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.

9.003 BF136 Raspberry Moth, Lampronia corticella

An adult has emerged from the raspberry stems collected a couple of weeks back at Broadway Wood.

Patrick Clement

Raspberry Moth, Lampronia corticella

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Brockhampton Estate April 22nd

Last night the weather was optimal for moth trapping I think. It stayed mild all through the 3 hour session on the National Trust Brockhampton Estate here in Herefordshire. It's never "busy" at this time of year, but there was a steady influx to the 2 Robinsons running. List below, for those who know their timings, the Common Footman was a larva! 40 species I think and around 238 moths. The garden trap was similar species wise at 39 but fewer moths (1 trap running). My first Alder Kitten, May Highflyer, Grey Birch and Silver Cloud of the year. I'm off abroad this evening to Blenheim Palace in  Oxfordshire so it will be interesting to see how that is comparing Peter Hall

Brockhampton Estate: White Pinion-spotted

Brockhampton Estate: Orange Footman

Brockhampton Estate: Oak Nycteolene

SpeciesName OtherName Quantity
Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata 59
White-spotted Pug Eupithecia tripunctaria 1
Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 4
Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria 10
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 7
Red-green Carpet Chloroclysta siterata 3
V-Pug Chloroclystis v-ata 3
Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma 5
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 1
Least Black Arches Nola confusalis 1
White-marked Cerastis leucographa 1
Lobster Stauropus fagi 1
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1
Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli 2
Chinese Character Cilix glaucata 1
Streamer Anticlea derivata 1
Water Carpet Lampropteryx suffumata 13
White-pinion Spotted Lomographa bimaculata 2
Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria 11
Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis 69
Frosted Green Polyploca ridens 14
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 5
Twin-spotted Quaker Anorthoa munda 1
Common White Wave Cabera pusaria 1
Orange Footman Eilema sororcula 3
Oak Nycteoline Nycteola revayana 1
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 3
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 1
Oak Hook-tip Watsonalla binaria 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia 1
Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 1
Brindled Beauty Lycia hirtaria 2
March Moth Alsophila aescularia 1
Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda 1
Adela reaumurella   2
Aphomia sociella Bee 1
Common Footman Eilema lurideola 1
Buttoned Snout Hypena rostralis 1
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella   3
Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume 1

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Phyllonorycter sp.

I have just potted this micro from my actinic in the garden at Norchard, Worcs, and think it might be Phyllonorycter platini?

New Arrivals

Alder Kitten and Silver Clouds were among a host of new arrivals to my Worcestershire garden at Norchard last night, including Cinnabar, Common Wave and Spectacle.

Wigmore Rolls April 20th

Wigmore Rolls: Great Prominent

Wigmore Rolls: Lunar Marbled-brown
I chose the well wooded hilly section of the forest to shelter from the moon. It worked as it never appeared until pack up time at midnight after a 3 hour session. However, the forecast minimum of 11 was wrong (as per usual) and it had touched 7 at pack up time, so moth activity was curtailed this time by temperature. Tonights excursion has been postponed for a night as it should get milder from Monday for a few nights. The traps were set up about 60 yards apart ann not in line of sight as per usual. Interestingly one trap recorded 16 Great Prominent, the other had none, so it maybe shows how local species can be and how important chosing the trap location is too. Lunar Marbled-brown topped the numbers list with 51, Great Prominent next, otherwise it was much as you would get in the garden. Just 18 species. Peter Hall

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Haugh Wood April 19th

It's nice to get warm nights in April, so it was with a tinge of excitement that I went off for my first outing of the year to Haugh Wood. At swtich on it was still 15 degrees and just as I sat down (having positioned a trap wisely right next to a bench), the biggest moon I have ever seen became visible just above the horizon. So I had about 45 minutes of moth activity then it became so bright that it almost shut down any moths arriving at all. Very disappointing. Lack of leaves in the woods didn't help. Of the 3 hour session, the last hour was largely spent reading my book. 18 species of macro and so far 3 micro, with 3 more to id when I get a moment. The range of moths is changing now to include late Spring/early Summer species. So apart from the usual crew I also recorded Mocha, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Lobster, Least Black Arches, Purple Thorn, Great Prominent and what I think is the earliest ever Tawny-barred Angle for Herefordshire. In recent days my garden has turned up Clouded Silver and Maidens Blush. I'll try again tonight elsewhere, but will remember to take my book again, and maybe sunglasses too. Peter Hall
Werewolves about perhaps

Haugh Wood: Mocha

Haugh Wood: Tawny-barred Angle

Friday, 19 April 2019

Google +

You will notice that anyone who registered with a Google+ option on the blog is now listed as "Unknown" on the right hand side. I can still see e-mail addresses in the Settings but I have no idea if you can post anything still. Can someone have a go? It's rather annoying! Peter Hall

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Recent observations

I've had quite a lot of species so far this year, largely by trapping in Whitchurch, in the south of VC36. The highlight so far from there came in on Sunday night, a Red Sword-grass, which laid a lot of eggs in the pot. These are getting sent off to be reared by someone with more experience than me in these matters.
My garden trap in Hereford has been quiet so far, with a couple of Scarce Tissue on Tuesday the highlight so far. One of these was very pale, but not worn at all. I've not seen this illustrated.
Scarce Tissue (pale individual)

Scarce Tissue (typical)

Red Sword-grass

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Lampronia corticella (Raspberry Moth) Local searches bear fruit.

