Those of my family who live in Holford, just north of the Quantocks, kindly put out a moth trap in anticipation of my visit today and were rewarded with two Privet Hawkmoths.
A six-spot Burnet seen today (FFY). Also acceptance by David Agassiz (to whom thanks) of my second record here of Scoparia ancipitella - previously seen in 2006. A relatively uncommon species in Somerset.
...is, I think, under-recorded, but numbers vary from year to year. I found it fairly readily in the area south of Bath in 2011, where I would find it on hogweed flowers when surveying for hoverflies (this is probably the easiest way of finding it), but it was scarce last year and I have not seen it at all this year. It may be a coincidence but all the sites I have found it on have been on limestone.
Lots of Silver Y about at the moment.
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Last night was warm here till the cloud lifted late evening. The trap was quite productive though, producing 53 moths of 20 species, including FFY Buff-tip (3), Snout and Turnip Moth. Heart and Dart is still the most numerous (17)
Despite a very warm night (T Min 14.5C) only 22 moths of 13 species in the trap this morning. Lychnis and Dark Arches were FFY & this Eyed Hawk the obvious highlight.
East Lydford 28/6/13
A nice muggy night, and a waning moon, so one might expect a massive influx of moths - not (quite) so. There were 72 moths so far (plus a handful of escapees to be rounded up this evening) of 37 species. One would normally expect well into 3 figures at this time of year, so it's stilll a bit disappointing.
There were ten FFY included - namely Knot-grass, Uncertain, Non-banded Riband Wave, Common Footman, Yellow Shell, Buff-tip, Gold Triangle, Large Yellow Underwing, Barred Straw & Sharp-angled Peacock. Quite a nice selection when all's said and done. A herd (if that's the right collective noun) of 3 Elephant Hawkmoths came calling, but there still seems to be a general shortage of Hawks so far this year - only a few Poplars & Elephants to date.
Mark Parsons of (head of moth conservation at Butterfly Conservation) has asked for records of Forester Moth (not Cistus Forester please). It has just begun to emerge rather late.
Please send your observations either to Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Tony Davis (email@example.com).
Thankyou for your help.
Mark called in at Priddy Mineries yesterday. He recorded:
Forester 3, freshly emerged
Wood Tiger (2)
Chimney Sweeper (1)
Green Carpet (1)
Common Carpet (few)
Burnet Companion (2)Chrysoteuchia culmella
(1, not gen. det.).
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A much better trap last night, with 66 moths of some 40 species ( a few still to be sorted). First decent catch of micros this year. Highlights were FFY Riband Wave, Lobster Moth, Heart and Club (6), Dark Arches, Uncertain, Dotted Rustic, Purple Bar and Common Footman.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 13 degrees
A warmer night with 86 moths of 37 species including FFY - Bee moth, Clouded Border, Bright-line Brown-eye and a Grey Dagger.
Haddon Hill 26/6
A productive few hours on Haddon Hill today: Wood Tiger, Lead Belle, July Belle, Common Heath, Smoky Wave, Silver Y, Catoptria margaritella, Orthotaneia undulana and Olethreutes arcuella.
Summer Fruit Tortrix
Thanks Paul. I am going to write a note for publication in Atropos.
43 moths of 19 species including FFY - Burnished Brass and Rustic Shoulder-knot.
East Lydford 25/6/13
As Peter says, colder nights equals lower numbers. From 130+ a few nights ago, back down to earth with just under 30 !! There were two FFY this time, 3 Heart & Club, and a Pale Prominent. Also another tiny Bryotropha affinis - following the first record here 3 days before - where have they been ?
Nigel - congratulations on your "first"
21 moths of 15 species in the garden trap this morning with Riband Wave and Buff-tip both FFY.
Summer Fruit Tortrix
With ref. to my posting of 22-June. I have received confirmation from David Agassiz that my ID of 999 Adoxophyes orana was correct and that this is the first record of this species in Somerset.
Orchid pollinia on moth heads
I had a Large Elephant Hawkmoth with Greater Butterfly Orchid pollinia on its eyes and palps this morning. Please could you look carefully at any EH moths you trap (both species) and examine the head for pollinia. If the pollinia are stuck to the eyes they are probably those of Greater Butterfly Orchid; if they are stuck to the tongue they are probably those of Lesser Butterfly Orchid.
