Sunday, 24 April 2016

First larval find of the year.

I made a visit to Broadway Wood this morning to have a look at a patch of Wild Raspberry that I had noticed two years ago. I had always intended to have a look at this site for the larvae of Lampronia corticella, but last year I missed the rather short window in the spring when they are feeding in the shoots.
This morning I found a good quantity of the foodplant - more than I remembered. I only found two larvae which makes me think that most have already pupated. They were feeding at the base of shoots which were noticeably stunted or chewed off entirely, leaving a frass filled cavity into the pith.
Hopefully these will produce adults in a few weeks.

In Worcestershire we have one 'recent' record from Moseley in Birmingham in 1987 and a couple of old specimens in the Worcester Museum dated to the 1870's.

I would not be surprised if this moth is under-recorded and any patches of wild growing Raspberry in woodland would be worth searching.
Oliver Wadsworth

Trench Wood 21st April

It was slow going into 2 MV's on Thursday evening. Moths did not seem to care for the NE breeze or full moon apparent through light cloud cover, even in 12 degrees C. Late comers included Waved Umber and 2 Streamers, otherwise an Early Tooth-striped, Brimstone, 4 Frosted Green, only 2 Lunar Marbled Browns and 2 Dyseriocrania subpurpurella just about
made it worthwhile.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Two Day-Flyers, Halesowen..

Holly Blue, Halesowen

   Cold nights are are even colder up here at Halesowen (1 Common Quaker and 1Hebrew Character last night)  but the sun has brought out two NFY day-flying moths today, Orange Tip, which didn't hang around, and a Holly Blue which did.
Patrick Clement

Friday, 22 April 2016

Warndon Highlights

Best macro of the week was a Mullein shark on Wednesday, only the 3rd here since two in Spring 2006. Lunar Marbled Brown have started showing up along with Streamer and Red Green Carpet all NFY. NFG (new for garden) was a visually suspected worn Depressaria chaerophylii, which was indeed
a male and kindly determined and photographed by Patrick. This is the sort of moth that in my early garden career may have thrown away as a small Parsnip Moth.

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Warndon immundana

Epinotia immundana, Warndon.
       Steve passed on his immundana to be photographed as it was a nice fresh specimen of this infinitely variable species and quite a colourful specimen. A very common moth but I've never been snooty about common species.

Patrick Clement

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Earliest on Record!

The Warndon garden trap had NFY micros Epinotia immundana and 5 Light Brown Apple Moths last night 13th April. However a single Argyresthia trifasciata is the earliest VC37 one on record beating a previous 2011 one from Hall Green by a week!

Bringsty Common April 13th

The last 2 nights have been less cold than of late, so out went the moth trap at long last after a single outing in late January. Last night was by far the most productive and my weather station told me that it stayed in double digits up until around 23.30pm and only fell to 6.4 close to dawn. There was also the odd shower, one of which was hard enough to wake me up. The count last night was 116 moths of 18 species (excluding the Endrosis sarcitrella at the kitchen window), with Hebrew Character topping the list at 41 individuals, followed by Clouded Drab at 23 and Common Quaker at 21. Nothing very exciting, but always nice to get Powdered Quaker (1), Frosted Green (2), White-marked (2), Oak Nycteoline (1) and Brindled Beauty (2) amongst others. Micros were represented by a single Epinotia immundana. Over the 2 nights, I recorded 21 species.

Tonight looks wet at the moment, then it gets colder again. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Egg trays were quite busy

Bringsty Common: Brindled Beauty

Bringsty Common: Frosted Green

Bringsty Common: Powdered Quaker

Bringsty Common: White-marked

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Heringocrania unimaculella

In the absence of good weather for light-trapping I have been out netting in the daytime trying to locate  my still-unseen species of Eriocraniidae. On Sunday at Uffmoor Wood I finally caught up with Heringocrania unimaculella, a species described as common and widespread, but one that had evaded me.
Heringocrania unimaculella, male.
Buoyed by success I today attempted to complete the set by visiting Monkwood to see the Hazel-feeding species, Paracrania chrysolepidella. It was recorded there to MV light quite recently and so, arriving in good weather and seeing the abundance of Hazel, I felt confident. An hour and a half later all I had to show for all that sweeping of Hazel branches was a dozen subpurpurella and an aching arm. Perhaps I'll have more luck with the mines next month.
Patrick Clement

