Bishop's Hull 29.9.15
T Min 8.1°C. 31 moths of 13 species including FFY Large Ranunculus; 1465 Nephopterix angustella
was the 100th micro species for the garden.
Saturday 26th 19 moths 8 species. Pearly underwing and Yellow line quaker new for me.
Sunday 27th -Red moon day. 21moths 11 species. 1 Pinion-streaked snout and 2 Feathered rustics in beautiful condition.
Tuesday 29th - 65 moths 21 species. Black rustic new for me and Dark sword grass and 2 Pale mottled rustics.
A Convolvulus Hawk was photographed in Stockland Bristol yesterday (28th).
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10.1 degrees
18 species including one FFY - a Barred Sallow.
Pen Elm, Min T 10.5
Well done Ian, thank goodness someone else has caught a Dewick's Plusia this year, I was fearing that I would be the only one! This month has been pretty dour here too but last night the temperature stayed above 10 degrees and I was rewarded with 38 moths of 15 species including only my third Frosted Orange (FFY).
Norton sub Hamdon
I don't know if such records are kept but this September must have had the coldest average night time temperature since at least 1996 when I first started moth trapping. I average about 2500 moths in a normal September but this year I have recorded less than 1000.
I decided to trap last night after seeing my first Clouded Yellow of the year earlier in the day on Ham Hill. I only had about 20 moths in the trap but it included a very fresh looking Dewick's Plusia. This is the second time I've recorded this species here, the first one came in August 2012. This is a much darker moth than the one I caught then and came as a very welcome surprise.
East Lydford 28/9/15
Full moon + cold night = low numbers (again). A bit better than 3 nights ago, however, with 26 moths (half of them Lunar U/Ws) of 11 species. FFY were Sallow and Small Wainscot, (only the second time I have recorded this species here, although it's possible/probable that I may have been mis-recording them as Common Ws having not looked too carefully. Maybe not - who knows ?)
Netherclay LNR 28.9.15
Came across this Apple Leaf Skeletoniser during one of my regular walks around Netherclay this afternoon. A first for the site.
Twitter report from Brian Hill of big numbers of Red Admirals at Brean Down this morning (50+) heading east. Some seen in off sea.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6.9 degrees
Another cold night with only 18 moths of 10 species including one FFY - a Red-green Carpet.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6.8 degrees
The colder night yielded 19 moths of 12 species including FFY a Large Ranunculus.
25th September Cocklake
You did well! 9 moths 7 species here but 3 FFGs Brindled green, Green brindled crescent and Large ranunculus.
East Lydford 25/9/15
Well, that didn't take long to sort out ! Very cold last night( ? frost), and only 14 moths - 12 Lunar U/Wings, and 1 each Black Rustic & Small Square-spot. I'm not sure it was worth it, but you never know what might turn up.
Kestrels Rise,Little Quantock
A chilly night with light rain before dawn.32 moths of 19 species,outnumbered by approx.40 wasps! FFY were Acleris sparsana(1) Sallow(1) Black rustic(1) and Turnip Moth(1) which is also FFG.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10.7 degrees
16 species including FFY - Beaded Chestnut and Brindled Green.
Langport, VC6, 23 September 2015
A much warmer night with 88 moths of 24 species, including 6 pristine Silver Y (probably from larvae in my garden as there were also several nectaring). Also Black Arches, Large Ranunculus and Beaded Chestnut all ffy and a Dusky-lemon Sallow, my first since 2009.
A warmer night with 178 moths of 26 app. 97 of which were Lunar UWs, FFG- Rhyacionia pinicolana, and FFY Small Wainscot and 2 Large Ranunculuses. Also Grey Pine Carpet and Eudonia angustea have reappeared.
29 moths of 15 species, Barred Sallow FFG.
East Lydford 22/9/15
Chilly night, low numbers. Just 33 moths of 11 species, including 19 Lunar Underwings, and one FFY, an early Beaded Chestnut.
Common but rarely seen larvae
Larvae of three species of moth which I get in my garden trap but had not seen until last week - thanks to Barry Henwood of the Devon Moth Group for the ID of the Peach Blossom.
Spectacle Moth (Abrostola triplasia
) on Common Nettle
Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli
) on Hazel
Two fourth instar larvae of Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis
) on Bramble.
Just 12 moths of 11 species. I put the trap out in the hope of a White-speck but no luck, best were Frosted Orange and Large Ranunculus. On 19th I found a presumed Momphia subbistrigella
in the house.
