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current posts

Wed 31st July 2013 20:38 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon
After a few nights away I wasn't expecting much last night but ended up with the best night of the year so far. 82 different macro species is, I believe, a record for my garden and 493 individuals was the busiest night so far. Highlight of the night was my first ever Beautiful Snout which was also only the second ever square record and the first for 15 years.
Wed 31st July 2013 15:52 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 30/7/13
T Min 17.2°C with some light rain. 54 moths of 28 species: Chinese Character, Shark, Agapeta hamana and Carcina quercana were FFG and Lesser Yellow Underwing FFY.

Carcina quercana

Carcina quercana

Wed 31st July 2013 07:08 by John Bebbington
News from Langport (VC6)
I suspect that the new housing developments 300m or so to the south of my garden are affecting my trap catches quite severely. The sterile gardens, sprayed verges and footpaths and light pollution have all affected diversity. The only migrants I have had this year are Diamond-back (3), Rush Veneer (2), Humming-bird Hawk-moth (1) and Silver Y (abundant, and breeding in my garden). Macros in general are down in numbers and variety although I have had my first Plain Pug (Eupithecia simpliciata) - thanks to Paul Bowyer and James McGill for identifying this for me.
Plain Pug Langport
Plain Pug Eupithecia simpliciata

Only one Large Yellow Underwing so far and Jersey Tiger numbers are well down. There are now plans for a development on the field to the south of the A372 Aller road!

However some of my Small Elephant Hawk-moth larvae have pupated successfully and my Eyed and Privet Hawk-moth larvae, sleeved in the garden, are doing well.
Small Elephant Hawk-moth 4th instar larva feedingSmall Elephant Hawk-moth fully-grown larva
Fourth instar and mature larvae of Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus

'Micros' have provided some interest with some quite lovely species.
Cochylis roseana
Cochylis roseana -thanks to James McGill for confirming ID.
Cryptoblabes bistriga
Cryptoblabes bistriga
Dioryctria abietella
Dioryctria abietella

Two beautiful Tortricids -
Lozotaenia forsterana
Lozotaenia forsterana
Cherry Bark Tortrix (Enarmonia formosana)
Cherry Bark Tortrix Enarmonia formosana - what a stunning little moth!
Tue 30th July 2013 17:10 by Jane Durham
one big advantage of only having been doing this for about 3 years is finding new ones on a regular basis.  Today it was this Lesser-spotted pinion
Lesser-spotted pinion
Mon 29th July 2013 19:00 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 28/7/13
A warm (T min 15C) but windy night; 43 moths of 21 species with Yponomeuta plumbella and Endotricha flammealis both FFG.

Yponomeuta plumbella

Yponomeuta plumbella

Sun 28th July 2013 19:03 by Paul Bowyer
Weston Migrants
Moth trapping at Sand Point on Friday 26th produced 50+ Silver Y, c.15 Diamond-back Moths, 2 Dark Sword-grass and a single Rush Veneer. This afternoon whilst walking the dog I disturbed a Vestal along a nearby footpath.

Vestal 28th July 2013


Sun 28th July 2013 16:46 by Paul Wilkins
Can anyone help with these Ermine ID's ?
Caught these two Ermine (Yponomeuta spp) in my trap yesterday but struggling with the species identification and would welcome any help.

Many thanks. Paul

Yponomeuta spp 2

Yponomeuta spp 1

Sat 27th July 2013 22:04 by Nigel Cottle
Re: Netherclay LNR
James, Many thanks for the info. I trap at Netherclay a couple of times a month now; as you say, a promising spot. I'm hoping that last month's Summer Fruit Tortrix is the first of many 'good' moths at the site!
Sat 27th July 2013 22:01 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 26/7/13
Twin 30w Actinic Robinson. T Min 14.3C. 48 moths of 29 species with Ear Moth agg. and Blue-bordered Carpet both FFG.

Ear Moth agg. Ear Moth agg.

Blue-bordered Carpet Blue-bordered Carpet.

Fri 26th July 2013 22:35 by Paul Newman
East Lydford - addendum to 25/7/13
Another 28 to add, totals now 198 of 48 species - further FFY were Rush Veneer (2), Rustic, and Pandemis cerasana, so nothing special this time.
Fri 26th July 2013 21:11 by James McGill
Jane, yes that's a Crescent Dart. It's a coastal species in Somerset but Peter had one in Wiveliscombe a few years ago and I have trapped one in Taunton. With your location you should see a few more in time.

Nigel, your Lunar-spotted Pinion is a good moth for this side of Taunton. I've only trapped it twice in 18 years. Hopefully the planting at Netherclay LNR will benefit a range of species. Calamatropha paludella has occurred four times in my garden, all since 2005. I expect it is breeding in the Typha-dominated pond on the other side of the Silk Mills Bridge.

