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Moth Sightings Archive - May to June 2007

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~ Tuesday 3rd July 2007 ~

Mick & Wendy Campbell visited Laplands Farm and Rushbeds Wood on Sunday 1st July and saw their first Scarlet Tiger moth of the season and 2 Straw Dots.

On Sunday 1st July David Redhead recorded: 3 Scarlet Tiger moths in Heyford Hill Lane. At home in Oxford on 2nd July Burnet moths were noticeable by their apparent absence in the morning but numerous in the afternoon with all those identified being Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnets. A Cinnabar was also seen.

Alastair Driver joined the Day-flying Moths Challenge today, with the following list of species: Cinnabar, Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Shaded Broad-bar, Silver-Y and Yellow Shell.

Nigel Partridge sent a new addition for the UTB Species list: Brown-line Bright-eye, Loosley Row on 30-06-07.

Brown-line Bright-eye
Photo © Nigel Partridge

On Friday 29th June Dave Wilton carried out his transect in Finemere Wood and in the evening ran his overnight moth trap in his Westcott garden: "Moths seen in Finemere Wood were Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (3), Clouded Border (2), Marbled White Spot (1) and Silver Y (1). My garden Robinson trap produced my first reasonable catch for a week or two, with more than 400 moths from about 80 species ending up in the trap. Best of the bunch were Lappet and Scarce Silver-lines, with Scarce Footman, Clay, Smoky Wainscot, Olive, Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl and Phycitodes binaevella also new for my garden year list. The following evening a Blackneck came to our kitchen window light."

Phycitodes binaevella
Photo © Dave Wilton
Scarce Silver-lines
Photo © Dave Wilton
Blackneck
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ Thursday 28th June 2007 ~

Dave Wilton sent this moth report on 27th June: "On 26th June I was foolish enough to run my actinic trap at Westcott even though the temperature fell to 8 degrees Celsius overnight. The result was a pitiful catch of 64 moths from 17 species. Compare that to the same day last year when I got 800 moths in the Robinson! The poor weather of the past few days seems to have had a drastic effect on catches all across the country although last night did produce one new species for me, the Short-cloaked Moth. Looking on the bright side, thanks to Peter Hall and his microscope I do now have a few additions to the UTB list from back in April: Dichrorampha acuminatana, Elachista canapennella, Dipleurina lacustrata, Eudonia truncicolella and Parornix anglicella were all trapped in my garden, Rhopobota stagnana (B&F 1161, formerly Griselda stagnana) was found in the disused railway cutting west of Westcott Airfield and Pammene argyrana was caught in Rushbeds Wood." Also, while doing a butterfly transect in Finemere Wood on 20th June, Dave kicked up a Crambus perlella from the grass.

Crambus perlella
Photo © Dave Wilton

Wendy & Mick Campbell visited Sydlings Copse on Tuesday 26th June looking for butterflies and found an Emperor Moth caterpillar and the longhorn micro Nemophora cupriacella.

Emperor Moth caterpillar
Photo © Wendy Campbell
Nemophora cupriacella
Photo © Wendy Campbell

Trevor Lawson glanced out of his office window in Hyde Heath, Bucks, on 25th June and spotted what was almost certainly a Hummingbird Hawk-moth hovering by and feeding on the catnip flowers. He dashed out to confirm it, but it had already gone.

Jan Haseler reported the following day-flying moths: On 19th June at Bearwood College - Ringed China-marks and on 24th June, Tilehurst - Hummingbird Hawk-moth.

Adam Bassett ran his moth trap in his Marlow Bottom (Bucks) garden on 22nd June: "Mottled Beauty was most evident with 10 records, but hot on the heels of last week's Great Oak Beauty, which was a new garden tick, another one appeared (underside forewing checked) - and they do look big. Two photos to show both specimens are below. The full list was: Small Magpie,Bee Moth, Maiden's Blush,Clay Triple-lines,Treble Brown Spot,Riband Wave,Phoenix, July Highflyer,Brimstone Moth,Swallow-tailed Moth, Peppered Moth,Willow Beauty,Mottled Beauty,Great Oak Beauty,Engrailed,Common White Wave, Clouded Silver,Light Emerald,Poplar Hawk-moth,Buff-tip,Buff Ermine,Heart & Club, Heart & Dart,Large Yellow Underwing,Shears,Bright-line Brown-eye,Dark Arches,Uncertain, Spectacle,Snout,Fan-foot and Acleris boscana.
[Note 06/07/07: A.boscana has been renamed A. kockiella.]

Great Oak Beauty
Photo © Adam Bassett
Great Oak Beauty
Photo © Adam Bassett

~ Monday 25th June 2007 ~

Dave Wilton sent the following report on 24th June: "Here are a few more moth species I've trapped recently which are either additional to or update the UTB list: Blastodacna hellerella (Westcott, 18th June); Spinach (Westcott, 20th June); Lunar-spotted Pinion, Clouded Brindle, Choreutis pariana/Apple Leaf Skeletonizer, Udea prunalis, Orthopygia glaucinalis (all Westcott, 22nd June); Drinker, Small Fan-footed Wave, Minor Shoulder-knot, Teleiodes luculella, Archips crataegana/Brown Oak Tortrix, Conobathra repandana (all Finemere Wood, 23rd June)."

On Saturday 23rd June at Moor Copse, Martin & Dee Raper saw Scarlet Tiger moths(4) and Silver Y(1).

David Redhead reports that they had their first Scarlet Tiger moth flying in their Oxford garden on Friday afternoon, 22nd June. Also, on Wednesday 20th he saw his first Six-spot Burnets at the M40 Compensation Area.

Dave Maunder recorded his first Old Lady moth of the year on 22nd June: "A few other moths seen recently around Aylesbury were:- Bee moth (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Small Magpie (1), Common Swift (2), Common Emerald (1)."

Maureen Cross saw a Scarlet Tiger moth in her neighbour's garden in Streatley on 21st June.

Alastair Driver has been running regular moth traps at his home in Sonning: "New for my yearlist have been:
13th June - Robinson Trap - Clouded Brindle (a new site record), Bright-line Brown-eye, Lesser Treble-bar, Uncertain and Heart and Club.
19th June - indoors - Broad-barred White, Swallow-tailed Moth.
20th June - Robinson trap - Dun-bar, Herald, Endotricha flammealis, Lozotaeniodes formosanus.
21st June - Robinson Trap - Eyed Hawk-moth, Silver-y."

Peter Hall ran his MV light trap in his Ballinger Common garden on 20th June and caught the following 76 moth species: Macros: Clay Triple-lines,Treble Brown Spot,Riband Wave,Common Marbled Carpet, Barred Yellow,Double-striped Pug,Small White Wave,Scorched Wing,Brimstone Moth, Peppered,Mottled Beauty,Pale Oak Beauty,Clouded Silver,Light Emerald,Privet Hawk, Pine Hawk,Lime Hawk,Elephant Hawk,Buff-tip,Lobster,Scarce Footman,Common Footman,Buff Ermine, Turnip,Heart & Club,Heart & Dart,Flame,Large Yellow Underwing,Ingrailed Clay, Purple Clay,Setaceous Hebrew Character,Double Square-spot,Green Arches,Grey Arches, Bright-line Brown-eye,Delicate,Smoky Wainscot,Common Wainscot,Small Angle Shades, Dark Arches,Clouded Brindle,Large Nutmeg,Middle-barred Minor, Treble Lines,Uncertain,Pale Mottled Willow,Marbled White Spot,Burnished Brass,Silver Y, Beautiful Golden Y,Spectacle,Beautiful Hook-tip,Straw Dot,Snout and Fan-foot. Micros: Nematopogon swammerdamella,Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back),Hofmannophila pseudospretella (Brown House),Agapeta hamana,Pandemis cerasana (Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix), Archips podana (Large Fruit-tree Tortrix),Archips xylosteana (Variegated Golden Tortrix), Lozotaenia forsterana,Ditula angustiorana (Red-barred Tortrix),Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Aleimma loeflingiana,Tortrix viridana (Green Oak Tortrix),Celypha striana,Celypha lacunana, Epiblema uddmanniana (Bramble Shoot),Chrysoteuchia culmella,Crambus pascuella, Crambus lathoniellus,Eurrhypara hortulata (Small Magpie),Udea olivalis and Aphomia sociella (Bee).

Lime Hawk-moth
Photo © Peter Hall
Pine Hawk-moth
Photo © Peter Hall
Privet Hawk-moth
Photo © Peter Hall

~ Thursday 21st June 2007 ~

David Redhead sent this update on his latest moth sightings: 17th June - An expedition to the Bletchingdon area produced Cinnabar (2) and a single Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet. On 19th June he went to various sites in and around Oxford and recorded 26 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths plus a Cinnabar, Shaded Broad-bar and Blood-vein.

Dave Wilton's visit to Woodsides Meadow (BBOWT) near Wendlebury, Oxon on 19th June produced small numbers of both Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet and Six-spot Burnet. Other moths disturbed from the vegetation included Blood-vein, Barred Straw, Yellow Shell and a very tired-looking Burnet Companion.

On 18th June Dave Ferguson saw 3+ Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnets at Hedgerley Spoil Heap.

19th June - Peter Hall sent the results of two moth traps in his Ballinger garden: On 1st June he recorded 45 moth species, of which 3 are additions to the UTB Species List: Tawny Marbled Minor, Ditula angustiorana and Olindia schumacherana. On 18th June he recorded 62 species of which Coleophora mayrella was new to the UTB list.

Nigel Partridge sent the following records from his recent Loosley Row garden moth traps:
An additional species from 17-06-07 - Agapeta zoegana; Scallop Shell on 18-06-07; Phlyctaenia coronata, 19-06-07 and Endotricha flammealis, 20-06-07.

