Thursday, 30 April 2020

Glaucous Shears

Seeing the forecast of rain arriving early in the morning of the 28th April at the Warndon Trap I set the alarm for 04:00 to avoid wet egg boxes later. The Robinson was sealed, towelled down and put in the garage. There did not appear much inside when inspected later but a Silver Y caught the eye. An unfamiliar dark noctuid was potted from the bottom of the trap. It gave the impression of a dark 'Tawny Shears' but not quite right and surely not Glaucous Shears in lowland Worcs? An image was sent to Tony Simpson, who quickly responded with the ID - Glaucous Shears. Only 6 previous VC37 records, all in May, included 3 at Tony's home in Bransford. A record at Upper Rochford asks the question: could it occur as close as the upper slopes of nearby Clee Hills? Amazingly another Glaucous Shears was also trapped in Stourbridge by Dave Smith on the same night. Waring and Townsend state it is an immigrant so maybe these 2 have travelled a lot further than 50 miles?

Glaucous Shears

Monday, 27 April 2020

Bringsty Common April 26th

The issue with the recent glorious days has been clear skies at night, so rather chilly. However, last night it remained warmer for a while longer and moth numbers responded here. Still 10 degreees at 1am and eventually dropped to 6.2 by 4.30am. 38 species of macromoth and so far 6 micromoth species with another 3 or 4 to add later. For interest I'll list them in no particular order. I'm sure some of these will be breaking the earliest records or close to: Brimstone (8), White-pinion Spotted (7), Least Black Arches (6), Waved Umber (1), Yellow-barred Brindle (1), Flame Shoulder (2), Pebble Hook-tip (2), Lesser Swallow Prominent (10), Coxcomb Prominent (1), Red Twin-spot Carpet (7), Streamer (1), Small Phoenix (12), Brindled Pug (8), Orange Footman (2), V-pug (2), Hebrew Character (7), Poplar-hawk (2), Swallow Prominet (5), Iron Prominent (4), Muslin (12), Alder Kitten (1), Common Quaker (2), Nut-tree Tussock (3), Clouded Border (1), Lunar Marbled Brown (1), Early Thorn (1), Purple Thorn (1), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1), Oak-tree Pug (1), Knot Grass (1), Brown Silver-line (3), Brindled Beauty (2), Red Chestnut (1), Pebble Prominent (1), Pale Tussock (1), Flame Shoulder (1), Shoulder Stripe (1), Maiden's Blush (1), Aphomia sociella (1), Elachista canapennella (13), Syndemis musculana (1), Epinotia immundana (1), Ancylis badiana (1) and Pseudoswammerdamia combinella (1). Not bad for April. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Alder Kitten

Bringsty Common: Brown Silver-line

Bringsty Common: Iron Prominent

Bringsty Common: Nut-tree Tussock

Bringsty Common: Orange Footman

Bringsty Common: Small Phoenix

Bringsty Common: Yellow-barred Brindle

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Chamomile Shark

I was pleased to record my first garden record of Chamomile Shark at Norchard VC37 last night. I found a caterpillar in 2009 which I have included for interest.

St Mark's Day G&T

Decided to catch the last of the evening sun with a G&T on a bench in our little meadow. Carrying the drinks tray through the porch an Esperia sulfurella sat near the log pile, then I disturbed a Nematopogon swammerdamella near the gate but enjoyed the drinks with ca. 50 Adela reamurella dancing around the hawthorn leaves above our head. Biblio marci and B. johannis were doing their thing around the Early Purple Orchids. Suddenly lock-down didn't seem so bad.

Later a couple of hours of mv produced Dotted Chestnut, Alder Kitten, White Pinion Spotted, Iron and Lesser Swallow Prominents and Square Spot amongst others.

Sunday, 19 April 2020


Excuse the dull picture but I picked up this Longhorn sunning itself this morning at Miners Rest NR, the Doward. Looks to me like a Cauchas rufimitrella which may be new to the 10km square (unless John Walshe has found them?). I've also seen Adela reamurella and a Nematopogon sp on local walks this week. Bit early though ? (like the beech trees)

Bringsty Common this past week

Been a bit chilly so only ran the trap twice. 28 macro species and 2 micros. In addition to the usual stuff, there was White Marked still appearing, Silver Cloud, Iron Prominent, Blossom Underwing (that's 2 now), V-pug, White Ermine, Clouded Border, Brown Silver-line with Brindled Beauty topping the numbers.
I've had a mass hatching of Emperors and now have something like 50 females hanging upside down releasing their pheromones. I'm expecting to attract males from France and beyond! So far 10 wild males have arrived (I've just gone outside now to net another and introduce it to the harem), which is the most in a year for here and I guess still the chance of a few more. Hatching is definitely temperature triggered as cooler days, nothing hatches, but when it warms up a bit, males start hatching first and later on out come the females. I have to check them out every half hour otherwise the captive bred males will get in there first. Times for wild males to arrive? 2.55pm the earliest and latest just now at 6.05pm. Once I put a wild male in with the females, pairing takes place almost immediately. Eggs then get produced in the following days. There's less than 40 Herefordshire records for this moth, which is really surprising. If folk don't want to rear them through each year, there is an artificial pheromone available these days, although indications are it is slightly less effective than the real thing, although it does work. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Brown Silver-line

Bringsty Common: V-pug

Bringsty Common: White Ermine

Bringsty Common: Female Emperors at work

Bringsty Common: Success!