Fri 26th July 2013 17:35 by Nigel Cottle
Netherclay LNR 25/7/13
Ran the 125MV trap until 01.45h this morning. 280 moths of 57 spp. with Smoky Wainscot (38) and Common Footman (30) the most numerous. Coronet, Jersey Tiger (3), Dun-bar, Beautiful Hook-tip, Pale Prominent, Brussels Lace, Peach Blossom, Lunar-spotted Pinion and Pebble Hook-tip etc. Perhaps the most interesting find was Calamotropha paludella which is, apparently, occasional & local in the county.
Fri 26th July 2013 15:27 by Jane Durham
Help please.  Is this a Crescent dart? Paul I too had record catch of Common footmen...71 with many escapees
Crescent dart
Fri 26th July 2013 12:34 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 25/7/13
So far, 170 moths of 42 species - as usual, more to round up this evening in the "moth room" at dusk.  Common Footmen (46) and Common Rustic agg. (28) were the most numerous.  FFY were Yarrow Plume (first for several years), Garden Rose Tortrix, Bird-cherry Ermine, Rosy & Dingy Footman, Ruby Tiger, Hypsopygia glaucinalis, and Mother-of-Pearl.

Nigel - you'll need to go back home for a holiday after that lot !!

Fri 26th July 2013 11:30 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

71 species including FFY - Privet Hawk, Black Arches, Antler, Dark Sword-grass and Magpie Moth.

Thu 25th July 2013 21:28 by Nigel Parsons
Berkley Marsh (Frome) 18th–21st July 2013 (inclusive)
Apologies for the late posting – I have been off-line for several days.

On my latest visit to Berkley Marsh I could not resist taking advantage of the warm weather and did a bit of concentrated moth trapping. As it turned out it was well worth the time and effort (lots of both, including getting up at 4.30am four days on the trot to beat the birds) as the numbers of moths and species far exceeded anything I have recorded here before.

On the first two nights I used my MV Skinner trap and on both occasions had well over 500 moths and about a hundred species (80 / 20 split between macros and micros). I found that about a third of the moths were outside of the trap and extremely vulnerable to the resident robin and blackbirds – hence the early starts. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and energy when it came to the micros and I had to admit defeat in regard to identifying a good number.

On the third and forth nights I resorted to the actinic which inevitably produced fewer moths and species but was much more manageable. These traps provided about 170 moths on both nights (not counting Water Veneer – 45 on the 4th night) of about 60 species (45 / 15 split between macros and micros). Again several micros went un-identified.

Overall I reckon I had 110 macros over this period and 36 identified micros. The notable species for me were Ghost Moth (females), Lobster Moth, Garden Tiger, Herald, Mottled Beauty, Phoenix, Blackneck, Minor Shoulder-knot, White-bordered Carpet, Blue-bordered Carpet, Small Angle Shades, Sharp-angled Peacock, Lilac Beauty, Crescent Plume, Scalloped Hook-tip, Grey Arches, Oak Nicteoline, Marbled Green, Sycamore, Least Yellow Underwing, Round-winged Muslin, Gothic and Small Rivulet.

Thu 25th July 2013 19:45 by James McGill
A good selection of moths in Taunton last night, including the first Small Waved Umber in my garden. I did catch this when I trapped regularly at Hestercombe in 2004 but it becomes very rare south-west of here.

Small Waved Umber

Ian, Mapmate tells me this was macro 406. I suspect this is typical of what can be expected over time in a suburban garden with high light pollution, and surrounded by extensive pastureland.

Each addition is interesting but I feel that the site list is becoming increasingly unrepresentative of the local fauna! It would be interesting to see the dataset analysed to take account of records as a proportion of the whole. The dot maps make it seem like some species are occupying more ground than is the case.

Thu 25th July 2013 18:50 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Another belated posting, this time for Tuesday night (23rd/24th). 192 moths of 69 species. Highlights were first for site Small Dotted Buff and Sharp-angled Peacock. FFY were Double-striped Pug and Knot-grass. Following up on Ian's posting, I also recorded a couple more True Lover's Knot.  25 Common Footman were notable. It's been quite a month so far, with 48 new species for the garden, of which 15 are macros.
Thu 25th July 2013 18:46 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe . Min temp 14 degrees.

A wet night with a lot of water in the trap but we had 71 species including FFY - Rosy Rustic, Garden Tiger, Shaded Broad-bar, Small Dotted Buff and Herald. We also had a sudden flush of 30 Mother of Pearl.

Thu 25th July 2013 17:58 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon
I mentioned how unusual True Lovers knot is in the south of the county when I caught one earlier in the month. Doug's 7 adults is quite impressive slightly further north of me but it pales when compared to the 398 that Robin Clatworthy recorded a couple of weeks ago at Hurlstone Point on the north coast.
Impressive numbers of Common Footman here with 119 three nights ago and 127 last night.
James , What is your garden list up to for Macros. I think mine is quite good at 375 but you seem to record new species on a much more regular basis.
Thu 25th July 2013 11:29 by Doug Miller
Last night 24th much better in numbers with Rush Veneer Dark Sword Grass and 18 Silver Y`on the migrant front, others Bullrush Wainscot and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, True Lovers Knot is caught here in one`s and two`s each year, this year to date seven, ? and a Large Tabby in the house.
Wed 24th July 2013 19:53 by James McGill
I trapped the first Brown-line Bright eye for my Taunton garden last night. West Somerset is a bit of a desert for records of this species.

Brown-line Bright eye

Wed 24th July 2013 12:12 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 23/7/12
57 moths of 31 spp. Rosy Rustic, Marbled Beauty and July Highflyer FFY and Antler Moth FFG.