Agapeta zoegana
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Scallop Shell
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Phlyctaenia coronata
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Endotricha flammealis
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Adam Bassett sent some moth records from 1st, 2nd, 9th and 15th June trapping in his Marlow Bottom, Bucks, garden: "Nothing unusual apart from a Great Oak Beauty on June 15th, which is new for the garden list (confirmed with County Recorders). Common Swift,Green Oak Tortrix,Garden Pebble, Small Magpie,Udea Olivalis,Bee Moth,Pebble Hook-tip,Peach Blossom,Mocha,Maiden's Blush, Clay Triple-lines,Small Blood-vein,Treble Brown Spot,Riband Wave,Flame Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet,Garden Carpet,Common Marbled Carpet,Barred Yellow,Green Carpet, Small Waved Umber,Pretty Chalk Carpet,Mottled Pug,Green Pug,Small White Wave, Yellow-barred Brindle,Scorched Carpet,Scorched Wing,Brimstone Moth, Lilac Beauty,Peppered Moth,Willow Beauty,Mottled Beauty, Great Oak Beauty,Pale Oak Beauty,Square Spot,Common White Wave,White-pinion Spotted, Light Emerald,Privet Hawk-moth,Small Elephant Hawk-moth,Buff-tip,Lobster Moth,Orange Footman, White Ermine,Buff Ermine,Heart & Dart,Large Yellow Underwing,Ingrailed Clay,Shears, Light Brocade,Coronet,Brown Rustic,Dark Arches,Treble Lines,Uncertain,Vine's Rustic, Green Silver-lines,Nut-tree Tussock,Beautiful Hook-tip,Snout and Small Fan-foot."

The following is a list of moths recorded by Dave Maunder since his last report of 21st May: "On 25-05-07 I ran my garden m.v. trap in Aylesbury and caught Pale Tussock (2), Large Nutmeg (3), Rustic Shoulder-knot (2), Heart and Dart (5), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1), Treble Lines (2), Marbled Minor agg.(8), Large Yellow Underwing (1), Snout (1), Small Magpie (1), and Archips podana (1). Other species seen elsewhere were:- Pale Tussock (female - 1), Burnet Companion (1), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1), Willow Beauty (2), Mottled Beauty (1), Lime Hawk-moth (female, 1), Small Dusty Wave (2), Treble Brown Spot (1), Large Yellow Underwing (3), Rustic Shoulder-knot (1), Heart and Dart (1), Bee Moth (1), Small Magpie (3), Mullein Moth larvae (4) - feeding on buddleia in my garden and a Knot Grass larva on bramble in Wendover Woods. I've also attached a photo of young Gypsy moth larvae I found changing skin."

Mullein Moth larva feeding on buddleia
Photo © Dave Maunder
Knot Grass larva
Photo © Dave Maunder
Gypsy Moth larvae
Photo © Dave Maunder

~ Tuesday 19th June 2007 ~

On 14th June at Westcott, Dave Wilton's 125wt MV pulled in its biggest haul to date: "I had just short of 700 moths from 90+ species. The Heart and Dart alone provided a third of that total with 225 recorded. Confirmed additions to my garden year list include Common Emerald, Barred Straw, Double Dart, Dark/Grey Dagger, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Dusky Brocade, Uncertain, Fan-foot and Caloptilia stigmatella. Two days later on 16th June a much reduced catch using the actinic trap brought me Lackey, Cinnabar, Sycamore and Aleimma loeflingiana."

Nigel Partridge says that despite the rain this new moth species arrived in his Loosley Row moth trap on 17th June: Large Twin-spot Carpet. He also sent a photo of the Little Emerald previously reported.

Large Twin-spot Carpet
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Little Emerald
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Jan Haseler led a moth trapping session at Lardon Chase on Friday 15th June. A full report of the joint Berkshire Moth Group / Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation event can be seen by clicking here. Additions to the UTB 2007 Species List were:
Agapeta zoegana, Apotomis turbidana, Birds Wing, Bordered Sallow, Crambus perlella, Dark Umber, Delicate, Ethmia dodecea, Fern, Ghost Moth, Grey Arches, Marbled Beauty, Pempeliella dilutella, Purple Clay, Pyrausta despicata and Scarce Footman. A few additional moths identified since the event are: Hedya nubiferana, Trachycera marmorea and Rustic Shoulder-knot.

David Redhead sent this news for 16th June: "Dog walks on the rough grassland above my house in Oxford have produced several Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moths. Also a couple of Yellow Shell, although one this morning turned into a Barred Yellow when it settled under a hawthorn leaf - I thought its flight was somewhat different which was why I went in for a close-up check."

Mark Calway sent these records from Maiden Erlegh, Berkshire, from a moth trap on Thursday 14/06/2007: The Berkshire Moth Group's regular meeting recorded the following from a single 125W Skinner trap and a half-hour walk around the reserve at the beginning of the meeting.
Stigmella aurella, Psyche casta,   Anthophila fabriciana, Prays fraxinella (Ash Bud Moth), Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth), Batia unitella, Blastobasis lacticolella (formerly B.decolorella), Agapeta hamana, Archips podana (Large Fruit-tree Tortrix), Archips xylosteana (Variegated Golden Tortrix), Epiphyas postvittana (Light Brown Apple Moth), Lozotaenia forsterana, Aleimma loeflingiana, Celypha striana, Celypha lacunana, Eucosma cana, Lathronympha strigana,   Chrysoteuchia culmella (Garden Grass-veneer), Crambus pascuella,   Acentria ephemerella (Water Veneer), Pyrausta aurata, Eurrhypara hortulata (Small Magpie), Udea olivalis, Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth), Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Emmelina monodactyla, Common Swift, Common Emerald, Blood-vein, Small Blood-vein, Small Dusty Wave, Treble Brown Spot, Riband Wave, Yellow Shell, Common Marbled Carpet, Barred Yellow, Foxglove Pug, Green Pug, Brimstone Moth, Swallow-tailed Moth, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, Mottled Beauty, Engrailed, Common White Wave, Clouded Silver, Light Emerald, Eyed Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Pale Prominent, Vapourer, Buff Footman, Buff Ermine, Heart and Club, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Smoky Wainscot, Coronet, Dingy Shears, Dark Arches, Oak Nycteoline, Burnished Brass, Spectacle, Beautiful Hook-tip, Straw Dot, Snout and Small Fan-foot.
Spinach deleted from the list after checks were made as at least one of the moths identified as the Spinach was in fact the Barred Yellow. Since the other one was not retained, the safe option has been taken and the Spinach has been deleted from the records. Records of the Spinach do exist from the area from 1993 through to 2003 and no doubt it still occurs here, but without proof positive none will be recorded.

~ Sunday 17th June 2007 ~

During a visit to Sydlings Copse on 16th June Dave Ferguson saw two Silver-Y moths.

Mark Calway sent the following photos of a Hornet Moth seen at Kings Meadow on 8th June.

Hornet Moth
Photo © Mark Calway
Hornet Moth
Photo © Mark Calway

Peter Hall sent this updated chart showing the UTB Cumulative Moth Species Totals and is wondering if June will see the totals equal out with 2006 after an early start? 389 was the 2006 end of June total.

UTB Cumulative Moth Species Totals
Chart courtesy of Peter Hall

Dave Wilton ran three moth traps recently, two in his Westcott garden and another in Finemere Wood: "On 10th June I had another good catch to the MV in my garden at Westcott: Common Swift (3), Buff Arches (1), Figure of Eighty (2), Blood-vein (3), Small Dusty Wave (1), Silver-ground Carpet (1), Common Carpet (1), Yellow Shell (1), Currant Pug (1), Clouded Border (1), Scorched Wing (1), Brimstone Moth (3), Peppered Moth (2), Mottled Beauty (6), Clouded Silver (2), Eyed Hawk-moth (2), Small Elephant Hawk-moth (5), Swallow Prominent (1), Pale Prominent (1), Buff-tip (1), White Ermine (1), Buff Ermine (8), Heart and Club (2), Heart and Dart (142), Flame (8), Flame Shoulder (5), Large Yellow Underwing (2), Small Square-spot (2), Setaceous Hebrew Character (6), Shears (7), Light Brocade (1), Bright-line Brown-eye (4), Common Wainscot (12), Shoulder-striped Wainscot (8), Poplar Grey (2), Brown Rustic (8), Dark Arches (2), Light Arches (1), Large Nutmeg (4), Rustic Shoulder-knot (6), Marbled Minor sp (65), Middle-barred Minor (5), Common/Lesser Common Rustic (1), Small Dotted Buff (1), Treble Lines (20), Vine's Rustic (2), Mottled Rustic (3), Burnished Brass (1), Spectacle (2), Straw Dot (6) and Snout (2). The micros included Agapeta hamana (1), Archips podana/Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (3), Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (1), Tortrix viridana/Green Oak Tortrix (1), Celypha lacunana (6), Hedya pruniana/Plum Tortrix (4), Hedya nubiferana/Marbled Orchard Tortrix (1), Chrysoteuchia culmella (2), Crambus lathoniellus (1), Evergestis forficalis/Garden Pebble (1), Opsibotys fuscalis (2), Udea olivalis (12), Aphomia sociella/Bee Moth (1), Dioryctria abietella (1), Myelois circumvoluta/Thistle Ermine (1) and Nephopterix angustella (1).
On 12th June I ran the actinic trap in the garden and additional species brought in were: Peach Blossom, Common Marbled Carpet, Barred Yellow, Lime-speck Pug, Light Emerald, Elephant Hawk-moth, Common Footman, Plain Golden Y, Beautiful Hook-tip, Elophila nymphaeata/Brown China-mark, Parapoynx stratiotata/Ringed China-mark, Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis and Hypsopygia costalis/Gold Triangle.
On 13th June two hours in the drizzle at Finemere Wood produced a reasonable catch with one star item, a very handsome Lappet. Other species new to me this year were Blotched Emerald, Common Emerald, Small Seraphim, Orange Moth, Lobster Moth, Marbled White-spot, Green Silver-lines, Small Fan-foot and Epiblema uddmanniana/Bramble Shoot Moth. I thought I'd trapped a giant species of Carpet as well but in the light of day it turned out to be a Mottled Beauty of the form conversaria. The most numerous moth by far was Tortrix viridana/Green Oak Tortrix, with over 60 entering the trap. Unfortunately a similar number must have been consumed by several bats orbiting overhead as every few minutes some little green wings would come raining down from the sky above! Three pictures from Finemere are below."