Nice to know I'm not alone in having some difficulty with this species, Steve - I thought at first that mine was a Clay, (but I did have my doubts, as it didn't look quite right). I checked the flight season for Clay(Jul/Aug) and had another look! Looking at the Group's search page, I see that there have been no records of White-specks since 2008, and now two have turned up in 2 days. Interesting.
19th September - Sidcot
This was a garden site half way up the Mendip scarp above Sidcot. 92 moths 18 species. Mostly Large YU (49) and Lunar underwings (10). Thanks to Paul Newman's post the night before I re-examined what I thought was a very tatty White point found drenched in the grass at the base of the trap. Confirmed as a White-speck by JB today, thanks Paul.
Sun 20th - Nr S Petherton
A good night with about 130 moths; 26 macro and 10 micro sp. LYU is still the most numerous here with 23 individuals, then Lunar Underwing at 15, Brimstone - 14, Square spot Rustic and Light Emerald - 11 each. New for year were Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and 462 Ypsolopha sequella. Catoptria falsella still going strong with 3, and an exciting (for me!) NFG was a Septmber Thorn.
Combe St Nicholas
Due to weather and holidays I haven't been able to trap since 3rd September. Last night I gave it a go and had 60 moths of 14 species. FFY were Rusty-dot Pearl (1) and Lunar Underwing (17)
East Lydford 20/9/15
A bit milder, so I tried a consecutive trapping session for a change, with mildly interesting results. 88 moths of 20 species. There were no FFY, but several second-brooders - Vine's Rustic, Small Dusty Wave, Light Emerald, Ruby Tiger, Pale Mottled Willow, Common Marbled Carpet(3), Straw Dot, and Snout(4).
Kestrels Rise Sat.19/09/2015
103 moths of 33 species. Highlight being a Dark Spectacle (FFG).Others of note include late singles of Rosy Footman,Dingy Footman and Mother of Pearl.
East Lydford 19/9/15
Another chilly night, so numbers still low - 49 moths of 13 species, dominated by 24 Lunar Underwings & 8 Setaceous Hebrew Characters. The only notable one was a migrant White-speck, which is a first record here, otherwise the usual run-of-the-mill stuff
Reasonable catch with increasing numbers of Lunar underwing, Canary and Dusky Thorn and a Copper Underwing which stayed still enough for me to photograph its palps.
Holcombe, 18 September 2015
A catch dominated by Large Yellow Underwing but with good numbers of Lunar Underwing, Dusky Thorn and Centre-barred Sallow, and the first time I have had the pretty little pyralid Hypsopygia costalis
in the garden.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe, min Temp 10.8 degrees
91 moths of 21 species including 3 Silver y of which one was the attractive dark f.nigricans.
Another quiet night, 47 moths of 19 species enlivened by Feathered Ranunculus (3) and Firethorn Leaf Miner.
East Lydford 17/9/15
Still nothing exciting happening here, but a somewhat better catch last night. 72 moths of 18 species, with only Black Rustic FFY. There was a marauding bat (or maybe several) around, so I presume it/they ate all the interesting ones. I keep finding large numbers of small roundy black beetles in and around the traps - anyone know what they might be ? My knowledge of Coleoptera is very limited - I can recognise about a dozen species - all the obvious ones !!
Following on from my first Convolvulus Hawkmoth, caught in my garden trap two weeks ago, I have just seen another, this time nectaring on tall white Nicotiana flowers in my garden. I wait to see if it will appear in the trap in the morning!
Several tenanted mines of 476 Acrolepia autumnitella
on Bittersweet along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal today.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10.1 degrees
85 moths of 22 species including FFY - Black Rustic and Pink-barred Sallow.
An unsurprisingly quiet night, 50 moths of 23 species - Turnip Moth, Cypress Pug, Spectacle and September Thorn the best of it.
Saturday 12th Sept.
Fairly quiet, but better than I thought it was going to be. L.Y.U. accounted for a third of the total with 35. NFY were Frosted Orange, Centre-barred Sallow, Lunar Underwing and my 2nd ever Scarce Bordered Straw (photo). There were 6 Light Emerald, which is I think more than I've trapped at once this year. Otherwise pleased to see Green Carpet(3), Copper Underwing(1), Blood Vein(1), Pale Mottled Willow(1), Dusky Thorn(2) and Angle Shades(3) among 27 macro species.
