Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Diamond-backs decreasing?

What a relief - only one Diamond-back Monday night instead of the regular 100+ invading the garden trap. Are the numbers beginning to decrease?
Phyl King, Colwall

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Bringsty Common

The cool nights are really frustrating and catches here are well down on what I would hope for at this time of year. I've also hardly ventured out of the garden and a last minute decision to visit Haugh the other day was rewarded with long periods of waiting for a moth to arrive....followed by an early pack up. Last night in the garden, as an example, it had dropped already to just 11 by the time it got properly dark and even Large Yellow Underwings were in single figures this morning and Heart & Dart just making double digits (13). Last nights moths of interest were Small Scallop, Scallop Shell and a Cinnabar. In total 35 macro species and just 10 micros.

Regarding the website, apologies for the Useful Links disappearing the other day. I added the new Moth Dissection link and they all then disappeared and I gave up trying to fix it. It has since re-appeared I'm pleased to say. 

Bringsty Common: Small Scallop

Bringsty Common:Scallop Shell

Bringsty Common:Cinnabar

Peter Hall

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Heart and Club

Yesterday morning's trap inspection puzzled me enough to pot up this rather 'two-tone' medium sized dart. After seeing Oliver's Heart & Dart ab at Childswickham on Tuesday I suspected this may be another. Steve Nash came to the rescue - Heart & Club,  only the second one here
at Warndon, that I know of!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Avon Valley later June

A night's trapping in ideal conditions on Wednesday at Tiddesley Wood WWT under mostly thick cloud and start point of 17 degrees C. Best macro of the night a fine Spinach (which away from Stoke Prior has been seldom recorded in VC37 in the last decade) and was surprisingly a site first.

A Pretty Chalk Carpet now seems frequent along AvonValley was also seen.
At least 4 Endothenia ericetana proves a welcome colony east of the River Severn and torpedoes the trio of previous county records. 2 Assara terebrella consolidates last July's discovery here. Nearby on Monday, 4 Sitichroa verticalis were flushed from limestone grassland at Windmill Hill NR and proves a colony at a site with one previous record in July 2011.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Bringsty Common June 22nd

Finally a nice warm night. I ran the old mv at the bottom of the garden last night and was rewarded with 68 macros and 24 micro species. I think if I had stayed around the trap it would have been a few more. Nice to get Blotched Emerald again. Lots of Hawk-moths - Lime, Poplar and Elephant. A Grass Rivulet. 3 Triple-spotted Clay otherwise nothing desperately exciting. Topping the bill was Heart & Dart (69) followed by Large Yellow Underwing at 53. Peter Hall

Bringsty Common: Grass Rivulet

Bringsty Common: Heart & Dart

Bringsty Common: Green Arches and Large Yellow Underwing

Bringsty Common: Scorched Carpet

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Monster Munch

Since Patrick's blog on May 29th about having Mullein larvae, I've been watching mine feast and grow steadily in my garden on Bringsty Common. The poor plant now is suffering quite a bit and I hope it manages to produce some seed for a new plant or two in the future. Peter Hall
Verbascum thapsus plant

Happily munching Mullein larvae

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Recent Warndon Highlights

On the 4th June 2015 a female Alder Kitten came to MV light at Park House, Wyre Forest. Potted for a few hours I noticed she had laid a few eggs on the inside of the pot. A couple of weeks later the tiny first instar dark 'kitten' larva hatched and several of these developed through several more instars on alder and birch leaves. 4 eventually went down to pupate in soft compost. A very fresh adult moth appeared on the inside of my garage window on the evening of the 4th June 2016. The compost tub lid was loose and it was assumed this had emerged rather than escaping from the previous night's trap result. No others followed. Alder Kitten has never been seen in a light trap at Warndon.

Later on the night of the 4th June a small dark dumpy micro with broad wing tips and faint creamy yellow hairs on the back of the head/neck was potted off an egg tray. I gave it to Oliver Wadsworth for further scrutiny and the moth was confirmed as Lampronia fuscatella (which I had strongly suspected) and was only the 6th VC37 record. Although there is a 20 year old Silver Birch in the garden, two of the previous county records were adults in nearby Trench Wood in 1977 and 1988 and the 4th June was a warm night with a slight easterly breeze. The image below was taken by Oliver.

An Alder Moth came to light on 31st May was only the second record at Warndon

Monday, 13 June 2016

Pauper Pug trouble after doing a 'double.'

