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Moth Report for 2018 – Another Good Year

Since 2012, David Baker from the Butterfly Conservation Society has been carrying out regular moth trapping in our gardens By the end of 2018 over 330 different moths have been trapped in our garden – some of them quite rare for the year. This is David’s full report of the 2018 recordings, one of the highlights being this privet hawkmoth.

Moth Report 2018

The year started with terrible cold weather and February and March were very poor moths for moths at home. The decision was, therefore, made to delay our start until things began to improve. We set up on the evening of 21 April 2018 and awaited results. Sunday dawned after a slight amount of rainfall during the night and our count commenced

32.031           Agonopterix alstromeriana                                                                                1

70.103           Lampropteryx suffumata f.piceata            Water Carpet                               1

70.141           Gymnoscelis rufifasciata                           Double-striped Pug                       1

70.237           Selenia dentaria                                            Early Thorn                                 4

70.239           Selenia tetralunaria                                     Purple Thorn                               1

71.011           Drymonia ruficornis                                Lunar Marbled Brown                    1

72.022           Diaphora mendica                                      Muslin Moth                                1

73.210           Eupsilia transversa                                        Satellite                                      1

73.241           Panolis flammea                                          Pine Beauty                                 2

73.242           Orthosia incerta                                          Clouded Drab                              6

73.244           Orthosia cerasi                                          Common Quaker                         61

73.245           Orthosia cruda                                            Small Quaker                               4

73.247           Orthosia gracilis                                         Powdered Quaker                        3

73.249           Orthosia gothica                                       Hebrew Character                        14

73.250           Anorthoa munda                                     Twin-spotted Quaker                    2

 

5 new species were recorded for the site which included a dark form of Water Carpet, f. piceata.

 

Night 2: May 19th

The weather was warming up a bit and a few more species were flying at home so we made our May trip to Stillingfleet on the 19th May to see how things were going in VC61.  A mixed catch of 14 species, only one of which was a micro, the “yellow nosed” N.cynosbatella.  Of the remaining macros only 4 appeared more than  the once and we had no new species to add to the list.

 

49.292 Notocelia cynosbatella                                                                                               1

65.001           Falcaria lacertinaria                                 Scalloped Hook-tip                      1

69.003           Laothoe populi                                               Poplar Hawk-moth                2

70.094           Ecliptopera silaceata                               Small Phoenix                               1

71.013           Notodonta ziczac                                      Pebble Prominent                          1

71.017           Pheosia tremula                                       Swallow Prominent                       3

72.015           Calliteara pudibunda                                  Pale Tussock                               3

72.019           Spilosoma lutea                                          Buff Ermine                                 1

72.020           Spilosoma lubricipeda                            White Ermine                               1

73.045           Acronicta rumicis                                    Knot Grass                                     1

73.242           Orthosia incerta                                     Clouded Drab                                  1

73.247           Orthosia gracilis                                     Powdered Quaker                          2

73.325           Agrotis puta puta                                   Shuttle-shaped Dart                      1

73.329           Ochropleura plecta                                 Flame Shoulder                            1

 

Night 3 – early June

Things were getting back to normal after the poor start in the year and it was decided to add an early June session before the Conservation Day in a fortnight’s time. It turned out to be a good decision!  We had one new micro with a visit from a “Timothy Tortrix”, one of the micros with a long-standing vernacular name.

Both Davids and Vanessa were surprised when encountering the large Privet Hawk-moth. It is a really splendid specimen with only just over a hundred sightings in the county, the majority being in VC 61 which is our Vice County.  A new sighting for us all. The Dark Sword-grass was well worn but still discernable and is not a regular migrant sighting at this time of year.

         

49.031           Aphelia paleana                                          Timothy Tortrix                          2

49.157           Hedya pruniana                                           Plum Tortrix                                   3

49.158           Hedya ochroleucana                                                                                           1

49.166           Celypha lacunana                                                                                                6

49.292           Notocelia cynosbatella                                                                                       2

63.025           Anania hortulata                                                  Small Magpie                          7

65.010           Tethea ocularis                                                     Figure of Eighty                       2

69.002           Smerinthus ocellata                                            Eyed Hawk-moth                     1

69.006           Sphinx ligustri                                         Privet Hawk-moth                    1

69.016           Deilephila elpenor                                            Elephant Hawk-moth                     5

70.016           Idaea aversata ab. remutata                        Riband Wave [non-banded]            1

70.036           Cyclophora punctaria                             Maiden’s Blush                           1

70.054          Xanthorhoe montanata                                    Silver-ground Carpet                     2

70.079           Thera britannica                                                   Spruce Carpet                              1