Please let me know if you get any results - Butterfly Conservation have told me about a project looking at moth pollination of Butterfly Orchids.
What a difference the temperature makes to the catch. On Thursday with a low of 14 degrees we had 120 moths of 41 species including FFY - Small Yellow Wave, Dark Arches, Little Brown Apple Moth and P.lancealis. On Sunday night with a low of 9 degrees we had only 34 moths of 17 species.
No trapping last night, but a new (to me) species turned up in the house in the evening - Bryotropha affinis. Almost didn't see it, as it's very tiny !! Until the acquisition of Phil Sterling's book, I probably would have spent a long time trawling throough the UK Moths website looking for it. A real time-saver - thank you Phil !!
Berkley Marsh (near Frome) 20th & 21st June
Another visit to the Frome area and a couple of nights moth trapping. The night of Thursday 20th was the best with 135 macros of 40 species and one each of 8 micros. Friday 21st was much cooler with some rain so I employed a makeshift shelter and although there were fewer moths - 49 macros of 21 species and a couple of micros I did get a few additional species, including Peach Blossom and Sharp-angled Peacock. Other notables for me were Sandy Carpet (a first for this garden), Obscure Wainscot and Clepsis spectrana (Cyclamen Tortrix).
Thank you Jane this was one of my possibilities.
Manor Road, Taunton
An unremarkable catch of just 37 moths for my GMS last night but still my second highest catch of the year. Heart & Dart with 22 moths made up nearly two thirds of the catch and Heart & Club and Large Yellow Underwing beings firsts for the year.
Langport, VC6 20 June and Charlton Mackrell 21 June 2013
Langport, VC6 20 June
I had an unusual male Lime Hawk-moth, form brunnea
in the trap on Thursday morning and found a newly-emerged Miller Moth on a wall in Langport later in the day.
Lime Hawk-moth (Mimas tiliae
) male form brunnea
Miller Moth (Apatele leporina
) LangportCharlton Mackrell 21 June
I went out with Mark Parsons (Head of Moth Conservation, BC) and Caroline Kelly (Conservation Officer, BC) to look firstly at a site for Grapholita pallifrontana
(aka Loquorice piercer) and then to check up on Large Blue at the Green Down site.
Mark had visited another possible pallifrontana
site earlier in the morning and found the moth there, and we saw at least six at the known site - first recorded by Turner in the 1950s and not seen in Somerset again until last week when Mark found it in the same place. It's almost certainly been there all the time but is very small and very hard to spot. The larva feeds in the seed pods of Wild Liquorice (Astragalus glycyphyllos)
. If you know of a Wild Liquorice colony outside the ST52 10km square, please let me know.
There are only 16 known UK sites for the moth
and we have two of them in Somerset.Grapholita pallifrontana
(Liquorice piercer). Apologies for the pot but the adults were impossible to photograph otherwise! However you can see the pale frons from which it gets its name.
I also found a very attractive micro Pammene aurana
(ID'd by Mark) which Sterling & Parsons say is common, but there are few Somerset records. The larva spins in Hogweed seedheads and I suspect that this species is simply under-recorded as it is small and easily overlooked.Pammene aurana
- back view on Hogweed flowers and side view on Hogweed leaf.
Welcome to Paul Wilkins in Bath. I should leave pug ID to those who've been at this game longer than me but for what it's worth I would consider Grey pug...what do others think?
Paul N...I've sent hawk-moths over your way..only had Elephant HM last night!
One Humming-bird Hawk-moth feeding on Red Valerian at 0515 this morning and several Silver y moths feeding on Sweet William yesterday late morning.
Summer Fruit Tortrix
Going through the micros that I trapped at Netherclay LNR on Thursday night I came across this which I later identified as 999 Summer Fruit Tortrix Adoxophyes orana. According to the distribution map in Sterling et al this species is pretty much confined to the east and south of England. Does anyone know if it has been recorded in VC5/6 before or is it a 'first' for Somerset? Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of the moth, it escaped as I was trying to get some better shots.
Bath Garden - Unidentified Pug
Hi Everyone, I am a new member to SMG and have just started trapping in my small Suburban garden in Combe Down, Bath. Could any one help me with the identification of the Pug I caught last night?
