Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Norchard Mothing, Worcs

Sadly no Bedstraw Hawk-moths here, despite considerable effort. A few recent migrant/wanderers have included a worn Oak Processionary on 26/07, a Vestal 12/08. Two Rusty-dot Pearls, and my first Rush Veneer of the year arrived last night, along with Agrophila latistria, and a Cypress Pug.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Bedstraw Hawk-moth

Thrilled to get a Bedstraw Hawk-moth in the trap this morning in Malvern.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Trench Wood 12/7/19

Tony Simpson and I ran light traps at Trench Wood last Friday night to provide moths for a Moth Breakfast organised by Butterfly Conservation the following morning.
Conditions were good and the traps were busy with the usual species for the time of year plus one or two local specialities and one new moth for the county.
A little over 100 species were recorded in total.

Trench wood is our only site in the county for Mere Wainscot. First recorded in 1945 and still regularly seen at light in the wood. Nationally, the moth occurs mostly to the south and east in Oxfordshire, the Fens and the Brecks in East Anglia.
Mere Wainscot

The warm, still conditions made it a good night for micros. A number of Gelechiids were seen including Carpatolechia fugitivella and C.alburnella. Also the large Tineid, Morophaga choragella, which looks like a Cork moth on steroids being nearly twice the size.
Morophaga choragella

The surprise of the night was a very fresh and bright Eudonia delunella. This is a new addition to the Worcestershire list. The bulk of the English records are from Cornwall, Dorset and Hampshire. It is also recorded regularly in Wales and once from Herefordshire, but it is largely absent from the central part of the country so its appearance here is unexpected.
Eudonia delunella
Oliver Wadsworth.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

High Summer Hawks

It's been a good summer so far for Hawk Moths in SE Worcestershire. Garden records since 23rd June include 2 Pine's, 4, possibly 5 Privet's and at least 2 Hummingbird Hawks alongside the commoner species.

Other species of note include a couple of Blacknecks, Cream-bordered Green Pea, a migrant Vestal on 29th June and Festoon on 8th July.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Suspected etc.

Good trapping conditions saw my first Suspected arrive at my Norchard, Worcs garden. Two Garden Tigers were also great to see, as the occasional singleton is the norm. Angle-barred Sallow, Cream-bordered Green-pea, Rosy Footman, Slender Pug, Hedya salicella and Calamotropha paludella were also present.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Haugh Wood

I ran two traps last night on the south side of the wood. It was slightly cooler than forecast, so moth numbers were also supressed a bit. Lots of glow-worms and I was joined for 45 minutes by Ledbury Naturalists on their glow-worm hunt. Males were attracted to the generator light as per usual. 120 specis of moth, huge numbers of Epagoge grotiana and Aleimma loeflingiana made for a busy night. Of interest was a Ruddy Carpet and an Endotricha flammealis also appeared. Not a common moth in the county and most records from the Doward. Mocha, Blotched Emerald, Leopard made appearances and the Footman moths are also starting up, with Scarce and Common featuring. Peter Hall

Haugh Wood: Very bright glow-worm

Haugh Wood: Agapeta zoegana

Haugh Wood: Ruddy Carpet

Haugh Wood: Endotricha flammealis

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ravenshill Wood

Saturday night at Ravenshill Wood, near Alfrick in Worcestershire.
Good conditions contributed to a very good evenings moth trapping at this privately owned woodland. Four traps produced over 100 species including several new for the site which has not been trapped for some years.

Among the Macros, The Mocha was probably the most notable. The highlight for me was a collection of locally scarce Tortrix moths including Gypsonoma aceriana, Gypsonoma oppressana, Epinotia signatana and Epinotia abreviana.

Also notable was a number of the seldom encountered Eidophasia messingiella.

Eidophasia messingiella
Gypsonoma aceriana
Oliver Wadsworth

Hartlebury Common

There was a 'Bio Blitz' event at Hartlebury Common last weekend with Moth trapping on the Friday evening. As always with these event we were at the mercy of the elements, but for a change we had good overnight temperatures and next to no wind - always a good thing on an open site like this heathland fragment.
Most of the usual and expected species were seen between 10 or so traps. These included site specialities Archer's Dart and Pempelia palumbella. My own trap caught Scarce Silver lines and Sophronia semicostella, pictured below.

