Monday, 31 August 2015

Bringsty Common

I thought I'd post a brief update. On nights when the weather has been kinder for trapping, I've run the mv light in the garden. Recently it's been the 29th and last night - although it was a tad damp this morning. Not wet enough to deter Large Yellow Underwings though, which came in top at 138 individuals, followed by Setaceous Hebrew Character at 42. Species counts continue to decline with each outing and more early Autumnal species appear. The latest being Centre-barred Sallow. There was a nice Red Underwing in the trap on the 29th too. Yesterday I caught my first second brood Light Emerald - about a quarter of normal size and I attach an image with my index finger alongside to give a little scale. 26 macro species and 8 micro species last night. Migrants continue to boycott my garden for the most part, with just a Dark Sword Grass making a token appearance his week. I suspect the recent sightings of Convolvulus Hawk-moth in the country are going past right now on their way to Bodenham (!). Peter Hall
Bringsty Common August 30th: Centre-barred Sallow

Bringsty Common August 30th: Light Emerald

Bringsty Common August 29th: Red Underwing

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Pammene spiniana Dodford.....Update

I recently posted some photos of this moth caught in my garden trap seeking ID confirmation.

Oliver Wadsworth kindly collected the specimen and has carried out a gen det and it is confimed as a male Pammene spiniana.

This is only the 3rd Worcestershire record and the first since 1987 so I am very chuffed to have spotted it and my thanks go out to Oliver.

Needless to say I am being extra vigilant with my micros now!

Pammene spiniana
Pete Smith

Saturday, 29 August 2015

VC37 Worcestershire Moth Distribution maps on line

Just a quick post to say that the distribution maps for the VC37 moth list are now finally online on Butterfly Conservation's West Midlands branch website. The link is: 

I would be interested in any comments or suggestions and, of course, if you find any duff links or errors do let me know.

Oliver Wadsworth.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

More Migrants

Warndon: Vestal

Vestal, Silver Y and Rusty Dot Pearl to garden MV in Warndon Villages last night following a few showers; also Mouse Moth, Paraswammerdamia albicapitella and dark form Epinotia ramella. Steve Whitehouse

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Elephant Hawk-moth larva

We were just sat by the pond taking a well earned tea break when Sam (AKA Hawkeye) spots this Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar feeding on the Marsh Bedstraw. I had only seen a final instar larva previously so didn't immediately recognise it, though it has the 'eyes' and was obviously a hawk-moth. Neither did I know they fed on bedstraws (as well as willowherb and fuchsias), so I am just a little wiser now!    Patrick Clement

Elephant Hawk-moth larva.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Avon Meadows Pershore

As the usual fortnightly meet had been cancelled I thought I would go anyway on Friday 21st as the weather seemed promising.  It was quite busy but I only stayed 3.5 hours. Highlights were;  Orthotelia sparganella, Phalonidia manniana x2 and  Endothenia quadrimaculanaOthers were Dog’s Tooth, Old Lady, one Elachista maculicerusella, 2 Scrobipalpa costella,  Lobesia abscisana, 4 Bulrush Wainscot, 5 The Crescent, one Southern Wainscot, 2 Gold Spot, Limnaecia phragmitella (The Misteron Moth) and a Donacaula forficella. Plus the usual mid-August trap rattlers! A very young (tiny sized) Smooth Newt showed up by the bottom of trap was released in nearby damp rushes later. The next Meet is the 4th September.
Avon Meadows: Southern Wainscot

Avon Meadows: Dog's Tooth

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Grapholita funebrana comment

Having two plum trees I am all too familiar with the larvae of Grapholita funebrana. I have never tried to rear them ....... quite the reverse in fact!  Patrick Clement

Mmmmm .... Good enough to eat?

Bite with caution... (We always open our plums with a knife to check for larvae).

Saturday, 22 August 2015

A couple of larvae.

Breaking away from the contents of the garden trap for a moment the following may be of interest.
The Four Spotted Footman pictured in an earlier post produced eggs in the pot. Only two have hatched but I have these feeding on tree lichens and so far doing well. With only 2 larvae I guess my chances of getting them through to adulthood are pretty slim, but you have to try these things!

The other larva is Grapholita funebrana, the plum tortrix. Plums are everywhere in our area at the moment so larvae are easy to find. They have now burrowed into cork to overwinter.

