Friday, 25 August 2017

August 2017

29th August 2017 - " Old Lady in the garden "

 Last session for August brought in seven species of Moth, two of which were new for the garden.
1. Old Lady *
2. Large Yellow Underwing (2)
3. Lesser Yellow Underwing
4. L-Album Wainscot
5. Common Quaker
6. Yellow Shell
7. Gold fringed Moth *



Old Lady Mormo maura

Old Lady Mormo maura

First Old Lady for the garden was a nice surprise, usually flying between July and August, so fits nicely. also known as a Black underwing.
Said to frequent gardens and waste ground, hiding by day in old buildings and sheds.
Surprised by the size of this moth when seen flying around the light trap, large winged and sombre coloured.
So called because the pattern resembles the shawl worn by old ladies. Can't really see it myself though.

Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis

Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis

Nearly missed this tiny micro moth, fairly common species in the south of the country. Flies in July to August and has a wingspan of 16-23mm
Apparently this moth has two resting positions, In one, the moth adopts a 'triangular' shape, with the hindwings hidden by the forewings, as in the photograph above.
 At full rest, all four wings are splayed out, and the tip of the abdomen is tilted upward.


 Other notable moths in the trap was this fine looking Yellow Shell

Yellow Shell
Large Yellow Underwing
Lesser Yellow Underwing



Additions for August 2017

61. White-Point
62. Elbow-stripe Grass Veneer Moth
63. Old Lady
64. Gold Triangle



26th August 2017 -  Tortrix? 
 Not such a good catch this evening with just nine moths of 6 species, One new moth species for the garden in the form of a Elbow-Striped Grass Veneer moth.

1. Common Wainscot (2)
2. L-Album Wainsot
3. Common Quaker (3)
4. Light Brown Apple Moth
5. Tortrix species unknown
6. Elbow-Striped Grass Veneer

62 species now on the garden list


L-album Wainscot


Elbow-Striped Grass Veneer


 A common and widespread grass moth which flies between July to October, identification is made easier by the dark elbow shaped cross lines just visible on this photograph.



16th August 2017  " whats the point "
  A good nights catch with at least 20 moths in the trap and one Jersey Tiger outside, a couple of Brimstone moths were fluttering around the trap late evening but managed to avoid the light trap.
A new Moth for the garden list in the form of this White-Point.

White-point Mythimna albipuncta

White-point Mythimna albipuncta
My first thoughts on seeing this moth in the trap was to identify it as another Clay moth, a few of which have been caught in the garden earlier this year. but on closer inspection I have re-identified this as a White-Point , I hope correctly.
This moth is an immigrant to this country although it is now believed to breed here in the south and south east of the country. Seen in August to September.

For a comparison here's a Clay moth caught back in June
The Clay Mythimna ferrago


 A single White Ermine moth was found in the trap, not as heavily marked as the previous male caught last month, I 'm pretty sure that this is a female, the abdomen was spotted with rows of black spots, although the wings are very sparsely spotted, these are suppose to be quite varied in appearance ,so nothing unusual there, the antenna as you can see in the photograph were not as feathered as last months leading me to conclude a probable female.


female White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda
Another moth from the  Yponomeuta family of Ermine Moths was this single Spindle Ermine, easily overlooked but attractive little moth all the same. sometimes referred to as the  Bird-cherry Ermine

Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella
A single Straw Under-wing Thalpophila matura  in good condition and very photogenic, found its way to the light trap,

Straw Underwing Thalpophila matura




A Setaceous Hebrew Character, just the one  in the light trap, these fly between July and August, so right on schedule, this one seemed quite small.

Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia c-nigrum

Two Wainscots were in the trap one in good condition which I believe is a Common Wainscot, the other was in a very worn state and unidentifiable by me anyway.

Common Wainscot Mythimna pallens
Five Common Quakers of varying shades and hue making identification questionable.




Three Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwings in the trap giving me the opportunity to get a better record photograph of this species. quite an easy one to identify with its sharply defined pale buff frontal area, which gives a very neat appearance. these all appeared midway between its flight period of  July to September.

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe






Moths seen and caught during the evening included the following

Jersey Tiger 1, White ermine 1, Straw Under-wing 1, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing 3, Setaceous Hebrew Character 1, Common Wainscot 2, Common Quaker 5, White Point 1, Spindle Ermine, Apple Moth 1, Brimstone 2.

11 species in all,

Additions for August 2017

61. White-Point
62. Elbow-stripe Grass Veneer Moth

Monday, 17 July 2017

July 2017

26th July - " Tigers galore"
 The weather forecast was for a dry overcast night giving me the opportunity to set the moth trap up in the garden.