70.100           Colostygia pectinataria                                        Green Carpet                               1

70.207           Lomaspilis marginata                                         Clouded Border                            1

70.222           Petrophora chlorosata                                      Brown Silver-line                           1

70.224           Plagodis dolabraria                                              Scorched Wing                            4

70.226           Opisthograptis luteolata                                    Brimstone Moth                           3

70.252           Biston betularia                                                   Peppered Moth                            4

70.277           Cabera pusaria                                        Common White Wave                             1

70.280           Lomographa temerata                                     Clouded Silver                              1

70.283           Campaea margaritaria                                      Light Emerald                              1

71.013           Notodonta ziczac                                               Pebble Prominent                         1

71.017           Pheosia tremula                                               Swallow Prominent                        1

71.025           Phalera bucephala                                        Buff-tip                                                1

72.002           Rivula sericealis                                                    Straw Dot                                   9

72.003           Hypena proboscidalis                                             Snout                                        1

72.015           Calliteara pudibunda                                           Pale Tussock                               1

72.019           Spilosoma lutea                                                   Buff Ermine                                 8

72.049           Eilema sororcula                                                 Orange Footman                         1

72.055           Herminia grisealis                                              Small Fan-foot                            1

73.001           Abrostola tripartita                                               Spectacle                                   2

73.015           Autographa gamma                                               Silver Y                                      2

73.046           Subacronicta megacephala                               Poplar Grey                                 1

73.156          Apamea crenata                                            Clouded-bordered Brindle               2

73.173x         Oligia strigilis agg.                                          Marbled Minor agg.                       9

73.176           Oligia fasciuncula                                          Middle-barred Minor                      2

73.317           Agrotis exclamationis                                        Heart and Dart                            5

73.327           Agrotis ipsilon                                             Dark Sword-grass                 1

73.328           Axylia putris                                                            Flame                                        1

73.329           Ochropleura plecta                                           Flame Shoulder                            4

73.333           Diarsia mendica                                                  Ingrailed Clay                              1

73.359           Xestia c-nigrum                                     Setaceous Hebrew Character                1

73.361           Xestia triangulum                                            Double Square-spot                      1

 

Night 4  late June

The traps were set up on Saturday evening 23nd June, ready for the forthcoming Conservation Day on Sunday, and left overnight as per usual. However, on the Sunday morning only one of the bulbs was still alight. It was assumed that the second bulb had failed but the catch in the trap still working was minimal and so with an almost non-existant catch no record was kept. Thankfully I had taken some moth samples with me from home and managed to show these to the people attending the event at the Gardens.

Night 4a

To make up for the disappointment of last week which, it turned out, was a mistake on my part. I had not removed the time-clocks I used at the Yorkshire Air Museum the previous week. Well, nobody’s perfect!!

All went well and a very good night’s recording on 30th June was managed. 59 species were recorded of which 5 were new to the site.  The highlight, because of its size, was the Pine Hawk-moth which, at the time, we thought was a new sighting. However, the records showed that we had seen 3 in one night in July 2014.

For me the Suspected was the best newcomer. I have only recorded it at the Yorkshire Air Museum on a couple of occasions.  It was surprising that the Garden Tiger and Common Emerald were new to site and it just shows that gaps of up to four weeks can make recording a bit hit and miss.

 

31.001           Carcina quercana                                                                                             1

35.085           Athrips mouffetella                                                                                         1

39.001           Blastodacna hellerella                                                                                     1

41.003           Blastobasis lacticolella                                                                                   3

49.109           Agapeta hamana                                                                                              1

49.156           Hedya nubiferana                            Marbled Orchard Tortrix                  3

49.166           Celypha lacunana                                                                                            3

63.025           Anania hortulata                                    Small Magpie                               12

63.038           Pleuroptya ruralis                                   Mother of Pearl                           1

63.062           Scoparia subfusca                                                                                           1

63.067           Eudonia lacustrata                                                                                        2

