Monday, 17 July 2017

July 2017

22nd July - 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 JulySecond 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 - 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
                                        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
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

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

May 2017

Three sessions this month  producing new species for the garden list.
The first session on the evening of 21st May 2017  trapped the following
1 - Cabbage moth*
1 - Light Emerald*
2 - Common Marbled Carpets*

Cabbage Moth Mamestra brassicae

Although a common species throughout most of the country , I have only caught one , there is suppose to be considerable variation in size and markings, which will probably make this one hard to identify in the future, but can always be identified by the presence of a curved 'spur' on the tibia of the foreleg.( can't see that on mine) wingspan of 37-45 mm.
Considered a pest species feeding as its name suggests on cabbage and related crops. flies between May through to September.

Common Marbled Carpet Dysstroma truncata

This small moth is from the family Geometridae, flies at night and attracted to both light and  nectar-rich flowers and sugary foods which is fairly unusual for the family.
Another common and variable species found throughout the country,
 flying in May and June and again in August to October.
wingspan 24-30mm

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

Another member of the Geometridae family, and one of a number of Emerald named moths, pale green in colour, which fades with age to almost white,the fore-wing has a blood red tip which extends as a line along the outer edge of both fore and hind wings.
The fore-wing has two white lines outlined in green, the hind-wing,  just one line.
A common moth which flies from June to August, in the south of the country another partial second generation flying in August to September.
The female is considerably larger than the male.

25th May 2017 - A good selection of Moths caught in the trap last night, with a few new species for the garden list.*

1- Campion Moth *
1- Light Emerald Moth
1 Peppered Moth *
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character.
1- Heart & Dart
1- Common Marbled Carpet
2- Green Pug*
1- Silver-Ground Carpet*
1 Willow Beauty*
3- Clouded Border*
2- Marbled Minor*
1- possible Garden Dart

The Campion Sideridis rivularis

Another widespread moth which has found its way to my garden, flies mainly in May and June, here in the south of the country, a second generation flies in August and September. will be interesting to see if any are caught then.

Alleged to look like The Lynhnis, a moth which I am yet to come across, 

( The Lynhnis  does look similar although the  stigmata do not appear to join at the base , more greyer in appearance with no purple colouring.)

The Campion has two fore-wing stigmata joined at the base. Fresh specimens have a purple suffusion. which you can make out on this specimen.

Peppered Moth Biston betularia

Although classed as common and widespread, my favorite catch so far. fairly large stout bodied moth with a wingspan 35-60mm, its flight period from May to August, so fits nicely.

There are two forms, an all dark individual dominant in the north of the country, where it is susceptible to industrial melanism, references now say that these are declining in these areas.

The wings of this moth are white, peppered with black speckling, which varies in amounts.

Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria

This appears to be one of several similar species ( see diagram below ), but this which I believe is the Willow beauty is one of the most widespread and common, they fly between June to September, with occasional records in May and a peak in August.  So my sightings at the end of May are just within the acceptable flight period. They  readily come to light.
There appears to be two forms, both of which have found their way to my  moth trap.
 Typical forms are brownish with darker streaks and markings, but there is also a greyish form, f. perfumaria, as well as an almost black melanic variant.

wingspan of 30-38mm

Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis

Two of these caught in the trap last night, there appears to be a complex of three species which are difficult to tell apart. This Marbled white is by far the more common, flying between May through to July, fairly small macro moth with a wing span of 22-25mm.
The other two closely related species are the Tawny Marbled Minor and the Rufous Minor.

Three micro moths found in the trap and identified as the following.

Green Pug Pasiphila rectangulata

I'm not surprised this small micro moth from the  Geometridae family has turned up in the garden trap, especially as a large pear tree dominants the garden.
 (the caterpillars feed on the blossoms of apple and pear as well as other fruit trees)

Described as fairly common and variable flies between June and July attracted to light.

Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata

Another common micro moth found throughout the country, flies between may into July, another variable species displaying a wide range of differing colours, although all forms have whitish ground colour to wings. 
wingspan of 24-28mm 

Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata

Delicate little micro moth usally disturbed from low undergrowth during the day, its natural flight time is at night flies between May to July.

wingspan of 30-38mm the brown and white markings show considerable variation

This unidentified moth has me stumped,  quite a dark looking moth although the camera flash makes it look more colurful than it actually was.

The last session on the 31st May brought in a few more unseen species

3 - Dark Spectacles*
1 -  Cabbage Moth
2 - Common Quakers
4 - Heart And Dart
1 - Clay
1 -  Treble Brown Spot*
1 -  Light Emerald
5  - unidentified ??

Dark Spectacle Abrostola triplasia

Not a very good image, a few focus problems, but clearly a Dark Spectacle, flight timing says from June to July, my sighting close enough on 31st May, possibly a second generation in the autumn.
Described as reasonably common in the south of the country.
all the I.D. pointers can be seen, greyish ground colour, straw yellow basal area, cross lines edged in black, description says that the kidney and oval spots edged also in black which can just be made out.

Treble Brown Spot Idaea trigeminata

Another small Micro moth from the Geometridae  family, described as a distinctive moth found around woodland edges and hedgerows.
Flies from late May to early July with a wingspan of 23-25mm.

Moths unidentified 31/5/2017

The  well worn moth below remains unidentified, but there are a couple of possibilities, 
White Point? White Spot Brown Line?

Garden list 

1. Brimstone
2.-Yellow Shell
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