Lappet
Photo © Dave Wilton
Mottled Beauty f. conversaria
Photo © Dave Wilton
Orange Moth
Photo © Dave Wilton

Nigel Partridge has reported the following moths in his Loosley Row garden in the last few days: "Lozotaenia forsterana on 10-06-07, Tinea semifulvella on 12-06-07 and a Little Emerald on 13-06-07. Also, could you please add Yellow Shell for me on the 'Day-flying Moths Challenge'. We've just discovered a small colony of 4-5 in one corner of the garden."

Lozotaenia forsterana
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Tinea semifulvella
Photo © Nigel Partridge

~ Thursday 14th June 2007 ~

Jan Haseler sent the following reports on 12th June: "Seen by day at Moor Copse on Sunday 10th June: 1 Scarlet Tiger, 4 Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnets. In my Tilehurst trap on Saturday 9th June: 3 Scarlet Tigers, Lyonetia clerkella (Apple Leaf Miner), 4 Diamond-back Moths, Lozotaenia Forsterana, Green Oak Tortrix, Water Veneer, Phoenix, Small Angle Shades, Fan-foot, etc."

On 11th June, May Webber sent a list of species seen at the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights): Green Pug, Lobster Moth, White Ermine, Buff Ermine, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Scorched Wing, Treble Lines, Common Wainscot, Heart and Dart, Burnished Brass, The Flame, Flame Shoulder, Lunar Marbled Brown, Small Magpie, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Beautiful Hook-tip, Bordered Pug, Spectacle Moth, Blood Vein, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Coronet, Straw Dot, Figure of Eighty, Sallow Kitten, Willow Beauty, Heart and Club, Marbled Minor agg (probable Tawny), Marbled Minor, Common Emerald, Water Carpet, Garden Carpet, Brown-Silver Line.

11th June - Alastair Driver reports having a couple of good trapping sessions at home in Sonning last week: "I caught firsts of the year for me of Common Swift, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Middle-barred Minor, Riband Wave and Pandemis cerasana (Barred fruit-tree Tortrix) on 7th June, and then on the 8th June I caught 25 macro species including two beautiful species new to my parish list - Beautiful Hook-tip and Blotched Emerald. Clouded Silver and the micro Pyrausta aurata were both new for my yearlist."

Beautiful Hook-tip
Photo © Alastair Driver
Blotched Emerald
Photo © Alastair Driver
Pyrausta aurata
Photo © Alastair Driver

David Redhead ran his moth trap again on 10th June: "The content was much the same as the last two but four "new" macros for my garden year list - Mottled Rustic, Peach Blossom, Uncertain and Tawny Marbled Minor agg. Another "new" micro for all time garden list - Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer) - which might be an addition to the UTB year list.

~ Tuesday 12th June 2007 ~

David Redhead's garden moth trap in Oxford on 10th June produced his best haul of moths to date this year: "120 individual moths, but the variety was largely unchanged from the previous one. However it did contain my first Common Wainscot and Buff Arches for 2007 and added a micro-moth, Ebulea crocealis, to my all time list. Also today I saw my first Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet of the year on the rough grassland by my house."

On 10th June Gerry Kendall sent the following: "In my garden in South Oxford at the moment it is hard to look up in the evening and not see a Scarlet Tiger on the wing. I don't remember it being like this in previous years!"

Scarlet Tiger
Photo © Gerry Kendall

Tom Stevenson sent this news on 10th June: "A neighbour of mine here in Benson delivered this beauty to me, found in her garden. I don't recollect ever having seen a Puss Moth before. I attach a photo of the moth and eggs."

Puss Moth
Photo © Tom Stevenson

10th June - Les Finch says activity has been quite brisk in the last few days, with several additions to his year list: "Since my last report, visitors to the garden traps (Maidenhead) have included Common Swift(3), Leopard Moth(1 on 9th), Figure of Eighty(1 on 8th), Small Blood-vein(4), Small Dusty Wave(2), Treble Brown Spot(8), Riband Wave(from 4th), Barred Yellow(2), Freyer’s Pug(2), Peppered Moth(2), Small Elephant Hawk-moth(3), Buff-tip(3), Iron Prominent(1 on 9th), Maple Prominent(1 on 6th), Orange Footman(1 on 9th), Buff Ermine(1 on 5th), Cinnabar(2), Heart and Dart(372 from 4th to 9th), Flame(2 on 9th), Light Brocade(2), Varied Coronet(4), Lychnis(1 on 7th), Sycamore(1 on 9th), Angle Shades(1 on 6th), and Silver Y(2)."

Barred Yellow
Photo © Les Finch
Leopard Moth
Photo © Les Finch
Varied Coronet
Photo © Les Finch

Shirley & John Spencer sent the following report on 9th June: "First of all the day-flying moths:-
May 25 - The Marshes Reserve, Riseley - Mother Shipton, Cinnabar; May 29 - Disturbed in the garden - Yellow Shell
June 5 - We identified the following species in our garden light box:- Beautiful Hook-Tip, Brown Rustic, Treble Lines, Common Wainscot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Buff Ermine, White Ermine, Heart and Dart, Poplar Grey, Burnished Brass, Dark Arches, Peppered Moth, Large Yellow Underwing, Flame, Shuttle-shaped Dart."

Keith Mitchell reported a few more moths than of late, from his garden in Stoke Goldington 24th and 25th May: "Angle Shades, Brown Rustic, Buff Ermine(3), Burnished Brass, Common Swift(8), Common Wainscot(3), Eyed Hawk-moth, The Flame, Grey Pine Carpet, Heart and Dart(13), Large Nutmeg(14), Lime Hawk-moth, Middle-barred Minor(4), Mottled Pug, Pale Tussock(3), Rustic Shoulder-knot, Setaceous Hebrew Character(4), Shuttle-shaped Dart, Silver-ground Carpet, Small Square-spot(10), Small Waved Umber, Thistle Ermine, Treble Lines(13), White Ermine(3).
This Friday and Saturday (8th, 9th June) were a bit disappointing, with only the following being recorded: Buff Ermine(2), Buff-tip(2), Burnished Brass, Common Swift(2), Common Wainscot,(2), Elephant Hawk-moth, Green Carpet, Heart and Dart(9), Large Nutmeg(31), Lychnis, Middle-barred Minor, Pale Prominent, Setaceous Hebrew Character(2), Treble Lines(8), Udea Olivalis, White Ermine(5)."

Lychnis
Photo © Keith Mitchell

~ Friday 8th June 2007 ~

David Redhead ran an overnight garden moth trap (in Oxford) last night, 7th June: "Not too exciting but new to my year list were Common Marbled Carpet, Flame, Mottled Pug, Pale Mottled Willow, Riband Wave, Silver-Y, Small Fan-foot, Small Phoenix and White Ermine. I think the only possibility for an addition to the UTB list is Riband Wave and the Silver-Y goes onto my day-flying list."

Dave Wilton ran his actinic trap in his garden at Westcott on 4th June and his MV on 7th June: "A fairly mediocre collection of moths came to the trap on 4th June but Buff Arches, Mottled Beauty and Elephant Hawk-moth were recorded as new for the year. Using the MV on 7th June it was a different kettle of fish, with 352 moths of 72 species being trapped. They included Peach Blossom, Riband Wave, Light Emerald, Light Arches, Dusky Brocade and micros Blastobasis lacticolella, Agapeta hamana, Evergestis forficalis/Garden Pebble, Aphomia sociella/Bee Moth and Euzophera pinguis which were all new for the year. I've included a picture of the Peach Blossom, despite my visitor being a little the worse for wear. It is a lovely moth and its annual appearances here are very welcome."

Peach Blossom
Photo © Dave Wilton

Mark Calway ran 2 traps near to his home in Earley, Reading, on Thursday evening, 7/6/07: "This little beauty came to light on in Shinfield Park, Berkshire. It is called Alabonia geoffrella. Also, I noticed that someone had reported the brown form of the Lime Hawk-moth. Here is a photo of both forms for comparison. The full list of moths taken is:
Snout 4, Beautiful Hook-tip 1, Treble Lines 1, Dark Arches 11, Setaceous Hebrew Character 1, Ingrailed Clay 1, Large Yellow Underwing 11, Flame Shoulder 1, Flame 1, Shuttle-shaped Dart 1, Heart and Dart 12, Marbled Brown 1, Maple Prominent 1, Buff-tip 1, Elephant Hawk-moth 1, Lime Hawk-moth 2, Light Emerald 1, Peppered Moth 4, Brimstone Moth 2, Scorched Carpet 1, Yellow-barred Brindle 1, Small White Wave 1, Green Pug 4, Common Marbled Carpet 1, Treble Brown Spot 1, Maiden's Blush 5, Blotched Emerald 4, Figure of Eighty 5, Bee Moth 1, Udea olivalis 1, Common Swift 4, Chrysoteuchia culmella (Garden Grass-veneer) 3, Celypha lacunana 2, Tortrix viridana (Green Oak Tortrix) 29, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana 5, Archips podana (Large Fruit-tree Tortrix) 1, Agapeta hamana 12, Alabonia geoffrella 1 and Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) 1."

Alabonia geoffrella
Photo © Mark Calway
Common & brown forms of the
Lime Hawk-moth
Photo © Mark Calway

Nigel Partridge recorded the following: On 6th June at Loosley Row - Small Blood-Vein.