Antler Moth

Wed 24th July 2013 10:31 by Paul Newman
East Lydford
A male Drinker (FFY) came blundering into the kitchen last night, trying to beat itself to death on the lights, but it was saved from an unpleasant doom.  Otherwise not a lot to report at the moment.
Wed 24th July 2013 10:01 by Doug Miller
Last night 23rd numbers of species ok but numbers of moths low, we did have a very bright moon, a Plain Wave and Vestal first for the year.
Wed 24th July 2013 08:53 by Jane Durham
Thank you James.  Yes the Small argent and sable I imagine came to light but was in shed nearby.
Tue 23rd July 2013 22:46 by Paul Wilkins
Small Fan-footed Wave ID
Thank you James, I have now looked at the Small Fan-footed Wave and I think you are exactly right given the forewing shape and the position of the spot.  Thank you for that and for confirming the Ethmia dodecea.
Tue 23rd July 2013 21:44 by James McGill
Jane, your Beautiful Yellow Underwing is correct. The Small Argent and Sable is as well - was this at light? I have seen them in various places on Exmoor by day when they fly freely over open moorland in the late afternoon.

Paul, your Ethmia dodecea is correct. I don't know its status in the Bristol area but I have never seen it in south or west Somerset. The other moth looks like a largely scaleless Small Fan-footed Wave. It would be easier to be sure looking at the actual moth!

Tue 23rd July 2013 21:38 by Pam Campbell
Latest news from Hodderscombe Lodge garden
Not huge numbers here but some nice moths. Best night was last Friday with132moths of 59species. Good year here for Buff Arches and True Lovers Knot. One Four-Spotted Footman on Friday 19th July and on 21st a Lunar-spotted pinion ffg and no nearby nor recent records. Enjoying Large Emerald, Swallowtail and Orange Moth especially. Last night a Lilac Beauty was ffy.
Tue 23rd July 2013 20:12 by Paul Wilkins
Combe Down, Bath - Verification needed on a couple of moths
Like everyone else it seems, I have had much better results in the last two weeks here in Bath than I did earlier in the year. Having only started 'Mothing' in April I almost gave up when I was only having single figure catches.  I thought perhaps that it was because I live in such a built up area but my last few catches have reached three figures with at least forty species and with a small home-made Robinson style trap, fitted with a 20w Actinic Compact Florescent bulb.

Yesterday I caught two moths that I need confirmation on their identification, can anyone help?

The first is what I thought looked like a Dwarf Cream Wave but was a bit too big and the forewing spots appear to be in the wrong place in relation to the cross lines, so could it be a Lesser Cream Wave?

I have identified the second moth as an Ethmia dodecea but I see that this moth is considered quite unusual so if anyone can verify it for me I would be grateful.

Many thanks and what a great site this is!

Ethmia dodecea

Tue 23rd July 2013 18:36 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A belated posting relating to a trapping session on Sunday night, with 225+ moths of 60+ species. Highlights were: first for the site - Scallop Shell, Marbled White Spot and Blackneck. FFY were Oak Eggar, July Highflyer and Dingy and Scarce Footman. Lots of micros still to identify. I recorded 30 Common Footman - a record! It's been an amazing month so far, with several new species for the site.
Tue 23rd July 2013 17:38 by Paul Newman
East Lydford
Yes, Jane, lots of Ringlets now, plus a couple of Marbled Whites, the first of what I hope will be many Gatekeepers, and a solitary Large Skipper, first for this site.  Sunshine suits the butterflies, but not me, I'm afraid. Far too hot, and the promised thunderstorms last night virtually passed us by, so everything's getting seriously parched.
Tue 23rd July 2013 16:57 by Jane Durham
Small argent and sable
Is this and the Beautiful YU correctly identified?
Small argent and sable
Tue 23rd July 2013 16:48 by Jane Durham
I was pleased to find this Beautiful yellow underwing, my first. (I realise photo's not up to much).  Bk says it's common but I see in the atlas it hasn't been recorded here since 2010.  Can that be so?  Also Small argent and sable today only recorded once in same time. Paul, I trust you are now seeing ringlets.  Or have they all come down here perhaps!?
Beautiful yellow underwing
Tue 23rd July 2013 16:28 by Paul Bowyer
More Weston moths
On Friday I netted some of the micros that were quite plentiful in Sand Bay marsh on 19th one of which turned out to be Biselachista scirpi. After determining it the following day I went back to see if I could find any more indicating a colony but it was too windy. That night I trapped not only The Crescent but two Pediasia contaminella; a light phase and a dark phase. Also a very worn geometrid dropped on the sheet which turned out to be Brown Scallop making a very productive weekend.

