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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Predictable garden Micros

Each June I check the large patches of Germander Speedwell in our "lawn" (rough, flower-rich and mown once a year) for the tiny Longhorn Cauchas (Adela) fibulella, and count them once they have emerged.  The emergence has now started, with 3 seen on the flowers, and they should be around for 3 or 4 weeks.  My maximum so far here was 19 last year.

the pale spots on Adela fibulella are distinctive

I also check our Ox-eye Daisies for the distinctive little Bucculatrix nigricomella, which scurries around on the leaves and stems in mid to late afternoon.  Again, the season for that species has just started.  10 of the 13 Carms records of this species are from our garden, but I suspect it's much overlooked.

Bucculatrix nigricomella has pale marks like a Phyllonorycter and a black head

The third thing I check for is Micropterix species on Hawthorn flowers, because that is the best way of finding M. tunbergella.  Last year I also had the uncommon M. aureatella on Hawthorn here, and there was one today as well (following on from one at Nant y Bai this morning).  The silver-banded M. aruncella was the most numerous moth on the Hawthorn flowers, and I also noticed one individual of the Spruce-feeding Tortricid Epinotia tedella.  This has been pretty common here because we back on to a mature Spruce plantation, but as the whole lot were clear-felled recently I suspect E. tedella won't be so common here next summer.

note the white palps of Epinotia tedella


  1. I checked a patch of germander speedwell yesterday for fibulella (with no luck), but I neglected to beat hawthorn blossom. I also was n`t `switched on` re B. nigricomella on a large stand of ox-eye daisy that I found - I did, half-heartedly sweep it, but with such a small moth (and my black net) it might have been more fruitful if I`d searched carefully first.
    Another educative and useful post, Sam - thanks!

  2. 40+ fibulella along a woodland edge at NBGW today, thanks for highlighting the species otherwise I may have just walked past