Small Blood-Vein
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Dave Wilton visited the disused railway line near Salden Wood on 5th June and recorded the following moths: Yellow Shell, Treble-bar sp., Chimney Sweeper, Latticed Heath, Common Heath, Cinnabar, Small Yellow Underwing, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Timothy Tortrix/Aphelia paleana and Plum Tortrix/Hedya pruniana as well as several Mullein Moth caterpillars. Also, on a hedgerow adjacent to Leckhampstead Wood he saw Adela croesella.

On 5th June David Redhead visited a number of Oxfordshire sites. During the day he recorded Cinnabar, Yellow Shell, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion.

~ Wednesday 6th June 2007 ~

Thomas Merckx forwarded this exciting news yesterday: "On the 4th June farmer Robert Florey from Northmoor (Oxon) contacted me telling me he caught a Death’s Head Hawk-moth that had managed to fly into his bedroom. Simply an amazing moth species (see photo below)!

Death’s Head Hawk-moth
Photo © Thomas Merckx

I also discovered two nests of Small Eggar caterpillars on trimmed hedgerows, one in Combe (Oxon) on 21st of May, and the other in Hailey (Witney, Oxon) on the 4th of June."

May Webber sent the following record today: "I saw a Lime Hawk-moth f.brunnea (it was brown and had the exact same markings). I found it on a tree in my garden near Witney, Oxon, on 5th June."

Dave Wilton sent this update on 4th June: "Since my last moth report from Westcott I've continued to add a few new species to my garden list for the year even though I had a week off trapping in that awful weather at the end of May. New to my garden list for the year have been Flame Carpet, Yellow Shell, Currant Pug, Brown Silver-line, Buff-tip, Large Yellow Underwing, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Burnished Brass and Snout, while micros have included Sitochroa verticalis and Meal Moth/Pyralis farinalis."

Les Finch sent the following news on 4th June: "In company with my son and Bernard Clark, we visited again a small piece of local (Maidenhead) woodland on 2nd June, where we operated two MV lights. A respectable 55 macro species were noted, the log comprising Common Swift(15), Oak Hook-tip(1), Blotched Emerald(1), Mocha(4), Maiden’s Blush(1), Treble Brown Spot(3), Silver-ground Carpet(2), Garden Carpet(2), Yellow Shell(1), Green Carpet(6), Small Waved Umber(1), Mottled Pug(2), Common Pug(1), Small White Wave(2), Scorched Carpet(4), Scorched Wing(7), Brimstone Moth(2), Peppered Moth(2), Willow Beauty(11), Mottled Beauty(2), Pale Oak Beauty(2), Common White Wave(2), White-pinion Spotted(3), Light Emerald(4), Lime Hawk-moth(2), Poplar Hawk-moth(1), Lobster Moth(1), Maple Prominent(1), Pale Prominent(1), Pale Tussock(4), Orange Footman(6), White Ermine(4), Buff Ermine(1), Cinnabar(3), Heart and Dart(5), Shuttle-shaped Dart(1), Flame Shoulder(1), Large Yellow Underwing(2), Ingrailed Clay(1), Setaceous Hebrew Character(4), Shears(19), Light Brocade(1), Common Wainscot(7), Sycamore(1), Coronet(1), Reddish Light Arches(3), Dusky Brocade(1), Large Nutmeg(1), Marbled Minor agg.(10), Middle-barred Minor(4), Treble Lines(16), Uncertain(1), Vine’s Rustic(2), Silver Y(1) and Small Fan-foot(2).
After a number of dismal garden (Maidenhead) sessions towards the end of May, the first few days of June have been more promising. The actinics have collected a typical range of species including (as firsts for the garden this year) Treble Brown Spot (2nd), Buff-tip (3rd), Small Square-spot (2nd), Dark Arches (3rd), Large Nutmeg (3rd) and Straw Dot (3rd)."

~ Tuesday 5th June 2007 ~

On 4th June Dave Wilton was in the Greatmoor area and found the following: "A lone Forester and two of those smart red and blue torts, Commophila aeneana. There were also several newly-emerged Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnets flying around in the same area."

Alastair Driver had a couple of decent nights' trapping at home in Sonning recently: "31st May brought firsts of the year for me for Light Brocade, Shears, Green Pug, Common White Wave and Common Wave and the latter was also a new garden record. New for my yearlist on 1st June were Snout, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Dark Arches, Sandy Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Buff Ermine, White Ermine, Straw Dot, Small Square-spot and Small Seraphim and the latter was also a new garden record."

Jan Haseler sent the following on 3rd June: "Day-flying moths on the BBOWT/Reading Natural History Society field trip to Aston Upthorpe today included: Sandy Carpet, Scoparia pyralella, 6-Spot Burnet, Cinnabar, Shears, Thistle Ermine and Yellow Shell.
Species in my Tilehurst trap on 2/6 included: Reddish Light Arches, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix, Dipleurina lacustrata, Barred Yellow and Grey Pug."

Tim & Colleen Watts went to Lapland Farm meadows on 3rd June: "We saw 9 Forester Moths next to the path in the meadow nearest the garden centre. Also seen were Six-spot Burnet(1), Mother Shipton (2) and Green Oak Tortrix (1)."

Forester
Photo © Tim Watts
Forester
Photo © Tim Watts
Green Oak Tortrix
Photo © Tim Watts

Dave Ferguson sent in an addtion to his dayflying moth list on 3rd June: "A rather worn Forester in Bernwood Meadows this afternoon."

Mark Calway sent this report on 3rd June: "Here are some moths I've encountered recently during daylight hours. The Adaina microdactyla look likes a miniature version of the White Plume moth. A colony has established itself in my garden on Hemp Agrimony.
Treble Brown Spot Shinfield Park 31-May-07; Burnet Companion Pearmans Copse (Woodhenge) 01-Jun-07; Yellow Shell Pearmans Copse (Woodhenge) 01-Jun-07; Heart and Dart Earley 02-Jun-07 disturbed while gardening; Silver-Y Earley 02-Jun-07 feeding on Red Valerian late afternoon; Yellow Shell Earley 02-Jun-07 disturbed while gardening and Adaina microdactyla Earley 02-Jun-07 seen flying early evening.
The Silver-Y arrived with a Red Admiral and what was probably a Rush Veneer, leading me to suspect a recent immigration from the continent."

David Redhead sent these updates on 4th June: "Thursday 31st May. My dog flushed out a Shaded Broad-bar from the rough grassland above my house. This seems extraordinarily early as usually I have to wait until July to see one.
Making up for a lack of garden trapping in May owing to the weather and holidays I ran my MV trap for three consecutive nights at the start of June, alternating between the east and west sides of my house in Oxford. The progression in the number of macro-moths caught was interesting (dates given are the morning afterwards when they were identified) : June 1st = 7 species, 15 moths; June 2nd = 27 species, 52 moths; June 3rd = 37 species, 70 moths. Presumably a reflection of the increasing warmth of the nights and the receding aftermath of the atrocious bank holiday weather. In total I identified the following 49 species: Heart & Dart (27), Treble Lines (24), Poplar Hawkmoth (8), Setaceous Hebrew Character (5), Common White Wave (5), Small Square-spot (4), Straw Dot (4), Large Yellow Underwing (4), Snout (3), Beautiful Hook-tip (3), Bright-line Brown-eye (2), Brown Rustic (2), Buff-tip (2), Burnished Brass (2), Clouded Border (2), Common Swift (2), Green Carpet (2), Marbled Minor (2), Orange Footman (2), Pale-shouldered Brocade (2), Pebble Prominent (2), Southern Wainscot (2), Spectacle (2), Treble Brown Spot (2) and singletons of Angle Shades, Beautiful Golden-Y, Blood-vein, Buff Ermine, Cinnabar, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Eyed Hawk-moth, Flame Shoulder, Green Pug, Large Nutmeg, Light Emerald, Lime-speck Pug, May Highflyer, Mottled Beauty, Poplar Kitten, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Scalloped Hazel, Shears, Silver-ground Carpet, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Small Seraphim, Smoky Wainscot, Swallow Prominent, Vine's Rustic and Willow Beauty. To me the most pleasing was the Small Elephant Hawk-moth being an addition to my all time garden list. There were also a number of micros but only three species identified - Perinephela lancealis (3), Small Magpie (2) and Udea Olivalis (1)."

Small Elephant Hawk-moth
Photo © David Redhead

~ Sunday 3rd June 2007 ~

Dave Ferguson visited Salsden Wood Railway Line on 1st June and recorded Chimney Sweeper (10), Burnet Companion (5) and Cinnabar (2). Also, some earlier day-flying moth sightings were as follows: Common Heath: Stoke Common, 15+, 24/5/07; Speckled Yellow: Black Park, 30+, 23/5/07 and Yellow Shell: Grangelands, 1, 19/5/07.

Nigel Partridge recorded a Lime-speck Pug at Loosley Row on 01-06-07.

Lime-speck Pug
Photo © Nigel Partridge

In an hour-long sunny interlude between thunderstorms Thursday afternoon 31st May, Dave Wilton went to Lapland Farm, Bucks to search for Forester Moth: "This time I was successful, with seven Forester Moths recorded in the eastern meadow. Other moth species active there in the sunshine comprised Grass Rivulet (4), Lime-speck Pug (1), Shoulder-striped Wainscot (1), Silver-Y (1), Mother Shipton (4), Burnet Companion (3), Hedya pruniana (2), Opsibotys fuscalis (5)."
Then, on Friday 1st June at Seven Barrows and nearby Crog Hill (permit required) in Berkshire, Dave recorded the following: "At Seven Barrows moths were Forester, Grass Rivulet, Green Carpet, Yellow Shell, Cinnabar, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion. At Crog Hill: Grass Rivulet, Common Heath, Cinnabar, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Cocksfoot Moth/Glyphipterix simpliciella, Opsibotys fuscalis and Thistle Ermine/Myelois circumvoluta."