The nights catch brought in several moths, but not a huge catch .
2 -Brimstone, 1 -Riband Wave ( solid band), 1 -Jersey Tiger, 1 -Ruby tiger, 1 - Heart and dart, 1- Heart and Club, 1 -Spectacle.

new for garden list :-

Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa




Much smaller than I was expecting, with a wingspan of 30-35mm, described as fairly widespread, so common.

Flies in April to June and again in August to September here in the south of the country, in the north just the one generation in June.

Dark chestnut in colour with one or two black spots on my individual, the body is bright red with lines of black spots, which can just be made out on this Ruby tiger in the photograph.

Other moths noted :-

This is now the fifth Jersey Tiger seen in the last few days. a glimpse of bright orange hind-wing.

Spectacle Moth looking fairly worn

Heart & Dart

Heart & Club
Garden list now stands at 60 species identified.

additions for July 2017

56.- Riband Wave
57.- Dark Arches
58.- Early Thorn
59.- Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth ( in garden day time)
60.- Ruby Tiger


22nd July - " Tigers"This is the second Jersey Tiger seen in the last two days,  One on my Conservatory mid afternoon after a heavy shower, the second on the pavement further down the road.

A very striking looking moth, until recently restricted to the Channel Islands and the south coast, said to be expanding its range now , being found in most southern counties, here in Kent, and parts of London.

Main flight period is between July and September, quite a large moth with a wingspan of 42-52mm. the orange coloured hind wings are quite striking when seen in flight.
Flies in Daytime as well as night feeding on various flowers, attracted to light.

Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria






20th July -     Hummingbird Hawk-moth     
                Macroglossum stellatarum

This is one of those moth species I am desperate to get a photograph of, I couldn't believe it when this one hovered in front of flower where I was sitting on a bright sunny afternoon. It did not stay long a quick look at a couple of Wiegela blooms and it disappeared over the garden fence and lost to view.

It's an immigrant species which sometimes occurs in large numbers following an extended period of warm weather. has an wingspan of 40-50 mm.

It flies in the sunshine and hovers in front of flowers, sipping the nectar with its long proboscis, very much like the hummingbird which gives it its name.


                                        No time to photograph.

13th July - "Pearl & Thorn"
Second session of the month was quite poor considering previous catches. a few Lesser Yellow Under-wings, one Ribband wave.

Two new species for the garden list were  -              Mother of Pearl 
                                                                      Early Thorn.


Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis



This is the largest of the Micro moths, fairly common throughout the country. Flies from Mid June through to October, has a wingspan of 26-40mm and is attracted to light.

I had two of these in the trap,  the moth rests with all four wings on display, their wings are suppose to show a colorful rainbow-like luster in certain light conditions.

The Two I caught showed a golden to pale yellow shimmer with grey cross lines. 
Another first for the garden list.


Early Thorn Selenia dentaria




My field guide showing nine species of Thorn moths, it goes without saying really that the first Thorn Moth caught in the light trap was one of the most common, but a pleasing capture for me.

The Early Thorn, identification is made easy by the moths resting position, it holds its wings up over its back, pressed together, very much like a Butterfly.

There are two generations, the first in April and May, the second in August to September.


Mine obviously is of the summer brood. said to be slightly smaller and paler. This is the first one that's found its way into the garden light trap. lovely looking moth.



 3rd July - " Under the arches "
- first session of the month , and the light trap had nine species in the morning. these included several Lesser Yellow Under-wings of various shades, a single Large yellow Under-wing, a possible Heart and Club, 1-The Flame, 1-The Clay, Common Wainscot, a well worn Bright-line, Brown-Eye , Riband Wave, and a possible Dark Arches.



New species Dark Arches



June brought in my first Riband Wave moth, right on schedule being on the wing from June to September, a common moth, but new to my garden, there are two forms of this moth.

Last month brought in my first Riband Wave the Idaea  Aversata  form, this session brought in the Banded form of Riband Moth.

Riband Wave Idaea aversata  June 2017

Riband Wave - Banded Form

The Clay seems quite common around the garden, July being the start of its flight period through to August.
It occupies a range of habitats, though preferring more wooded areas, my garden does have several trees and shrubs, an easy moth to identify now, the Black chevron under the body marking out the male of the species. A few caught in June.




Heart & Club Agrotis clavis







The Heart and Club is a moth of the Noctuidae family, found mainly in the south and south east of the country, not as common as its cousin the Heart and Dart.

This moth has a wing span of 35-40mm, flies in June and July and is a frequent visitor to light.
Said to frequent sand dunes and waste ground.

