Sunday, 31 May 2015

Micro sweeping

Due to paucity of moths in the garden trap recently, I have taken to sweeping in the Wyre. On the last two occasions, both early evening, I targeted the Clay Roads between the car park and John's bridge. In the often damp cuttings awash with sedges and docks I was surprised to net over 20 species of micros. Elachistas were well represented with up to 5 gleichenella, 4 atricomella and 3 albifrontella. I netted a lovely aureatella, 4 praelatellas, obtusana and only my second forsterella. The latter was noticably larger than the Cocksfoot Moth and the white spot was very obvious under a lens! It might be prudent to organise a day out in the Wyre soon armed with nets for these often elusive micros.

Friday, 29 May 2015

I just wanted to post some better pictures of last Monday's Striped Hawkmoth at Bromyard. Having been very uptight in the morning, revving and flying at the slightest disturbance; by the evening it was very much calmer but eventually flew off like greased lightening. Robin Hemming

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Cauchas fibulella

Throck: Cauchas fibulella

Inspired by tales of this moth being seen in Dorset and Essex/Herts in recent days I went on a wild hunch to a mature calcareous cutting in SE Worcs which is home to a Grizzled Skipper colony and has a track record for some scarce grassland/scrub mosaic day-flying micros. I could not believe my luck when I had seen 4 moths in the first 30 minutes of looking. Also seen was a Nemophora degeerella, Endothenia marginana, Endothenia gentianaeana, Grapholita compositella, Grapholita jungiella, 2 Lathronympha strigana, 2 Cocksfoot Moths, a Nettle-tap and a Brimstone butterfly. Cauchas fibulella there is a new site for the county and plenty of Speedwell scattered about for it to thrive on. Steve Whitehouse

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Tiddesley Wood 23rd May

Joined Ann, Oliver and Tony for the now regular Tiddesley meet on Saturday. I saw at least 64 species across 7 traps. Lobster, 3  Mochas, 2 Silver Clouds, 2 Poplar Lutestrings, 3 Coronets, a Scorched Wing, Phyllonorycter nicellii, 2 Elachista maculicerusella, Caloptilia alchimiella, 2 Digitivalava pulcariae were amongst my highlights. Oliver's Micropterix tunbergella was new for the site as was my rather worn Pseudococcyx posticana which was a VC37 third record and the first since 1998 (the first record was also on May 23rd in Tony's Bransford garden!!!) Steve Whitehouse
Tiddesley: Lobster

Tiddesley: Mocha

Surprise moth at Bromyard

I ran a public moth event on Bromyard Downs for Hereford Wildlife Trust last night. Needless to say the sky cleared, the temperature dropped and the public had to be content mainly with the Poplar, Eyed and Lime Hawkmoths that I'd taken along, which obligingly sat on the sheet in the bulb light. They were joined by a few common moths. I went to sleep at about half past midnight with minimal moth activity. I rose before 4:00 am to very wet mist and poor visibility. I was surprised to add quite a few moths to the list including Orange Footman, Seraphim, Tawny Pinion, Clouded Brindle, Ancylis laetana, Elachista argentella but nothing really out of the ordinary.
    As I walked up to the final trap I did a double take and a loud expletive interrupted the dawn chorus as I saw a superb Striped Hawkmoth sat in the middle of the top egg box. So far it has not stopped revving once out of the fridge. Robin Hemming
Bromyard Downs: Striped Hawk-moth

Monday, 25 May 2015

Mansell Gamage 22nd May 2015

My best trapping here so far, despite temperature dropping to just 2.5C.
24 species including Chocolate Tip, Buff Tip and Puss Moth.

Puss Moth

I have three that I'm not sure about...can anyone help?

The first, is it Red Twin-spot or Dark-barred Twin-spot? (Or neither!)

Then two more I can't identify...

Thanks in advance for any help.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

B&B No Vacancies May 22nd

Bringsty Common: Ensuring Adequate Numbers for 2016
My friend Dr Marc Botham visited on Friday, so I organised permission for him to join me at Brockhampton Estate for the evening. We ran 5 traps - 4 mv and one actinic in both Holy and Hyde Dingles. Not a bad night I think, with 521 moths recorded of 64 species with about another 10 micros to id later on. Of special interest were the shear numbers of Orange Footman moths seen. 143 counted. One trap in particular had around 20 per egg box. Also nice to see were Blomer's Rivulet (11) just emerging along with Rivulet (8). We also trapped a single Barred Umber.

Brockhampton: Blomer's Rivulet
Brockhampton: Dingy Shell
Meanwhile back at the ranch, we ran two traps in my garden on Bringsty Common. I'm beginning to think I have moved to quite a hot spot for moths. 309 moths of 73 species with another dozen micros to id later. Chocolate-tip and Muslin continue to put in appearances. We had 3 Alder Kitten and 2 Silver Cloud. Lots of NFY's including Broom, Cream Wave, Ruby Tiger, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Miller and Dingy Shell. Last night I added another 7 species to that total, although micros were back in short supply.

