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current posts

 
Wed 30th March 2011 22:44 by Chris Iles
Cockles Fields 30/3/11

1663 Alsophila aescularia March Moth 8
1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 2
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug 1
1927 Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty 1
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed 1
2139 Cerastis rubricosa Red Chestnut 1
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 3
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 5
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 8
2189 Orthosia munda Twin-spotted Quaker 1
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 20
2237 Lithophane ornitopus Grey Shoulder-knot 1
2243 Xylocampa areola Early Grey 2

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Wed 30th March 2011 12:50 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 7 degrees

One first for the year - Oak Nycteolene - which we only see once or twice a year.

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Wed 30th March 2011 10:57 by Ian Mathieson
I had a Muslin Moth on 13th March. However despite catching what are, for my garden at this time of year, large numbers of moths this is the only record that is unusually early. All the other moths are the usual suspects but in excellent numbers, for example 71 Common Quakers on 25/03/11.
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Wed 30th March 2011 10:12 by Doug Miller
doug.miller
Muslin Moth has also been recorded at Westonzoland on 26th ,28th and last night, also my first Pale Mottled Willow for the year.
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Wed 30th March 2011 09:57 by David Agassiz
Early emergences
Last week Dennis Darling, who operates a trap on Weston-super-Mare hillside told me he had taken D. mendica (Muslin moth) and P. rectangulata (Green Pug). Last night, 29th March, I was surprised to find H. ambigua (Vine's Rustic) in my trap in central Weston.
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Tue 29th March 2011 14:03 by John Bebbington
Great Breach Wood reserve, 26 March 2011
Ive just had a list from Robin Clatworthy who trapped at Great Breach Wood on 26th. Two Robinson 125W MV and one 40W actinic traps. Weather - mild with cloud cover. Another very large catch - 1004 individuals of 26 species!

0663 Diurnea fagella 1
1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 6
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 8
1747 Streamer (Anticlea derivata) 1
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 2
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 261
1880 Barred Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx polycommata) 3
1881 Early Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx carpinata) 4
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 2
1919 Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 1
1927 Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) 19
1930 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 15
1934 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) 1
1947 Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata) 12
2139 Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa) 1
2179 Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea) 1
2182 Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 231
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 231
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 39
2189 Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) 37
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 27
2237 Grey Shoulder-knot (Lithophane ornitopus) 3
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 2
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 2
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 32
2260 Dotted Chestnut (Conistra rubiginea) 2

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Tue 29th March 2011 12:32 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

130 moths of 14 species including 68 Common Quakers and one first for our year - a Brindled Beauty.

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Mon 28th March 2011 09:47 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

A colder night and only 54 moths of 13 species but two were firsts for our year - Powdered Quaker and Mottled Grey.

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Sun 27th March 2011 22:36 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6
Friday Night was Garden Moth Scheme night and I trapped 94 moths of 16 species, mostly the usual suspects for this time of year. However there were two surprises - one pleasant and one very unwelcome!

The first was a Pine Beauty Panolis flammea which is new for my tetrad and seems to be the only recent local record (James McGill took this species at Breach Wood MOD in 2003).

2179 Pine Beauty Panolis flammea
2179 Pine Beauty Panolis flammea

The unwelcome species was a Leek Moth Acrolepiosis assectella. Although we don't have leeks in our garden our neighbours do - and they have covered them up with enviromesh!

I found a mature Ruby Tiger larva Phragmatobia fuliginosa in the garden this afternoon.
2064 Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa mature larva
Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa mature larva

Not a moth - but we had superb views of a Red Kite just down the road on Aller Moor this afternoon.
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Sun 27th March 2011 18:27 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 26th.March
Well, I still only got just over 30 moths, but firsts for the year were Shoulder Stripe, Twin-spotted Quaker, 4 Early Thorns, and only my second ever record of a Small Eggar. An improvement on recent very boring stuff !!
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Sun 27th March 2011 13:08 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

At actinic light in window two firsts for the year - Early Tooth-striped and Nut Tree Tussock.

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Sat 26th March 2011 21:54 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 24th.March
I think I'm doing something wrong - I'm only getting 30 or so moths of 5/6 species from the MV & Actinic traps combined.  Where are all these hundreds that evryone else is getting ? Maybe the bats in Lydford are hyperactive !! Anyone got any ideas ?
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Sat 26th March 2011 14:00 by Ian Mathieson
Last night I had 210 macros of 14 species. I have never had this many moths before the Heart and Darts start coming in mid June. Last year I only caught 185 moths in 11 trappings in the whole of March.
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Sat 26th March 2011 10:14 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

Another busy night with the catch including two moths we have not previously taken as early as March - Lunar Marbled Brown and Pebble Prominent.  We also had another Diving Beetle following our first in February.

