Sunday, 29 October 2017

October 2017


26th October -   The only moth  found in the moth trap this evening was this beautiful  Merveille du Jour .
I had placed the moth trap in front of the flowering Ivy, a food source for this particular moth species.
Another autumnal moth which flies between September and October and is attracted to light fortunately.
A medium sized moth with a wingspan of  42-52 mm, said to frequent woodland and parks and is common and widespread,


Merveille du Jour Griposia aprilina






24th October -      On my return from an evening walk with the dog I noticed a moth resting on the glass of the porch door under a wall lamp.
one of the Thorn species, in fact a male Feathered Thorn,  only the male has the feathered antennae which gives this moth its name.
A fairly medium sized macro moth of the Geometridae family of moths with a wingspan of 35mm-45 mm.
A single generation moth which flies in the autumn September-November described as fairly common and widespread.

Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria






Saturday, 23 September 2017

September 2017

22nd September a relatively cold and chilly night, but the weather forecast was for a dry night so my first opportunity this month to get the moth trap out. I was not expecting to catch much, and that is exactly what happened.

A couple of Brimstones were fluttering around the trap late evening but did not enter,
 2 -L-album Wainscot moths in the trap, 1- Yellow Shell Moth, 2- Lunar Underwing .

The last eggbox checked revealed a very dark looking moth which I suspected rightly was a Black Rustic and another new species recorded for the garden, and a herald that autumn is on the way.

Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra


From a distance a very black looking moth, but on closer inspection an attractive looking moth, the whitish stigmata on each wing stands out distinctively. described as a longish winged moth with a wingspan of 40- 46mm, this was not really noticeable on my specimen. The hind-wing is whitish but this was not visible on my moth.

Another common moth in the south of the country, although this is the first and only one caught in the garden. Reported as flying in September to October, so right on schedule, favours heathland and downland, may be the reason not many seen in my garden as yet.

Black Rustic

Black Rustic

Lunar Underwing 

Garden list now stands at :-

 65 - Black Rustic

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.