Monday, 11 April 2016

Phyllonorycter ulicicolella

Steve and myself had a search for early-emerging day flyers last week at Hartlebury Common - I was keeping my eye out for leaf mines, namely those of Phyllonorycter ulicicolella.

After two and a half hours searching, this was the most promising candidate I found. There aren't many photographs to refer to, but I can't think of anything that would mine a Gorse needle in this way. Any opinions?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Shoulder stripe

I must dust down the moth traps, meanwhile this was at the kitchen window last night despite temperatures at 3. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Shoulder stripe

Thursday, 7 April 2016

More Eriocrania

Eriocrania cicatricella, Uffmoor Wood.
Eriocrania sangii, Catherton Common

The Eriocrania caught at Catherton Common by Ian has now been dissected and confirmed as E. sangii (male) while the E. cicatricella was netted in Uffmoor Wood on Tuesday 5th April. The cicatricella was the only moth I saw during an hour with the net.   Patrick Clement

Catherton Addenda

Here are a couple of rubbish record shots of three of Sunday night's micros; Acleris literana, Agonopterix umbellana and Eriocrania sangii
Acleris literana

Agonopterix umbellana


Eriocrania sangii

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Eriocrania sparrmanella, Halesowen

Eriocrania sparrmanella

As there are few birch trees in my immediate vicinity I planted 6 saplings in my garden about 8 years ago and last year I found a single mine of Eriocrania sparrmanella. Having a single larva I did not hold out much hope of rearing an adult but this morning the moth emerged.

That's the good news, the bad news is that it lost quite a few scales in the process of emerging, spoiling the photo opportunity.

Patrick Clement

Catherton Common, Sunday 4th April

Catherton Common, looking north from Ridding's Gate
An invitation to trap at Catherton Common, just over the border in Shropshire, was gratefully accepted, with Northern Drab and White-marked heading the target species.

Acleris hyemana
Mottled Grey
Shortly after setting up, however, it started to rain quite heavily, forcing a retreat to our vehicles for shelter. Nearly an hour later we were able to emerge and continue but everything was a bit soggy by then.

Pine Beauty
Double-striped Pug
Unsurprisingly, moths were a bit thin on the ground but plenty of Mottled Grey were caught amongst the usual spring species plus at least one Pine Beauty and several very fresh and nicely marked Double-striped Pugs. Micros included Acleris hyemana, Agonopterix umbellana and a probable Agonopterix astromeriana (escaped) and probable Eriocrania sangii (to be determined).

Being a lightweight I was packed up by 12.30 am but the ‘real men’ who stayed until 4.15 am (!) were rewarded with 7 Northern Drabs and 2 White-marked ……….

 Patrick Clement

Monday, 4 April 2016

Chaddesley Wood Addendum

Acleris ferrugana female

Steve mentioned 'at least one Acleris ferrugana' from Chaddesley Wood, well it turned out, following dissection, that both specimens were A. ferrugana, despite the male being taken from an area which was predominately birch and no oak. An infinitely variable species requiring dissection to separate it from A. notana.

Patrick Clement
Acleris ferrugana male

Chaddesley Wood Sat 2nd April

A first venture into this WWT Reserve this year for Patrick and myself saw cloud creep in late evening and even some light drizzle by 22:00 in about 9 degrees C. 22 species were recorded including Early Tooth-striped, Water Carpet, Red Chestnut, Frosted Green, a late Dotted Border, Semioscopis avellanella and at least one Acleris ferrugana.

Red Chestnut, Chaddesley Wood 2nd April

Water Carpet, Chaddesley Wood 2nd April