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.

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