Pediasia contaminella

Pediasia contaminella

Mon 22nd July 2013 18:53 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 21/7/13
T Min a rather sticky 19.3C. 94 moths of 33 spp. Yellow-tail, Smoky Wainscot, Ruby Tiger, Scorched Carpet and Mother of Pearl all FFY.
Sun 21st July 2013 21:48 by James McGill
Hello Paul, good to hear from you again. Hope you are having a good year in Weston. It's definitely only luck with the moths. But there I'm miles behind Robin Clatworthy, who has trapped Orange Upperwing, False Mocha and Angle-striped Sallow on the Quantocks. As well as Gypsy, Purple Marbled and Crimson Speckled in the same year at Kingsbury. And that wasn't even the first time Robin had caught Crimson Speckled in Somerset. The first time he caught two in one night!
Sun 21st July 2013 20:15 by Chris Iles
Coronet is as abundant this year in east Mendip as it is elsewhere, but it was still something of a surprise when a Chaffinch fell out of a tree near Stoke St Michael today and deposited a dead one at my feet.
Sun 21st July 2013 19:04 by Paul Bowyer
Sand Bay 21st July
  • A slightly windier and cooler night than recent days but productive nonetheless. A Crescent was attracted to my MV and the first I have recorded in Weston. Sand Bay again producing some interesting micro's and 1 or 2 that are new for the area.
  • James I don't know how you manage to get such good macros on a regular basis. I can't figure out whether it's consistent good fortune or just pure skill!

The Crescent

The Crescent

Sun 21st July 2013 15:26 by Sue Davies
Butleigh Garden
Good night in spite of moonlight, 52 Macro sps, still processing Micros, lats of FFY, Leopard, Ruby Tiger, Rosy Footman, Scalloped Oak, Nut-tree Tussock, Yellow-tail, Black Arches, V-Pug, Fern, Marbled Beauty, a v beautiful Coronet and First Dark Sword-grass.

2091 Dark Sword-grass SD13 2291 The Coronet SD13

Sun 21st July 2013 12:19 by James McGill
There were lots of moths in the traps at Thurbear this weekend, including a Pine Hawk-moth. There is plenty of Scots Pine in Thurlbear Wood and I have had one here previously. However I do not think it breeds and probably came in on the easterly breeze yesterday. I also disturbed a Latticed Heath last night while setting up (new to ST22?) Many thanks to Brian and Dilly Ahern for allowing me to record here over the past 10 years.

Pine Hawk-moth

Sun 21st July 2013 12:04 by Doug Miller
Last nights catch was the opposite from Ian`s very low in numbers and species, perhaps the moon had some influence, however two firsts for my tetrad being Fern and Scalloped Shell.
Sun 21st July 2013 10:22 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon
Best night of the year so far with 401 Macros of 71 species. Least Yellow Underwing was my 200th species for the year which has now been reached earlier than last year. What a difference good weather makes!
Sat 20th July 2013 17:24 by Chris Iles
Micros at Breach Wood, Wanstrow
Some nice things found today, both these species are scarce in Somerset and pretty much unknown in the east of the county.

452 Ypsolopha nemorella

0452 Ypsolopha nemorella

Mine of 128 Phylloporia bistrigella

0128 Phylloporia bistrigella

Sat 20th July 2013 15:45 by Andrew Slade
Burnham/Berrow Highlights
Good number of species being caught at last. 103 species were caught in my garden mv trap on 18th July. Several new for the garden.

Bactra robustana

Bactra robustana

Satin Beauty

1940 Satin Beauty Deileptenia ribeata

Also new for my garden were Lobster Moth, Blackneck, Brachmia blandella, and Anacampsis populella, While at Berrow a Rhyacionia buoliana was at caught on 19th July.

1210 Rhyacionia buoliana

Sat 20th July 2013 15:22 by James McGill
Coleophora adspersella
Hello Mike, well done on recording this. I also dissected two males in a sample of coleophorids from the farm at Thurlbear (VC5) on 23 June 2005.
Fri 19th July 2013 21:22 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 18/7/13
T Min 16.3C. 117 moths of 40 species with a couple of micros still to look at. FFY's V-Pug, Early Thorn, Muslin Footman, Single-dotted Wave, Marbled Green & Haworth's Pug. I trapped several Jersey Tigers here last year; this year's first was found on the side of the garage this morning.

Jersey Tiger

Fri 19th July 2013 17:39 by Mike Bailey
Coleophora adspersella - 9th July 2013
We ran a trap at Elm Farm, Burnett, nr Bath on Tuesday night - 9th July. I took some micros home and two of them were males - 567 Coleophora adspersella. Identified by dissection. Described as ‘local’ in MoGBI and not recorded in the Moths of the Bristol Region, so presumably a new VC6 record and also not listed on the Somerset Moth Group site so possibly new for VC5 as well.

If anyone is interested I can send a picture of the dissection.

Mike Bailey

Fri 19th July 2013 16:36 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Another excellent trap last night - in temperatures of at least 18C had 300 moths of around 90 species. First for site were Orange Moth, Clay and Dingy Shears. FFY included Mother of Pearl, Rosy Footman, Iron Prominent, Common Emerald, Drinker and Poplar Grey. Good totals for some species, e.g. 16 Udea olivaris, 32 Riband Wave, 11 Coronet, 13 Flame, 22 Uncertain, 14 Common Footman, 9 Buff Arches and 12 Heart & Dart (record high counts for the first five species). The downside is that it requires a lot of work, especially with lots of micros to sift through!
Fri 19th July 2013 16:15 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

Last night we trapped in the local wood 200 yards from here with remarkable results, over 300 moths of ninety six species including, first for our year - Leopard Moth, Dun-bar, Purple Clay, Grey Arches, Clay Triple-lines and Slender Brindle.  We also had 71 Coronet, including several of the dark variety ab.coronula, 24 Swallow-Tailed, 25 Tawny-barred Angle including the dark f.nigrofulvata. As if that was not enough a male Silver-washed Fritillary flew into the house this afternoon!

