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current posts

 
Sun 31st May 2020 14:18 by William Langdon
Recent Sightings
Been a busy week of mothing, trying to visit some areas of VC5 that I'm unfamiliar with in between work. On the 23rd I went for a walk in the woods near Culbone, hoping (perhaps optimistically) to find Coleophora sylvaticella feeding on Greater Wood-Rush. Sadly no luck, despite a couple of hours checking several hundred panicles, perhaps a search later in the year would be more rewarding. I did however find lots of mines of Elachista regificella, which has been recorded in the area before.

593 - Elachista regificella mine

593 - Elachista regificella mine

On Friday I visited Cannington Camp, one of four areas in Somerset where White Horehound has been recorded. Horehound Plume has been recorded from all the others, and turned out to be present here too, with very high densities of adults in the patch of Horehound below the shooting tower - many small plants 15 x 40cm had 5 or 6 adults sat openly on them, and similar numbers of superbly camouflaged larvae, with larger numbers on the many larger plants. This seems to be the second record for VC5, of this lovely and pRDB moth.

1515 - Horehound Plume - Wheeleria spilodactylus

1515 - Horehound Plume - Wheeleria spilodactylus

1515 - Horehound Plumes - Wheeleria spilodactylus

1515 - Horehound Plumes - Wheeleria spilodactylus

In the evening, I decided to ride my luck and head to Greenaleigh Point to look for larvae of the Scarce Blackneck. The moth is a bit of a SW speciality and seems to have last been recorded in the area by James McGill in 2003. The larvae feed at night on Wood Vetch growing over cliffs (and have recently been found on Tufted Vetch as well in Devon), and after much stumbling about on the shingle (and failing to find any Wood Vetch!) I eventually found 6 feeding on a small patch of Wood Vetch at the western end of the beach (Phil Sterling and Barry Henwood kindly confirmed the ID). This was the only patch of Wood Vetch I actually found (should have checked out the site in the day first!), about 15 plants, so quite a high density of larvae.

2467 - Scarce Blackneck larva

2467 - Scarce Blackneck larva

2467 - Scarce Blackneck larva 2

2467 - Scarce Blackneck larva

Back home, garden trapping has been pretty steady, highlights have been Grey Pug and Fox Moth (both new for the garden), as well as Lunar Thorn and 3 Privet Hawks (having only had 2 in all previous years).

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