65.009           Habrosyne pyritoides                              Buff Arches                               2

66.010           Euthrix potatoria                                    Drinker (m)                                 1

69.003           Laothoe populi                                     Poplar Hawk-moth                       1

69.007           Sphinx pinastri                                      Pine Hawk-moth                          1

69.016           Deilephila elpenor                             Elephant Hawk-moth                     4

70.011           Idaea dimidiata                                     Single-dotted Wave                       2

70.013           Idaea biselata                                       Small Fan-footed Wave                 1

70.016           Idaea aversata                                         Riband Wave                               11

70.084           Plemyria rubiginata rubiginata       Blue-bordered Carpet                    1

70.089           Eulithis prunata                                        Phoenix                                      1

70.093           Gandaritis pyraliata                                Barred Straw                               1

70.097           Dysstroma truncata                           Common Marbled Carpet              2

70.133           Perizoma alchemillata                           Small Rivulet                                1

70.144           Pasiphila rectangulata                             Green Pug                                   2

70.207           Lomaspilis marginata                           Clouded Border                            7

70.243           Ourapteryx sambucaria                     Swallow-tailed Moth                      1

70.258           Peribatodes rhomboidaria                   Willow Beauty                              1

70.265           Alcis repandata                                       Mottled Beauty                            6

70.270           Ectropis bistortata                                    Engrailed                                    2

70.277           Cabera pusaria                            Common White Wave                             1

70.283           Campaea margaritaria                           Light Emerald                              3

70.299           Geometra papilionaria                 Large Emerald                                       1

70.305           Hemithea aestivaria                             Common Emerald                        2

71.025           Phalera bucephala                             Buff-tip                                                2

72.002           Rivula sericealis                                     Straw Dot                                       1

72.003           Hypena proboscidalis                                 Snout                                         2

72.026           Arctia caja                                                   Garden Tiger                               1

72.045           Eilema lurideola                                     Common Footman                       26

72.053           Herminia tarsipennalis                             Fan-foot                                     2

72.069           Laspeyria flexula                                    Beautiful Hook-tip                       3

73.001           Abrostola tripartita                                     Spectacle                                   1

73.015           Autographa gamma                                     Silver Y                                      1

73.096x         Hoplodrina octogenaria/blanda      Uncertain/Rustic agg.                    6       

73.162           Apamea monoglypha                                Dark Arches                                4

73.176           Oligia fasciuncula                                Middle-barred Minor                      1

73.173x         Oligia strigilis agg.                                Marbled Minor agg.                       2

73.221           Parastichtis suspecta                              Suspected                                      1

73.267           Lacanobia oleracea                                Bright-line Brown-eye                 3

73.270           Melanchra persicariae                                       Dot Moth                           2

73.293           Mythimna impura                                   Smoky Wainscot                          2

73.317           Agrotis exclamationis                              Heart and Dart                            5

73.328           Axylia putris                                                  Flame                                        1

73.329           Ochropleura plecta                                 Flame Shoulder                            1

73.334           Diarsia rubi                                              Small Square-spot                        1

73.342           Noctua pronuba                                    Large Yellow Underwing               1

73.359           Xestia c-nigrum                         Setaceous Hebrew Character                   1

73.361           Xestia triangulum                                   Double Square-spot                      8

74.003           Nola cucullatella                                     Short-cloaked Moth                      1

 

Night 5 – late July

We managed to fit in a session at the end of July and set up on the evening of the 28th. It gave a better result than I had at home and 26 species were recorded, although none were new to the site.

21.001           Lyonetia clerkella                         Apple Leaf Miner                          1

49.161           Celypha striana                                                                                       2

63.038           Pleuroptya ruralis                         Mother of Pearl                           1

63.089          Agriphila tristella                                                                                   1

63.093          Agriphila straminella                                                                            4

65.005          Drepana falcataria                        Pebble Hook-tip                          1

70.016           Idaea aversata                                Riband Wave                              2

70.029           Timandra comae                           Blood-Vein                                  1

70.052           Xanthorhoe ferrugata         Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet        1

70.053          Xanthorhoe designata                  Flame Carpet                              1

71.012          Notodonta dromedarius              Iron Prominent                            1

71.018           Pheosia gnoma                        Lesser Swallow Prominent             2

72.002           Rivula sericealis                             Straw Dot                                   3

72.024           Phragmatobia fuliginosa             Ruby Tiger                                  2

73.015           Autographa gamma                        Silver Y                                      4

73.022          Plusia festucae                                 Gold Spot                                   3

73.096x         Hoplodrina octogenaria/blanda       Uncertain/Rustic agg.       1