Micros sp. (7) included 1 Rusty-dot Pearl, a Large Fruit-tree Tortrix and a Catoptria falsella - of which I've been getting much more than usual with one or two each time I put the light out since early August.
For a while I've suspected I have Hemp Agrimony Plume in the garden - I caught a likely plume earlier in the year but before I could get a really good look at it, it escaped - straight into a spider's webb where it was instantly grabbed and dissapeared. I felt terribly guilty about its fate. A couple of weeks ago I cut off a stem of a Hemp Agrimony plant that had flopped across the path, after having, I thought, checked it for signs of the larva (a slight swelling on the stem below a leaf pair and nearby hole). However to my dismay, a closer examination of the wilted stem showed a clear 'lump' on the stem, (at that time I thought it to be the only one on the entire plant). I put the stem in water to try and revive it with a faint hope it may take root. I went to photo it and saw a small 'grub' coming out of a hole a bit higher up. Unable to find information about its life cycle I thought the best bet was to put the larva on a flowerhead of an unoccupied stem (I'd previously been looking too far down on the stems- many had swellings and holes). I put the stem back in the water just to see if it would root, and the next day I saw another identical but smaller larva on the stem - not sure where it was heading and so also put it out on a live stem. Not sure if they are Hemp Agromony Plumes or if they will survive, but if they are I feel a little better that I haven't destroyed the only ones!
Trapped in a neighbours garden for the last Moth night. Only 2 Silver Ys and 2 Rush Veneer migrants. Numbers and species similar to the previous night but FFY Pale Eggar and Garden Rose Tortrix, also a Copper Underwing and Lunar Underwings increasing to 9.
Very quiet night, just 46 moths of 15 species with first Black Rustic of year the only noteworthy.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9.8 degrees
23 species including FFY - Lunar Underwing (2) and a Frosted Orange.
East Lydford 12/9/15
Another quiet night, although marginally more active than Thursday. 62 moths of only 17 species, and nothing of real interest at all. One worn Heart & Dart, presumably a relic from the main generation, rather than a second brooder I think.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 13.8 degrees
The warmer night produced 35 species including FFY - a September Thorn.
The second moth night yielded a bumper crop of 258 moths of 36 spp. Small Sq.Spot at 67, the most numerous. Four FFYs - Garden Pebble, Small Dusty Wave, Black Rustic and Rosy Rustic, otherwise the expected species, Dusky and Canary-shouldered Thorn, Angle Shades, Gold Spot, Burnished Brass, Chinese Character, Lunar Underwing. Only one migrant - Rush Veneer.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 9.5 degrees
Only 19 species including FFY - Hedge Rustic and a second brood Common Wainscot (last seen on July 22)
Death's Head Hawk
Death's Head Hawk trapped at Steart last night per R. Musgrove.
Another clear night but worth leaving the trap out for Moth Night, 143 moths of 29spp, A FFG, Feathered Gothic and FFY Wax Moth, reappearance of Pale mottled Willow, Light Emerald, Willow Beauty and Twenty Plume Moth, and only second ever Brindled Plume.
East Lydford 10/9/15
Another quiet night on the Eastern Front - just 46 moths of 16 species, and the only FFY were two Lunar Underwings.
Not an auspicious start to Moth Night 2015, was it ? Still, maybe better luck later on, there's still two more nights to go, although the weather forecast doesn't look too good.
I have just concluded a Gen Det on a Caloptilia falconipennella 15.011 (BF289) that was disturbed from vegetation at Monkton Combe, Nr Bath close to the river. The larvae feed on Alder. The specimen is an autumn generation female.
There does not appear to be any other records of this moth on the SMG web site.
Pen Elm, Taunton. Min T 9.3 degrees
A bit more here (50 moths of 16 species) but nothing of note except singletons of Centre-barred Sallow and Maiden's Blush, both FFY's.
East Lydford 9/9/15
No rarities here I'm afraid - in fact, hardly anything at all ! A mere 27 moths of 16 species last night, due to various factors like low temperature, a fresh breeze, and the battery on my actinic going flat (there was ONE Small Square-spot still lurking in it).
Following on from the CN in Berrow earlier this week another was found in Combwich this morning.
A pupa found earlier in the month whilst harvesting seed from Small Scabious plants produced a moth today - a Light Brown Apple Moth.
