Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Dotted Borders

following the short cold snap, I thought a visit to Warndon Wood may be worthwhile but rain forecast at 20:00 meant I went with just the headtorch not the usual actinic. 30 minutes along the western perimeter paths produced 9 male Dotted Borders all clinging to outermost branches but none attached to any females so
Dotted Border
 maybe they had just emerged. The best patterned one is seen here. A smaller geo scuttled off as I tried to home in and may have been a Early Moth. A presumed Tortricodes alternella flew past. A quick check of the outside cafĂ© lights at the Nunnary Wood Visitor Centre was fruitless apart from two long-dead Winter Moths in the old cobwebs. The rain arrived bang on cue.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Herefordshire Moth Recorders Gathering

Don't forget the meeting being held on Tuesday evening from around 8pm in the Swan on Aylestone Hill, Hereford.  There will be updates on what is going on and a chance to chat. Peter Hall

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Oak Beauty

The relatively mild night of Tuesday the 15th saw an early Oak Beauty, Small Quaker and a Dotted Border to my Worcs garden Robinson, all new for the year here.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Warndon Wood Actinic

Here we go again! Despite a stiff breeze on the outside,  the central diagonal path through the wood seemed quite sheltered at 17:30 on a cloudy but mild Saturday night the 12th January at 9 degrees C. Immediately after setting the trap, a male Winter Moth fluttered straight onto the perpex. A torchlit search of the once again heavily flailed perimeter hedge, did produce 3 Early Moths clinging onto outer twigs at head height. The return at 23:15 in much windier conditions for the trap inspection. 2 Pale Brindled Beauty, 2 Chestnuts, 17 Spring Usher, 7 Winter Moth, 7 Mottled Umber and the only micro - a fresh Tortricodes alternella. A predictable score but nice variety for the second week of the year. 
Early Moth
Spring Usher
Tortricodes alternella

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Micro identification.

This micro came to my garden Robinson at Norchard, Worcs last night. It is about 7mm long. I am looking for an identification if possible. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Bucculatrix thoracella, Luffia ferchaultella and Pammene regiana

In the last week or so I have been looking for overwintering larval cocoons of Bucculatrix thoracella on the trunks of lime trees, intending to rear some adults to photograph.

Vacated or predated cocoon of Bucculatrix thoracella.

So far the couple of dozen cocoons that I have found have all been vacated or predated, but as is often the case, while looking for one species another will be found.

Luffia ferchaultella larval case.

While checking some roadside Limes in Hagley I quickly found 3 small larval cases of Luffia ferchaultella, actively feeding on the lichen. This appears to be the earliest larval record for VC37 and a dot in an otherwise blank square.

A group of Limes in a Halesowen park drew a blank for B. thoracella but while there I noticed an avenue of mature Sycamore trees with lots of loose, flaky bark at their base, the perfect habitat for overwintering larvae of Pammene regiana. The fully fed larvae of this species descend from the canopy in early autumn and overwinter in cocoons behind loose bark, before pupating in the spring.

Loose, flaky bark at base of Sycamore.

Lifting off a few pieces of bark I soon found several cocoons, both vacated, and occupied.

Vacated cocoons of Pammene regiana with exuviae.

Pammene regiana cocoon with larva revealed.

Pammene regiana larva.
Patrick Clement

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The West Midlands On-line moth Atlas

Hello again,
I spoke about this under my General Information blog the other day, but I thought I'd give you a sample of what is in the pipeline so you can see what is what. Still a few tweaks to do. Hope it meets with approval. These are "screenshots" and in reality both images fit on the same computer screen. Don't worry if your record is missing, these are not complete datasets, just to show you what it will look like. Peter Hall