~ Thursday 31st May 2007 ~

Mark Griffiths sent this news on 29th May: "I have something you might be interested in, a Scarlet Tiger larva outside my house, in Garsington, Oxfordshire. You can find a photo of it on my gardening blog dated 3rd May."

On 29th May Mark Calway sent the following recent moth sightings: "On 20th May there were 2 Anthophila fabriciana (Nettle-tap) in my garden near Reading. At a site called The Grove, Shinfield near J11 of the M4 I recorded Callistege mi (Mother Shipton) and Elachista argentella, a small pure white moth of grassland habitats on 29th May. There were also numerous individuals of the tortricidae Celypha lacunana."

Peter Hall ran his garden moth trap in Ballinger Common on 25th May with the following results: Silver-ground Carpet, Scorched Wing, Treble Lines, Common Swift, Heart & Dart, Mottled Beauty, Brimstone Moth, Pale Tussock, Green Carpet, Lobster, Treble-bar, Willow Beauty, Scalloped Hazel, Poplar Hawk, Bright-line Brown-eye, Mottled Pug, Orange Footman, Flame Carpet, Small Square-spot, Shears, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Hofmannophila pseudospretella (Brown House Moth), Eurrhypara hortulata (Small Magpie) and Evergestis forficalis (Garden Pebble).

~ Sunday 27th May 2007 ~

Nigel Partridge sent this update today, 27th May: "This is one from 18th April - many thanks to Peter Hall for identifying this Double Square-spot caterpillar for me. Also, I had an Ingrailed Clay at Loosley Row on 25-05-07."

Double Square-spot caterpillar
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Ingrailed Clay
Photo © Nigel Partridge

26th May: Adam Bassett sent the results of another one of his garden moth traps: "Some more moth records for you from my garden moth trap (in Marlow Bottom, Bucks) of 22nd May. Dingy Shell is new for the garden and the closest alders must be about 3 miles away along the Thames. Treble Lines was the most numerous again at 22.
Common Swift, Small Magpie, Bee Moth, Mocha, Clay Triple-lines, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet, Small Waved Umber, Mottled Pug, Dingy Shell, Scalloped Hazel, Pale Oak Beauty, Square Spot, White-pinion Spotted, Pale Tussock, Orange Footman, Least Black Arches, Heart & Dart, Ingrailed Clay, Shears, Light Brocade, Treble Lines, Vine's Rustic, Nut-tree Tussock."

Derek Brown ran his garden trap on 25th May in Beenham, Berks. Moth species included: Green Pug; Treble Brown-Spot; Rustic; Barred Red; Burnished Brass.

Green Pug
Photo © Derek Brown
Barred Red
Photo © Derek Brown
Treble Brown-Spot
Photo © Derek Brown

Dave Wilton went to BBOWT's River Ray reserves on the Bucks/Oxon border on Thursday 24th May: "I was looking for Forester but was unlucky, although I did disturb Grass Rivulet (2) and the pyrale Opsibotys fuscalis (2) from amongst the copious amounts of Yellow Rattle there.
For a couple of hours that evening I ran the 125wt MV trap in Finemere Wood again and it brought in 43 species, including Poplar Lutestring, Scorched Carpet, Brindled White-spot, Marbled Brown, Straw Dot, Ptycholoma lecheana and Acentria ephemerella/Water Veneer which hadn't seen me yet this year. Two or three of those may still be additions to the UTB list."

On 26th May Ched George provided this update on the Privet Hawk at Whiteleaf (see report 21st May). "Julia returned to the site next morning and found a second smaller Privet Hawk resting near to the first. I've no doubt that the female attracted a mate in the night, paired and then separated, before Julia arrived."

Les Finch sent the following reports on 25th May: "In company with my son and Bernard Clark, two MV lights were operated near to a small piece of local (Maidenhead) woodland on 22nd May. Not quite as exciting as our visit on 1st May, but the log was: Common Swift(35), Mocha(3), Silver-ground Carpet(4), Common Carpet(1), Common Marbled Carpet(1), Green Carpet(7), Small Waved Umber(1), Pretty Chalk Carpet(4), Mottled Pug(6), Small White Wave(3), Scorched Carpet(3), Peacock Moth(1), Scorched Wing(1), Brimstone Moth(4), Waved Umber(1), Willow Beauty(1), Pale Oak Beauty(5), Common White Wave(1), Common Wave(1), White-pinion Spotted(3), Light Emerald(1), Marbled Brown(2), Pale Tussock(5), Orange Footman(6), Cinnabar(3), Turnip Moth(4), Heart and Dart(5), Flame Shoulder(1), Setaceous Hebrew Character(1), Shears(24), Common Wainscot(1), Angle Shades(1), Marbled Minor agg(5), Middle-barred Minor(4), Treble Lines(19), Nut-tree Tussock(1), and Snout(1).
Brian Clews, my son and I ran two MV lights at the BBOWT, Woolley Firs site on Thursday 24th May. The catch of 219 moths in 44 species comprised Common Swift(13), Maiden’s Blush(3), Cream Wave(3), Small Dusty Wave(1), Flame Carpet(1), Red/Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet(1), Silver-ground Carpet(10), Garden Carpet(1), Common Marbled Carpet(6), Grey Pine Carpet(1), Broken-barred Carpet(2), Green Carpet(47), Foxglove Pug(1), Mottled Pug(4), Common Pug(2), Oak-tree Pug(1), V-Pug(1), Double-striped Pug(1), Scorched Carpet(1), Tawny-barred Angle(2), Brimstone Moth(2), Willow Beauty(13), Pale Oak Beauty(3), White-pinion Spotted(20), Clouded Silver(3), Small Elephant Hawk-moth(1), Marbled Brown(1), Pale Tussock(6), Orange Footman(4), White Ermine(6), Heart and Dart(6), Shuttle-shaped Dart(4), Flame Shoulder(5), Large Yellow Underwing(2), Ingrailed Clay(2), Setaceous Hebrew Character(1), Shears(2), Angle Shades(2), Marbled Minor agg(19), Treble Lines(6), Vine’s Rustic(1), Beautiful Hook-tip(1), Straw Dot(1), and Snout(5).
Visitors to my garden traps (Maidenhead, Berks) in the last few days have been very seasonal and have included: Blood-vein, Yellow Shell, Freyer’s Pug, Green Pug, Willow Beauty, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shears, Light Brocade, Sycamore, Dusky Brocade, and Vine’s Rustic. Also a Scalloped Oak - nothing special about this, apart from the fact that it's very early (25th May)."

Scalloped Oak
Photo © Les Finch

Dave Wilton ran his Westcott garden moth trap on Wednesday night 23rd May: "It produced the first large catch of the year with 350 moths of nearly 80 species coming to my garden trap. Those identified so far comprise Common Swift, Figure of Eighty, Maiden's Blush, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Common Carpet, Purple Bar, Common Marbled Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Green Carpet, Grass Rivulet, Sandy Carpet, Mottled Pug, Common Pug, White-spotted Pug, Oak-tree Pug, V-Pug, Green Pug, Clouded Border, Scorched Wing, Brimstone Moth, Peppered Moth, Common White Wave, Common Wave, Clouded Silver, Poplar Hawk-moth, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Poplar Kitten, Iron Prominent, Swallow Prominent, White Ermine, Least Black Arches, Heart and Dart, Flame, Flame Shoulder, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shears, Bright-line Brown-eye, Hebrew Character, Common Wainscot, Poplar Grey, Brown Rustic, Angle Shades, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Small Clouded Brindle, Large Nutmeg, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Marbled Minor sp., Treble Lines (the most numerous moth, 67 examples), Vine's Rustic, Mottled Rustic, Silver Y, Spectacle and a handful of unidentifiable Pugs. The Micros included Nemophora degeerella, Plutella xylostella/Diamond-back Moth, Scrobipalpa costella, Aethes smeathmanniana, Syndemis musculana, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Eulia ministrana, Celypha lacunana, Hedya pruniana, Epiblema cynosbatella, Cydia pomonella/Codling Moth, Crambus lathoniellus, Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie, Pempelia formosa, Nephopterix angustella and several more requiring closer examination, including a possible Scoparia pyralella. The two Diamond-back Moths in the trap were my first migrants of the year other than the Silver Y."
03/06/07 - After some discussion it has been decided that Scoparia pyralella is an unsafe record and it has been amended to a possible but unconfirmed record.

Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth)
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ Friday 25th May 2007 ~

Nigel Partridge sent the following records for his Loosley Row garden moth trap:
Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata) on 22-05-07; Cochylis atricapitana on 23-05-07; Grass Rivulet and Treble-bar on 23-05-07; Small Fan-foot and Snout on 24-05-07.
Also, I've just noticed the Day-flying Moths Challenge. Could you please add Cinnabar (19-05-07) and Silver-Y (18-05-07) for me.

Small Magpie
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Small Fan-foot
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Grass Rivulet
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Dave Wilton sent this moth report on 23rd May: "Just to update you on my Westcott garden records, further additions to my year list since 14th May have included Figure of Eighty, Blood-vein, Common Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Grass Rivulet, Peppered Moth, Pale Oak Beauty, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Orange Footman, Heart & Club, Flame, Common Wainscot, Miller, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Marbled Minor sp., Vine's Rustic, Silver Y, Epiphyas postvittana, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Crambus lathoniellus, Udea olivalis and Small Magpie. Photos of the Small Elephant Hawk-moth (15th May), Pale Oak Beauty (20th May) and Miller (22nd May) appear below. I've now passed 100 macro species in the garden, two weeks earlier than last year thanks to the recent good weather.
Of the day-fliers, I saw Mother Shipton in the Greatmoor, Bucks, area back on 19th May, had Grass Rivulet in my garden trap on 20th May and recorded a Yellow Shell near Moulsford Downs, Berks on 22nd May."