Thu 18th July 2013 20:05 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon
Lots of moths in this warm weather.  Over 300 macros on two sucessive trappings with a maximum of 70 different species causing a lot of work. Like others I am also seeing a number of species in unusual abundance. For example after no Blue Bordered Carpets for 8 years last night I recorded 5 and have recorded up to 15 Coronets at a time. Heart and Darts peaked at only 40 though and I am scarcly seeing double digits of Dark Arches. A walk in Crwekerne this lunchtime showed really good numbers of the common browns and Small Skippers whilst I must have seen well over 100 Small Tortoiseshell nests.
Thu 18th July 2013 17:27 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 20 degrees!

Well over 200 moths of 85 species with FFY - Scalloped Oak, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Yellow Shell, Rush Veneer, European Corn-borer and C.stigmatella.

Thu 18th July 2013 09:55 by Kim Leaver
Thanks for the welcome James, I live in East Devon these days but intend to trap in Somerset from time to time. If anyone wants to do some trapping down in my neck of the woods for a change let me know and we'll sort something out. Kim
Wed 17th July 2013 18:05 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 16/7/13
57 moths of 29 species. Small Rivulet and Lozotaenia forsterana FFG; Rosy Footman FFY.
Wed 17th July 2013 12:40 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 14 degrees

Only 45 moths as a stray cat knocked the bulb off the trap! but we did get 3 FFY - Muslin Footman, V-pug and E.pinguis.

Tue 16th July 2013 20:24 by Nigel Cottle
Witch Lodge Fields
Photographed this Yarrow Plume Platyptilia pallidactyla at Witch Lodge today.

Platyptilia pallidactyla

Tue 16th July 2013 20:17 by James McGill
Kim - as one of the first SMG members, it is great to see you posting about Somerset moths again.

Here are a couple of recent pictures from my Taunton garden. It would be good to see more photos on this page.

A Striped Wainscot on 2 July was the first I have recorded here (there were also 2 in the traps at Thurlbear on 13 July).

2196 Striped Wainscot

On 14 July I trapped a Large Emerald. This was one of the most widespread species in Somerset not to have occurred here. The next most obvious is probably Small Waved Umber. Like many of the strays here, it was in bad condition.

1666 Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria

Last night there was a Double Line. I had only previously recorded this in 2010, when there were 3.

Tue 16th July 2013 18:06 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Another good trap last night, with 204 moths of 65+species. New for the site were Cinnabar, Green Silver-lines and Herald. FFY were Pine Carpet, Dwarf Cream Wave, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Cabbage Moth (first since 2009) and Straw Dot. Also more micros to sort through.

Postscript to my posting on 14th July - additional FFY were Figure of Eighty, Ruddy and Sandy Carpets, Brussels Lace, Small Angle Shades, Lesser Swallow Prominent and Brussels Lace.

Tue 16th July 2013 16:58 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 14 degrees

About 160 moths of 65 species including FFY - Rosy Footman, Mother of Pearl, Ringed China Mark, Buttoned Snout, Small Argent and Sable, Miller and Four Dotted Footman.

Tue 16th July 2013 07:27 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton
Trapped last night with great expectations but disappointingly only 65 moths of 30 species but it was worthwhile as I did get a Rannoch Looper which is the second for my garden in Taunton.
Mon 15th July 2013 21:37 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe

Last night I trapped in a garden at Ford, a village two miles away and caught some FFY for me - Drinker (3), Dingy Footman, Large and Small Emerald and July Highflyer. Also, Paul may be interested to know, a remarkable 45 Buff Arches which are clearly having a good year.

Mon 15th July 2013 19:06 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 14/7/13
59 moths of 31 species with Treble Brown Spot FFG. It seems that the local Blackbirds have finally discovered that there's a free meal to be had.
Mon 15th July 2013 09:44 by Paul Newman
East Lydford - second addendum to 13/7/13
A further 24 moths to add, total now 127 of 54 species.  Additional FFY were Brussels Lace, Small Blood-vein, Udea prunalis, and Catoptria falsella.
Mon 15th July 2013 07:28 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC 6, 14-15 June
I put the trap by the house wall which acts as a reflector and was rewarded with by far the best night of the year so far with 260 moths of 93 species of which there are 3 micros still to identify. I got up at 0515 to beat the birds and there were 23 species outside the trap, including two female Privet Hawks and two Scarlet Tigers.
Sun 14th July 2013 20:41 by Paul Bowyer
Berrow LNR
I joined the moth night at Berrow LNR on friday 14th which made a nice change to trap out of Weston and meet some other moth trappers. A new moth for me was Eulamprotes wilkella. Scarlet Tigers were everywhere plus lots of Cream-bordered Green Pea.

Eulamprotes wilkella

Eulamprotes wilkella f.tarquinella

Epiblema foenella

Epiblema foenella

Sun 14th July 2013 18:43 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A very warm night last night produced an impressive collection of moths - 269 in all, of some 50+ species, with the 15W greenlight. It's my highest tally since I started trapping two years ago.