Death's Head Hawk-moth at Edington
Gill Palmer, who is Churchwarden at Edington, found an adult Death's Head in the porch of the old school yesterday (8th). I have asked her permission to use one of her images.
Death's Head Hawk-moth Acherontia atropos
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 9 degrees
22 species. No FFY but second broods of Burnished Brass (last seen on the first of August) and Light Emerald (last seen on 8 August)
Netherclay LNR 8.9.15
I ran a 125w MV Skinner at Netherclay LNR for five hours last night. Despite the chill the final total was 211 moths of 40 species. Square-spot Rustic (51), Green Carpet (38) and Large Yellow Underwing (37) were the most numerous. Copper Underwing (5), Light Emerald, Centre-barred Sallow, Frosted Orange, Rosy Rustic etc. Three Silver Y were the only immigrants. The 14 micro species caught provided a lot of interest and I spent much of this morning sorting them out. LBAM, Garden Rose Tortrix, Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix, Spindle Ermine, Celypha lacunana, Acleris laterana, Agonopterix alstromeriana, Yponomeuta plumbella
and four less common species: Argyresthia semifusca, Swammerdamia pyrella, Nemapogon clematella
and Nut Bud Moth. Single Paronix
Nut Bud Moth
A better night here despite the chill, 26 Spp max. 32 Square-spot Rustic. FFYs Centre-barred Sallow, Lunar Underwing, Chinese Character, Magpie,Small Fan-footed Wave and Garden Carpets have reappeared. Also a lovely f Oak Eggar. A Silver Y and Jersey Tiger in the lane this morning.
Holcombe, 8 September 2014
Clearer and colder than I had anticipated, but a Centre-barred Sallow to actinic light this evening.
Langport, VC6, 8 September 2015
Nothing as exciting as James Packer's Clidfden Nonpareil in my trap - results have been abysmal over the last few days.
However there was a pristine Hummingbird Hawk nectaring in the garden this afternoon and later, while walking the dog on the old railway line below Langport I found this mature Peppered Moth larva. Brilliant camouflage - it had stripped a Dog Rose branch which gave it away.
Fifth Instar larva of Peppered Moth Biston betularia
on Dog Rose
Combe St Nicholas, South Somerset
I haven't been trapping in recent nights but have had Angle Shades, FFY Small Dusty Wave and Jersey Tiger on the walls. It's the first time I've recorded the latter in September. They've had a good year here.
News from elsewhere in the County - James Packer at Berrow had a Clifden Nonpareil on his wall last night. He's posted a photo on Twitter (@berrowbirder)
Bishop's Hull 7.9.15
51 moths of 23 species was a pretty good haul considering T Min was at 7.8°C. Lunar Underwing, Burnished Brass and Centre-barred Sallow were all FFY's.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 9.2 degrees
24 species including FFY - a Phoenix. We also had 10 Feathered Gothic which are having a good year here.
East Lydford 7/9/15
Quite cold last night, so not many moths, as you might expect. Only 41 moths of 19 species, including 2 FFY - Gold Spot and Pale Eggar (2). Also one late Chrysoteuchia culmella - I have only ever had a very few in September, the latest being on the 10th, in 2007.
64 moths of 22 species. Rush Veneer, Feathered Gothic (2) and Lime-speck Pug of note. Best of all appears to be Plutella porrectella
, a scarce species locally it seems.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 9.0 degrees
24 species including FFY - a Sallow and also a first second brood Purple Bar.
Metalampra italica found at High Bannerdown, Bath
Group members might be interested in the moth I was asked to identify by Gen Det over the weekend. It turned out to be a female Metalampra italic 28.008 (BF642a) which appears to be the first record of this species for Somerset (VC6).
It was caught by Elizabeth Allen a Bath Natural History Society Moth Group member in an MV trap at High Bannerdown, Bath which is just within the Somerset Vice County VC6 last Friday night.
Metalampra italica is described as a possible accidental introduction into Britain from Italy and was first discovered in Devon in 2003 and has since been found in other southern counties and is now known to be a breeding resident.
According to UK Moths and recent literature the larvae feed beneath the bark of dead and decaying wood but Lepiforum.de describes the larvae as feeding on various species of fungi including Trametes gibbosa, Trametes versicolor and Lenzites betulinus all of which also occur in Britain.
Asyou can see by the photographs below the specimen was rather worn and was not carrying any ova when I dissected it.
Combe St Nicholas, South Somerset
Belated report for Thursday night - 106 moths of 23 species (68 of which were LYU). FFY were Knot-grass and Angle Shades.