Being a 'lightweight' I rarely venture out moth trapping on consecutive nights but a chance to trap at Hartlebury Common in good weather conditions on Saturday was too good to miss and returning home at 2.30 a.m. I put my hat and jacket in the kitchen and went to bed. The next day I noticed a large Pug on the kitchen wall which, although worn, had the look of a Pauper Pug about it and this was later confirmed by dissection. The problem is, I can't say for sure that it came from Hartlebury or whether it came from Kinver the night before, or even if it was from the garden, so sadly it will go unrecorded.
Having dissected my own Pauper Pug I thought I had better do Bill's specimen from Hallow on Sunday 22nd May and I can confirm the same id for that individual (male).  Patrick Clement

More Hartlebury

Pempelia palumbella

Anerastia lotella

A couple of iconic Hartlebury micros, Pempelia palumbella, a beautiful species which always poses nicely for photographs and the mainly coastal Anerastia lotella.  Patrick Clement

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Hartlebury Common NMN

Saturday evening was a big success, mainly as the rain reported elsewhere never materialised over us! Six Traps were employed and an estimate of 120+ species were recorded. Macro highlights included Beautiful Brocade, Bird's Wing, Satin Wave, Small Seraphim
 and a very good contender for Rufous Minor (if Manley's theory is correct!).

Broom Moth

June is proving to be a very good month so far with a steady stream of new arrivals for the year to my Dodford garden.

Last night produced this nice Broom Moth which is  new to me as well as the garden.

Broom Moth - Ceramica pisi

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Kinver Edge, Friday 10th June

Broad-barred White
Lobesia reliquana

     A wet start held up the arrival of significant numbers of moths and certainly impacted on totals with my two traps producing about 65 species. However, the rain did stop after an hour or so and it was then pleasantly warm and humid though nothing like the conditions earlier in the week. I think there were 7 traps widely dispersed over the common and I'm sure there were many moths I didn't see, so just two photographs of my personal favourite micro and macro from my traps. Broad-barred White, a supposedly common moth but this was only my second, and Lobesia reliquana, simply because it's a little stunner!    Patrick Clement

Friday, 10 June 2016

Chimney Sweeper

Chimney Sweeper

      The field at the back of our garden has not been grazed by sheep so far this year and is heaving with Pignut, attracting Chimney Sweeper moths. We noticed this lone specimen in the garden this morning.  Patrick Clement

National Moth Nights

We are already on NMN according to BC! Tonight is the monthly survey at Kinver. We will be meeting at 21:00 at the main entrance to Kinver Common, which lies on the junction of Sandy Lane, Comber Road and Church Road. For those of you who have been before, you might want to go straight into the yard next to the old warden’s house. SO838828.

Tomorrow Saturday Hartlebury Common will host the meet. Meet in the ‘Bog’car park on the A4025 (opposite garden centre) at 21:00. SO819707. Lights should go on at 22:00 so if you wish to come later, just head for lights! Please let me know if you think you may come and remember to bring torch, camera and refreshment as people running traps will probably stay till 01:00 to 02:00 at least. Steve Whitehouse. or text to 07974266637

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Celypha woodiana

Thanks to Oliver for letting us see this adult Celypha woodiana (and to Steve for the lift!) before it was released onto the Pershore orchard from which the larva was reared. This was at the top of the list of species I wanted to catch up with during my time in Worcester, so I was relieved when it settled nicely for a photo!

This afternoon I went back to Grove Farm to find a couple more Epinotia specimens, after it appears that the dissection hasn't produced as clear cut results as hoped for - there is a possibility that the two specimens Oliver examined (that I assumed would be E. subsequana) are in fact two separate species. The mystery deepens!

I think I may have timed my visit to coincide with one of the final day of their flight period (whatever the species!) as I only saw five and all were extremely worn. Hopefully the two I collected can help shed some light on the species' identity.

Epinotia fraternana on the other hand was still looking as stunning as it was last week:

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Colwall garden

We're trying to make the garden we moved to 3 years ago more wildlife friendly, so I was very pleased to see a Small Yellow Underwing in the long grass 2 days ago. A Grass Rivulet in the trap was also encouraging.

Phyl King

Wyre Netting

Ancylis myrtillana
Epinotia fraternana

As a special treat I took my wife Sam for a couple of hours netting in Wyre, yesterday evening and we totalled over 40 species, even though we ignored the rush-feeding Coleophs. Nothing really outstanding but, thanks to Billy's recent post we did sweep some fir branches resulting in half a dozen Epinotia fraternana, quite a good record even for Wyre.

