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current posts

Mon 30th September 2019 21:04 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock 29/09/2019
177 moths of 28 species.  Three FFY : Large Ranunculus (1) ; Delicate (2) and Turnip Moth (1).  82 Lunar Underwing made up a good chunk of the rest, but still no sign of Clifden Nonpareil !  A possible FFG was a micro that looks like Argyresthia semitestacella but it will need to go to Paul Wilkins for autopsy.
Mon 30th September 2019 12:45 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
Acleris sparsana, Acleris schalleriana, Black Rustic and Large Wainscot were new for the year from a total of 80 moths comprising of 19 species.
Mon 30th September 2019 09:49 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
29/9/19 - 94 moths last night, but again little variety, with just 14 species and no FFY.  Of interest, a late Shuttle-shaped Dart, a bit worn, and another worn female Broad-bordered YU.  A remarkable total of 32 Black Rustics is far and away the most I have ever had in one night, my last two catches (14 & 15) the previous best.  They are clearly having a good year !
Sat 28th September 2019 15:31 by Nigel Cottle
Netherclay LNR
Phyllocnistis saligna mines on Willow sp. at Netherclay today.

Phyllocnistis saligna 280919 2

Phyllocnistis saligna 280919

Fri 27th September 2019 23:27 by Chris Iles
Great Elm, 27 September 2019
34 moths with the surprise being a L-album Wainscot, far from its usual coastal haunts.  Also a couple of Barred Sallow, Light Emerald, Acleris rhombana and Agonopterix arenella.
Fri 27th September 2019 14:37 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
26/9/19 - 99 moths so far, but only 14 species, of which 4 accounted for 81 moths.  FFG was a Delicate, my first since 2013, and FFY was Brown-spot Pinion (2).

Nigel - re the Convolvulus HM - did you see my post of 19th.Sept?  You probably didn't keep the beast, but if you did it would be wanted for a TV appearance !!

Fri 27th September 2019 14:09 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock 26/09/2019
83 moths of 18 species on a windy night. Most unexpected prize goes to a fresh Silver-ground Carpet. Four FFY : Barred Sallow (1) ; Pink-barred Sallow (1) ; Sallow (1) and Beaded Chestnut (4). Also of note : Grey Pine Carpet (1) ; Black Rustic (1) and Lunar Underwing (54).
Fri 27th September 2019 12:24 by Nigel Cottle
Netherclay LNR - night of 26th Sept.
Ran one trap at Netherclay until midnight.

Highlights were a Convolvulus Hawkmoth and the first Tachystola acroxantha and Orange Sallow records for the site.

Fri 27th September 2019 10:42 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
At last, my first ever Clifden Nonpareil! 80 moths of 24 species with Barred Sallow (FFY) and a late, fresh Heart and Dart. Lunar Underwing made up for just over half the catch.
Wed 25th September 2019 09:34 by John Bebbington
Clifden Nonpareil
My second Clifden Nonpareil of the autumn - a worn specimen on the fence by the trap. Big numbers of Setaceous Hebrew Character and Lunar Underwing, also the first Mallow, Dusky Lemon Sallow and Large Ranunculus of the season, plus a Vestal.
Tue 24th September 2019 21:56 by Chris Iles
Dewick's Plusia
Hugo Brooke had a Dewick's Plusia to light at Witham Friary last week - only the second VC6 record.  He tells me there have been a few in Wiltshire as well, so another one to watch out for!

Witham Friary Dewicks Plusia

Mon 23rd September 2019 10:51 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
22/9/19 - nothing quite as exciting here, just 112 moths, and only 15 species, with one FFY, a Barred Sallow. The usual culprits made up the bulk of the catch, 31 Lunar UW, 29 Setaceous HC, 15 Black Rustics, 13 Large YU.  Another three tatty Broad-bordered YUW (all females, incidentally, as before) - I am wondering if they are the same three as last time? Also, I seem to be getting very few Micros recently, fewer than 10 individuals in the last month - very odd.
Mon 23rd September 2019 08:22 by Steve Pilkington
Sunday 22nd September Cocklake
Finally a cloudy night with only a little rain here. 344 moths in the MV trap of 33 species. 253 were accounted for by LYU,SHC and Lunar underwing.

Amongst the others were 4 FFGs - Brown spot pinion which has been long overdue, Delicate, Hypatima rhomboidella and Dusky lemon sallow.

The local abundance of L-album wainscot continues with 7 this morning. Others of note Oak hooktip, Pebble hooktip, Angle shades(3) Dusky thorn(8) Canary shouldered thorn(2) Rosy rustic.