Even though this specimen looks slightly worn, the background colour of the fore-wings appear pale, the stigmata all appear rounded, the claviform stigmata does not appear as elongated as the commoner Heart & Dart. I could be wrong so this will be a provisional identification.

Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha




My initial identification was that this was possibly a Dark Brocade, but on reflection I think it more likely to be Another moth of the Noctuidae family the Dark Arches.

Dark Arches is a common species throughout the country, often attracted to light.

Described as being quite variable and recognised by the large oval and kidney mark, and a W-shaped mark near the outer edge of the forewings.

Often found in gardens ,flies between June to August and a partial second generation in the south of the country in late summer.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

June 2017


Moth night on the 4th June 2017 brought in a reasonable catch for me with a few new species.

1- White Ermine*
1- Heart&Dart
4- Willow Beauty
2- Clay
1- Bright-Line Brown Eye*
1- Common Marbled Carpet
1- Magpie*
1- unidentified.
  
White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda

A beautiful moth which I nearly missed in the trap, surprisingly widespread and common (although not for me being the only one ever caught).
Flies from May to July so still time to maybe catch another for some better photographs, has a wingspan of 34-48mm.

Considerable variation in the black speckling apparently.


White Ermine feigning death !

Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea




 Another common species found over most of the country, sometimes known as the Tomato Moth.

 This one not so variable, flies May to July. Favours suburban habitats as well as salt marshes. 

The fore-wings are uniformly brown in colour with a fine white outer cross line forming a 'W' ( this is the bright line). And an Orange blotch or kidney mark ( this is the brown eye)




The Clay Mythimna ferrago








The Clay showing the black chevron or triangle on the underside of its abdomen confirming its identity.

Two of these found in the light trap early June.

 suggested flight period July to August.








This moth was originally marked as unidentified but it could be the Cabbage Moth Mamestra brassicae which is on the wing between May through to September. I have caught one in the trap on an earlier occasion in May. There is suppose to be a variation in size and markings.



The Magpie Abraxas grossulariata



Described as a common moth found in most of the country, very Butterfly like and an easy one to identify, flies in July and August , so a little early for first week in June. This one was well worn with damaged wing tip unfortunately.


10th June 2017 - second session for this month brought in a relatively good selection including the following :-1- Willow Beauty, 1 - Flame, 2 Heart & Dart, 1 Common Emerald, 2 Small Magpie,
1 Clay, 2 Riband Wave,  3 Clouded Silver, 1 Common Carpet, 1 Small Quaker, 1 Large Yellow Under-wing, and two unidentified moths.

        New for the garden list were   Common Emerald
                                                 Small Magpie
                                                 Clouded Silver
                                                 Riband Wave
                                                 Common Carpet
                                                 Large Yellow Under-wing.
                                                

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

Common Emerald
Light Emerald caught in May 2017



Appears slightly smaller than the only other Emerald moth caught thus far, the Light Emerald, with a wing span of 24-27mm. 

Flies from dusk in June and July usually around woodlands, occurs in the southern half of the country.

Hind-wings end in a slight point with black and white checker effect around the edge of the wings.


Small Magpie Anania hortulata



Another very common moth which flies in June and July, still only two individuals caught in the light trap so far. has a wingspan of 24-28mm.
Easy Moth to identify with its yellowish body parts and black and white patterned wings.

(The large Magpie considerably larger and has yellow markings on there wings.)


Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata


Three of these lovely micro moths found in and around the light trap, said to be a common species over most of the country.

Flies in May and June with the occasional adult on the wing in autumn. frequents woodland, suburban gardens.

wingspan of 22-26mm.

Riband Wave Idaea aversata


A common species found throughout the country, flies between June and August, sometimes a later generation in the south in autumn. has a wingspan of 23-30 mm. a member of the Geometridae family of moths.

There are two forms which are roughly equal in numbers.
this one which I believe is known as the plain form ( remutata ) which only has narrow cross lines.
The other has a dark band across all four wings.






Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata




Another quite common and widespread moth of the Geometridae family. 
sometimes known as the White- Banded toothed Carpet.

Flies in May and June with a wingspan of 20-25mm



Large Yellow Under-wing Noctua pronuba


Said to be one of the country's most abundant larger moth, with numbers being enhanced with migratory influxes here in the south of the country.
Flies from July to September , so this one slightly early perhaps, has a wingspan 0f 45-55mm
The hind-wings appear more orange than yellow on the individual caught in the trap with a black border at the end of the hind wing, the purpose of this brightly coloured hind wing is to confuse its predators.
The two dark spots on the outer edge at the rear of the forewing are characteristic.