Best night of the year so far, 88 Macros of 36 sps (still sorting out the micros) First ever Cream-bordered Green Pea and Grass Rivulet
Netherclay LNR 22:00-02:15
Ran the trap down the road at Netherclay LNR last night. 222 moths of 44 species. Earlier this month I trapped 75 Green Carpet there but the first generation now seems to be almost over with only 13 caught last night and all those showing varying degrees of wear. The most abundant were Clouded Silver (44) and Flame Shoulder (20) and there were a few migrants in the form of Silver Y (10) and Pearly Underwing (1).
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Not a bad night last night, with 45 moths of 22 species. Highlights were FFY Eyed Hawk-moth, Scalloped Hazel and Large Yellow Underwing and, new for the site, Common Swift (surprisingly!). Two Peppered Moths together was unusual.
Tara - the request for the Acentria & Cataclysta was by David Agassiz in Weston-s-M - as far as I remember they were for a friend's research project, and are probably no longer needed. If David reads this, he will no doubt confirm or deny !!
A bit of advice
Mainly needing help with some micros that I posted as a new page rather than a latest sighting... but while I was there noticed someone was looking for Acentria ephemerella and Cataclysta lemnata. Are they still looking and who is it (as the pages dont have the names like this blog bit does).
After a slow start (due to me killing the choker) and the season I am finally happier with the mid 30's species were getting now and 80 odd for total numbers... but I still feel its down on previous years :( Yesterdays devon carpet was nice.
Having read about Ian's Peppered moth..I am wondering about mine. Would it still pass as an insular?
Norton Sub Hamdon
173 macros of 57 species last night. I don't want to sound churlish but with perfect conditions I would normally expect 400 individuals on a night like last night. Best of the bunch were my first Poplar kitten in 4 years and my First Cream Wave for 5. I also had only the second female Muslin Moth I've ever recorded ( two weeks after the last male seen ) and my first ever black Peppered Moth.
Hodders Combe Lodge garden
A few more moths and ffys though not huge numbers during last week with 53 moths of 24species last night. The best one i discovered last night as i went to bed. It was a Lime Hawkmoth,only my 2nd
Manor Road, Taunton
Tried out a new lamp on Tuesday. Instead of my usual 40W actinic I used a 20W low energy UV. I wouldn't say it was as a result of the lamp as conditions have improved dramatically but I caught by far the best catch of the year for my garden. 45 moths of 18 species as opposed to a highest previous catch of 17 moths. These included FFY of Willow Beauty, Flame Shoulder, Light Emerald, Marbled Minor ag., Coronet, Miller, Mottled Rustic and Green Pug. I wouldn't mind a few of those Hawk moths which are about but apart from the very occasional Poplar they don't seem to like my garden.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 15 degrees
After two warm days the moth numbers increased dramatically. We had over a hundred in the trap last night of 49 species. FFY - Eyed Hawk-moth, Buff Arches, Blood-vein, Common Swift, Poplar Grey, Grey Pine and Pine Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Narrow-winged Pug, Clouded-bordered Brindle ab.combusta, and two Large Yellow Underwing - no doubt the first of many! We also saw our first Speckled Wood in the garden. Very late - it seems that butterflies have suffered this spring as badly as moths.
East Lydford 19/6/13
You're right, Jane - things are almost getting out of hand - it's a good thing I don't have to go to work. After all the excitement I'm going to have to lie down in a darkened room !!
Just over 100 in total of 40 species (so far), plus there were a few escapees into the "moth room" where I open the traps. These will be rounded up this evening when they try to get out of the sky-light. (Colditz, it ain't). Where they get to in the meantime is a matter for conjecture - lots of convenient hidey-holes for them. There were 20 FFY, which I won't bore everyone with, but the best were Beautiful Golden Y, Buff Arches, Pebble Prominent, and a female Ghost - all very pretty, (but no Hawkmoths- they're all in Minehead). Makes the headaches worthwhile, doesn't it ?