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Fri 25th March 2011 21:10 by John Bebbington
Wych Lodge, Staple Fitzpaine, 22 March 2011
Robin Clatworthy trapped at Wych Lodge again on 22nd and took 333 individuals of 23 species between dusk and 11pm. The weather was cool, clear sky, light frost later.

0663 Diurnea fagella 1
1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 7
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 2
1747 Streamer (Anticlea derivata) 1
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 6
1881 Early Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx carpinata) 24
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 2
1927 Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) 6
1930 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 3
1934 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) 1
1947 Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata) 12
2139 Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa) 3
2140 White-marked (Cerastis leucographa) 2
2182 Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 66
2183 Blossom Underwing (Orthosia miniosa) 2
2185 Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti) 1
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 89
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 70
2189 Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) 12
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 16
2241 Red Sword-grass (Xylena vetusta) 1
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 5
2260 Dotted Chestnut (Conistra rubiginea) 1

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Fri 25th March 2011 17:23 by Ian Mathieson
Unlike Peter I have never had over 100 moths in the trap before the end of May before but if catches continue as they are at the moment then I would expect that to change shortly. Last night, despite a very slight frost, I had 72 moths of 9 species. I also saw my first ever March Orange Tip with two males flying together in Crewkerne.
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Fri 25th March 2011 12:35 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6 degrees

We had a busy night with three firsts for the year Streamer, Brindled Pug and Double-striped Pug contributing to our first catch for 2011 of over one hundred moths.

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Thu 24th March 2011 17:22 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

68 Moths of twelve species including two firsts for 2011 - Early Thorn and Pale Pinion.

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Sun 20th March 2011 18:26 by Paul Bowyer
Orange Underwings
Orange Underwing

It's the time of year for Orange Underwing and with another sunny day with light winds I decided to try my luck on the Somerset Levels. I have never seen this species before and had no sites so drove around until I found some suitable habitat. I stopped not far from Burtle having found a line of mixed Birch and Sallow and wandered up and down not really knowing what to look for when I spotted one. Throughout the morning they seemed to nectar on the highest Sallow blossom until it got warm and by early afternoon at least 6 were making regular short flights at the tops of Birches. They are smaller than I was expecting and had less purposeful flight than butterflies sometimes rather like a burnet. Butterfies present included Comma, Peacock and several Brimstone. Once you have got your eye in they are easy to spot. Sadly I never had close views but will certainly be trying for them again now I know what to look for.

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Sun 20th March 2011 00:08 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, 15 March 2011
I took this Caloptilia on 15th March but have only just been able to photograph and release it. Thanks to James McGill for confirmation of my ID as Caloptilia stigmatella - new for my garden.

288 Caloptilia stigmatella
288 Caloptilia stigmatella
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Fri 18th March 2011 14:52 by Ian Mathieson
I think something very encouraging is going on with moths at the moment. I have spoken to Robin about his extraordinary catch last week and he tells me that he hasn't seen numbers like it at this time of the year in over 50 years of trapping. I have already indicated that in a much more modest way I am catching three times as many moths as I woulds normally expect and judging by other entries I am not the only one getting good numbers. For example in the last ten years I have never seen more than 1 Twin Spotted quaker in my trap but last night I had 6 of them amongst about 50 other moths. Perhaps the very cold December and relatively dry weather since has been perfect for overwintering insects and lets hope that the next few months will be equally rewarding.
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Thu 17th March 2011 12:54 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

Sixty moths of 12 species including two firsts for the year - Red Chestnut and Light Brown Apple Moth.

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Wed 16th March 2011 21:38 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton
Last night was forecast to be the mildest night of the week so I put out the trap adjacent to a small sallow in my garden. Not a huge catch by any standards but 20 moths of 11 species is pretty good for my garden in Taunton this time of year. Three moths were firsts for my garden - Early Thorn, Herald and Diurnea fagella. Three were first for the year Small Quaker, Chestnut and Emmelina monodactyla. Also caught Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Early Grey and Double-stripe Pug.
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Tue 15th March 2011 14:12 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 14/15th March
Well done, Robin

And I thought I was doing all right with 34 moths in two traps !! Only Quakers & Hebrew Characters last night. I did however see a couple of Brimstones in the garden today. Spring is sprung.

Also a Grass Snake & a Slow-worm out and about.

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Mon 14th March 2011 13:43 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

We were pleased to see two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the garden today and last week, crawling on the grass beside the moth trap, a Large Yellow Underwing larva.