 Unidentified moth for the moment below




Last session of the month on the evening of 18th-19th June, brought in another twelve species to the light trap :-  Least Carpet, Flame, Small Magpie, Heart & Dart, Common Quaker, Spindle Ermine, Oncocera Semirubella, Large Yellow Under-wing,  Smoky Wainsot, L-Albun Wainscot, Riband wave.

        new for the garden list   Least Carpet
                                        Flame
                                        Spindle Ermine
                                        Oncocera Semirubella
                                        L-Album Wainscot
                                        Smoky Wainscot
                                     



Least Carpet Idaea rusticata




Nearly missed this tiny micro moth, usually on the wing in July to August,
wing span of just 19-21 mm
This moth restricted to the south eastern counties of England, so my trapping in North Kent fits nicely albeit slightly early for its flight range.



The Flame Axylia putris




The flame is a moth from the Noctuidae family, reported as a common species over most of the country, except in the north where it is more local. 

The adults rest with its wings wrapped around the body, this is suppose to resemble a broken twig. which is unusual for moths of this family

Has a wingspan of 27-32mm and flies in June to July, sometimes a second generation in the autumn.
Found in suburban gardens as well as woodland fringes and hedgerows .



 Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella





Hoping I have the right identification for this moth as there appears to be several very similar yponomeuta species.

(References say that this species can be distinguished by the " terminal cilia" on the fore-wing.
not sure exactly what that refers too at the moment.)

Assuming I have the right identification, this is a common species found throughout the country except the north , I had several in the light trap.
Its a small moth with a wingspan of 19-26mm,  larvae food plant is the Spindle, hence its name.




Rosy-striped Knot-horn
Oncocera semirubella




A nice looking moth quite easy to identify, a wingspan of 17-29 mm, flies in June to July. Strangely its preferred habitats are chalk downland and limestone cliffs, not sure what its doing in my garden. this species usually found in southernmost counties.


L-album Wainscot Mythimna l-album





This is one of the more distinctively marked Wainscots, restricted to the southern counties of England from Cornwall to Kent,

Its favoured habitat are damp coastal habitats such as brackish ditches. Strange to find it in my garden in North Kent.

the adults fly in two generations in July and again in September and October, so my June sighting a little early perhaps.

Used to be considered a nationally scarce moth in the UK, first recorded in Devon in 1901, thought to be a immigrant species, then in 1930s established itself as a breeding species in South Devon.

A strange name! L refers to the L-shaped marks on the fore-wing and album is the Latin for white.

Smoky Wainscot Mythimna impura ?


Not sure whether this is a Common Wainscot or Smoky Wainscot, couldn't get a look at the hind wing as it flew off
Named after the dusky or smoky suffusion on the hindwing, this is a fairly common species over most of the British Isles.

It flies from June to August, sometimes later in the south, wingspan 31-38mm



Garden list 


1. Brimstone
2.-Yellow Shell
3.-Silver-Y
4.-Straw Underwing
5 - Small Square-Spot
6.- Square Spot Rustic
7.- Lesser Yellow underwing
8.- Uncertain !
9.- Common Wainscot
10.-Light Brown Apple Moth
11.- Lime-Speck Pug
12.- Double-Striped Pug
13.-Brown House moth
14.-Common Plume

Additions to Garden list :-   15/8/16

15. Common Carpet
16. Copper Underwing
17. Spectacle
18. Scalloped Oak
19.Lesser Bordered Yellow Underwing
20.  Bright line, Brown Eye
21. Jersey Tiger.

Additions -  September 2016

22. The Snout *
23. Setaceous Hebrew Character *
24. The Clay *
25. Lunar Underwing (3) *

additions to garden list, March 2017

26. - Hebrew Character
27. - Common Quaker
28. - March Dagger Moth
29. - The Streamer

additions April 2017

30. - Early Grey

additions May 2017

31. - Cabbage Moth
32. - Light Emerald
33.- Common Marbled carpet
34. - Campion
35. - Peppered Moth
36. - Green Pug
37.- Silver-Ground Carpet
38. - Willow Beauty
39. - Clouded Border
40. - Marbled Minor
41. - Dark Spectacle
42. - Treble Brown Spot

additions June 2017

43.- White Ermine
44.- Magpie
45.- Common Emerald
46.- Small Magpie
47- Clouded Silver
48.- Riband Wave
49.- Large Yellow Underwing
50.- Least Carpetr
51.- The Flame
52.- Spindle Ermine
53.- Rosy-striped Knot-horn
54.- L-Album Wainscot
55.- Smoky Wainscot