Oliver Wadsworth

Garden mothing update

Since I returned from a holiday in Kent on the 16th, I have run the garden trap nightly and recorded (for August) an amazing 112 species. The nights of 20th and 21st were by far the busiest with 83 species combined.
Many NFY macros including the expected Flounced, Rosy and Six-Striped (good numbers this year) Rustics, Canary-shouldered Thorn, and Orange Swift, plus regular Currant Pug, Vapourer,  Red Underwing, Golden-rod Pug and Maiden's Blush, plus unexpected but very welcome Dotted Clay, Barred Chestnut, Mouse Moth, Small Dotted Buff (unusual markings without the dots-picture to follow when Dave B sends the photo), Gold Spot(2), Angle-striped Sallow, Lesser Treble Bar and two cracking Carpets-Cloaked and Dark Marbled.
Micros included smeathmanniana, many purpuralis and aurata and a garden first semicostella.
Reading the Garden Moth Scheme newsletter I see that Small Square Spot has had a bumper year in Wales-we have enjoyed a very good year for these also, and second generation individuals are now featuring in the trap lists.
Ian Machin

Brockhampton Estate August 21st

I think we are all catching similar moths at the moment. Patrick with 78 species, last night for me at a fairly quiet Brockhampton Estate, it was 72 species. Once I'd removed the influx of hornets, there were long periods between new species arriving, although the Large Yellows made it look busy enough. Long enough breaks to start snapping photos with the camera. I'll leave out the Canary Shouldered Thorns as Patrick has done that one, but below are a couple of snaps, including the usual view of a Black Arches. Of interest were Blomer's Rivulet - still arriving (3), Bulrush Wainscot - presumably flown from the Typha about half a mile away at Lawn Pool - Brown-tail and Bordered Beauty. I'll check with Phyl on the status of Brown-tail, the NBN Gateway maps show a blob free zone around here.

On another issue, has anyone with Mapmate braved installing Windows 10? I've been trying to install 10 on Claire's PC without success so far (where my second Mapmate cuk is housed). Peter Hall
Brockhampton: Bordered Beauty

Brockhampton: Ypsolopha parenthesella

Brockhampton: Brown-tail

Brockhampton: Black Arches

Friday, 21 August 2015

Halesowen 20th August

Not a bad night for my garden here in Halesowen last night with a tally of 78 species although the majority of moths were made up of the ‘August browns’ of Large Yellow Underwings, Common Rustic aggs., Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Square-spot Rustics etc. etc. Even 5 Old Ladies, while nice to see, were still brown!

Shining through the sea of brown were a couple of golden nuggets in the form of a Gold Spot, which I may see here once a year if I am lucky, and a couple of nice fresh Canary-shouldered Thorns, which I record more frequently.

On the grey egg cartons in the moth trap Canary-shouldered Thorns stand out like a sore thumb but hanging from some Birch leaves on-the-turn, and finding such leaves with ease was a reminder that autumn is knocking on the door, they are extremely well camouflaged. Patrick Clement

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Gold Spot

Bringsty Common August 20th

I thought I'd give a brief update on last nights garden catch. It's the first outing for the trap for a week due to cold nights. For me the most amazing result is a lack of a species. Last night I caught my first Square-spot Rustics of the year and in a trap full of moths, there were only 2. Is this normal for the area? In total 43 macro species, with Large Yellow Underwing topping the numbers at 93 individuals. Flame Shoulder next on 38, Small Square-spot (34) followed by Six-striped Rustic on 23. When I checked the trap around midnight, I was delighted to spot an Angle-striped Sallow in the grass. Micros totalled 23 species with Eudonia mercurella most frequent with 36 followed by Pleuroptya ruralis 22. Not too bad for late August. I note on the Ceredigion blog, the arrival of a Sallow already. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Angle-striped Sallow (in a tube)

Monday, 17 August 2015

Recent Noctuids

A dagger species taken at MV light at Upton Warren NR on the 21st July, very close to a mature Blackthorn bush, looked a bit smaller and somewhat different to another Grey Dagger here at Warndon (has bred in my Birch tree) the next day. Patrick Clement kindly dissected the moth and found it to be a female Dark Dagger and matching almost perfectly plates on a dissection website. Amongst the throngs of Common Rustics here every summer I get one or two each year which are much smaller than the majority and closely resemble one posted from Suffolk on UK Moths. I am happy these are Lesser Common Rustic and will one day get one determined properly. A cool, clear night at Chaddesley Wood last night resulted in a catch of 44 species (100 less than that of 2nd August!) but an Angle-striped Sallow made it worthwhile.
Chaddesley Wood: Angle-striped Sallow

Warndon: presumed Lesser Common Rustic

Upton Warren: Dark Dagger

Pammene spiniana? Dodford

Caught this micro last night at 15w actinic trap in wooded area of my garden.

Forewing length is approx 5mm

It was a bit of a lively specimen hence the photos in the tubes but they do seem to confirm the ID features mentioned in Sterling & Parsons notably the small triangular dorsal blotch with the apex pointing to the costa at about one half as opposed to the similar P.populana with a larger triangular blotch containing blackish brown line and pointing  towards the outer part of the costa.

However I am aware that spiniana is rare in VC37 and I am relatively inexperienced with micros so other views would be welcome.