I was keen to photograph this attractive but scarce little moth but the only recent Worcs. records were from Broadway Wood (Oliver Wadsworth), an hours drive for me from Halesowen. I decided to make the effort and last Saturday travelled down to look for larvae in the stems of raspberry plants hoping to rear pristine, freshly emerged specimens to photograph. I fairly quickly located one larva plus 3 or 4 stems with feeding signs which are now in containers at home, the larva having spun up beneath a leaf for pupation.
A throwaway remark by Steve Whitehouse this morning, "I wonder how widespread this species is?" prompted me to visit some raspberry growing on the Clent Hills, close to home, and after 10 mins searching I found a stem with feeding signs in two shoots. Carefully breaking one of the shoots apart revealed the bright red larva of corticella, bingo, a new site.
Returning home I remembered there was ample raspberry growing just 300 metres from my back gate, with the moth present not far away at Clent, could it also be even closer to home? You guessed it, yes, 7 wilting shoots with frass indicating feeding larvae, one of which was again removed for confirmation - what a result!
Patrick Clement

Clent Hills (feeding signs not always as obvious as this)

Broadway Wood larva spun up for pupation.

Clent Hills larva exposed in shoot.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Depressaria albipunctella

Although just outside both Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Laura Padley at Bromsberrow Heath (Glos) kindly sent me an image of an unknown 'flatbody' potted up on her back house door, under a conveniently placed soft light. Depressaria albipunctella had been distantly on my radar as it occurs vary sparingly at nearby Staunton, Berrow and the southern Malvern Hills ridge. However the only record this century in VC37 was at Carpenters Farm on 12th May 2006. So I was delighted to confirm the live moth on Tuesday evening and Laura has provided a record shot of what is a very scarce Na status species!

Depressaria albipunctella

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Lunar Marbled Brown and Kinver

Never had a March record of this before so two on Saturday the 30th is another early milestone for the Warndon Trap.
Lunar Marbled Brown

Just a reminder that the first 2019 effort of the Kinver Moth Group will take place at Kingsford CP this Friday 5th April. This is located on the west side of the NT property, probably best accessed via Wolverley and Drakelow. We meet at the car park near the toilet block in Kingsford Lane at SO824821. Sunset is 19:50, so interested parties are invited to meet there at 19:15 to give everyone time to set up. Remember, you don’t need to bring a trap and are just as welcome to join us to improve mothing identification skills or to help with identifications.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

North East Worcester Late March

A few highlights from the Warndon garden in last few days have been an obvious best ever show of Twin-spotted Quakers.
Twin-spotted Quaker

An even better Dotted Chestnut was only the 6th here ever.

Dotted Chestnut
Always amazed to see how well Herald's look after 6 months of hibernation.
A quick visit to nearby Trench Wood NR on Tuesday afternoon in bright sunshine and along the main track from the car park to the central clearing.
Trench Wood NR
With the intention of seeing Orange Underwings! Six moths immediately  alighting on the bare ground were actually Light Orange Underwings - a species which it seems, prefers lower levels on warm days. Not that surprising as the mature Aspens were in full flower.  I used to look for this moth in early April but it seems it is out early this year and despite scanning the tops of several mature birches, no sign of its cousin that afternoon - so perhaps that was out in February this year and gone over already. 
Light Orange Underwing

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Holm Oaks

Having had several Ecotoedemia heringella adults in my garden over the past 3 years I was keen to see another scarce Nep that feeds on Holm Oak. During the past 2 winters I have been collecting what I had presumed to be Stigmella suberivora mines found on trees at 5 different sites in Worcestershire. However on inspection with a 10x handlens the completed mines always seemed to have been vacated and exhibited a neat crescent-like exit slit at the end.
Mines on Holm Oak

 About 8 lots of leaves h...ave been over-wintered but all that ever emerged were black flies, tiny wasps and a few dark beetles. Having just seen a Glossy Ibis in south Worcestershire on the 2nd March I remembered I was just a short distance away from a huge lone Holm Oak near Longon village. LIke a Sri Lankan 'tea picker' I just quickly stuffed about 100 leaves into a plastic pouch and set off home. Inspecting a few mines later I was hopeful that at least some contained heingella larva which would pupate and produce. Lightly spraying the leaves every 2 days, a few flies stated to appear inside the tub. Then on the 20th March, a late night check saw a tiny black shape on the underside of the fine muslin cover. Thinking it would be another black beetle, I rather nonchalantly peeled the gauze back and saw the insect had dropped onto one of the top leaves. A slender glass pot was to hand and I managed to get the beast in without any fuss. Imagine my absolute delight when I spotted the bright orange head, subtle purple-bronze gloss on all dark wings - at last Stigmella suberivora.
Stigmella suberivora (Steve Whitehouse)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Gadfield Elms Barns