With such good conditions we might have expected better results, but catches were only 'average' for the time of year with maybe 50 species per trap. The night total may nudge 100 when all the results come in.

Pempelia palumbella
Scarce Silver lines
Sophronia semicostella
Oliver Wadsworth

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Ewyas Harold Common June 29th

Robin Hemming and John Walshe ran some traps overnight here and then Robin organised a moth breakfast next morning. Despite the promised near perfect conditions, the wind picked up at dusk and it cooled down more than forecast, nevertheless, around 150 species were recorded including the 8th county record of Double Line and double digit numbers of Brussels Lace -  the 19th county record. Peter Hall
Ewyas Harold Common: Brussels Lace

Ewyas Harold Common: Double Line

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Blackneck and Dioryctria sp,

Some local movement saw my second garden record of Blackneck the first being in 2003 here at Norchard, Worcs. A Dioryctria sp. was trapped as well. It is only 12mm long, making it a bit small for D abietella. Can it be identified from the photo?

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Hereford city moths

I was wondering about this plume, might it be Brindled? Also, the first of hopefully many Small Ranunculus turned up last night. It will be interesting to see if it's still expanding in town.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Privet Hawkmoth-Evesham

After starting uni I have had limit opportunity to trap in my home garden in urban Evesham. However, on return the trap was out even if the weather may have been a bit too windy. 45 moths of 15 species were recorded however the highlight was actually outside the trap, a PRIVET HAWKMOTH!! This becomes the 6 species of hawkmoth for the garden after my first record of Lime earlier in the year. On seeing the moth, to say I was excited would have been an understatement especially as its the largest hawkmoth I've ever seen however, I did not realise the significance of the record and how rare they are (would love to know how many Worcs records there are?). Heart and dart was the commonest moth with 22 recorded as well as the second light arches for the garden.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

L-album Wainscot

The first for VC36 arrived in my trap in Whitchurch last night. I had heard it was spreading in VC35 and might arrive this year. Not a lot else, though a Juniper Webber was nice to see.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Humming-bird Hawk-moths

Two sightings of Humming-bird Hawk-moths reported form Worcestershire yesterday. One was in a Bromsgrove garden, and the other was in my garden at Norchard. Both were feeding from Valerian.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

What's Flying Tonight

Since I first tested this website out a couple of years ago for the CEH, it has developed quite nicely, so you will now find it on the right hand side under "Useful Links". Peter Hall

Haugh and Wigmore Rolls

The warm spell meant moth trapping. Friday night I went to Haugh Wood and although the breeze stayed with me all 3 hours I trapped, it was slow and steady. It's really nice to be getting some good micros arriving at long last. 52 species of Macro and around 30 species of micro. No unusual macro records and probably the best micro record was 8 Eidophasia messingiella, which Patrick will remember well from his previous visit. Ironically of more interest was a record for the Green Spider Micrommata virescens, when a rather large bright green female walked over my sheet. Very few Herefordshire records and none for Haugh Wood. Then last night I joined up with Rob Hemming and we trapped in Wigmore Rolls, a large Forestry Commission wood north of Leominster and more famous for its butterflies. At pack up time around 1am it was still 16 degrees and again, despite an annoying breeze, it was busy. I think between us we will top 130 species, but my two Robinsons recorded 77 Macro species and the Micros will be around 35 species once all identified. Besides the usual crew, I recorded Little Thorn (2), Beautiful Snout (2), Drab Looper (2 - yes they came to light!), Satin Lutestring (6) and the highlight for me Lunar Thorn (2). Most numerous was Capua vulgana with 245 individuals counted. Then as a surprise there were 3 more of the Green Spiders around the traps, this time males...who says they are rare? Peter Hall

