Saturday, 28 February 2015

Warndon Orthosias

2 Common Quakers in garden trap on Wednesday night with 3 Beautiful Plumes and Ypsolopha ustella as back up. Hebrew Character last night - shame it looked like it had come through the hedge backwards.
Steve Whitehouse
Common Quaker

Hebrew Character 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Psychoides verhuella / filicivora larvae

A few days ago I was trying to identify (in the field) some Psychoides larvae feeding on Hart's-tongue Fern. Looking at the tiny larvae, with a 4X hand lens, I was struggling to see which of the two species I had, but, in a good light and with enough magnification they really are quite different.

Patrick Clement

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Acleris schalleriana, new moth.

Acleris schalleriana
In need of a moth fix, I left a 15 W actinic in Uffmoor Wood last night while running an MV at home.
10 species in total, mostly the usual suspects, but Acleris schalleriana was a new species for my Halesowen garden and for me.
Best runner-up was Small Brindled Beauty from Uffmoor.

Patrick Clement

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Trench Wood actinic

With solid cloud forecast and mild conditions, put a 15w actinic in a secluded (and muddy) part of the wood last night for 4 hours. Had to pack up early when it cleared at 22:30. 8 species included 5 March Moths, 2 Small Brindled Beauty, 3 Pale Brindled Beauty, 2 Dotted Border, Satellite, 5 Chestnuts, Spring Usher and an Agonopterix heracliana. Nice to see a few moths. Got home and another Spring Usher was on back garage doorframe! Steve Whitehouse

Pale Brindled Beauty

Spring Usher

Little Cowarne, Herefordshire 2014

I arrived in the rental house early February last year and stayed in the end for 9 months, leaving the end of November - so almost a full season. I missed the July really warm spell as I was away in Northern Scotland, so I was surprised with how many species I recorded for a first year. The total stands at 403 species. The garden sits in a very rural spot surrounded by sheep grazed fields, so I wasn't expecting too much activity. Some of these that I regard as nice records, you'll regards as common (I'm new to the area): Scarlet Tiger, Garden Tiger, Muslin Footman, Silver Cloud and Argyresthia trifasciata. The split was 150 micro species and 253 macros. Peter Hall

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

More Woodiana

Since I can't post photos in a 'comment'...


Weevil mine in Viscum
Tony and I spent some time last year surveying old orchards for this species and managed to put a few more dots on the map. There is one record from 'Worcester City' in 1980  and a vague old reference in Bradley to a record from Droitwich. These are isolated by some distance from the rest of the records which are to the south and east.

While looking for this species last year we did establish that a weevil, most likely Ixapion variegatum which normally feeds in the stems, can on occasion mine a leaf. The larvae are creamy white, c shaped and lethargic compared to woodiana larvae which are green. My photo shows such a mine. In this one the initial frass filled track has been absorbed into the developing blotch. Looking at your photos, I wonder if your mine might belong to one of these weevils although it is hard to tell from the photo and I am certainly not sure. If the larva tends to appear c shaped and pale I suspect that is what it is. If it is mobile and not permanently curled up then you probably have woodiana. I would not be surprised if early instars are not the bright green they end up being later on.

The moths we bred last year were from much more mature mines found in early May, at which time they are near full fed. I suspect keeping such an early one alive would be a challenge although you can keep mistletoe looking reasonably fresh for some time standing it in water.

One thing to do is revisit the trees a little later in the season, say from mid April, when woodiana mines will be much larger and the larvae easy to confirm. In the meantime you might give Tony a shout let him have a look at your mine.

Celypha woodiana

With a couple of minutes to spare before a statistics lecture yesterday I decided to check a small clump of Mistletoe - growing on a Hawthorn in one of the car parks at Worcester University - on the off chance that I might stumble across the mines of the enigmatic Celypha woodiana (I'm an exciting student).

Surprisingly, the first leaf I checked had the active early stage of a leaf-mine, with a couple of vacated mines nearby. Certainly not a species I expected to find on an isolated clump of Mistletoe in a busy car park on a university campus, but perhaps it isn't as restricted in its habitat needs as the literature would suggest?

Celypha woodiana

Celypha woodiana

If anyone has any tips for rearing C. woodiana, feel free to share them!  

