East Lydford 31/12/13
Two male Winter Moths on the window last night - probably the last moth sightings of the year here, as the forecast for tonight looks a bit yucky (to say the least), and if they've got any sense, all moths will stay at home with their feet up !!
Netherclay Wood, 29 Dec 2013
No moths to report, but while walking the dog yesterday we saw a Red Admiral basking by the track on the south side of Netherclay Wood.
Micro Help - Apple Leaf Skeletoniser
I am not a micro expert but I have been rearing quite a few micro's this year one of which was 389 Apple Leaf Skeletoniser so I can confirm that this is what your moth is. Having seen a few of these beautiful little moths this year I have also noted that they can be quite variable in colour. See the photograph of my specimen below for a comparison. Happy New Year!
389 Apple Leaf Skeletoniser (Choreutis pariana)
Thanks Paul. Very grateful to you - and glad you agree!
Happy New Year to all.
Liz -- I think, judging from the photos, you are correct in your identificatons, but if anyone else knows better, I wouldn't argue, as my knowledgle of micros has still got a long way to go to be classified as "expert" !!!
Happy New Year
Another one; A few of these in Sept. that initially I thought were pale, less fidgety Nettle-tap moths But now I think are Apple Leaf Skeletoniser;
Any help will be gratefully appreciated!
I'm hoping there is a micro expert out there who can help me with some confirmations of micro moths from this summer. I have (rather shamefully) left it a bit late and am hoping that photos of the more distinctive ones will be okay.
From 7th and 19th July ? Aethes beatricella -(plenty of Hemlck nearby)
From 7th July - ? Pammene aurana. After reading John B's post I hung around a clump of Hogweeds and saw tiny moth, extrmely fast and erratic, almost impossible to follow:
From 19th July - ? Calamotropha paludella (Lage moth w/span 30mm. A few large ponds within a mile of here)
From July 27th - ? Ypsolopha scabrella
From july 26th ? Hedya salicella
From 23rd August - ? Nephopterix augustella
East Lydford Xmas day
We saw three moths (? male Winter Moths ?) in very quick succession in the car headlights east of Somerton on our way back from visiting Devon early this evening, so there was a fleeting idea of putting out the traps tonight. However, seeing the forecast, I won't bother !!
In spite of the awful weather 2 winter moths came to the window for Christmas and an Agon. alstromeriana escaped the wood burner.
Norton Sub Hamdon Annual Review
Here in South Somerset the mothing year, like James' year in Taunton, appears to have been slightly disappointing. However it was a huge improvement on what was feared after a terrible 2012 followed by the slowest start to any previous year.
From my macro records I place 2013 as the 3rd worse year with only last year and 2007 behind it. The number of species at 263 was about average but the numbers of the more common moths were what let it down here. For example I only recorded 505 Heart and Darts against an annual average of over 1400 but the worst common moth performance came from Common Wainscot. I only recorded 84 of theses against an annual average of nearly 550.
Three new species took the garden total to 375. The new moths were Dingy Shears, Beautiful Snout and at last I was confident enough to identify Svenssons' Copper Underwing.
The only moth that I did not record this year that I have recorded in the previous 10 years was March Moth. Considering the weather in March, when I only recorded a total of 12 moths compared to over 750 in both of the last 2 years, this was not a surprise and I expect to record it again this Spring.
East Lydford 22/12/13
Weather forecast not quite as dire as recently, so I had a go at trapping. First up, the battery for the actinic trap was flat - not a good omen !! Anyway. I still put out the MV, with hope. Result ? A Nil Return, not even a December Moth on the wall . Never mind - as always, better luck next time, (whenever that may be - but given the forecasts, not soon I suspect).
Meanwhile, a Happy Christmas to all readers, and a good mothing New Year.
Winter Garden Moth scheme, week 7, Langport (VC6)
It's an ill wind!
Despite last night's foul weather I put the trap out, suitably tied down! T min 9˚C and only one moth - but it was a Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon
. I suspect that it was picked up in Europe and unceremoniously dumped in my garden!
Looking at 2746 records, this seems to be the latest date this moth has been recorded in Somerset - previous latests were 29/11/03 (James McGill) and 25/11/89 (Robin CLatworthy).
Bishop's Hull 12.12.13
T Min 11.4°C with periods of light rain. Like Paul I thought I'd put the trap out and see what the mild weather had to offer. As it turned out I only managed 2 December Moths on the patio and nothing at all in the trap.
East Lydford 12/12/13
It was very mild last night, so I was hopeful of a good number of moths. In the end I felt a bit let down, with only 6 Decembers & 1 Winter - all very seasonal, but not greatly interesting.
Trap withdrawal symps, so tried the MV last night - 14 December Moths and an Acleris Schalleriana in the trap and 1 Winter Moth at the window.
East Lydford 8/12/13
Another exciting night's trapping - thid time 9 moths altogether - 7 December Moths, and 1 each Red-line Quaker & Winter Moth. I feel Christmas has come early !!
Winter GMS week 5
Langport, VC6 - t min 6˚C, one Winter Moth.
East Lydford 6/12/13
In spite of having only one working eye (had operation early this week) I felt in the mood for a bit of trapping. (You can't keep a good moth-er down !!). End result - two moths - hooray. One December Moth, and one FFY Mottled Umber on the doorframe near the trap (nearly didn't see it unsurprisingly). I feel it was worth the effort.
Buttoned Snout sighting
I found this moth in my (heated) front room in Oldfield Park, Bath on 1st December - probably came in from the ivy flowers outside.
Unfortunately it lost a bit of its wing when being potted but the size and markings, particularly on the poor photo taken in situ (on wall behind the TV !), are distinctive.
As the year is winding down, a quick look back shows 2013 to be a mixed year in Taunton. Of the 13 years post-1996 with full data for macros, 2013 ranks 6/13 for species (250) but only 9/13 for moths counted (14,349). Nine species (of those with 10+ records in a year, plus an honorary mention for Antler) produced their highest totals.
Red Twin-spot Carpet 16
Common Marbled Carpet 348
Purple Thorn 13
Feathered Thorn 60
Rosy Footman 17
Dingy Footman 127
Ruby Tiger 45
Antler Moth 7
Large Ranunculus 12
Flounced Rustic 209
And four fared worse than in any previous year.
Oak Hook-tip 2
Bright-line Brown-eye 50
Eight species were recorded for the first time (the most since 9 in 2006). This seems linked to the very warm mid-summer.
Small Waved Umber
Brown-line Bright Eye
However three that appeared in every previous year were entirely missing. I suppose the colder spring did not encourage things to disperse.
Figure of Eighty