Highlights were at least two new site species, Tawny-barred Angle and True Lover's Knot. FFY were V-Pug, Lackey, Coronet (3) and Small Blood-vein. I'm still surprised by the numbers of some species - e.g. 17 Udea olivalis, 11 Buff and10 Dark Arches and 11 Flame. I also have lots of micros to sort out (hopefully)!

Sun 14th July 2013 15:50 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 19 degrees

On the warmest night of the year to date we had 79 species in the trap including FFY - Lilac Beauty, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Mullein and Small Dusty Wave, also the delightful Catriopa Pinella.

Sun 14th July 2013 15:47 by Paul Newman
East Lydford - First addendum to 13/7/13
UFOs mentioned this morning accepted by David Agassiz (to whom my thanks) - Scoparia pyralella and Mompha ochraceella, both new for this site.
Sun 14th July 2013 11:40 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 13/7/13
Having returned the traps to the back garden, things were much quieter than last Sunday's efforts (managed to start breakfast by 9.00 am. ) This time just over 100 moths, 41 species so far.  More to round up this evening, plus a couple of UFOs awaiting confirmation. 

Again several FFY, viz.- Water Veneer (Acentria ephemerella) (17), White Plume Moth, Clay, Cinnabar, Garden Tiger (lovely & fresh), Single-dotted Wave (2), Lilac Beauty, Swallow-tailed Moth, Muslin Footman (2), Spindle Ermine, Common Rustic agg., and Donacaula forficella (new for this site).

Sat 13th July 2013 17:19 by Kim Leaver
Ringdown STNC Reserve 12/07/13 - 13/07/13
Trapped at the Ringdown STNC Reserve on the Blackdown Hills last night from 21.45 to 04.00. nearly 200 moths of 77 species, most notable of which were Beautiful Snout, Rosy Footman and Northern Spinach.
Sat 13th July 2013 10:41 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 12/7/13
37 moths of 27 species with Dot Moth, Lackey, Dusky Brocade and Ringed China-mark FFY.
Fri 12th July 2013 19:22 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
102 moths of 43+ species last night, including FFY Single Dotted Wave, Clouded Border (2), Lilac Beauty and Peach Blossom. I'm recording some species in larger numbers than normal, e.g. 5 Buff Arches and 7 Buff Ermine. On the other hand, I'm only getting the odd Large Yellow Underwing!
Fri 12th July 2013 16:42 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 14 degrees

58 species including FFY - Barred Yellow, Single Dotted Wave and a Dwarf Cream Wave.

Fri 12th July 2013 14:44 by John Bebbington
Red-necked Footman
There have been a good few records pf this moth from Hants/IOW recently and four from Somerset. I've been away for a few days so I may have missed out! This is a specimen I photographed in Switzerland.
Red-necked Footman (Switzerland)
Red-necked Footman Atolmis rubricollis
Doug Miller has taken 3 in Westonzoyland and Paul Bowyer one at Sand Bay so far.
Thu 11th July 2013 15:58 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 15 degrees

Some 250 moths of 82 species including FFY - Beautiful Hook-tip, Barred Straw, Broken-barred Carpet, Green Arches, Gothic, Sycamore, Sandy Carpet, Green Silver-lines, Scorched-wing and Pale Mottled Willow.

Thu 11th July 2013 12:54 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 10/7/13
Last night was a bit quieter than two days ago but three more FFG's in the trap this morning: Dwarf Cream Wave, Barred Red and Dun-bar.
Thu 11th July 2013 11:17 by Paul Newman
East Lydford
3 Six-spot Burnets seen in our orchard today, plus lots of Meadow Browns. Hoping to see Ringlets, but none to date.
Wed 10th July 2013 20:42 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 16 degrees

70 species including FFY - Common Emerald (2), Phoenix, Dark Spectacle and Swallowtail Moth.

Wed 10th July 2013 16:30 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 7/7/13 final addendum
The two UFOs mentioned before turned out to be Sloe Pug (first for this site), and the (very) black form of Coronet (f.coronula) Thanks to Robin Clatworthy for the IDs.
Wed 10th July 2013 12:41 by Paul Bowyer
Sand Bay 9th July
I trapped for a couple of hours again last night in Sand Bay:
  • Red-necked Footman
  • Round-winged Muslin (2nd this week)
  • Schoenobius gigantella (very distinctive moth, forewing measured 23mm)
  • Dot Moth
  • Rosy Footman
  • Water Veneer (several)
  • Green Silver-lines
Also a Gen Det from the catch on 7th July turned out to be a Scrobipalpa nitentella and a moth netted by day on 7th that I had trouble identifying was revealed as Neosphaleroptera nubilana by Gen Det
Wed 10th July 2013 08:48 by Doug Miller
doug.miller westonzoyland 10th July
Numbers down from previous nights, Red-necked Footman again, this time two, possible immigrants?
Tue 9th July 2013 19:28 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull 8/7/13
114 moths of 46 species. The best garden haul since I moved here 22 months ago. No fewer than 12 FFG macros: Figure of Eighty, Common Lutestring, Leopard Moth, Fan-foot, Scarlet Tiger, Miller, Alder Moth, Lobster Moth, Scarce Silver-lines, Vapourer, Lilac Beauty and True Lover's Knot.
Tue 9th July 2013 19:07 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 15 degrees

Returning after a long week-end of family celebration we found a dramatic increase in both temperature and moth numbers with 250+ moths of 70 species.  A catch of 30 Buff Arches is our best ever. FFY - Scarce Footmen, Brussels Lace, Sharp-angled Carpet, and a first for our garden a Scarlet Tiger.