Bee Moth, Aphomia sociella

Bee Moth cocoons
Another moth species I often encounter at this time of year in my wood store is the Bee Moth  with the larvae forming cocoons en masse in narrow spaces between the logs. The cocoons are incredibly tough, effectively binding logs together which are then very difficult to separate. (Obviously I don't burn the effected logs as the cocoons contain the overwintering larvae). 

Bee Moth larva
Inserting a pin through the wall of the cocoon, I 'encouraged' a larvae to show itself for a photograph.

Tree Bumblebees using a nest box
I have sometimes encountered the cocoons of Bee Moth in nest boxes.
In 2014 Tree Bumblebees used a nest box in the garden although they did not appear to be present for more than a few weeks. When I checked the box in autumn I struggled to open it due to Bee Moth cocoons in the top of the box. I can't say for certain that the Bee Moth larvae developed in the Tree Bumblebee's nest but it seems likely.
Patrick Clement

Monday, 16 February 2015

Warndon Wood Saturday

A very dark Small Brindled Beauty, 3 Dotted Borders and 19 Chestnuts was a reasonable response for 6 hours with the 15w actinic in fine drizzle and 7 degrees. Still no ushers tho, wondering if they may have been and gone? Steve Whitehouse
Small Brindled Beauty Warndon Wood

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Bringsty Common

Ran the trap for the second time this year last night in an effort to record Spring Usher. No luck, but I did get 4 species including Pale Brindled Beauty, Common Quaker and a March moth. Peter Hall
Common Quaker, Bringsty Common

March moth Bringsty Common

Friday, 13 February 2015

Borderland Mothing

My home site just outside of VC37.
Living where I do, near Broadway in the extreme south east of modern
Worcestershire but, by a quirk of the VC37 boundary, just in VC33 Gloucestershire, I am constantly having to remind myself that my garden records are outside what I still consider my 'home' county.
This can be frustrating when interesting species turn up which have not been recorded in VC37 for some years but are considered unremarkable in VC33.

I found two last year:

Barred Rivulet Perizoma bifaciata
Barred Rivulet Perizoma bifaciata was last recorded in the county in 2004. I doubt it was ever common but it seems to have disappeared from most of the county over the last decade. The most recent records are from the outskirts of Birmingham and the Defford area at the other end of the county. It was recorded from Monkwood in the past but I never saw it there in the 5 years I trapped the site regularly.

Large Ranunculus Polymixis flavicincta

Large Ranunculus Polymixis flavicincta would have to be considered extinct in VC37 since the last record was back in 1956, but I caught one on 30/09/14.
The old records are from the Malvern Hills area and Knightwick.
Given that my site here is almost completely surrounded by Worcestershire I figure it is likely to be still hanging on within the county down here somewhere.

One moth I was expecting down here did not turn up. Privet Hawk seems to be on the edge of its range here but with increasing sightings in south VC37 over recent years and a Pair in cop found on the Windmill Hill reserve in 2014, I was hoping to see one in the garden trap. Maybe this year!

One of the thing I definitely want to do this year is find a spot just into VC37 where I can trap regularly!
Oliver Wadsworth.

Recent moths in Worcester

Thanks to Peter for the invitation to contribute!

Like any self-respecting 2nd year student at University, I spend a large proportion of my free time outdoors looking for moths. So far this winter however, all my notable discoveries have been made from the comfort of our cold, slightly mouldy student house in St. Johns:

Dotted Border was a very welcome find, attracted to the light of the kitchen window on the early date of 12th January, whilst Mompha bradleyi, Mompha subbistrigellaPsychoides filicivora and Acleris schalleriana have all been recently extracted from various bedrooms by my housemates and taken straight to me.

I think I'm teaching them well!

Dotted Border

Mompha bradleyi

Psychoides filicivora

Acleris schalleriana

I've also managed to bug the University into buying their first moth trap, and got the Environmental and Conservation Society quite enthused on the idea of regular moth trapping on campus - if anyone is interested in coming along and helping out, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Happy mothing!


First trapping 2015

Ran the trap last night for the first time in 2015. A result with a Spring Usher and an Early Moth. Two species that are easy to miss if you don't make the effort in January and February.
Robin Hemming, Bodenham (VC36)

The Effects of Light pollution

I'm sure Martin Harvey (Berks CMR) won't mind me thieving his post on the UTB blog, but it's an interesting article:
A new research paper was published today on the effects of artificial light on Winter Moths. It struck me as a fascinating experiment, and inspired me to add to my own blog for the first time since 2012!