Sun 22nd September 2019 21:21 by John Bebbington
Langport, 21 September
During the last week (Mon-Fri) I tried sugaring in our garden but drew a complete blank - perhaps because of the low night-time temperatures. Saturday night's forecast prompted me to put out the MV trap but the results were pretty average apart from a very fresh Orange Sallow and a very late but pristine Elephant Hawk-moth. Waring and Townsend state that in recent years late individuals have begiun to appear - perhaps a partial second brood.
Orange Sallow 21 Sep 2019
Orange Sallow
Elephant Hawk-moth 21 Sep 2019
Sun 22nd September 2019 15:48 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock.  21/09/2019 min temp 17.1c
148 moths of 33 species. Just the one FFY : Autumnal Rustic (1).  Others of interest : Teleiopsis diffinis (1) ; Euzophera pinguis (1) ; Pine Caret (1) ; Angle Shades (3) ; Rustic (1) ; Frosted Orange (2) ; Flounced Chestnut (2) ; Lunar Underwing (25) ; Brindled Green (2) ; LYU (26). With the BBC forecasting thundery showers while the Met office predicted dry, I hedged my bets and just put out the one trap. Met office won.
Sun 22nd September 2019 12:29 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
81 moths of 30 species last night with three FFY: Sallow (2), Oak Nycteoline and Canary-shouldered Thorn. 4 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing was a record count - they seem to have done well here too this year.
Sat 21st September 2019 10:21 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull - 20/9/19
A Box-tree Moth in the garden trap this morning. My second and, I think, the third VC5 record following Whiteleaze on 10/10/2017 and Bishops Hull on 10/10/2018.

Box-tree Moth 20.9.2019

Fri 20th September 2019 11:28 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
19/9/19 - Numbers up quite a lot last night, 106 moths, but only 23 species.  3 FFYs were Sallow (2), Large Ranunculus and Clifden Nonpareil, my second-ever record.  The bulk of the catch were Large YU (17), Setaceous HC (18), Common Wainscot (16), and Lunar UW (15).  Interestingly, there were 3 Broad-bordered YU, all very worn and quite tatty, having only had one (in July) this year to date. Where have they all been?

CONVOLVULUS HM on telly - in case you didn't see my note about these moths, please see 19th Sept. posting.

Thu 19th September 2019 21:18 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock 15/09/2019
Apologies for the delay in reporting..  130 moths of 38 species including 5 FFY : Depressaria daucella (1) ; Flounced Chestnut (1) ; Lunar Underwing (2) ; Black Rustic (1) and Oak Nycteoline (1). Others of note were : Olindia schumacherana (1) ; Eudonia angustea (11) ; Light Emerald (4) ; Snout (17) ; Burnished Brass (1) ; Rosy Rustic (2) and Brindled Green (1).
Thu 19th September 2019 14:36 by Paul Newman
Convolvulus Hawkmoths
I have just had a telephone call from a researcher for BBC Bristol's "The One Show" with a request for someone if possible to provide a Convolvulus HM to show on the programme.  If anyone traps one, she would be delighted to hear from you, with a view to the moth being shown on the programme.  She assures me that the BBC would be prepared to collect the moth, so it can be kept in a fridge pro tem.  There is no immediate pressure, but clearly the sooner this can be done the more time there is to sort it out and prepare the item for the show.

If anyone can help, she can be e-mailed on

Anyone with Facebook facility, please spread the word there too.

I did point out to Emily that these moths are quite scarce, and nothing may happen, and she was OK with that.

Good luck!!

Wed 18th September 2019 10:14 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
17/9/19 - much the same as last time, 52 moths, 16 species, nothing new. Common Wainscot (13) the most numerous.  An unusually late (? second generation) Uncertain was a surprise.

A neighbour just showed me a photo of a Knotgrass larva, which she was worried might be a Brown-tail, which was her conclusion having looked for it on Google.  Oh well, a little knowledge........

Mon 16th September 2019 20:11 by John Day
Clifden Nonpareil
A specimen (unfortunately squashed) was found at Yeovil Country Park today.
Mon 16th September 2019 16:26 by Steve Chapple
Pen Elm, Taunton
A welcome 116 moths of 36 species on a very mild night. Narrow-winged Pug, Lunar Underwing (3) and Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner were the only FFY. I had a record 11 Dusky Thorn - they have done well here this year but I have not yet seen any of my 'regular' Thorns (Canary-shouldered, September and August). Also of interest an attractive (if smelly) Burying beetle.
Mon 16th September 2019 16:03 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Sadly none of the Clifden Pareils and Convolvulus Hawk-moths that have been widely reported around the country! Last night I did have 116 moths of 24 species though. FFY were Scrobipalpa costella (only second record) and Lunar Underwing (9). Like Nigel, I also had a Heart and Dart, my first September record since 2014, and the second latest date. Top of the list was again Large Yellow Underwing, this time totalling 45. Six Pale Mottled Willows equalled my previous highest count (also in 2014).