Friday, 17 April 2020

Doward in first half of April

I tend to be rather erratic at moth trapping, occasionally using an all night actinic heath trap and sometimes a few hours with an mv.  I live on top of the Doward at the southern tip of Hereforshire and am surrounded mainly by woodland.
I had a goodish mv night on 10th with 20 macros and 5 micros dominated by Lunar Marbled Brown (30+), Frosted Green (20+) and Least Black Arches (15+) with year firsts Great Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Lobster, and Early Thorn. Assumed overwinterers includes a Satellite and Oak Nycteoline. A few early spring species such as Streamer, Shoulder Stripe and Early Tooth-striped were still around. Micros included Zellaria hepariella and (probable) Dyseriocrania subpururella.

Last night (16th) my actinic was dominated by pugs with over 50 around the trap. There was also an early Marbled Brown (see pic) with several Lunar Marbled Brown and a first Scorched Carpet and Yellow-barred Brindle.

Sunday, 12 April 2020


2 Streamers, 2 Common Quakers, 4 Early Greys, 4 Hebrew Characters, 1 Small Quaker, 2 Frosted Greens and 1 Least Black Arches. Thanks to Peter with his assistance on a couple of these.

Emperor arrives at Bringsty

My Emperor moth pupae started hatching yesterday and today it has been a steady procession of them. I separate the males (not sure what to do with them now we are in lock down) from the females which are put into a netted cage hanging up in an Elder tree outside my study window. However it was Claire who spotted the first wild male at 4.15pm today and I quickly netted it and put it in with the group of ladies. Update: A second has now arrived at 5.30pm. They don't hang about! Peter Hall

Northern Drab, Bridstow

I set my trap in Bridstow on 09/04/2020 and caught this Northern Drab. My thanks to Peter for confirming its identity.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Sellack 11/04

1 Shoulder stripe, 1 lunar marbled brown, 1 purple thorn, 8 common Quaker, 1 small Quaker, 1 Hebrew character, 1 dotted chestnut, 1 puss moth (next to trap on building), 1 early grey, 1 double striped pug

Friday, 10 April 2020

Mansell Gamage 09/04/2020

Tried to choose a night with some cloud to give my light the best chance. 11 species last night: Hebrew Character, Lunar Marbled Brown, Powdered Quaker, Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Double-striped Pug, Brindled Pug, Swallow Prominent, Alder Kitten (early according to my book), Common Plume and a pair of mating Brindled Beauties.

Mansell Gamage Alder Kitten

Mansell Gamage Common Plume

Mansell Gamage Brindled Beauty mating

Sellack 10/4/20

2 silver cloud, 3 common quaker, 1 purple thorn, 1 lunar marbled brown, 1 early grey, 1 dotted chestnut, 1 shoulder stripe and 2 Hebrew character
Hi All, thanks for accepting my invitation. I have caught two of what I believe are silver clouds last night at Sellack. I would really appreciate confirmation.

Bridstow moths today

First time making a post. Today's catch: 5 Hebrew Character, 3 Clouded Drab, 4 Common Quaker, 1 Small Quaker, 1 Powdered Quaker, 1 Early Grey, 1 Brindled Beauty, 1 Muslin Moth (first for year).
Keep well.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Zelleria oleastrella

I've been going through Robin Hemming's collection of potted up micros recently from 2019. Some nice records to add to the county database and if anyone doubts the value of potting up unknowns then discovering a county first amongst them should answer the question. This one had me stumped so I had to ask other experts for their thoughts and eventually we nailed it. Only a handful of UK records and a first for Herefordshire. It was in Robins moth trap from his garden. I'll upload the dissection image for interest - it's a female. So 2019 was a slightly better year for migrants... Peter Hall

Bringsty Common

What a bight moon. Ran 2 Robinsons in the garden the past 2 nights. Not a big catch at all. I'll list for interest, in no particular order: Engrailed, Hebrew Character, Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Twin-spotted Quaker, Shoulder Stripe, March, Water Carpet, Mottled Grey, Double-striped Pug, Brindled Pug, Oak-tree Pug, Chestnunt, Streamer, Clouded Drab, Purple Thorn, White-marked, Red Chestnut, Early Grey, Frosted Green, Alucita hexadactyla, Endrosis sarcitrella, Acleris literana and one of those tricky Eriocranias that I'll look at more closely plus a couple of tiddlers potted up for later id. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Shoulder Striped

Bringsty Common: Water Carpet

Bringsty Common: Purple Thorn

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Scarlet Tiger

Counted 8 larvae today on my comfrey patch here on Bringsty Common. In the shed a Mompha subbistrigella was busy at the window (I let it out). Peter Hall