Bringsty Common: Broom
Bringsty Common: Unusual Small Phoenix
Marc was moaning about the dearth of moths back home, he went away very happy. Peter Hall 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Looking around the ant hill orchard near John Robinson's house in the Wyre revealed at least 2 Dingy Skippers plus aruncella. In the garden trap last night a second record of Skin Moth (laviegella).

Friday, 22 May 2015

Hummingbird Hawk

My neighbour reported one today on her red valerian in the garden here in Bringsty. Peter Hall

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Caryocolum tricolorella success

The first of the 834’s (from 2 found by Tony and collected at Blackhouse Wood NR on the 20th March)  emerged o/n in pristine condition. Oliver kindly inspected the rather dried spinning’s about a month ago and confirmed larvae were still alive. I was worried they were taking too long to pupate but shows just how persistent some of these micro-beasts are.  Silver Y in garden trap last night made up for the desperate May showing so far. A Puss Moth actually came to a lit window last week.
Blackhouse Wood: Caryocolum tricolorella

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Elachista mines in Tufted Hair-grass

Elachsta adscitella, Uffmoor Wood.

     At the beginning of April I collected a few occupied mines in Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) from Uffmoor Wood, hoping for Elachista bisulcella, which I have not seen. Some mines had yellowish larvae which were Elachista humilis and some had darker, greenish grey larvae which only produced Elachista adscitella.

     Today I revisited the area where the food plant flourishes and found huge numbers of occupied mines, some E. humilis but mostly, what looks like E. adscitella again. I have collected several of these in the hope that there may also be E. bisulcella amongst them, only time will tell. I could easily have collected one hundred occupied mines, some single leaves having three larvae present.    Patrick Clement

Bird's-foot Trefoil, Halesowen.

Coleophora discordella (May 2011)
Six-spot Burnet (May 2015)

In between showers yesterday I checked my introduced Bird's-foot Trefoil for moth larvae and was pleased to find five Six-spot Burnet larvae and two of Coleophora discordella. The plants were introduced about 6 years ago from a brownfield site which was about to be developed and I have seen C. discordella larvae every year since, although in small numbers only. Six-spot Burnet and also Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet were both recorded in the garden for the first time in 2014 (I also have Red Clover and Meadow Vetchling for the latter).  Patrick Clement

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (Left)
Six-spot Burnet (Right) 2014

Monday, 18 May 2015

Tiddesley Wood - Sunday evening.

I paid a quick visit to Tiddesley Wood on Sunday evening to search for larvae on Apsen. While walking around the outside of the wood I thought I would knock a few Field Maple branches to see if anything fell out of the fading flowers. I got mostly flies and a few beetles and one moth which turns out out be a good one.

Pammene trauniana would not have been on my radar had it not been recorded recently by Mike Williams' son at his school in Stourport. These two records are the 5th and 6th for the county of this 'nationally scarce A' Tortrix.

Pammene trauniana
Oliver Wadsworth.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Blackhouse Wood 15/05/15

On Friday a small group visited Blackhouse Wood again with overcast skies and reasonable temperatures for a change. We did very well with a count of slightly over 50 species including some very nice moths.
Blomer's Rivulet was nice to see as was Pauper Pug, which was present in good numbers. Square spot is also plentiful at this site.
The big suprise was Little Thorn, which was not recorded in the county for over a century before two turned up in the Wyre in 2008. There was a gap of 5 years before the next sightings, again in the Wyre, in 2013 when it was found to be flying over Bilberry during the day. There is no Bilberry at Blackhouse on the limestone of the Suckley hills, but plenty of Bramble which is propposed as an alternative food plant.
Pauper Pug
Little Thorn
Oliver Wadsworth.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Hallow moths

Just a single Phyllonorycter muelleriella flying around oak trees at Hallow church yesterday afternoon - my first of the year. Also about in the meadows were abundant Micropterix calthella & aruncella, Glyphipterix fuscoviridella and Small Yellow Underwing...

Phyllonorycter muelleriella

Micropterix aruncella

Micropterix calthella

Glyphipterix fuscoviridella

Small Yellow Underwing

Friday, 15 May 2015

Colwall garden

At last something other than Hebrew Characters and Cockchafers in the garden trap - Poplar, Lime and Elephant Hawks, a couple of Scalloped Hazel and as everyone else, a Chocolate-tip.  No micros at all. Phyl King

Halesowen, Wed 13th.

It's lean pickings here at the moment, just six species in the trap on Wednesday night, including two Prays ruficeps.