Tue 9th July 2013 17:00 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
First trap since Wednesday last night, using a greenlight.  152 moths of about 50 species, including FFY Swallow-tail, Buff Arches, Double Square-spot, Fan-foot, Burnished Brass, Common Emerald, Phoenix, Dot Moth and Plain Golden Y. Higher counts were of 5 Elephant Hawk-moths and a single Poplar H-M, 5 Buff-tips (my highest count), 20 Uncertain and 22 Heart and Darts. I also had the best micro catch of the year so far but need to sort out many of them.

I also had lots of tiny beetles and caddisflies!

Tue 9th July 2013 09:27 by Paul Newman
East Lydford - addendum to 7/7/13
Phew !! I rounded up the strays from the previous night's catch, and got another 80 trying to get out of the skylight of the "mothroom".  I was at it from 9.30 till 11.00 .  Additonal FFY were Lychnis, Mottled Rustic, Double Square-spot, Grey/Dark Dagger, Peach Blossom (very pretty), Dot Moth (first for 7 years), Small Fan-footed Wave, and Catoptria pinella.  I have a couple of UFOs to come as well. Total moths just over 200, species 64.  Well worth the effort.

Nice to know I'm not the only one inundated by little beetles, Kim.

Tue 9th July 2013 09:06 by Doug Miller
doug.miller westonzoyland 8th July
Up at 0600hrs still to late a lot o wings around the trap, however E.H.Moths 19 the rest in single numbers, two Cream Bordered Green Pea and possibly a first for my tetrad a Red-necked Footman.
Mon 8th July 2013 22:22 by Kim Leaver
East Devon 7/7/13
Just a quick note from outside of Somerset. After seeing Pauls note below thought I would say that I to trapped last night and although I'm probably 30-40 miles from Paul The trap was inundated with thousands of very small beetles as well. Moths were good as well managed 150+ of 76 species. On another note is the grou. Running any field meetings this year as it would be good to catch up with you all. Kim
Mon 8th July 2013 20:04 by Paul Bowyer
Sand Bay/Point
A good catch last night 7th July with personal highlights of:
  • Round-winged Muslin a lifer for me.
  • Archer's Dart
  • Barred Straw
  • Silky Wainscot
  • Clepsis spectrana caught last year in Sand Bay.
  • Spatalistis bifasciana last caught 28th June 2010.
  • Anarsia spartiella a lifer and perhaps one that has strayed from Middle Hope where there is plenty of Gorse.
  • 6th July:
  • Teleiodes sequax on Sand Point, for the second year running.
  • 5th July:
  • Stenoptilia pterodactyla again for the second year running.
  • 25th June:
  • Scythris picaepennis (caught on several dates but 25/6 the first)
  • 21st June:
  • Gillmeria pallidactyla
Mon 8th July 2013 12:22 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 7/7/13
We tried a little experiment last night, setting up the traps farther away from the house and nearer to the pond/orchard area.  Result?  Noticeably more moths than recently (129 of 43 species to date, with quite a few more to round up this evening), but THOUSANDS of very small beetles and other flying beasties everywhere (and I do NOT exaggerate !!). The bottoms of both traps were carpeted with them.  No wonder the bats are keeping busy !

However, amid all the beetle frenzy, there were nine FFY, viz.- Coronet (5), Plain Golden Y (5), Fan-foot, Light Arches (2), Lackey, Common Emerald (2), Short-cloaked Moth (2), Small Yellow Wave (2), and Common Plume (E.monodactyla). In addition, a First for this site, a Pretty Chalk Carpet.

The experiment may be repeated some time, but not for a few days - it's a bit hectic in the heat.

Mon 8th July 2013 11:18 by Doug Miller
doug.miller, Westonzoyland 7th July
My lamp is not run every night due to the large numbers of House Sparrows that roost overnight in my garden and i do not seem to be able to always wake up first thing to clear the moths from the wall. Last night Elephant Hawk Moths outnumbered Heart and Dart E.H.M 24 H&D 18 the first Swallow-tailed Moth and a very rare for me Green Silver-lines.
Sun 7th July 2013 21:07 by Nigel Cottle
Bishop's Hull
39 moths of 21 species in the garden trap this morning. Wormwood Pug & Wax Moth FFG and Large Yellow Underwing & Common Rustic agg. FFY.
Sun 7th July 2013 08:02 by Ian Mathieson
181 macros from 48 species with firsts for the year in Small Angle Shades and Scarce Footman. Slightly disappointing numbers especially when there were so many moths around the trap at 11pm but it fell to 10c here later in the night which probably dampened numbers. However I did record 12 Elephant Hawk Moths, the biggest herd here for a few years.
Sat 6th July 2013 17:06 by Nigel Cottle
Difficult Species Guide
For anyone who didn't already know, the Guide to Difficult Species is now available online at:
Thu 4th July 2013 20:16 by Nigel Cottle
Netherclay LNR 21:30-02:30h
260 moths of 59 species last night including Burnished Brass, Barred Yellow, Small Yellow Wave, Plain Golden Y, Peach Blossom, Sharp-angled Peacock, Dot Moth, Satin Beauty, Double Lobed, White Plume Moth, Large Fruit-tree & Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix and Marbled Orchard Tortrix.
Thu 4th July 2013 18:02 by Sue Davies
Butleigh Garden
Best night of the year, with over 100 moths of 53 species identified + a few escapee micros, FFY, Privet Hawk-moth, Barred Straw, Rustic, Com. Fan Foot, Light arches, Com. Footman, Scorched Carpet, Eudonia lacustrata, Eucosmia cana, Barred, Chequered and Large Fruit Tree Tortrix, Codling moth, Beautiful plume and FFG, Sharp-angled Peacock, Figure of 80.