and this morning 44 species with lime, eyed, elephant and poplar HM. suddenly there's no time to do anything else
a new micro for me, Alabonia geoffrella, and what a beautiful one. 30 identified species today (including 58 h&d)
Sand Point 18th June
An improvement in the weather brought an increase of moths. By day several Silver Y and Diamond-back Moths were scattered about and whilst walking around I found Phyllonorycter messaniella
, Coleophora discordella, Scrobipalpa acuminatella
and a new moth for me Psychoides filicivora
. This would have been my days highlight had it not been for finding a rather smart Ichneumon xanthorius
. By night I recorded White Colon, Cnephasia incertana
, Clouded Bordered Brindle, Middle-barred Minor plus others as new for the year. So far all the minors I've had have been Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis
. Best moth of the night had to be Phalonidia affinitana
another new micro for me. It took a while to identify it but made easier by being a well marked individual. The dark tornal spot was the first point that led me to this species.
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A better trap last night - 36 moths of 18 species, including FFY Pale Tussock, Peppered Moth, Elephant Hawk-Moth and Flame. I'm getting very few micros apart from Light-brown Apple Moth. YTD total is 67 species, compared to 94 for the same period in 2012.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 15 degrees
Another good night with 77 moths of 28 species including FFY - Plain Wave, U.olivalis, and Garden Pebble. We were also surprised to see a fresh Puss Moth on the side of a water-butt some way from the trap. We had our first at the more usual time of April 29. Paul will be interested to know that Middle-barred Minor is also having a good year here. We had nine in the trap last night.
The thing the photo of the Grass Rivulet doesn't suggest is size. It is a smaller moth than Sandy Carpet so I am sure you would have noticed it Ian. Looking back at my Sandy Carpet records just now shows how tricky memory can be. I thought it was also regular here but after 7 from 1997-2001, the only record is of 1 in 2009.
Recent finds, Langport
We did some serious gardening two weekends ago and a Geometrid larva fell off a rose bush I was pruning. It turned out to be a Pale Brindled Beauty.
Pale Brindled Beauty Apocheima hispidaria
Later in the day we did a circular walk around Pitney (just north of Langport) - very unproductive but right at the end I found a larval web of Small Eggar. I haven't taken this species in my trap for a couple of years now.
Small Eggar Eriogaster lanestris
Last night's catch in the trap was again quite poor but I had my first Figure of Eighty for four years.
Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis
Of real interest was a male Small Elephant Hawkmoth with the pollinia of Greater Butterfly Orchid on its eyes. The nearest Greater Butterfly Orchids we know of are a couple of kilometres away, so either there are specimens nearer to here or this male had flown some distance.
Small Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila porcellus
with pollinia of Greater Butterfly Orchid on eyes
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 15 degrees
Like others we had the best nights trapping for the year with 79 moths of 35 species including FFY - Lobster, Flame, Snout, Mottled Rustic, Nettle Tap and Hedya pruniana.
Norton Sub Hamdon
At last a proper night's mothing! 198 macros of 55 different species meant that I had to spend more than 5 minutes checking the trap. I've always preferred quantity over quality so 46 Heart and Darts was encouraging. 14 firsts for the year finally made me pass the 100 species mark. Last year this mark was passed on 26th May. Nothing of any great interest with the highlights probably being a Cream-spot Tiger, Figure of Eighty, May Highflyer and Scorched Wing.
I'm glad that James' Grass Rivulet landed in his trap rather than mine. When I saw the photo I immediately ID'd it as a Sandy Carpet and think that is what it would have been recorded as if it had landed here. Of course James is right and I will check the handful of Sandy Carpets I see each year more carefully in future.
East Lydford 17/6/13
Many more moths this time - 47 of 14 species, although still well short of what might be expected at this time of year. FFY were Common Wainscot, Snout, Crambus lathoniellus, and one of my favourites, a Cream-spot Tiger - beautiful. (Who says moths are grey and boring ?). 16 Middle-barred Minors continue their relative abundance this year - pity most other species aren't doing so well.
A brief thunderstorm passed over north Taunton before midnight. This sort of weather often brings different moths and this morning there was the first Grass Rivulet I have recorded here.
All, don't forget to submit your Painted Lady & Hummingbird Hawkmoth sightings to BC at:
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 12 degrees
The best night for some time with 54 moths of 21 species including FFY - Coxcomb Prominent, Straw Dot, Clouded Silver, Middle-barred Minor and what I always regard as a West Somerset speciality a Double Line.