Also netted my first Gracillaria syringella of the year in the afternoon sunshine. Patrick Clement

Prays ruficeps

Gracillaria syringella

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Haugh Wood

Haugh Wood: Barred Hook-tip
On Sunday Rob and myself ventured out to Haugh Wood. There was a stiff breeze and it was slightly chilly. We ran 4 traps, 2 well sheltered and 2 less so. It was "steady as she goes" all evening really until we packed up just after midnight. 46 species of macros and 5 micros and a smattering of Maybugs of course. Of interest were Great Prominent (10), Barred Umber (1), Mocha (1), Barred Hook-tip (2), Alder Kitten (2). Orange Footman made an appearance (2). Highest count was Nut-tree Tussock on 17 only (excluding Maybugs).
Haugh Wood: Alder Kitten
Haugh Wood: Scalloped Hazel

Haugh Wood: Pisaura mirabilis
We had this rather splendid Wolf Spider standing guard over one of Rob's traps most of the evening. Peter Hall & Robin Hemming

Bordered Straw

Bordered Straw here at Norchard this morning. Was in the Heath not the Robinson. First of many hopefully.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Metzneria lappella

I returned home from a few days in the New Forest to find some of the Metzneria lappella had emerged from larvae collected a few weeks ago at Hurcott.
Patrick Clement

No Chocolate-tip here

Puss Moths mating, Halesowen. Circa 1990

... and certainly no Puss Moth, Silver Cloud or Great Prominent.

The photograph of two "beautiful big moths mating on a washing-line prop" was taken by my next-door neighbour - the only trouble is he took the image about 25 years ago and I have never recorded the moth in ten years trapping here.  Patrick Clement

Dodford Garden - 10th & 11th May

The last two nights the temperature has stayed in double figures (just) and has been overcast. The only downside has been the wind but it has eased off some after dark.

The result being that some variety has been injected into the moth trap with 12 new for year including Small Phoenix, Peppered Moth, V-Pug, Heart and Dart. Rustic Shoulder Knot and Seraphim.

Like everyone else I have also been getting Chocolate tip.

It is May so the Cockchafer invasion has also begun, but 5 in one trap isn't too bad. Lets hope it stays at that sort of level.


But the undoubted star of the show was Puss Moth this morning. A first for me and a beautiful moth in pristine condition
Puss Moth

Pete Smith

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bringsty Common May 9th

As Pete in the previous post states, it was single digits last night - the weather station showed 8.3 at dusk going doing to 5.0 shortly before dawn. Tempted by the warm earlier part of the evening, I set up the trap in the garden again. Nearly didn't switch it on in the end, but a total of 51 moths of 23 species, wasn't so bad and included the dark form of Brindled Beauty and also the first Silver Cloud of the season. I've always only had singleton Spectacle moths in the past (almost without exception), so catching 3 last night was a surprise. Like others, yet more Chocolate-tip and Muslin too. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Brindled Beauty ab nigra

Bringsty Common: Powdered Quaker

Bringsty Common: Silver Cloud

Dodford 9th May - Little and Large

The wind has died down but overnight temperatures still in single figures so disappointingly low number of moths although a bit more variety amongst the worn Hebrew Characters and Clouded Drabs still holding on.

Last nights highlight was my first ever Great Prominent.

Great Prominent

But there was also this single micro which is also new to me but appears to be an Elachista,

My first thought was E.albifrontella but on closer inspection there appears to be another white spot before the apex which could indicate E.apicpunctella .Unfortunately only a couple of "pot shots" and it successfully managed to make a bid for freedom whilst I was taking the shots so I no longer have the moth but any ideas?

Pete Smith

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Warndon 7th May

First trap night for a while on Thursday and Powdered Quaker (NFY), Brindled Beauty, Chocolate-tip (perhaps having a good year?), Muslin Moth, Shuttle and Common Pug (NFY) were actually a surprise quality cast considering recent conditions - Steve Whitehouse
Warndon: Powdered Quaker

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Latest E-moth bulletion from BC

For those not on the mailing list, the April edition of E-moth has just emerged and can be accessed at

Peter Hall

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bank holiday mothing

I spent my bank holiday in the Grimley and Hallow area searching for all the day-flying micros that should be emerging. The general impression was that there wasn't much about despite the warm and calm conditions - things seem to be a lot later kicking off this year.

Still, there were a few nice things about. Tree tapping and bush bashing eventually got us Cauchas rufimitrella and Adela reaumurella, whilst Mompha epilobiella and Nempagon cloakella provided a mediocre supporting cast. There was a surprising lack of Phyllonorycters - this time last year oak trees were alive with P. muelleriella, but no sign yesterday despite a good search. 

Cauchas rufimitrella

Desperate times call for desperate measures - shaking every branch of an oak in the hope that Phyllonorycter muelleriella would flush. All we got was a Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner.