoke Road and 1 Sand Point. The first Blomer's Rivulet of the year caught on 26th at Weston woods. A small population of Cochylis nana
found at Winterstoke Road on 28th. The month ended on a high with Galium Carpet and White Colon at Sand Point on 31st. The latter found in June in fair numbers in Sand Bay. Sand Bay has matured over the years with some good plant life now establishing which is likely to have helped the spread of White Colon to the area. This species has not been recorded previously in the Bristol district for over 40 years.
Whitefied, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9 degrees
Firsts for year here - Cabbage Moth, Riband Wave, Light Arches, Purple Clay, Burnished Brass and Treble Brown spot.
New species for my garden, Silver Y hordes
Thanks to James McGill for identifying 2 species new to my garden. They were 1083 Hedya nubiferana
and 1827 Eupithecia intricata
Freyer's Pug which I puzzled over for ages before giving up and consulting James!
1083 Hedya nubiferana
1827 Eupithecia intricata
There are literally hundrds of Silver Y nectaring on Red Valerian along our road each evening. A few doors away a large house has been bulldozed and the (once marvellously wild and diverse) garden cleared, but there is a long line of Red Valerian along the old boundary wall. It was alive with Silver Y last night, and there was one Small Elephant Hawk. Later a single Small Elephant Hawk was nectaring on our Honeysuckle.
1992 Small Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila porcellus
nectaring on Honeysuckle
Chimney Sweeper on Exmoor
Camping on Exmoor last weekend, plenty of Chimney Sweepers (1870) seen around SS81704070, on grassy hillsides near Westermill Farm.
Blue Anchor - Friday 11th
A good evening with 37 species. Ruddy Carpet, Marbled Brown and Lime-speck Pug amongst them but only one new species for the garden, a Beautiful Golden Y. There was a Cinnabar in the trap which is the first time I think I have actually trapped one although I see them regularly in the area.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe -
Over the weekend we have had a number of firsts for 2010 - Dot Moth, Grey and Dark Arches, Garden Rose Tortrix, Snout and a moth which we only get about once a year - a Miller. However for me the highspot was James McGill's confirmation of my ID of an attractive little black moth with three white spots as being 646 Telechrysis tripuncta. There are only two modern Somerset records (in the early 1990s) - both from the Porlock area.
I put the trap out quite late Wednesday night as we had a few heavy showers early on. Got my first Large Yellow Underwings of the year (2) and a number of moths I'd never seen before including Uncertain, Rufous/Marbled Minor (I thought it was Rufous but I understand they are difficult to split), Clouded Silver, Middle-barred Minor, Poplar Hawk-moth (male), Green Pug and an Iron Prominent. Heart and Dart are again the most numerous with ten in the trap.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 13 degrees
The highlight of our trapping over the weekend was the capture in our wood of only our second Small Grass Emerald. When we got the first in 2000 I noted that it was bright green but this one had faded being almost completely white tho its shape is unmistakeable. We were also delighted to get a Red-necked Footman which we missed last year and a new Tortrix for us, E.ministrana.
Langport VC 6 10 June 2010
Despite the strong NW winds last night the Silver Ys were again nectaring in good numbers on Red Valerian. I spent a mostly frustrating quarter of an hour trying to photograph them, with only one decent result.
Although the first of our Honeysuckles is in full flower with overwhelming scent there have been no Elephant or Small Elephant Hawks nectaring - perhaps the temperature has been too low. The promised warmer nights over the weekend may help. The bush is alive with bumblebees this morning.
Some interesting moths out and about, particularly by day, over the last few weeks.
On 31 May, three Argent & Sable at Shapwick Heath, and four Wood Tiger at Draycott Sleights.
Of 14 species attracted to light in a couple of hours at a friend's house in Seavington St Mary, by far the largest number were Silver Y moths stopping by to nectar on the red valerian. This coincided with a couple of sightings of Painted Lady in the area, our first for the year. Also a fresh Cream-spot Tiger, the first time I have seen this species.
Finally, a Small Eggar larval nest at Westhay NNR on 5 June.
I have not done any mothing outside the garden this year and have recorded no interesting species at home. The only macro not to have turned up previously was a Lead Belle caught on 29th May. This was a male (dissected) - thanks to David Agassiz for his help with references.
On 7th June I caught an Oblique Carpet. Although this is found on the Levels around Taunton it rarely strays into the town. In 15 years trapping here the only other record was in 1998.
Recently Mike Bailey kindly dissected the odd pug I found last year on 15th July at King's Sedge Moor. It was a female Marsh Pug. Elsewhere this species was only known from Shapwick, until the 1980s when it seems to have died out there.
This is not a definitive answer but I think that your moth is a Poplar kitten. In my limited experience size is one of the obvious pointers with Poplar Kittens being much larger than Sallows
Blue Anchor - 4th June
A fairly good night on Friday with my Actinic light. Eyed Hawkmoth and Puss Moth, both new to my garden, were the highlights. I also caught this Kitten which I am not sure about. Is it a Sallow or a Poplar? Can anyone help please.
A couple of reasonable nights this week with firsts including Alder Moth, Cypress Carpet, Green Silver Lines and Fern. This is only the second Fern I have seen in my garden.
I am glad to see that John is getting good moths in his Taunton garden. I would love to have a Dingy Shell or a Dwarf Pug, neither of which I have ever caught.
