Monday, 7 December 2015

On a whim.....winter mothing.

Feeling a strong - and rather warm - southerly wind in my face late yesterday afternoon and after checking the forecast (which confirmed overnight southerlies and only light rain for a short spell), I decided to put out the home actinic, the first time for exactly a month. It was quite profitable and interesting, with nine species recorded, some of which were seasonal moths but with a couple of very late dates and one very early date indeed. There were no noteworthy migrants but a silver y and a rusty-dot pearl were in the catch.
The moths caught were: December moth x2; mottled umber x2; dark chestnut x1; brick x1; common quaker x1; silver y x1; rusty-dot pearl x1; Northern winter moth x2 (?) and Acleris hastiana x1.
NB. if marked with (?) in this list it is an unsure det.

                                                           Above: December moth.
                                                              Above: mottled umber.
                                                              Above: dark chestnut.
Above: with the southerlies, I first thought that this might have been something migratory, but I now consider that it`s just a pale brick.
Above: I believe that this is (very) unseasonal common quaker. The literature says that it can rarely occur in mild winters.
Above: I`m really unsure with this one. With the protruding hindwing, is it northern winter moth?
Please advise/correct, so that I can amend the caption - thanks. Postscript: I`m more inclining to it being just a winter moth - look at the the hindwing on the right-hand side which actually does n`t protrude that much.
                                               Above:  Acleris hastiana.

On another matter, please send your 2015 records to the County Moth Recorder (Sam Bosanquet) as soon as convenient.

2 comments:

  1. Good catch Ian. Agree with Brick and Common Quaker - the latter being increasingly reported during early winter. The Acleris is I think one of the myriad forms of A. hastiana - note the rough scaled leading edge which is a good pointed for this one.

    No idea about the winter moth - I find these hard enough with specimens let alone photos!

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  2. Thanks George. I`ll retain the winter moth as a specimen -I`m increasingly unsure that it`s northern winter moth, thinking it`s `just the way` the hindwing is sticking out....and it`s not particularly pale on the forewings. Thanks re the Acleris correction - I`ll change the text.

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