1654 Figure of Eighty SD13 1890 Sharp-angled Peacock SD13

Thu 4th July 2013 11:30 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 3/7/13
Quite a productive night - so far 94 moths of 37 species, with a few more to be rounded up this evening.  I should pass the 100 mark, all being well. A goodly number of FFY again - Privet Hawk (handsome beast), Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana), Brown House-moth, Green Pug, Bramble-shoot Moth (Epiblema uddmanniana), Barred Yellow, and Thistle Ermine. Also 4 Elephant Hawks - the most I have ever had in one night. The "herd" is growing I think.
Wed 3rd July 2013 19:53 by Ian Mathieson
Norton Sub Hamdon
There have been some good nights recently but I still feel I'm only catching half of what I would have done in a normal year. Recent highlights have been my first Wood Carpet since 2005 and my first True Lovers Knot since 2006.  I know the latter species is common in the north of the county but it's unusual down here.
What has been encouraging in the last few days have been the strong emergence of new generation Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood. I have seen both in really good numbers and perhaps we will get some good totals of 2nd generation moths.
Tue 2nd July 2013 21:04 by John Bebbington
Langport (VC6) end of June 2013, East Lyng 30 June 2013
Unlike the reports below mine is a tale of continuing poor catches, which I'm sure are a result of the housing development just to the south-east of our garden as well as the weather. However I did take a female Small Elephant Hawk-moth which, provided with a flowerhead of Red Valerian and a bunch of Lady's Bedstraw, proceeded to lay a few eggs which hatched on Friday. The eggs are minute and the first instar larvae were around 5mm on Friday. They are eating voraciously and growing rapidly!
Egg of Small Elephant hawk-moth
Egg of Small Elephant hawk-moth on Lady's Bedstraw
First instar larva of Small  Elephant Hawk-moth
First instar larva of Small Elephant Hawk-moth on Lady's Bedstraw. Note the absence of a tail horn, present only as a tiny black wart.

On Saturday evening a Grey Dagger emerged - I collected the larva from the hedge next door in September so I know that it is actually a Grey Dagger and not a Grey/Dark agg..
Bred specimen of Grey Dagger
Bred specimen of Grey Dagger.

On Sunday we did a recce of East Lyng Drove in preparation for my wife's botany class and although we immediately saw a Hummingbird Hawk-moth nectaring in the village I only found two other moth species - a single Herald larva on Sallow and Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana which was abundant, flying among nettles ins hady hedgerows. On Sunday evening I found a very worn female Eyed Hawk-moth in the garden, which has since laid several eggs.
Tue 2nd July 2013 17:32 by Sue Davies
Butleigh Garden
A Good night 82 moths of 30 species, lots of FFY- Brussels Lace, Turnip, Uncertain, Large Yellow Under-wing, Dark Arches, Flame, and FFG, The Gothic and Four-dotted Footman.

2040 Four-dotted Footman SD13

Tue 2nd July 2013 12:58 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe -

Over the weekend we have had a great rush of FFY - Ingrailed Clay, Scorched Wing, Smoky Wainscot, Double Square Spot, Sandy Carpet, Green Pug, Light Emerald, Figure of Eighty, Scorched Carpet, True Lovers Knot, Common Wainscot, Small Clouded Brindle and two unusual species for us Dark Tussock and Marbled White-spot.

Tue 2nd July 2013 11:10 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton
GMS on Friday night produced the best catch of the year with 90 moths of 29 species. Flame and Peppered Moth were firsts for my garden and Small Magpie, Bee Moth, Riband Wave, Spruce Carpet, Snout and Uncertain firsts for the year.
Mon 1st July 2013 17:43 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
A decent trap last night, with 69 moths of some 30 species, including FFY Ghost Moth and Common White Wave and, a first for the site, Green Arches. Also of interest were four Elephant Hawk-moths.

Yesterday afternoon, my wife called me from the garden to point out three brightly coloured caterpillars munching our dwarf Buddleia leaves. They turned out to be caterpillars of the Mullein, adults of which I have yet to record in the garden. We relocated them to a large Buddleia on public ground some distance away!

Mon 1st July 2013 11:08 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 30/6/13
I blame the bats (Pipistrellus mothmuncherensis) for the lower numbers.  They were out in force last night, and I only had 62 moths of 34 species in spite of quite favourable conditions.  Happily a few FFY appeared - Dark Arches, and Crambus perlella (probably the first of many for both of these), Treble Lines, Iron Prominent, Peppered, and Agapeta hamana.

I just wish the bats would go and eat somebody else's moths, but then I suppose they've got to make a living like the rest of nature, haven't they ?


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