Nice to have late butterfly activity in the garden today, with Large & Small Whites, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood and, surprisingly, a tatty Silver-washed Fritillary.
Pen Elm, Taunton.
Another female Brown Hairstreak seen at Pen Elm, this time in my garden. Both away from their usual blackthorn habitat but very near cultivated plum trees. Coincidence?
Whitefield Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10.3 degrees
22 species including FFY - Oak Nycteoline and White-spotted Pug.
Pen Elm, Taunton. Min T 12.3 degrees
29 species last night but nothing worthy of note except this lovely Nephopterix angustella (NFG).
Better night but still not overly exciting, 108 moths of 32 species including four species of Thorn - Canary-shouldered, Dusky, September (2) and August. Also Garden Rose Tortrix (2), Tawny-speckled Pug and Small Fan-footed Wave (2).
Not a bad night, 160 moths of 29spp, Small Sq. Spot top of the chart with 45 followed by Sq. Spot Rustic at 35. Canary-Shouldered and August Thorns, Orange Swift, Gold Spot, Spectacle and Burnished Brass, 2 Angle Shades, 2 Silver Ys and Rush Veneer.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 9.5 degrees
Only 16 species with one FFY - a Lime speck Pug
And still they keep emerging...
Sallow moth, from catkins at Lower Woods near Frome.
James McGill has just emailed me with a picture of a Clifden Nonpareil that he caught in Staplegrove, Taunton, last night. Huh! I ran my trap, only a mile away, and had nothing of note.
Fairly lousy night with just 33 moths of 18 species, saved at the last when the tiniest of moths flew past me and landed on the windowsill, it proved to be a pristine Firethorn Leaf Miner.
Back in the spring, I collected quantities of fallen sallow catkins and since then have been rearing the caterpillars that I found feeding upon them - largely Brick Moth, Sallow and Pink-barred Sallow. Today I had my first emergence - a Brick Moth - it appears to be a first record for ST74 as well. Sallow is not usually listed as a primary foodplant for this species but its caterpillars were the most numerous I found on the catkins this spring.
A surprise and welcome guest in my garden trap last night was a Convolvulus Hawkmoth. This is the first recent record for the Clevedon / Portishead area. We have had Nicotiana plants in full flower in the garden for several weeks, but I have yet to see Convolvulus HM nectaring on them. Whether they contributed to attracting this individual to the garden is hard to say, but I will definitely be growing them again next year. What a stunning moth!
Norton sub Hamdon
A cold clear night was surprisingly productive with good numbers of the common moths. 3 Silver Y and a Dark Sword Grass made up the migrant numbers but easily the highlight was a Clouded Magpie. Apart from being out of season according to Waring the only Elm I know of near me finally succumbed to Dutch Elm this year. Not only was this a first ever for me I see it was also the first ST41 record for 20 years.
East Lydford 1/9/15
Quite cold last night, so much reduced in numbers and variety, not surprising really. 61 moths of 19 species, and nothing of great interest.
Combe St Nicholas, South Somerset
A much quieter night, with 102 moths of 24 species. 59 were Large Yellow Underwings. Otherwise a handful of Flounced Rustics and 2 more Jersey Tigers.
In the garden this afternoon a Jersey Tiger fed on a small buddleia in a pot, accompanied by 1 Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, Large and Small Whites (1 each) and 1 Meadow Brown! Add to that Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper elsewhere in the garden, I had a good butterfly day.
Steart Sat. 29th August
We (Robin and myself) finally managed to get to Steart on one of the few decent nights we've had in weeks; Despite it being fairly still and warm the moths were not very active, but 63 sp. (49 macro and 13 micro ). Highlights were Vestal(1), Garden Tiger(1), Six-striped Rustic(2), Southern Wainscot(35), Straw Underwing(1, photo), Crescent(3, photo), a late Silky Wainscot(1), Ear Moth agg.(9), 1290 Chilo phragmitella(10), 228 Monopsis weaverella(2, photo). 3 MV traps and 2 actinics.
Bishop's Hull 31.8.15
An example of 290 Caloptilia semifascia
in the trap this morning was my 99th garden micro, a total that's taken almost four years to achieve.
First trap for a while following birding trip to West Papua. 85 moths of 31 species with Purple Bar, Tawny-speckled Pug, Maiden's Blush, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and White-shouldered House Moth the most interesting.