I saw 2 Painted Ladies, A red Admiral and a Humming -Bird Hawk Moth on a short stretch of Red Valerian at Crewkerne today.
Netted Pug, Langport 16-17 June 2013
Last night's dismal catch was improved dramatically when I found a Netted Pug on the garden fence near the trap at lunchtime. It's my first since 2007 - a very attractive moth.
Netted Pug Eupithecia venosata
19 moths of nine species in the garden trap this morning. Heart & Club and Treble Lines were FFY and Lime Hawkmoth and Least Black Arches FFG.
Elephant Hawk-moth nectaring
Trapping has been poor over the last week and although there have been a few Silver Y nectaring on our Red Campion the Honeysuckle - now in full bloom and normally a magnet for both species of Elephant Hawk - has been completely moth-free. However I had a surprise while staking out one plant - a Large EH zoomed in and spent several minutes nectaring on Yellow Flag in the pond. Apologies for the poor image quality - the camera/flash sync was wrongly set.
Large Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor
nectaring on Yellow Flag
Bird Cherry Ermine Larva, Middle Chinnock
During an evening stroll in the local area I noticed what appeared to be a rather poorly looking tree amongst an otherwise healthy stand of trees in the corner of a field. On closer inspection the tree (a Bird Cherry) had been completely defoliated, the branches were covered with the larval webs of Bird Cherry Ermine. The main trunk and lower branches were crawling with various ages of larva, and the whole tree covered in a fine silky web. A neighbouring Bird Cherry had started to be colonised. Will be interesting to watch this tree over the coming weeks. Not quite as dramatic as some of the images in the current issue of British Wildlife, but interesting none the less.
Two adults have emerged from the collection of Teasel heads I made at Westover in Langport. A quite beautiful Tortricid bird-dropping mimic.
Two individuals of 1097 Endothenia gentianeana
Great Crane Project moth trap event.
Susan Anders from the Great Crane Project is looking for someone to trap moths on the night of Friday June 28 and show the catch to people on Saturday June 29 at the Willows and Wetlands Centre in Stoke St Gregory. Unfortunately, I am busy in Sussex that weekend. If anyone can do this event, can they please contact Jane on 01458 254414.
Greetings from Hodderscombe
With22ffys since the start of June and numbers varying from7 to 38 i have been a bit more encouraged.Todays ffys where Orange Footman Chinese Character,Pale Shouldered Brocade and Small Elephant Hawkmoth. My 1st Hawkmoth a Poplar Hawkmoth was on 1st June.Scalloped Hazel and White Ermine are in good numbers for here. 9White Ermine today and 8 Scalloped Hazel on the 8th June. Other 1sts include Scalloped Hook Tipand a Barred Hook-Tip.Also Shears and Alder Moth. Recently i had a day on the Faroes and when having a drink on a pavement cafe imagine my delight when a moth settled between 2 cobblestones at my feet. Back home i 'googled' Lepidoptera of the Faroes.According to Wikipedia there are no butterflies on the Faroes and only 111 species of moths! I felt i did well to see one!
East Lydford 12/6/13
A slightly better night for numbers, but only slightly. 25 in total, of 15 species, with eight FFY - Elephant Hawkmoth, Large Nutmeg, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Common Swift, Clouded Silver, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, and Marbled Minor agg. Middle-barred Minors seem to be quite abundant - there were 7 altogether this time, more in one night than I remember.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 15 degrees, wet and windy.
18 moths of eleven species including FFY - Ghost Moth and Plain Golden Y.
I spotted this neatly consructed cocoon in mid February, silohetted by the light of the moth trap ( initially I mistook it for a moth! ). It was about 20" up a stout grass stem, one of the few that had managed to stay upright after the winter snow. It was made of grass blades, tucked in at the top and tapered at the bottom.
Curious as to what creature was inside (the name 'Knot Grass should probable have given a clue!) I kept it and it hatched last night or early this morning, leaving the cocoon little disturbed.
Moths at last, 45 of 23 sps, lots of FFY including Silver-ground Carpet, Scorched Wing, Grey/Dark Dagger, Buff-tip, Peppered, White Ermine, Garden Pebble, Ringed China-mark, Eudonia angustea and a FFG Small Clouded Brindle.