With a second colony of Barred Tooth-striped recently discovered in a nearby village I was keen to see if it also occurs in VC 37. So on Tuesday evening a pheromone trap was placed on Gadbury Bank where there is ample Privet growing on southeast slope. Four light traps and another pheromone trape were placed on the wide verge along the lane either side of Glebe Barn. The first trap round saw a Red Sword-grass already settled on the sheet by my old 80w funnel trap. A good start as less than 20 records in Worcs ever!
Red Sword-grass
On the second round, another even better Worcs moth a Small Eggar on an egg box in the same trap!
Small Eggar
A Grey Shoulder-knot was found hanging on a hawthorn twig near an actinic and inside that trap was a Dotted Chestnut.
Dotted Chestnut
Agonopterix alstromeriana, 3 Dark Chestnuts, 6 Shoulder Stripes, a Water Carpet and an Early Thorn were the best of the rest but alas no BT-s were seen. An extra time visit to the Bromsberrow garden (Glos) secured views of a Barred Tooth-striped  caught there that same evening.

Warndon Garden mid-March

The night of the 18th was another milestone here, finally producing a Pale Pinion in the Robbo. It's only taken 15 years of trapping!
Pale Pinion
A very striking Hebrew Character with what looked like a bit of extra dark chocolate in the mid-wing mix.
Hebrew Character

A couple of Twin-spotted Quakers were surprisingly only the 5th and 6th ever here including this subtle sandy freckled individual.
Twin-spotted Quaker
Quite a few Diurnea flagella this week and another Grey Shoulder-knot along with better numbers of Small Quaker and 2 Early Thorns.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Stigmella sorbi

When I looked for mines of this species in June last year they were nearly all vacated, only one tenanted mine was found and collected so I was delighted to see the adult moth had emerged this morning.

Patrick Clement

Stigmella sorbi Reared from mine on Rowan.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Small Eggar

Last summer Andy Warr was searching a WWT nature reserve near the M50 on the 1st June when he came across some curious tent-like spinnings in hawthorns. When he looked closely he could make out many quite dark Lepidoptera larvae moving about inside. Lower Smite Headquarters quickly identified images of these as Small Eggars, a moth species currently of very local status with just  a handful of sites in South Worcestershire.

Small Eggar larval tents in June 2018 (Andy Warr)

I visited the site a few days later and noticed that the larvae were larger and more brightly coloured in two later 'instars'. One or two of the larger more adventurous larva were even roaming about away from the tents on adjacent branches.
larger Small Eggar larvae (Andy Warr)

I decided to take one with the plan of rearing it through to an adult. It was fed on blackthorn and hawthorn and surprisingly still took over 4 weeks to attain full size and pupate. This was then overwintered in an outside rabbit hutch with open grill front inside a large plastic airy container with ample blackthorn and hawthorn leaf litter base. Last week I was rewarded with a fantastic pristine adult female emerging from the pupal case on 15th March.

Small Eggar pupal case after moth had emerged (Steve Whitehouse)

The moth was quickly transported back to the exact hedgerow that evening and photographed on a post top before being placed inside a greening-up hawthorn.
Female Small Eggar (Steve Whitehouse)

After a few minutes rest the moth was then watched to fly around the inner branches of the hedge in a manor similar to a bumblebee - something that was not expected at all - most moths usually fly straight off!

Friday, 15 March 2019

Herefordshire County Moth Recorder

If any of you still have 2018 records that haven't been sent in to your County Moth Recorder (details in the links on the right), please try and find time to do so.  Here in Herefordshire, I have now taken over all moths, so please send records in to me, although Phyl has kindly still offered to process records for me, so if you prefer to continue to send in to Phyl, that is also ok. I've been very busy trying to update the Micromoth database and it has more than trebled its records over the past 12 months and still more to go in. I'm now working on the Macromoths (which Phyl has done an excellent job in maintaining) and hope to have these ready by the end of the year. I'm adding missing records from some of the recorders and will also scrutinise the database for errors in the process. For those living in Herefordshire, the database summaries will be readily available upon request once the work is completed and hopefully by then the on-line distribution maps will be up and running too. I'll update you all when I'm close to completion. I am able to answer records queries from now on, so please feel free to aks questions if any arise. Peter Hall

Bringsty Common March 14th 2019

Plans to go and hunt for Barred Tooth-striped were put on hold last night due to the winds and as is typical with the law of sod, at dusk here the winds dropped to nothing (although they did pick up again a bit later). I put out a trap in the garden and recorded 154 moths of 15 species. In order of recording they were: Twin-spotted Quaker (9), Clouded Drab (20), Shoulder Stripe (6 - 3 of which were at my study window), Common Quaker (72), Small Quaker (20), Oak Beauty (6), Pale Brindled Beauty (1), Yellow Horned (2), Hebrew Character (7), Early Grey (2), White Marked (2), Red Chestnut (4) and Chestnut (1), Agonopterix ciliella (1 - at study window) plus an Acleris sp. tbc. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Egg boxes were quite busy

Bringsty Common: Oak Beauty

Bringsty Common: Red Chestnut

Bringsty Common: Twin-spotted Quaker

Bringsty Common: White-marked