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Sun 13th March 2011 20:56 by John Bebbington
An even more remarkable trapping night!
Robin Clatworthy had arranged to trap on private property in the east of the county on Friday night (11th March) but this was cancelled at the very last moment, so he took his traps to Wych Lodge woods. He set up two Robinson MV traps and a 40w actinic at dusk. He identified and counted over 1,600 moths but had to leave at 0045 on 12th with big numbers still sitting on the vegetation.

Here is Robin's full list:

1054 Acleris cristana 1
1061 Acleris literana 1
1663 Alsophila aescularia March Moth 33
1746 Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 27
1747 Anticlea derivata Streamer 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 5
1881 Trichopteryx carpinata Early Tooth-striped 37
1925 Apocheima hispidaria Small Brindled Beauty 2
1930 Biston strataria Oak Beauty 8
1934 Agriopis marginaria Dotted Border 25
1947 Ectropis bistortata Engrailed 2
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 504
2183 Orthosia miniosa Blossom Underwing 5
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 721
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 56
2189 Orthosia munda Twin-spotted Quaker 99
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 65
2236 Lithophane hepatica Pale Pinion 1
2237 Lithophane ornitopus Grey Shoulder-knot 3
2243 Xylocampa areola Early Grey 2
2256 Eupsilia transversa Satellite 3
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 6
2259 Conistra ligula Dark Chestnut 2
2260 Conistra rubiginea Dotted Chestnut 1
2423 Nycteola revayana Oak Nycteoline 1

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Sun 13th March 2011 17:07 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor - Friday 11th March
The weather seemed good for moths and so it turned out. 60 moths, 12 species including 2 new ones for my garden: Oak Beauty and Pale Brindled Beauty. The latter wasn't in the trap but I found it in the pond and had to rescue it. Fortunately it survived.
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Sat 12th March 2011 09:09 by Ian Mathieson
I have only trapped twice in the last few weeks because of other commitments or poor weather conditions but on each occasion I had treble the number of moths I would normally have expected. Last night was cool and windy and at this time of year I would expect to have less than 10 moths in the trap. Last night I had over thirty with the highlight being a very early Water Carpet. Other firsts were Twin-Spotted Quaker, Early Grey, Clouded Drab and Chestnut.
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Fri 11th March 2011 21:10 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, Wednesday 9 March 2011
Nothing out of the ordinary in the trap at the moment but this Grey Shoulder-knot is one of my favourite species at this time of year.
2237 Grey Shoulder-knot Lithophane ornitopus
2237 Grey Shoulder-knot Lithophane ornitopus
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Tue 8th March 2011 17:17 by Ian Mathieson
I saw a Red Admiral in Yeovil this morning following my first butterflies of the year yesterday with three Small Tortoiseshells.
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Fri 4th March 2011 21:54 by John Bebbington
A remarkable trapping session
James McGill reports a remarkable trapping session at Thurlbear last week: in two traps he took 735 moths made up as follows:

0461 Ypsolopha ustella 1
0688 Agonopterix heracliana 4
0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 2
0701 Agonopterix ocellana 1
1025 Tortricodes alternella 2
1288 Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla) 1
1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 5
1926 Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) 1
1930 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 1
1934 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) 7
1960 Early Moth (Theria primaria) 3
2182 Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 456
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 195
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 5
2189 Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) 9
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 37
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 1
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 2
2260 Dotted Chestnut (Conistra rubiginea) 1

He also took his first home record of Yellow Horned Achyla flavicornis.
1659 Yellow Horned Achyla flavicornis
1659 Yellow Horned Achyla flavicornis ©James McGill

And finally from James, three new species for VC5 from Chedington on 2 July 2010:
1228a Pammene ignorata (female)
1238 Pammene ochsenheimeriana (female)
1266a Cydia illutana (male)

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Thu 3rd March 2011 15:31 by John Bebbington
Not quite a latest sighting!
On 21st May last year Steve Whitehouse from Worcestershire joined Mike Ridge's moth night at Berrow and took an aberrant Cream-spot Tiger. The only image he has is grabbed from a video clip.
Cream-spot Tiger aberration
2058 Cream-spot Tiger Arctia villica aberration

He also took two specimens of a Plume moth which he later verified as 1502 Platyptilia isodactylus. These are only the second and third records for VC 6 (there are none for VC5).

Not knowing this I took a Plume in my garden on 12th June which I also identified as Platyptilia isodactylus. However the specimen escaped and couldn't be verified. Steve has looked at my photos and confirms that my ID definitely is OK, so this is the fourth record for VC6.

1502 Platyptilia isodactylus 1

1502 Platyptilia isodactylus 2
1502 Platyptilia isodactylus.
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