In the daytime I had Hummingbird Hawk Moth again, this time nectaring on purple Salvia.

Mon 16th September 2019 14:29 by Nigel Cottle
bishops hull. night of 15th September
Delighted to find a Convolvulus Hawkmoth in my garden trap this morning along with the first Lunar Underwing of the year and a second brood Heart & Dart.

Convolvulus Hawkmoth 150919

Mon 16th September 2019 10:19 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
15/9/19 - A much better catch last night.  52 moths, 20 species, including FFY Black Rustic (4), Beaded Chestnut & Mouse Moth and FFG Straw U/wing.  Common Marbled Carpets (4) presumably having another brood.  7 each Large YU and Setaceous HC the most numerous.
Sat 14th September 2019 21:16 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock 13/09/19
58 moths of 23 species, with a couple of micros still to determine.  Epinotia ramella was a first for Garden. Top score went to Silver-Y (7). The rest were the usual suspects. The forecast for sunday night is more promising with full cloud cover to block the moon - milder too.
Sat 14th September 2019 19:41 by William Langdon
Coleophora virgaureae - new to VC5
Paul Wilkins has kindly confirmed the identity of a Coleophora caught on the undercliffs at Watchet on 03/08 as Coleophora virgaureae (by Gen Det). Several Coleophoras were caught there, and latterly seen by day that I hoped were this species, flying among abundant Goldenrod, and one specimen was sent to Paul for confirmation. This appears to be the first record for VC5 and the first Somerset record since the 1980s.
Sat 14th September 2019 18:08 by Nigel Cottle
Stigmella luteella
I found a vacated Stigmella luteella mine on Birch at Netherclay LNR today, the first site record and possibly first for ST22.

Thanks to Phil Edmunds (on Twitter) for confirming that I had keyed it out correctly!

Stigmella luteella 140919

Sat 14th September 2019 13:17 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
13/9/19 - well, the "new" MV did help, but still not large numbers last night.  27 moths, of 12 species, with FFYs Centre-barred Sallow, Dusky Thorn, and Lunar Underwing.  Slightly surprisingly, the "most numerous" award went to Common Wainscot (8) rather than Large YU (5).  I suspect the full moon was the major factor affecting numbers.
Fri 13th September 2019 18:54 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
12/9/19 - just 11 moths last night (still only using the Actinic), 8 species, including FFY Oak Hook-tip.  Tonight I start with my "new" (second-hand) MV trap, courtesy of Pam Campbell, to whom my grateful thanks.  Hopefully more moths will come calling,
Fri 13th September 2019 17:43 by Rob Grimmond
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Last night there were 77 moths of 19 species. FFY were Eudonia angustea (2), Spruce Carpet (not annual here), The Vapourer (male), Centre-barred Sallow (2), Frosted Orange and Burnished Brass. The Vapourer was the first for 10 years, and only my third record. Seven Common Wainscots were a record count for me.

In the garden in the day I had a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth and Silver Y, plus my third Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar in a few days, one of which was munching on a small Fuchsia and had to be relocated to a bigger one!

Thu 12th September 2019 16:45 by Nigel Cottle
Kingston St Mary garden. 11/9/19
I trapped at Kingston St. Mary until 01:00h this morning. 123 moths of 30 species (23 macro, seven micro) including Carcina quercana, Garden Rose Tortrix, Bee Moth, Oak Hook-tip, Small Dusty Wave, Yellow Shell, Cypress Pug, Lilac Beauty, Light Emerald, Straw Dot, Dingy Footman and Old Lady.
Thu 12th September 2019 16:04 by John Bebbington
Langport 11 Sep 2019
After a run of fairly dire nights this morning came as a pleasant surprise - first Lunar Underwing of the autumn, plus Lilac Beauty and two Cypress Pugs. Also a single Udea ferrugalis and a pristine Clifden Nonpareil - slight forewing deformity however.
Clifden Nonpareil QV 11 Sep 2019
Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini Langport 11 Sep 2019.