Wigmore Rolls: Lunar Thorn

Wigmore Rolls: Barred Umber

Wigmore Rolls: Scalloped Hook-tip

Haugh Wood: Micrommata virescens - female

Wigmore Rolls: Micrommata virescens - male

Friday, 31 May 2019


I grow Verbascum thapsus (Great Mullein) in the garden here on Bringsty Common exclusively for Mullein moth caterpillars to feed on. It never seems to fail and this year I am blessed with 31 caterpillars on most of the 6 plants here and they are from first instar through to 3rd instar at the moment and the plants are just starting to looka bit ragged from the feeding. Peter Hall
Back garden Bringsty Common


Thursday, 23 May 2019

White-barred Clearwing

Spurred on by a sighting in North Bucks a few days ago, I went to the site at Dymock Forest armed with my TIP lure and managed to attract 5 males in total. Looking at other records for the site, I may have been slightly early for peak numbers, but nice to see it there nonetheless. Peter Hall
Dymock Forest: White-barred Clearwing

Dymock Forest: White-barred Clearwing

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bringsty Common May 17-18th 2019

Bringsty Common: Shuttle-shaped Dart
Bringsty Common: Purple Bar

Bringsty Common: Broken-barred Carpet

Bringsty Common: Cream Wave

Slightly warmer night temperatures coaxed out the moth trap again, although it is a bit hit and miss if the moon appears. The last 2 nights have produced 46 species of Macromoth and to date 4 species of Micro with a couple to look at more closely. Not too bad overall.
Here's a list for the past 2 days:

Vernacular Taxon
Twenty-plume Alucita hexadactyla
  Anania fuscalis
Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata
Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata
Broken-barred Carpet Electrophaes corylata
Brown Silver-line Petrophora chlorosata
Buff Ermine Spilosoma lutea
Chocolate-tip Clostera curtula
Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata
Clouded-bordered Brindle Apamea crenata
Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata
Common Pug Eupithecia vulgata
Common White Wave Cabera pusaria
Cream Wave Scopula floslactata
Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta
Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica
Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius
Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis
Least Black Arches Nola confusalis
Lime Hawk Mimas tiliae
Maiden's Blush Cyclophora punctaria
May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata
Muslin Diaphora mendica
Notocelia cynosbatella  
Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli
Oak-tree Pug Eupithecia dodoneata
Orange Footman Eilema sororcula
Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda
Pebble Hook-tip Drepana falcataria
Peppered Biston betularia
Poplar Hawk Laothoe populi
Purple Bar Cosmorhoe ocellata
Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia
Rustic Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens
Scalloped Hazel Odontopera bidentata
Scoparia ambigualis  
Seraphim Lobophora halterata
Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia c-nigrum
Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta
Silver Cloud Egira conspicillaris
Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata
Small Phoenix Ecliptopera silaceata
Spectacle Abrostola tripartita
Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica
Vine's Rustic Hoplodrina ambigua
Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria
White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda
White-pinion Spotted Lomographa bimaculata
White-spotted Pug Eupithecia tripunctaria

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Bucculatrix cristatella

Bucculatrix cristatella is a very small dull grey moth that is rarely seen as an adult. The feeding signs of the larvae are quite subtle too. We have very few records of the moth but it is one species that is almost certainly under-recorded.

Feeding signs on Yarrow
Signs can be found now on new growth Yarrow fronds. Look for browned tips to the leaves and then for the pale white-ish ribbed cocoon and the smaller white silk blobs that are the remains of temporary moulting habitations. There are other causes of the brown leaf ends so you really need a cocoon to be sure of the record.
B.cristatella - Cocoon on Yarrow.
To give you some idea of scale, the cocoon is about 3mm long.

Oliver Wadsworth

Thursday, 25 April 2019

NE Worcester Micros

Now its cooled down and time to reflect on the last 10 days of activity. A well-marked Mompha in the Warndon garden trap on the 15th looks good for divisella which has only been recorded from four VC37 sites, although from stats Feckenham Wylde Moor may have a colony.

possible Mompha divisella
 A last minute dash to Trench Wood on the 18th seemed very slow by 22:30 when Frosted Green seemed the best moth. Then in the last 30 minutes a fine Carpatolechia proximella arrived, followed by a very skittish Elachista apicipunctella.

Carpatolechia proximella
Elachista apicipunctella
Apicipunctella was new for the reserve. The only other micros were 8 Dyseriocrania subpurpurella.