Pete Smith, Dodford

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Ni Moth

Ni Moth here at Norchard this morning, amongst a much reduced catch. First garden record and in good nick.
Two Rush Veneers the only other migrants. Mike Southall

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Lesser Treble-bar

Pleased to see this Lesser Treble-bar on the outside of the Robinson this morning. First record for the garden here at Norchard. Mike Southall

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Haugh Wood August 12th

I decided to go and trap at Haugh Wood as it was due to be a mild one. Only 1 hornet and Large Yellow Underwings in low numbers...what more could I wish for? It was quite slow despite the warm conditions - starting off at 19 and only falling to 16 at pack up time (after 3 hours). Very few late summer species, but quite a few second broods appearing and absolutely no migrants. Of interest were: Cloaked Carpet, Devon Carpet, Pine Carpet, Barred Rivulet, Tissue, Rosy Footman and White-line Snout. In total 58 macros and 42 micro species recorded with the usual pots of micros to id later. That was running 2 white Robinsons. Meanwhile the single home-made Robinson type running in the garden at Bringsty had 2 hornets, a flotilla of carrion beetles (what is the collective noun?) more macros (59 species) but fewer micros (17 species). And unlike Haugh, there were 53 Large Yellow Underwings - a drop from last weeks tallies. Of interest was a Gold Spot, a Magpie moth, yet another Waved Black and migrants in the form of 4 Nomophila noctuella. Peter Hall
Haugh Wood: Argyresthia goedartella.
This one was completely gold,
just shows what the flash shows up

Haugh Wood: Pine Carpet

Haugh Wood: Tissue

Bringsty Common: Magpie

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Possible Tissue? Dodford

Struggling to ID this one but think it might be Tissue? Caught last night 11/8/15 at Dodford.
Managed to get this record shot before it flew off. It was ball park Mottled beauty size

Pete Smith

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Blackhouse Wood 06/08/15

A visit to Blackhouse Wood on the 6th was very successful. Good numbers of the usual moths for the time of year. Buff footman was the most common moth of the night. One trap had over 80 and there were many more basking in the grass nearby.
The big surprise was a female Four Spotted Footman.
Something else I have never seen before was a mouse doing its best to catch Yellow Underwings that were settled in the undergrowth by one trap. It was completely oblivious to me as I sat there counting!

The final lists are not prepared yet, but I expect we will just break 100 species between 5 traps.

Four Spotted Footwoman
Oliver Wadsworth.

Dodford Garden 8th August 2015

Whilst I have been getting 50-80 species most nights in July it has become a bit of "The Usual Suspects" with not a lot of different moths of late.

However August has started bringing a bit of variety and some nice Moths, new to me.

Female Oak Eggar

Sallow Kitten

Small Mottled Willow ?

Lunar-spotted Pinion

Pete Smith, Dodford

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Bordered Straw - dark form

This Bordered Straw trapped in the Heath actinic at Norchard, Worcs on Tuesday night the 4th of August, seems to be rather dark, indicating that it has probably been bred in this country. The last one trapped here was on the 11th of July.
Had another Small Mottled Willow, a Rush Veneer and the first Silver
Y for some time last night. Mike Southall

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Ypsolopha sylvella

Having only limited time on 4th August for a nature fix , I headed over to my local patch, where there was light rain and moderate wind. Beating a few Oak branches near Ladies Pool I netted this Micro. Thanks to Tony Simpson for confirming the ID I suspected as Ypsolopha sylvella.

Hartlebury Common

The Hartlebury Common Moth night has been moved to Thursday 6th August. There will be half a dozen traps to look at and anybody interested should arrive at The Bog Car Park on the A4025 (opposite the garden centre) no later than 21:00. You may be asked to sign the HCLG attendance sheet. Please let me know if you wish to come. It is free and you can stay as late as you wish.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Moth catches in my garden seem to be declining now, which to my mind is a little early as the late Summer stalwarts start to appear in numbers. Like Ian, the traps are dominated by Common Rustic aggs (with very few contenders for Lesser Common Rustic) and Large Yellow Blunderwings. On the 2nd I recorded 55 of the former and 36 of the latter. I've been making a record of Peppered moth forms in the garden and last night I caught my first carbonaria of the year. So the tally now stands at 220 normal form, 6 insularia and 1 carbonaria. Peter Hall
Peppered f. carbonaria: Bringsty Common

Monday, 3 August 2015

Garden mothing-Yellow Underwing invasion!

Last night in garden in Bewdley I couldn't move for Large Yellow Underwings bombing about, disturbing all the other moths in the trap. At least 60 of these, plus 6 Broad-bordered which were new for the year. Over 100 species so far with NFY White Satin, Magpie, Straw Underwings, Dusky Sallow, Copper Underwing, Large Twin-spot Carpet and a wonderful Bordered Pug. Over 50 species of micros including terebrella (rare in Worcs), formosa, pinguis, pallidata, trifolli, Rush Veneer, leucatella, scabrella, splendana and binaevella. August has started pretty well. 418 species in the garden so far this year of which 251 macros and 167 micros.
Ian Machin

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Black Arches aberration

I thought this Black Arches aberration was interesting as I don't recall seeing one here before.I don't know if anyone else sees them? Both trapped in the garden at Norchard last night. Also a  Svensson's Copper Underwing was new for the year- if the palps diagnostics are still reliable?
Dark with  pale tips in Svensson's. Mike Southall