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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Moth Doldrums

I`d hoped to set several traps out last night, as the weather was better than of late, but it was still forecast clear and windy at times, so I settled for just trapping in the garden. Apart from the omnipresent large yellow underwings, there was rather little variety (c 15 spp of macros), though five silver y`s was the best count of this migrant (for me) this year. If this was a `migration year` this current season would be exciting indeed - I often think back to 2006, when `good` moths came to you, rather than having to look for them!
Three pug species - currant, double-striped and a single tawny speckled were present, as well as a flounced rustic and a pale mottled willow, whilst careful examination of the egg cartons and the base of the trap revealed several micro-moth species. Some of the micros are shown in the poor photos below (please click on them to enlarge). Any help re identification or confirmation will be appreciated; the photos are numbered for ease of reference.

                                         1. Above: is this Cydia splendana please?

                                         2. Above: what is this pale tortricid?

                                         3. Above: is this Epinotia nisella (a poplar/willow feeder)?

                                          4. Above: Mompha locupletella? (a willowherb feeder).

                                         5. Above: another Mompha - propinquella?

                                         6. Above: this one ought to be easy - but I`m stuck!

                            7. Above: I`ve had this before, but have forgotten - is it a Blastobasis sp.?

In a brief spell of sunshine, I ventured out to the garden on a patrol hoping to find a hummingbird hawk-moth, but found none - does this species exist? I did, however, chance upon the bug Corizus hyoscyami, a distinctive red-and black, mostly coastal species.

                                         Above: Corizus hyoscyami inspecting my marjoram!


  1. 1 & 2 both Cydia splendana - the second is rather faded
    3 yes, E nisella
    4 & 5 both Mompha correct
    6 Epiphyas postvittana
    7 yes a Blastobasis, probably a pale adustella

    I caught Corizus hyoscyami in Brechfa Forest this summer, which was a big surprise so far inland. I know it very well from the flower-rich walled garden at Dingestow (central Monmouthshire).

    Late August mothing is rather dispiriting, as species diversity drops and those dreary brown Large YU and Square-spot Rustic dominate the trap. Immigration helps massively when it happens. There are still good things to be trapped though, so please don't everyone give up!!

  2. Sam just beat me to that post!

    Apparently Corizus hyoscyami is becoming quite common inland these days.

  3. Thanks both, appreciated as always.
    Don`t worry, I`m certainly not going to give up for 2014...there are still good late season moths to search for or target,.eg some upland/heath species, some of the scarcer sallow species, as well as the general autumn moths etc. It`s really important that we all carry on to mid-late October (at least).