In brief, Koert van Geffen and colleagues have demonstrated that artificial lighting reduces the breeding success of Winter Moths. To find out more go to:
Lightness falls
Martin Harvey

Caryocolum tricolorella

Caryocolum tricolorella larva

Caryocolum tricolorella
As Tony mentioned this species in his earlier post I have uploaded a couple of images.
Last year (with help from my wife Sam) I located some larvae on Stitchwort, close to home at Halesowen, and reared a couple of adults. The larvae were found at the end of March, by which time they were almost fully fed.
Patrick Clement

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Last night Warndon 11/2/15

a 15w actinic Skinner placed in a secluded nearby wood between 18:30 and midnight produced a Satellite, 3 Chestnuts and 2 Tortricodes alternella.  It was only 4 degrees C so did not expect a lot.

Steve Whitehouse

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Eggs in the lounge

No trapping yet this year, and no moths indoors even. I was surprised to find Yellow-tail eggs indoors last year - a set on the lounge ceiling and those in the photo on a net curtain. Phyl King

Moths this year

Hi everyone!  Unaccustomed as I am to blogging here are just a few sightings so far this year.  I have not yet run a moth trap in 2015 but regular Early Moths and Agonopterix heracliana and 1 Dotted Border on lighted windows.  Also 2 small larvae of Caryocolum tricolorella in mine and spun shoot of Greater Stitchwort at entrance to Blackhouse Wood. Tony Simpson

Bagworm rearing

Male Psyche casta
Following Dave's bagworm post I have posted a couple of photographs of Psyche casta  I reared a couple of years ago.

Female Psyche casta ovipositing.

The flightless female will be mated as she emerges from the pupa within the case.
She then proceeds to lay her eggs on and in the case - this is what is happening in the photograph.

Patrick Clement

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Bagworm hunting in Wyre

I went searching for leaf-mines and bagworms in Wyre on Sunday 8th Feb (sorry half my sightings were over the border in Shropshire - as I was along the Dowles Brook).
I saw Taleporia tubulosa and Psyche casta cases plus an old case from a Land Caddis (sorry not a moth of course!). Also found feeding signs of Psychoides filicivora and Nemapogon clematella. Mines were the usual Coptotriche marginea and Stigmella aurella agg. on brambles plus Ectoedemia atrifrontella/longicaudella on young oak branches. Hardest though was sorting out the smaller bagworm cases. 2 were probably Narycia duplicella and one was possibly Dahlica lichenella plus some unidentified small bagworms. Dave Grundy
Narycia duplicella
Narycia duplicella 
possible Dahlica lichenella
Psyche casta
Taleporia tubulosa
Land Caddis case

Mothy Mutterings

Just received the latest utterings from the Moth Count team:

Peter Hall

Moths Of Winter In My Lounge.

Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla).
In mid-winter most moths I see are brought into the house on firewood and are generally of three species, Agonopterix heracliana, A. arenella and Twenty-plume Moths (Alucita hexadactyla). Large numbers of the latter breed on the Honeysuckle in our garden and many spend the winter, along with the two Agonopterix species, hidden amongst the logs in the wood store. This individual was lucky to escape death by taking flight just as I was placing a log on the fire!

Patrick Clement

Monday, 9 February 2015

My first breeding success of the year - Phyllonorycter roboris.

I made a special effort last October to try to find mines of this relatively scarce species. In Worcestershire it has been recorded fairly regularly as a leaf mine at the Wyre and Monkwood. There are also older records from the Knapp and the Old Hills.
I found the mines to be extremely difficult to find in Monkwood last year - I managed one intact mine in a two hour search. Things were slightly better in the Wyre at Lodge Hill where I found 4 mines in a similar time period. The mines are reasonably easy to differentiate from the other Oak feeding Phyllonorycters. They are large (15mm+ long) underside mines usually with a smooth surface.

I brought the mines indoors in late January and one from the Wyre produced the rather beautiful adult photographed here. Oliver Wadsworth

Garden Moth Scheme

The Garden Moth Scheme collects information from people around the UK who run a moth-trap on a regular weekly basis in their gardens. The scheme is organising a conference in 2015,  at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park near Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire on Sunday 1 March 2015. 

The programme looks excellent. If you'd like to attend you need to book a place by contacting Janet Cheney. For full details see:

For more about the Garden Moth Scheme see:

Peter Hall

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Blogger Test

Welcome to
Green Silver-lines Patrick Clement
the new blog site for local moths. Peter Hall