Miller
Photo © Dave Wilton
Pale Oak Beauty
Photo © Dave Wilton
Small Elephant Hawk-moth
Photo © Dave Wilton

Mick & Wendy Campbell went to BBOWT's Calvert Jubilee Reserve (permit required) looking for butterflies on Sunday 20th May. They also recorded several moth species, including Burnet Companion, Cinnabar, Lackey Moth caterpillar and the striking micro, Commophila aeneana. Other day-flying moths seen included: Yellow Shell near Moulsford Downs, Berks on 22nd May (with Dave Wilton), Small Yellow Underwing (6), Grass Rivulet (to be confirmed), Forester (6) Silver-Y (2) and Mother Shipton at Asham Meads on 24th May.

Commophila aeneana
Photo © Wendy Campbell

Tony Towner ran his garden trap during the evening of 19/05/07 and all through the night in his garden at Tilehurst. "Moths recorded were: Shuttle-shaped Dart (5) : Heart and Dart (1) : Common Swift (1) Shears (1) : Bright-line Brown-eye (1) : Treble Lines (1). I'm a fanatical bird feeder and in my bird food furniture store I have found an eruption of White-shouldered House-moths which seem to be living in the bird seed?"
[White-shouldered House-moth larvae feed on a variety of dried plant and animal debris including dry seeds. Among other food sources listed are corks, rubbish in birds' nests, straw thatch, fungi on trees, meal and any dry vegetable refuse.]

Shears
Photo © Tony Towner
White-shouldered House-moth
Photo © Tony Towner
Bright-line Brown-eye
Photo © Tony Towner

~ Wednesday 23rd May 2007 ~

Wendy Wilson walked from Denham Village, Bucks, to Denham Country Park on 18 May: "I saw Common carpet, Cinnabar and Silver-ground carpet."

Cinnabar
Photo © Wendy Wilson
Silver-ground Carpet
Photo © Wendy Wilson

Susan Nicholls reports trapping these moths in Caversham overnight on 20/05/07: "Here is the list from my garden - the most numerous were Treble Lines (12) and Heart and Dart (17). Light Brown Apple Moth, Celypha lacunana, Twenty-plume Moth, Small Magpie, Common Marbled Carpet, Clouded Border, Willow Beauty, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Wainscot, Marbled Minor agg., Middle-barred Minor, Treble Lines, Pale Mottled Willow, Epiblema cynosbatella."

21st May - A few more moths seen by Dave Maunder recently around Aylesbury include: Gypsy moth larvae (8 2nd/3rd instar, feeding on Apple and Cotoneaster), also Waved Umber (1), White Ermine (1), Pale Tussock (1), Yellow Shell (1), Common Swift (1), Carnation Tortrix (1), and Burnet Companion (1).

Ched George sent this interesting news on 21st May: "I took up David Redhead's invitation to represent the Branch at the Princes Risborough Heritage Hill Celebration at Whiteleaf and Brush Hill Reserves, Bucks, today. During Julia Carey's oration at one of the Whiteleaf sites of archeological interest, a freshly emerged female Privet Hawk-moth (with unexpanded wings) walked over her feet! This was around 12.15pm. After a brief showing it was placed in a bush in the hope that it would successfully finish expanding its wings. On leaving the site at 2pm the moth had completely expanded its wings which were still hanging dorsally over its back waiting to complete the drying process. Lucky moth!"

Here are the latest records from Shirley & John Spencer's garden at Riseley: " May 17th - Buff-tip, Heart & Dart, Green Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Waved Umber, Treble Lines, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Pale Tussock, Common Wainscot, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Angle Shades.
I had an email from Martin Harvey about my record of a Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth. I knew that it was an unusual sighting and was excited about it, but it turns out that it was the first record in Berkshire for half a century. We are of course on the southern edge of Berkshire and only 250 yards from the boundary with Hampshire."

On Sunday afternoon (20/5/07) Steve Pash found an Eyed Hawkmoth in his cousin's garden in Park Lane, Binfield. It was clinging to a Geranium plant.

Eyed Hawkmoth
Photo © Steve Pash

Adam Bassett caught the following moth species in his Marlow Bottom (Bucks) garden on 20th May: Common Swift, Mocha, Clay Triple-lines, Common Marbled Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Green Carpet, Mottled Pug, Willow Beauty, Pale Oak Beauty, White-pinion Spotted, Pale Tussock, Orange Footman, Buff Ermine, Heart & Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Light Brocade, Common Wainscot, Large Nutmeg, Treble Lines, Vine's Rustic, Pale Mottled Willow, Nut-tree Tussock and Straw Dot.

~ Sunday 20th May 2007 ~

Derek Brown had a few new species last night 19th May in his garden in Beenham, Berks, including a Privet Hawk Moth, Shoulder-striped Wainscot and Willow Beauty.

Privet Hawk Moth
Photo © Derek Brown
Shoulder-striped Wainscot
Photo © Derek Brown
Willow Beauty
Photo © Derek Brown

Nigel Partridge sent a few more records from Loosley Row: "I spotted Hedya pruniana on 19-05-07 and also had a Shoulder-striped Wainscot. On 20th May I had Small Waved Umber and Willow Beauty."
[Since posting this report, it has been decided that the moth originally posted as Hedya nubiferana is in fact the very similar Hedya pruniana and the report has therefore been amended. Thanks to Dave Wilton and Peter Hall for their input.]

Hedya pruniana
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Shoulder-striped Wainscot
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Dave Ferguson spent an hour at Yoesden Bank looking for butterflies on 18th May and recorded: Mother Shipton (4), Burnet Companion (7). On 19th May 30 minutes at Hedgerley spoil heap produced two Cinnabar moths.

On Friday morning, 18th, Dave Wilton spent another couple of hours in the disused railway cutting west of Westcott, sheltered from the strong south-westerly wind: "There was plenty of butterfly activity there but I also saw the following moths - Green Carpet (1), Lesser Treble-bar (2), Common Heath (2), Cinnabar (4), Small Yellow Underwing (2), Silver-Y (1), Burnet Companion (1) and Pyrausta purpuralis (5, two of them potted and confirmed). While hunting unsuccessfully for signs of Brown Hairstreak caterpillars from a couple of eggs which I'd tagged, both of which had hatched, I did manage to find a Figure of Eight caterpillar about 2cm in length."

Peter Hall ran his Ballinger garden moth trap on 12th May: “For the first time, Orange Footman was the commonest moth in the trap. From nothing a few years ago to 13 individuals. The Marbled Minor, Common Pug and Cnephasia stephensiana (Grey Tortrix) were all confirmed by dissection.”
Nut-tree Tussock, Buff-tip, Hebrew Character, Muslin, Heart & Dart, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Spruce Carpet, Barred Hook-tip, Common Carpet, Chinese Character, Shears, Clouded Silver, Scalloped Hazel, Vine's Rustic, Small Square-spot, Common Marbled Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Pseudoswammerdamia combinella, Epiphyas postvittana (Light Brown Apple), Alucita hexadactyla (Twenty-plume), Epiblema cynosbatella, Common Pug, Cnephasia stephensiana (Grey Tortrix) and Marbled Minor.

Rising to the 'Day-flying moth challenge', Jan Haseler sent the following records on 18th May:
3 May: University of Reading Farm, Shinfield: Silver-Y,
4 May: Moor Copse extension: meadows: Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Small Yellow Underwing, Common Carpet; wet woodland: Small White Wave, Grey Birch, White-pinion Spotted, Silver-ground Carpet, Scoparia ambigualis
5 May: Tilehurst: Adela rufimitrella
6 May: W Berks, a new site for the BAP species Drab Looper: 15 Drab Looper, 30 Speckled Yellow, Perinephela lancealis, Pebble Hook-tip, Nemophora degeerella, Brown Silver-line
11 May: on a wall at Shinfield Park: Sycamore
12 May: Tilehurst: Garden Pebble
17 May: Lardon Chase: Thisanotia chrysonuchella, Yellow Shell; The Holies: Lesser Treble-bar
..and at light:
5 May: Tilehurst: Scorched Wing
16 May: Tilehurst: Epinotia bilunana
Finally, on Friday 11th May, the Berkshire Moth Group field trip to Bucklebury Common recorded 33 species of moth, including Square Spot, Poplar Lutestring, Birch Mocha, Cream Wave, Marbled Brown and Orange Footman.

Drab Looper
Photo © Jan Haseler
Small White Wave
Photo © Jan Haseler

Thisanotia chrysonuchella
Photo © Jan Haseler
Small Yellow Underwing
Photo © Jan Haseler
Poplar Lutestring
Photo © Jan Haseler

Alastair Driver reports a decent night's trapping at last! "In my garden at Sonning overnight on 17th May, I had 24 macro species - all recorded before, but 16 were new for my yearlist. These were Maple Prominent, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Pine Hawk-moth, Smoky Wainscot, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Mottled Pug, Buff-tip, Common Marbled Carpet, Common Wainscot, Large Yellow Underwing, Willow Beauty, Foxglove Pug, Marbled Minor agg, Flame, Green Carpet and Vine's Rustic. Also caught the burying beetle Necrodes littoralis - a new garden species!"

Nigel Partridge sent the following on 18th May: "I think this is one for the sightings list: Evergestis forficalis (Garden Pebble) Loosley Row 17-05-07."

Evergestis forficalis (Garden Pebble)
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Welcome to the website new contributor Pete Thompson who sent the following report on 18th May: "I've recently started moth trapping in South Oxfordshire. I've been checking 2007 sightings on the UTB website and, not surprisingly, almost all the moths I've managed to ID have already been seen elsewhere. The only addition I have is Buff Tip, seen on 6/7 May 2007."