I'm getting out the witches' cauldron tomorrow to make up some sugaring mixture.
Mon 9th September 2019 09:45 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
8/9/19 - another cold night, another small catch, but at least this time a FFY, a very early Red-line Quaker.  This is my earliest record by two weeks, and only the third time I've recorded one in September.
Sun 8th September 2019 15:31 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock Min temp 4.9c
A fair bit colder than forecast but at least the wind had dropped. 139 moths of 33 species. FFG was a White-line Dart.  One FFY : Centre-barred Sallow (1).  Others of note :Rusty-dot Pearl (1) ; Dusky Thorn (2) ; September Thorn (3) ; Frosted Orange (1) ; Angle Shades (2) ; Rosy Rustic (1) ; Hedge Rustic (7) ; Feathered Gothic (1) ; Antler (1) and Neglected Rustic (1).
Thu 5th September 2019 22:03 by Paul Wilkins
'Early Stages' Field Trip - Farrington Gurney 17th September
If anyone is interested, a few members of the Bath Natural History Society Moth Group plan to search for the early stages of moths (leaf mines etc) at Hollow Marsh and Chewton Wood on the morning of Tuesday 17th September. Anyone would be very welcome to come along on what is usually a very enjoyable, casual and informative way of 'mothing' If you would like to join us then please drop me an email to and I will send you the details. Best wishes Paul
Thu 5th September 2019 09:29 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
4/9/19 a cold night, so an early breakfast this morning - just 11 moths, 4 species.  Oh well, try again another time.
Wed 4th September 2019 22:01 by William Langdon
Recent Sightings
A combination of home-made UV LED trap and a LepiLED ( has finally allowed me to do some trapping away from home in the last couple of nights. Firstly on the undercliffs at Watchet on 03/09 - highlights were Triangle Plume, Cochylis hybridella, and a couple of Coleophoras for Gen Det (flying among abundant Goldenrod...).

Last night at Willet Hill managed 111 moths of 33 species between the two traps with highlights of Satin Beauty, Spruce Carpet, Black Arches, Coxcomb Prominent, Epinotia ramella, Ypsolopha parenthesella, Dioryctria abietella and a lovely Autumnal Rustic (the highlight for me).

2117 - Autumnal Rustic

2117 - Autumnal Rustic

The LepiLED runs for about 8 hours off a 25mah mobile phone power pack, making it an extremely simple and portable bit of kit, that seems to attract good numbers of moths (my impression is that it's performance isn't all that far off my skinner MV, but I'm yet to run them side by side), but sadly comes at a price. The homemade LED is considerably cheaper (about a quarter of the cost), but seems to be performing solidly so far (37 moths of 22 species last night) - looking forward to trying to scale it up a bit and testing it further. I'm also running it off power packs - the basic design is here if anyone's interested:

Tue 3rd September 2019 20:13 by Tim Howard
Kestrels Rise , Little Quantock
Quite a breeze last night up here in the hills so just one trap put out. 158 moths of 45 species. FFY were Ypsolopha parenthesella (1) ; September Thorn (1) ; Brindled Green (1) and Feathered Gothic (3).
Tue 3rd September 2019 13:13 by Ian Mathieson
Norton sub Hamdon
Over 400 macros last night with Large Yellow Underwing, Setacious Hebrew Character, Vines Rustic, Common Wainscot and Square Spot Rustic making up most of the catch. Some of these I reckon have caught so many times in the last few weeks that they're starting to recognise me and even calling me by name!
However amongst the quality in quantity there was a Bulrush Wainscot and a Feathered Gothic but the undoubted highlight was my first and possibly Somerset's first Beautiful Marbled. My ID book doesn't have this species in and I initially identified it as a Purple Marbled but looking at the Atropos website I found no recent records for Purple Marbled but several illustrated records for Beautiful Marbled which looks much more like my specimen.
Beautiful Marbled
Tue 3rd September 2019 10:50 by Sue Davies
Tree House Butleigh
Nice surprise in the trap this morning amongst the common stuff. 28.008 0642a Metalampra italica and a Palpita vitrealis 28.008  0642a Metalampra italica SD19
Tue 3rd September 2019 09:50 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
2/9/19 - a few more last night, 54 moths , but only 12 species, with one FFY, Ypsolopha sequella, and there were second generation Burnished Brass and Snout.  Large YU (28) still the main contributors.  There were also a Crane Fly (first of many probably), an Earwig, a Shield Bug, and a Caddis Fly - a bit of variety!
Sun 1st September 2019 12:10 by Paul Newman
Pylle, Shepton Mallet
31/8/19 - quite chilly last night, so even fewer moths to the Actinic - 32 of just 6 species, nothing new. 16 Large YU & 9 Square-spot Rustic making up the bulk of the catch.

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