15 moths of 11 species in the garden trap this morning.
Pale Mottled Willow FFY and Silver-ground Carpet FFG.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 12 degrees
38 moths of 17 species including FFY - Pebble Hook-tip and Heart & Club.
Norton Sub Hamdon
Not much last night but there were several firsts for the year including Common Wainscot, Setacious Hebrew Character, Elephant Hawk Moth and Rustic Shoulder Knot.
Only 10 sps last night but a few FFY, Cabbage, Marbled Minor agg.,Treble Lines, Rustic Shoulder Knot and Silver Y made an appearance.
Is this a Nematopogon schwarziellus..Andy Pym thinks it may be..he's seen many on Exmoor but the colour isn't quite right. Has anyone other ideas? FL about 6mm
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
18 moths of 10 species last night, under mainly clear skies and somewhat cool conditions. FFY Pale Prominent, Buff Ermine and Ingrailed Clay. Also a new species for the site, Cloud-bordered Brindle.
Thank you Paul..I appreciate the help
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees and a cold wind
31 moths of 15 species including FFY - Heart & Dart, Coronet and Small Magpie.
20 Moths of 15 species, still pretty poor but lots of FFY, Brimstone-1,Gold Spot-1,Burnished Brass-1,Oak Hook-tip-1,Clouded Silver-1,Small Square-spot-2,Heart & Dart-1,Buff Ermine-1,Common Marbled Carpet-2, also Angle Shades-1,Common Marbled Carpet-2, Green Carpet-3,Muslin-2, Spectacle-1, also micros, Bee Moth-1, and Acleris cristana.
East Lydford 7/6/13
Still more poor numbers - I suspect the local bats are having a feeding frenzy. Only 14 moths of 8 species in total - FFY were Small Square-spot (6), Middle-barred Minor (2) and 1 each Garden Pebble and Heart & Dart. All the Green Carpets have migrated westwards it seems !!
Jane - your Acleris cristana looks right to me.
Combe St. Nicholas 5th June
The night before last I had a better trapping session - some 29 moths in all. These included FFY Foxglve Pug, Green Carpet, Scorched Carpet, Clouded Silver, Heart and Dart and Common Marbled Carpet. The best was what I believe to be a Ruddy Highflyer
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 11 degrees
31 moths of 17 species including FFY - Knot-grass, Alder Moth, Treble Lines, Engrailed, Seraphim, and Peach Blossom
Netherclay LNR 21:30-02:00h
Last night I ran a trap at Netherclay LNR for the first time this year. The total for the first hour was 33 moths all of which were Green Carpet. Things improved after that with a final total of 161 moths (75 Green Carpet) of 37 species. including Nut-tree Tussock, Flame Shoulder, Clouded Silver, Figure of Eighty, Elephant Hawkmoth, Common White Wave, White Ermine, Purple Bar, Poplar Grey, May Highflyer, Mottled Rustic, Mottled Pug, Sycamore, Scalloped Hazel, Poplar Hawkmoth, Coronet, Scorched Carpet, Treble-bar, Yellow-barred Brindle and Least Black Arches.
am I right..that this is Acleris christana, presumably post hibernation?
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6 degrees
36 moths of 24 species including FFY - Elephant Hawk 2, Silver Y, Burnished Brass, Small Angle-shades, Tawny-barred Angle. There was also a dark Nut-tree Tussock which the books call f.medionigra.
The first time I have put the trap out this year (in England at least, had 2 weeks in the Dordogne at start of May).
Only 17 species but that include a Netted Pug the first I have seen in 30 years trapping.
Berkley Marsh (near Frome) 30th May - 1st June
At last I have managed to do some moth trapping whilst visiting the Frome area - 3 consecutive nights!
The best return was on 31st May with 78 moths of 40 species (including 4 micros) and overall I had 46 macro species. Obviously, most of these were FFY and the notable species for me included Chocolate-tip, Pebble, Iron, Pale, Coxcomb, Swallow and Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pale Tussock, Peppered Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Rivulet and a Poplar Hawk-moth. I also had a grass moth, Crambus lathoniellus, a Silver-ground Carpet and a couple of Cinnabar - so it looks like 'Summer' may have arrived !! Let's hope for some good weather for the rest of this year and moth numbers start to increase.
another go at putting on Lunar thorn
Just to see whether it's now working for me...