~ Friday 18th May 2007 ~

David Redhead reported the following: "Yellow Shell seen at Swyncombe Downs last Friday, 11th May.
Last night, 17th May, I ran my garden moth trap (Littlemore, Oxford) with the following results:- Treble Lines 13, Orange Footman 5, Poplar Hawk-moth 4, Common Swift 2, Figure of Eighty 2, Green Carpet 2, Heart & Dart 2, Shuttle-shaped Dart 2, Udea Olivalis 2, Angle Shades 1, Clouded Silver 1, Coronet 1, Flame Shoulder 1, Light Brocade 1, Pale Prominent 1, Pale Tussock 1, Pebble Hook-tip 1, Peppered Moth (normal form) 1, Scorched Wing 1, Setaceous Hebrew Character 1, Spruce Carpet 1, Straw Dot 1, Swallow Prominent 1 and Vine's Rustic 1. Some may be new ones for the UTB 2007 list, but the Orange Footman is an addition to my all time garden list.
Also yesterday, 17th, I did my M40 Compensation Area and Shabbington transects in conditions which just qualified. The Shabbington Wood produced some early instar Emperor Moth caterpillars on ride edge bramble and a Common Wave."

Scorched Wing
Photo © David Redhead

Reported by Dave Maunder on 16th May: "Just a handful of moths in Aylesbury over the last week, due to the grotty weather! These were:- Sycamore (1), Brimstone (1), Waved Umber (1, on 16th) and Pale Prominent."

Dave Wilton has been recording moths most days, despite the far from excellent weather conditions: 15th May - Having seen my first Silver-Y of the year on 30th April in the centre of Finemere Wood (SP 7121), I bumped into my second today in a field adjacent to our house in Westcott, Bucks (SP 7117). This was during a local hedgerow walk in search of Small Yellow Underwing, of which I eventually managed to find three, all in SP 7216. They were rather too flighty for the camera so I "borrowed" this one for an hour in order to get a decent picture of it at home."

Small Yellow Underwing
Photo © Dave Wilton

16th May - "Private, open-access, wildflower meadows to the west of Quainton Bucks,SP 7220, a Silver-Y was the only moth seen in the afternoon's drizzle."
17th May - "Despite the marginal conditions today I went to Finemere Wood to carry out a butterfly transect and, contrary to expectations, managed to see nearly 30 butterflies of seven species. However, they were easily outnumbered by moths which included Common Carpet (5), Silver-ground Carpet (1) and micros Micropterix calthella (50+), Adela reaumurella (1), Glyphipterix simpliciella (10+), Grapholita jungiella (3) and another larger tortrix which will have to be examined more closely. The tiny micros Micropterix calthella (wing length 5mm) and Glyphipterix simpliciella (wing length 3mm) were to be found together inside buttercup flowers."

Glyphipterix simpliciella
Photo © Dave Wilton
Micropterix calthella
Photo © Dave Wilton

On Wednesday morning, 16th May, in Marlow Bottom, Adam Basset disturbed a Silver-ground Carpet. "It was trying to shelter from the horrible weather in a laurel hedge."

Tim Watts sent this photo of a Drinker Moth caterpillar taken at the Calvert BBOWT reserve on 15/05/07.

Drinker Moth caterpillar
Photo © Tim Watts

~ Tuesday 15th May 2007 ~

14th May - Further additions to Dave Wilton's garden (Westcott) year list over the past week have included: Common Swift, Pebble Hook-tip, Purple Bar, White-spotted Pug, Scalloped Hazel, Poplar Hawk-moth, Eyed Hawk-moth, Buff Ermine, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Mullein, Light Brocade, Large Nutmeg and Rustic Shoulder-knot. Pictures of the Eyed Hawk-moth and Setaceous Hebrew Character appear below. Unusually, the latter appeared on 10th May alongside a Hebrew Character still in excellent condition, a situation I don't remember having seen before!"

Eyed Hawk-moth
Photo © Dave Wilton
Hebrew Character (left) and Setaceous Hebrew Character (right)
Photo © Dave Wilton

Mark Calway spotted Argyresthia trifasciata flying at dusk on 8th May: "I have been recording this small distinctive moth in my garden in Earley, Reading, since 2002. It is worth looking out for as it is suggested that it is getting more common. It does come to MV light, but it is easily overlooked.

Argyresthia trifasciata
Photo © Mark Calway

Keith Mitchell reports that moth numbers were still low on Saturday night (12th): "However, I trapped a new micro for the garden, Phtheochroa rugosana."

Wendy Wilson sent the following photos of a Pyrausta sp. moth, seen in her garden in Gerrards Cross on 1st May: "I saw this Pyrausta in my garden again today so I was able to get a better photo of it. Here it is in case you want it for the website."

Pyrausta purpuralis or P. aurata
Photo © Wendy Wilson
Pyrausta purpuralis or P. aurata
Photo © Wendy Wilson

Wendy Wilson was unsure whether this moth was Pyrausta purpuralis or P. aurata, so here are some guidelines on identification, courtesy of Peter Hall:

Pyrausta aurata, purpuralis and the much less common ostrinalis:

P. aurata is distinguished from the other two by the single gold spot on the forewing and lack of markings on the hind-wing basal area. To confirm purpuralis, the safest diagnostic feature is the underside of the forewing: the sub-terminal line is nearly straight and fades away before the costa, whilst in ostrinalis it is curved and meets the post-median line at the costa.

Pyrausta diagnostics
Upperside of wings
Diagram courtesy of Peter Hall
Pyrausta diagnostics
Underside of wings
Diagram courtesy of Peter Hall

Take care, you can also come across Pyrausta despicata which usually lacks any yellow on the wings, is browner and lacks the purplish colouration and also Pyrausta nigrata in which the forewing colour is blacker with whiter markings. To confirm P. purpuralis you will need to capture the moth and look at the underside diagnostics. To confirm P. aurata you will need to capture the moth and look at the hindwing diagnostics (upper side). Take care - from a distance aurata and purpuralis look similar and inhabit similar habitats (as can P. despicata and P. nigrata). Casual (non captured) observations are not reliable enough for positive ID. If in doubt, send the specimen(s) in to the County Recorders or the Bucks Moth Officer for confirmation.

Please confirm that you have looked at these diagnostics when sending in reports, otherwise P. aurata, purpuralis and ostrinalis will get entered as "Pyrausta aggregate".

~ Thursday 10th May 2007 ~

Peter Hall sent some results from a moth trap in his Ballinger garden: "On 8th May, Marbled Minor (genitalia confirmed) and Nematopogon swammerdamella."

Peter also provided an updated graph showing the UTB Cumulative Moth Species Count to the end of April. The best end of May total so far was last year with 200 species:

UTB Cumulative Moth Species Count to end of April
(click chart to enlarge)
Chart courtesy of Peter Hall

Dave Wilton ran the MV trap again at Finemere Wood on Tuesday night, 8th May: "Despite the fact that it rained for most of the three hours I was there, I was more than pleased with the results: Pebble Hook-tip (3), Cream Wave (1), Red Twin-spot Carpet (1), Water Carpet (1), Broken-barred Carpet (3), Green Carpet (1), Seraphim (1), Peacock (1), Clouded Border (1), Brimstone Moth (6), Common Wave (1), Clouded Silver (1), Pebble Prominent (1), Coxcomb Prominent (2), Pale Prominent (2), Lunar Marbled Brown (1), Great Prominent (8), Pale Tussock (6), Orange Footman (2), Least Black Arches (1), Flame Shoulder (7), Powdered Quaker (1), Common Quaker (2), Clouded Drab (1), Hebrew Character (5), Angle Shades (1), Treble Lines (3) and micros: Nematopogon swammerdamella (1), Syndemis musculana (2) and a possible Dipleurina lacustrata which will have to await examination by an expert."

~ Tuesday 8th May 2007 ~

Another new species from Nigel Partridge: Larch Pug, caught in Loosley Row on 8th May.

Larch Pug
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Keith Mitchell found more normal fare overnight on 6th May in his Stoke Goldington garden trap: "It included Muslin, Pale Prominent, Brindled Beauty, Common Quaker, Angle Shades, Heart and Dart, The Mullein, White Ermine, Lime Hawk-moth, Hebrew Character, Flame Shoulder and Swallow Prominent. An attractive and pristine, locally scarce Poplar Kitten, however, which preferred the sanctuary of the front door lights provided a welcome addition to the garden list."

Poplar Kitten
Photo © Keith Mitchell

Nigel Partridge had one of the best nights of the year so far on 6th May in Loosley Row: Herald, Green Carpet, Maiden's Blush, Purple Bar, Brimstone Moth, Broken-barred Carpet, Hebrew Character, Nut-tree Tussock, Yellow-barred Brindle, Heart and Dart, Treble Lines, Water Carpet and Scalloped Hazel.

Broken-barred Carpet
Photo © Nigel Partridge
Purple Bar
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Regular overnight trapping sessions in Dave Wilton's Westcott garden, alternating between MV and actinic, continue to add species to his list for this year: "However, there's been nothing unusual which is why you haven't heard from me for a while. Frosted Green, Garden Carpet, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Green Carpet, Common Pug, Mottled Pug, Brindled Pug, Oak-tree Pug, V-Pug, Lesser Treble-bar, Purple Thorn, Common Wave, Poplar Kitten, Pale Tussock, Lunar Marbled Brown, Turnip Moth, Heart and Dart, Nutmeg, Lychnis, Treble Lines and Tinea trinotella have all been added over the past two weeks but there's very few there that haven't already made it on to the UTB list. The overall number of moths in the trap has remained quite low but at least that easterly wind has now gone so maybe things will improve! Two of my recent additions are illustrated below. The Poplar Kitten was trapped on 28th April while the two Treble Lines were amongst ten caught on 6th May, a couple of which were of the dark grey form obscura."

