Friday, 15 December 2017

Last Trench of 2017

The last field effort of 2017 was back to Trench Wood with the mobile 15watt Actinic Skinner on the slighter milder and cloudy night on 5th December. After setting the trap, a torchlit walk along those same sheltered rides covered in mid-November, saw a rough count of 120 male Winter Moths flying and perching in all directions. Three mating pairs were found as was a single female on a truck about a meter above the ground.

female Winter Moth
The main target had been Scarce Umber and the 100 minute session resulted in 11 males hung up on blackthorn branches. Some were more strongly marked than others Sadly no mating pairs or females were located.

two male Scarce Umbers

Female December Moth
Mottled Umbers were also torched and these were all the plainer, brown-stippled forms. The trap itself attracted a Chestnut, 2 Scarce Umbers and 13 Winter Moths. Interestingly there were no December Moths by 18:40. Two nights earlier the home garden MV on the 3rd December had a new garden record 13 December Moths overnight including just one female which laid 30 eggs in a pot and these are now incubating very slowly in the fridge!


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