73.162          Apamea monoglypha                     Dark Arches                                2

73.169x         Mesapamea secalis agg.          Common Rustic agg.                    13

73.216           Cosmia trapezina                            Dun-bar                                      8

73.255          Anarta trifolii                                    Nutmeg                                      1

73.281          Hadena bicruris                            Lychnis                                          2

73.325           Agrotis puta puta                         Shuttle-shaped Dart                   1

73.329           Ochropleura plecta                       Flame Shoulder                          2

73.334           Diarsia rubi                                 Small Square-spot                        1

73.348           Noctua janthe                     Lesser Bd-bor/d Yellow U/wing       13

 

Night 6 – late August

Vanessa’s grandchildren were staying with her for a few days at the end of August and we timed our visit to allow them to help empty the moth-traps in the morning. They are becoming very knowledgeable and enjoy releasing the specimens into the bushes. After a fairly cold evening we still managed to count 17 species only 2 of which were micro-moths. A prepoderance of Setaceous Hebrew Characters led to a bit of tongue-twisting.  Nothing new again but, of course, the chances of catching new species are diminishing over the years.  Let’s keep fingers crossed for September.

49.039          Epiphyas postvittana             Light Brown Apple Moth                3

63.102          Catoptria falsella                                                                                  1

70.053           Xanthorhoe designata                Flame Carpet                              1

73.012           Diachrysia chrysitis                   Burnished Brass                           1

73.015          Autographa gamma                         Silver Y                                      1

73.062x         Amphipyra pyramidea agg.     Copper Underwing agg.              1

73.095           Caradrina clavipalpis               Pale Mottled Willow                     2

73.182           Cirrhia icteritia                             Sallow                                            1

73.291           Mythimna pallens                         Common Wainscot                    2

73.317           Agrotis exclamationis                    Heart and Dart                           1

73.319           Agrotis segetum                             Turnip Moth                                1

73.329           Ochropleura plecta                       Flame Shoulder                          3

73.342           Noctua pronuba                          Large Yellow Underwing            8

73.343           Noctua fimbriata               Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing   1

73.345           Noctua comes                          Lesser Yellow Underwing               1

73.357           Xestia xanthographa                Square-spot Rustic                       11

73.359           Xestia c-nigrum          Setaceous Hebrew Character                   39

 

Night 7 end September

Almost the end of September and the nights are colder and longer. We set the traps on the evening of 29th September in Vanessa’s absence, as she was down in Shropshire visiting family. The temperature on previous night had been down to 6 degrees at home. However, things did warm up to around 11 degrees and we had a very reasonable catch. There was only one new-comer, a Green-brindled Crescent, amongst   a good selection of autumn moths.

21.001          Lyonetia clerkella                         Apple Leaf Miner                         1

28.009          Endrosis sarcitrella            White-shouldered House-moth        1

49.077          Acleris variegana                          Garden Rose Tortrix                   1

70.024           Scopula imitaria                           Small Blood-vein                        1

73.068          Allophyes oxyacanthae                 Green-brindled Crescent         1

73.180           Tiliacea aurago                            Barred Sallow                               2

73.181           Xanthia togata                           Pink-barred Sallow                        2

73.182           Cirrhia icteritia                              Sallow                                          1

73.186           Agrochola lychnidis                   Beaded Chestnut                         14

73.187           Agrochola litura                         Brown-spot Pinion                        1

73.189           Agrochola lota                             Red-line Quaker                           1

73.190           Agrochola macilenta                Yellow-line Quaker                       1

73.193           Omphaloscelis lunosa             Lunar Underwing                          6

73.206           Lithophane leautieri hesperica   Blair’s Shoulder-knot              1

73.224          Griposia aprilina                        Merveille du Jour                          1

73.233           Aporophyla nigra                         Black Rustic                                2

73.319           Agrotis segetum                          Turnip Moth                                  1

73.325           Agrotis puta puta                         Shuttle-shaped Dart                   1

73.327           Agrotis ipsilon                             Dark Sword-grass                         1

73.342          Noctua pronuba                          Large Yellow Underwing             6

73.357          Xestia xanthographa                     Square-spot Rustic                     1

 

However, this turned out to be our last session in the year as unfortunately the season was curtailed by illness and, so, this September visit completed the year of 2018.  During the year we recorded a further 5 new micromoths and 11 new macromoths.  Our site totals are now 105 micros and 228 macros.