Poplar Kitten
Photo © Dave Wilton
Treble Lines
Photo © Dave Wilton

7th May - Moths in Les Finch's garden traps (Maidenhead, Berks) in the last week have been: Garden Carpet(1), Common Marbled Carpet(1), Grey Pine Carpet(1), Foxglove Pug(1), Double-striped Pug(1), Seraphim(1), Brimstone Moth(5), Waved Umber(1), Pale Tussock(1), Turnip Moth(9), Heart and Dart(16), Shuttle-shaped Dart(85), Cabbage Moth(1), Bright-line Brown-eye(2), Powdered Quaker(1), Common Quaker(4), Hebrew Character(3), Early Grey(3), Angle Shades(2), Marbled Minor agg (1 on 3 May), Treble Lines(5), Vine's Rustic(2 on 5 May), Pale Mottled Willow(11) and Nut-tree Tussock(1).

~ Sunday 6th May 2007 ~

May Webber sent the following report from Witney in Oxon on 6th May: "Just a quick e-mail to tell you what moth species I have seen this year that I have mostly caught in my moth trap. I have not repeated moth species:
12/04: Small Quaker, Lead-coloured Drab, Early Grey, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab.
22/04: Brindled Beauty, Spectacle, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Small Quaker.
29/04: Pale Tussock, Muslin moth, White Ermine, Shears, Poplar Hawk-moth.
29/04: Treble Lines, Common Wainscot, Heart and Dart.
Also today I went on a walk on the outskirts of Gloucestershire (nr. Windrush) and managed to find a Coxcombe Prominent which I have never seen before."

Latest moth records from Shirley & John Spencer's garden at Riseley: May 5th - Light Box - Great Prominent 1, Hebrew Character 1, Shuttle-shaped Dart 1, Muslin Moth 1. May 6th - Midday - Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth nectaring on Honesty. I was able to identify this positively as I had a very good look at it and had previously seen one in France and another in Cornwall. Unfortunately there was not time to fetch the camera, but we hope it will return!"

Derek Brown said he didn't have much to report from his Beenham garden last night, 5th May: "However, I did have my first Pine Hawk-moth and a Blood-vein seems to be new for the list as well. These two moths are the earliest records I've had of these species - by over a month!"

Pine Hawk-moth
Photo © Derek Brown
Blood-vein
Photo © Derek Brown

Susan Nicholls sent the following report from Caversham on 6th May: "This is my list from last night - still not very many: Pale Prominent, Muslin Moth, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Light Brocade, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Treble Lines. Wanting to run my trap last night, I checked everything was OK, but found my fox cubs had chewed through the cable! A quick trip to a DIY store and I was able to run the trap after all - but all the leads are now draped over fencing and through bushes and trees! (The cubs are tiny, about the size of an adult Chihuahua - one of them spent 10 minutes circling within 12 inches of me this morning, when I was on my way to empty the trap around 5.00am). I am concerned about the Cinnabar moths this year - I have no Ragwort in the garden and there seems to be not much elsewhere. This is not surprising as the larvae devastated my plants last year, which meant that they did not get to set any seeds. I have also noticed that a lot of the plants appear to have some rust fungal infection, which looks as though it kills the plants."

Richard Soulsby was looking primarily for butterflies on Lardon Chase on 5th May and found his first Yellow Shell of the season.

John Parsons, Newbury, paid two visits to Greenham Common recently: "I managed to get a couple of hours on Greenham Common on 2nd May and took a photo of a Yellow Belle. I also had a great afternoon there on 5th May and saw many species including Speckled Yellow and Lesser Treble-bar."

Yellow Belle
Photo © John Parsons
Speckled Yellow
Photo © John Parsons
Lesser Treble-bar
Photo © John Parsons

On Sunday 30th April Jan Haseler found a Yellow-tail caterpillar at BBOWT's Moor Copse Reserve.

Yellow-tail caterpillar
Photo © Jan Haseler

Tom Stevenson ran his trap again last night, 30th April: "Still very low numbers but it did get down to about 3°C. 2 Brimstone Moths, an unidentified Tortrix and 2 Light Brocades, (see photo below)."

Light Brocade
Photo © Tom Stevenson

Trevor Lawson sent this unusual report on 29th April. Posting of the report has been delayed pending identification of the moth: "In the hope of some rain today, I went to clean out the rainwater diverter on our downpipe. Trapped inside was this battered moth, which has laid around 50 eggs, possibly because it never expected to get out. If I can identify it, I'll transfer the eggs (on the bits of leaf) to a suitable foodplant. The whole body of the moth is an inch long and it is white and fluffy like some of the Ermines."
[Many thanks to Martin Albertini who kindly visited Trevor and identified the moth as a very battered Pale Tussock. The eggs could be fertile so if they hatch Trevor is going to try the caterpillars on their preferred foodplants, most of which he has growing in his garden.]

Pale Tussock
Photo © Trevor Lawson

~ Wednesday 2nd May 2007 ~

Les Finch sent the following exciting report today: "In company with my son and Bernard Clark, two MV lights were operated near to a small piece of local woodland (Maidenhead) on 1st May. Despite a near full moon and only partial protection from a gentle north-easterly breeze, part of the catch was quite amazing, the full log being: Oak Hook-tip 1, Chinese Character 1, Mocha 6, Maiden's Blush 1, Red/Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet 1, Small Phoenix 1, Pretty Chalk Carpet 1, Mottled Pug 2, Netted Pug 1, Brindled Pug 2, Double-striped Pug 1, Seraphim 1, Scorched Carpet 11, Brimstone Moth 9, Pale Oak Beauty 1, Engrailed 1, White-pinion Spotted 1, Lime Hawk-moth 2, Lobster Moth 1, Maple Prominent 1, Pale Tussock 3, Orange Footman 4, Least Black Arches 4, Shuttle-shaped Dart 3, Shears 1, Common Quaker 1, Clouded Drab 1, Treble Lines 2, Green Silver-lines 1, Oak Nycteoline 1, and Nut-tree Tussock 6. Pretty Chalk Carpet and Netted Pug are rather scarce in VC22, whilst the six Mochas probably indicate a previously unrecorded colony. I’ve also alerted Martin Harvey to the find and provided him with a bit more detail."

Mocha
Photo © Les Finch
Netted Pug
Photo © Les Finch
Pretty Chalk Carpet
Photo © Les Finch

Green Silver-lines
Photo © Les Finch
Orange Footman
Photo © Les Finch

Keith Mitchell reported the following today, 2nd May: "Of only four moths to be trapped overnight in Stoke Goldington on Friday 27th April, there was one Common Swift, my earliest and only April record."

1st May - Dave Maunder has seen a few more moths around Aylesbury over the last week: Pale Prominent (1), Pale Tussock (2 - 1 male, and a freshly emerged female found on a fence!); Hebrew Character (1); Brimstone moth (1); Pyrausta aurata (2); Many plume (1) and Carnation tortrix (1).

Newly emerged Pale Tussock
Photo © Dave Maunder

Susan Nicholls has run her moth trap in Caversham 5 times during April (18th, 20th, 24th, 27th and 30th): The catch has been interesting as the Common Pug and Muslin Moth are present in greater numbers than previous years and I have had the Nut-tree Tussock on two occasions - this was a new moth for the garden. Adela reaumurella, White-shouldered House Moth, Light Brown Apple Moth, Bramble Shoot Moth, Twenty-plume Moth, Common Pug, Brindled Pug, Double-striped Pug, Scorched Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Brindled Beauty, Muslin Moth, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, White-marked, Bright-line Brown-eye, Small Quaker, Powdered Quaker, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Early Grey, Treble Lines, Pale Mottled Willow, Nut-tree Tussock, Silver Y.

On 30th April Alastair Driver sent this belated summary from the trapping at Ali's Pond LNR: "On 15th April I caught 11 macro species, of which Pale Tussock, Nut-tree Tussock, Pale Mottled Willow and Scarce Tissue were all new for my yearlist.
I also set the trap in my Sonning garden on 25th April and caught my first ever Monopis obviella (many thanks to Peter Hall for the id) - see photo below - the beast is so tiny it's hard to get a focus with an average camera! Also caught my first Common Pug of the year. Still a very sparse catch though."

Monopis obviella
Photo © Alastair Driver

Les Finch sent this report on 30th April: "Visitors to the garden traps (Maidenhead) in the last few nights have been Grey Pine Carpet(1), Currant Pug(1), Brindled Pug(1), Double-striped Pug(3), Brimstone Moth(5), Brindled Beauty(1), Waved Umber(1), Poplar Hawk-moth(1), Coxcomb Prominent(1), Pale Tussock(1), Turnip Moth(1), Heart and Dart(3), Shuttle-shaped Dart(31), Clouded Drab(2), Hebrew Character(4), Dark/Grey Dagger(2), Angle Shades(2), Treble Lines(4), Pale Mottled Willow(14), and Silver Y(1)."

Poplar Hawk-moth
Photo © Les Finch

Nigel Partridge sent the following on 30th April: "Here is a Common Pug for the list. Caught at Loosley Row on 29-4-07."

Common Pug
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Wendy & Mick Campbell were looking for butterflies at Yoesden Bank on Monday 30th. They found a few moths while they were there, including Lesser Treble-bar, Pyrausta sp., Common Carpet, Burnet Companion (2), Adela Reaumurella (lots) and Mother Shipton (2).

On 28th April Wendy Wilson was out looking for butterflies and saw a Small Yellow Underwing (Panemeria tenebrata) resting, with its underwings showing, on a dead twig in a flowery bit of waste ground behind the churchyard in Denham village (TQ044 871). "It flew as I got my camera out. On returning home I found a Pyrausta aurata/purpuralis sunning itself on a forget-me-not in my garden in Gerrards Cross, where I've seen them in previous years."



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