Jane's Lathronympha strigana
Jane's computer is not placing images in her blogs although they upload to the website OK.
This is her image of Lathronympha strigana
- only the third record from the Minehead area.
Confirmed by Andy Pym
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees
33 moths of 24 species including FFY - Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Scalloped Hazel, Lychnis, Grey Birch and a longhorn which is yet to be identified.
The lateness of the season is providing some interesting sights if very few moths. For example in the last 25 years I have never seen a Hebrew Character in June or a celandine still in full flower nor have I failed to see a Common Blue by now. All three have happened this year.
Potentially the most interesting concerns our Brimstone butterflies. At the start of May I found eggs on my Alder buckthorn. In warmer temperatures indoors they quickly hatched, fed up and pupated last week. They should emerge early next week. Today I have seen a female Brimstone still laying eggs on the same bush. Should she hang around for a few more days she has the chance of possibly meeting her children, an unusual situation for a butterfly.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 8 degrees
26 moths of 21 species including FFY - Setaceous Hebrew Character, Silver Ground Carpet, Buff Ermine, Common Carpet, Mottled Pug, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet.
Another micro from Friday night
There was a very small and hyperactive micro in the trap on Friday night but I managed to photograph it early this morning. It looked like a Phyllonoricter
but there's nothing like it in Sterling & Parsons so I browsed the UK Moths website and came up with Phyllonoricter tristrigella
; this is new for my garden. Thanks to David Agassiz who kindly confirmed my ID from the photo. The larva mines on Elm leaves.Phyllonoricter tristrigella
But Paul it's creeping up...14 moths 9 species. Lesser swallow prominent x4, Lunar thorn and Lathronympha stringana which was new to me. I've got photos but still need someone to help on that as it doesn't work even following John's idiot guide.
East Lydford 2/6/13
This is getting boring - yet another extremely poor night - where are they all ?
Only 5 moths in two traps, 2 Muslin Moths, 1 each Hebrew Character and Green Carpet, plus a FFY Pale-shouldered Brocade, which was sufficiently faded to cause me a fair amount of difficulty in identifying it. This is the first appearance of this species here since July 2006, (2 records) so not a total disappointment.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9 degrees
Only 20 moths of 13 species including FFY - in trap, Iron Prominent and Poplar Hawk - in house, Common Wave and in the garden, a Holly Blue butterfly
Langport, VC 6, 1-2 June; Wych Lodge wood, 2 June
Another poor GMS night on Friday - with one exception, a Bordered Straw!
Bordered Straw Heliothis peltigera
One nice micro - Callisto denticulellaCallisto denticulella
A walk in Wych Lodge woods (VC5) produced very little but there were a couple of Drinker larvae on Pendulous Sedge.
Drinker Euthrix potatoria
4th instar larva.
On this night in 2011 I had 107 moths in my trap. In 2012 I had 100 moths in my trap. Unfortunately this year I only had 3 moths! 1 male Peppered, 1 Common Swift and 1 Common Marbled Carpet. All FFY. Lets hope numbers improve now that the weather seems to be warming up.
Norton Sub Hamdon
Despite a cool clear night I still Had 20 different species with Firsts for the year in Clouded Border, Clouded Silver, Common Carpet and Sycamore. I had a Silver Y 2 nights ago and have seen several around since then. The most numerous insects were May Bugs with 14 recorded. A winter spent in waterlogged fields hasn't appeared to have damaged their numbers.
In total in May I recorded 392 moths out of 14 trapppings. Comparing records to past years it initially seemed very depresssing. For example in 2011 the figures were 1743 moths from 16 trappings whilst even last year it was 922 from 17. Looking further back however was more encouraging. 2005 was 440 from 22 and 2006 was even worse with 410 from 14. Both 2005 and 2006 are generally regarded as turning into two of the best moth years of recent times.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 8 degrees
A better GMS night although numbers are still low with only 19 moths of sixteen species including FFY - Flame Carpet, V-Pug, Barred Umber, White-pinion Spotted, Spruce Carpet and Buff-Tip.