Patrick Clement

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Plutella porrectella

Plutella porrectella
      This worn example could easily have been missed amongst the many and varied xylostella.
I haven't recorded it at home for a few years since our Hesperis matronalis died out. We introduced 3 new plants about 10 days ago and almost instantly recorded the moth again.  Patrick Clement

Phaulernis dentella

Netted this Phaulernis dentella from a rose bush near my student house whilst searching unsuccessfully for Lampronia morosa this evening.

It wasn't the easiest moth to photograph, and nor is it in very good condition, but the remnants of scale tufts and a pale patch behind the head help give it away as P. dentella. There's plenty of Ground Elder and Rough Chervil in the hedgerows, so it wasn't a complete surprise. That said, I'm guessing there aren't too many previous county records of this elusive species.

Alabonia geofrella

Some local movement saw my first garden record of Alabonia geofrella. Also a Poplar Lutestring for only the third or fourth time.

Coleophora albicosta

Coleophora albicosta
                                                                                           There is no Gorse in my garden but I occasionally have this species turn up in the garden trap and I suppose it's no surprise really as I don't have to travel far to see the plant on the Clent Hills and brownfield sites within a couple of miles of home.

Patrick Clement

A Trio of Tineids

          There is quite a lot of dead wood in our garden, either for wildlife habitat or for fuel and a couple of nights ago I noticed a couple of dozen Cork Moths around one log pile so I put a 15 watt actinic close by to see how many I would catch by morning. Well there wasn't a single cloacella in the trap when I checked the next day but I did have three other Tineids to photograph.
           Having decided on the snappy title for the post I was dismayed when my third subject escaped before I had managed a decent shot - 'A Duo of Tineids' was no good at all. Fortunately the escapee  was discovered and recaptured later in the day and my trio of images completed.

Tinea semifulvella
Triaxomera parasitella

Tinea trinotella
 Patrick Clement

Saturday, 4 June 2016


No crippling rarities today, but I did have a nice evening attempting to photograph Adela croesella in the lush hedgerows around Rushwick. Every now and then the sun would peek through the clouds and reveal stunning iridescent purple scales on the forewing of these superb little moths.

Cuckoo flower has almost gone over for another year, and the last emerging adult Cauchas rufimitrella are now crowding around the few plants that remain in flower.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Coniferous Christmas surprises

A Christmas tree plantation probably isn't the first place most lepidopterists would have on their mind to visit on a hot & sunny day, but I decided to ditch my usual biking route north to Grimley this afternoon, and instead check out the conifer plantation at Grove Farm (just south-west of Dines Green) on the off chance that some interesting micros might be flying.

It didn't take long to find Epinotia fraternana flying around the Nordmann Fir, including some stunningly patterned specimens, and it quickly became apparent that this was the most common moth in the plantation (even outnumbering the xylostella!).

Also present in large numbers around the Nordmann Fir was a much daintier Epinotia that I was struggling to pin down. Most individuals were worn or poorly marked, but every now and again I'd net a fresh individual that showed off a patch of light brown scales towards the termen, and a well developed ocellus reminiscent of Epinotia subsequana. The latter feature would seemingly eliminate E. pygmaeana, and the lack of a prominent white dorsal patch (as well as a lack of any Scots Pine) would take E. rubiginosana out of the equation. E. subsequana is a rare species across the UK, and I have several specimens ready to be dissected (I'm not taking any chances after letting that Lampronia catch me out!). Are there any previous Worcestershire records? As always, I'd be grateful for any opinions or comments given the lack of internet-based resources covering this species.

(Putative) Epinotia subsequana

Epinotia fraternana

Tinea semifulvella

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Wednesday Wyre visit

A daytime visit to the Wyre forest on a cool, slate grey day proved to be reasonably productive considering. Good numbers of Diamond Back moths were everywhere. It is hard to grasp the kind of numbers that must be involved in falls like this recent event. We also saw one Silver Y.

Many Micropterix moths were seen. The most numerous were calthella, mostly in the buttercup flowers. At least six aureatella were seen plus a couple of aruncella and one thunbergella. I would have loved to have completed the set with mansuetella, but that species was not to be found and, oddly, has never been recorded from the Wyre area.

Three species of Glyphipterix moths were seen, the most striking being forsterella.

Macros included Little Thorn, which appears to be widespread in the forest these days. Chimney Sweepers were around in the meadows, but sluggish due to the cold. There were also many Speckled Yellows on the wing.

A single Blossom Underwing larva was knocked out of bramble.

Oliver Wadsworth.