Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Bringsty turns orange

Today was spent with Ian Draycott walking a route in readiness for a bryophyte group next month on Bringsty Common.  I 've been looking for Orange Underwing since I moved here, unsuccessfully I might add until today when I spotted 2 possibly 3 flying up and around the taller birches.  Rather early, but a lovely sighting. One flew very close to us for quite some seconds before returning to the canopy again. Earliest record ever by about 2 weeks.  Peter Hall

Monday, 25 February 2019

Bird Nest Moths (Updated 21st April, Hofmannophila pseudospretella)

UPDATE 21st April. I have now had 3 Brown House Moths (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) emerge from these larvae.

When I cleaned out our House Sparrow nest boxes last autumn I decided to keep the contents in a plastic bag overwinter to see if any moths emerged this year. The bag was hung in a garden shed and today we noticed several larvae crawling up the sides of the bag obviously looking for suitable pupation sites. There are several species that inhabit bird nests but, looking on the internet, there seems to be a dire shortage of larval images of the likely candidates so I shall have to wait and see if adults emerge, allowing identification.   Patrick Clement

Friday, 22 February 2019

Scots Pine mines

With the current spell of good weather I've been out looking for mines in the needles of Scots Pine on the Lickey Hills in Worcestershire and at Highgate Common in South Staffs.

The first photograph shows the mine of Exoteleia dodecella with the larva visible within. This mine is easily identified because, unlike the other Scots Pine leaf miners, the mine contains no frass, being ejected through the hole at the base of the mine.

Exoteleia dodecella mine

I have found several mines which are either Cedestis subfasciella or Ocnerostoma friesei but I can't make up my mind which. However, the image below shows the mature larva of C. subfasciella which has left the mine and appears to be starting to pupate on the exterior of the mined needle.

Cedestis subfasciella pre-pupation larva
Cedestis subfasciella larva removed from mine.

Patrick Clement

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Bringsty Common

Felt inspired by Steve's posting of a Small Brindled Beauty. It's the same here, never seen it here until last night when one came to the garden mv. Plenty of big oaks about so it is more surprising it has taken so long to appear, or it is maybe my lack of trapping at this time of year. Otherwise the usual crew: Chestnut, Dark Chestnut, Satellite, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Dotted Border, Clouded Drab, Oak Beauty, Engrailed, March, Pale Brindled Beauty, Early and Tortricodes alternella.  Not all last night, but over the past week. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Small Brindled Beauty

Bringsty Common: Dotted Border

Warndon Trap

Small Brindled Beauty in Warndon garden Robbo on Sunday night - not even annual here despite being only a km from statistically the best county site. This was however shaded by yet another fine form of Acleris cristana

Acleris cristana
Also this week a Grey Shoulder-knot resting on back wall of house yesterday evening was the first here in February and still only 6th site record plus a few more Dotted Borders.
Grey Shoulder-knot

Monday, 18 February 2019

Dark Sword-grass, Halesowen.

It's always a slow start here each season, but a Dark Sword-grass was worth putting the trap out for on Saturday night.

Dark Sword-grass
Patrick Clement

Mid February Warndon Traps

Mobile Actinic in Warndon Wood from 18:05 to 23:05 under cloudy skies on Saturday 16th for the now annual Small Brindled Beauty survey! After lighting up, a thorough 40 minute torchlit session on western paths produced 32 male Dotted Borders. After hearing about various rare migrant moths in the southwest during the day I had to have a double-take on this micro sitting on the Perspex - phew, just a very well marked Tortricodes alternella.
Tortricodes alternella
At the final count just 13 male Small Brindled Beauty, 5 more Dotted Border, one Chestnut, 3 Pale Brindled Beauty, 2 Agonopterix heracliana, Acleris schalleriana and 10 T. alternella.
Small Brindled Beauty
   The early morning garden Robinson had an impressive 11 Common Quaker, an Early Moth, an Oak Beauty, Dotted Border and a Beautiful Plume.
Common Quaker

Temperatures are set to soar next weekend so expect more species then.....

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Dotted Borders

following the short cold snap, I thought a visit to Warndon Wood may be worthwhile but rain forecast at 20:00 meant I went with just the headtorch not the usual actinic. 30 minutes along the western perimeter paths produced 9 male Dotted Borders all clinging to outermost branches but none attached to any females so
Dotted Border
 maybe they had just emerged. The best patterned one is seen here. A smaller geo scuttled off as I tried to home in and may have been a Early Moth. A presumed Tortricodes alternella flew past. A quick check of the outside cafĂ© lights at the Nunnary Wood Visitor Centre was fruitless apart from two long-dead Winter Moths in the old cobwebs. The rain arrived bang on cue.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Herefordshire Moth Recorders Gathering

Don't forget the meeting being held on Tuesday evening from around 8pm in the Swan on Aylestone Hill, Hereford.  There will be updates on what is going on and a chance to chat. Peter Hall