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current posts

 
Sat 13th June 2020 19:03 by William Langdon
Late news from May and June
Lots of late news as I've been trying to catch up on IDs and photos from the last couple of weeks!

On 28/05 I ran 3 LED traps at Hurlstone Point - a lepiLED standard in the Combe east of the point, a home-made trap between there and the coastguard station, and another homemade trap on the path just south of the coastpath station. It was a little breezy, and the LepiLED (normally by far the best performer) in the most exposed position fared poorly as a result. Nevertheless, 105 moths of 54 species between the three traps before I packed up at 1:30, and another 15 species netted as I wandered around with my torch. Highlights were a random micro potted off the side of the trap by the coastguard station, which turns out to be Denisia subaquilea - new for Somerset; and 2 Campanula Pugs in the same trap which look a good fit for the Sheep's Bit feeding 'jasioneata' form. According to Chris this is the second for VC5 - following an old record near Watchet! Both species are better known from Cornwall and Devon, favouring the 'atlantic' type of coastal grassland of which Hurlstone seems to be the most easterly outpost (in the south west). Big thanks to Paul Wilkins for confirming both IDs by gen det!

1836 - Campanula Pug f. jasioneata

1836 - 'Jasione' Pug

Other highlights were Thyme Pug (2), Netted Pug (2), Barrett's Marbled Coronet (10), Grass Emerald (2), Dolicharthria punctalis (3), Platytes cerussella (3), Galium Carpet (1), Narrow-Winged Pug (2), Horse Chestnut (2), Marbled Coronet (9).

1843 - Thyme Pug

1843 - Thyme Pug

On 04/06 I went for a walk at Willet Hill, hoping to beat some Streak larvae from Broom. Sadly no joy, just a couple of Hebrew Character larvae and a Satin Beauty that must have come from the spruce above. I also ended up with two micros on the tray that turned out to be Epinotia fraternana, seemingly the second for Somerset.

1143 - Epinotia fraternana

1143 - Epinotia fraternana

On 05/06 I went for a rather windy walk at Thurlbear. I was mainly looking for skipper larvae, but did spend a bit of time searching for micro larvae on Dyer's Greenweed - no sign and just Green Hairstreak larvae, but I did spot a few of the pretty little micro Elachista gleichenella buzzing around some of the plants along the drive, the second for VC5.

594 - Elachista gleichenella

594 - Elachista gleichenella

On 07/06 I decided to try pastures new and go for a walk on the Poldens, through Great Breach Wood to Worley Hill. I failed to find any Barred Tooth-Striped larvae on privet at the former (perhaps a little late, or just too much foodplant!), but there was plenty else of interest including Spotted-White Plume feeding damage on Burdock (no larvae), Digitivalva pulicaria mines on Fleabane, some spinnings on Aspen that were sadly unoccupied (but might have been Epinotia maculana?), and larvae of Acleris schalleriana. Highlight was a mine of Perritia obscurepunctella on Honeysuckle which looks to be the 4th Somerset record - one to look out for in woodland at this time of year as it's quite large and distinctive, though I only found the one (on a big shady honeysuckle).

590 - Perittia obscurepunctella mine

590 - Perittia obscurepunctella mine

At Worley Hill things were looking decidedly parched, but I spent a bit of time looking at the rock rose growing on the rocky slopes in the north of the site, and was pleased to find 5 cases of Coleophora ochrea. There was lots more feeding damage too as it's a little late now for them, all on the apparently preferred overhanging plants on bare ground. One was an absolute monster, around 2cm long! Also on rock rose were mines of Mompha miscella and spinnings of Teleoides sequax, as well as a single adult Scythris crassiuscula.

531 - Coleophora ochrea larva

531 - Coleophora ochrea larva

On 09/06 I returned to the cliffs at Watchet, again in rather windy and cloudy conditions that weren't great for moths. I did manage to find a few Goldenrod Plumes again on the wing as well as more Wood Sage Plume larvae and a number of more common day-flying micros. Highlight were several Scythris picaepennis flying around Bird's Foot Trefoil on some of the rockier areas, this looks to be the first record for VC5.

915 - Scythris picaepennis

915 - Scythris picaepennis

Catching up to the present day, I went for a walk at Wall Common this afternoon - plenty of White Horehound at the western end of the common with Horehound Plume larvae and pupae in residence on the upper leaves. The moth was recorded here by James McGill a few years ago, so nice to see it's still present.

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