Best so far
On Friday night I had the best catch so far in my garden with almost 50 moths of 21 species. 12 of these were Heart and Dart but I had a number of new species which included Common Swift, Cherry Bark Moth, Flame Carpet, Freyer's Pug, Dwarf Pug, Small Square Spot, Pale Prominent and Small Fan-foot.
On Sunday whilst out with the Taunton RSPB Group at Graylake we saw Burnished Brass, Straw Dot and Gold Spot and at Ashcott Corner we saw Brown China-mark, Clouded Border and a web of Small Eggar caterpillars in a small Hawthorn near the car park some of which were crawling across the path.
We also saw three adult male and one juvenile male Scarce Chaser dragonflies at Graylake.
Apologies for the long silence from Langport - I have been away in the Lake District (where the butterflies and moths were not too good - for me the best find was a Dark Umber larva, a species I've taken in my garden) and then recovering from a stinking head cold!
1792 Dark Umber moth Philereme transversata
larva (Gaitbarrows NNR, Cumbria)
In late May I had 2 new species in the garden trap - Seraphim and Phyllonorycter corylifoliella
- thanks to David Agassiz for identifying the Seraphim and to David and James McGill for identifying the P. corylifoliella
1879 Seraphim Lobophora halterata
332 Phyllonorycter corylifoliella
While I was away Doug Miller took a Pinion-spotted Pug Eupithecia insigniata
- thanks again to James for confirming Doug's ID. This appears to be the third recent record - James took one in Taunton last year and Robin Clatworthy took one at Berrow last month. Is this species really so rare? Its foodplants (Hawthorn and Apple) are everywhere! Perhaps it doesn't come readily to light.
1820 Pinion-spotted Pug Eupithecia insigniata
(taken by Doug Miller at Westonzoyland)
LAST FEW DAYS
Friday night (GMS) was by far the best night of the year so far with 201 moths of 62 species, including a single very worn Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella.
Like Ian I saw a single Painted Lady on Sunday - nectaring on a patch of Red Valerian on the roadside near our house.
There are also currently large numbers of Silver Y nectaring on the Red Valerian and Red Campion in our garden, even in the heavy rain last night. Also on the Red Campion was a Large Elephant Hawk. Our Honeysuckle is jusyt starting to flower and if we get still warm evenings it should bring ingood numbers of Elephant and Small Elephant Hawkmoths.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10 degrees
An excellent weekend trapping particularly on Saturday night which was the warmest night of the year to date. At home firsts for the year included, Alder Moth, Figure of Eighty, Lime-speck Pug and Blood-vein while in our local wood we had Bee Moth, Dark Spectacle, Lead Belle and Treble Bar.
I have just seen a Painted Lady in the garden. Hopefully it is the forerunner of a number of migrants
I had an excellent night at Staple Common with Mike Ridge last Friday. Mike had invited a number of Devon novices who were a great help in filling up the pots for me especially the two youngsters whose names I'm afraid I didn't catch. I promised them a list of species caught but at the moment I only have what I had in my trap which, of the three, was the nearest to the cars. The list is as follows:
- PEBBLE HOOK TIP 1
- PEACH BLOSSOM 1
- GHOST MOTH 1
- SILVER GROUND CARPET 11
- GREEN CARPET 9
- COMMON MARBLED CARPET 5
- DEVON CARPET 2
- SPRUCE CARPET 3
- FLAME CARPET 1
- BROKEN BARRED CARPET 1
- SCORCHED WING 1
- BROWN SILVER LINES 1
- SCALLOPED HAZEL 13
- BRIMSTONE 6
- COMMON WHITE WAVE 2
- COMMON WAVE 1
- WHITE PINION SPOTTED 6
- TAWNY BARRED ANGLE 1
- SMALL WHITE WAVE 1
- RIVULET 1
- CLOUDED SILVER 1
- CLOUDED BORDER 1
- SMALL PHOENIX 8
- SMALL SERAPHIM 1
- CLAY TREBLE LINES 1
- PHOENIX 1
- MOTTLED PUG 6
- FOXGLOVE PUG 1
- COMMON PUG 1
- ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH 1
- ORANGE FOOTMAN 3
- LOBSTER MOTH 1
- PALE TUSSOCK 3
- PALE PROMINENT 3
- IRON PROMINENT 3
- BUFF ERMINE 1
- SALLOW KITTEN 1
- MARBLED BROWN 4
- WHITE ERMINE 3
- PEBBLE PROMINENT 1
- NUT TREE TUSSOCK 3
- FLAME SHOULDER 1
- GREEN SILVER LINES 3
- STRAW DOT 3
- MILLER 1
- HEBREW CHARACTER 1
- SMALL SQUARE SPOT 1
- CLOUDED BORDERED BRINDLE (f. COMBUSTA) 2
- 130 INDIVIDUALS 49 DIFFERENT SPECIES
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees
We had 37 species in our garden trap including FFY - Eyed Hawk-moth, Beautiful Golden Y and Green Silver-line. In a local wood we had 51 species including Barred Umber, Mocha and Green Arches.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees
The summer species are beginning to appear - Pale Mottled Willow, Straw Dot and Ghost Moth. We also had our first Large Yellow Underwing for the year! In a few weeks time when the nightly catch reaches 100 plus my scribe will, as is her custom, refuse to continue recording the count other than as present. A Yellow Shell is flying in the garden today. Welcome to the group John - good to have another Taunton trapper.