Monday, 31 October 2016

Llansteffan moths

I trapped on Saturday night 29th at my alternative village site and had a really good catch of moths, probably the best numbers I've had since the summer. There were so many moths in both MV's that it took me about three hours to process all of them.
I don't know if other people find the same but I don't have much luck with an Actinic trap. I put it out in the same garden as the MV's and not within seeing distance of the others, and I had zilch in it. Not for the first time have I had no luck with it. The garden I might add is three quarters of an acre.
Anyway back to moths. Ian was saying in a previous blog that if you caught a November moth, you might like to dissect it, well I caught 90 and the different shades and patterns were mind boggling let alone dissecting any of them, I've added a few below for interest. The books say that the three moths (Pale November, November & Autumnal) you can't tell by colour and pattern alone. After counting that many I think they will have to go down as Nov agg.
I also had 17 Green Brindled Crescents where I have only had ones or twos.
Singles of Merveille du Jour, Blair's Shoulder-knot, Black Rustic, Madder Pearl, Beaded Chestnut, Light Brown Apple, Scobipalpa costlella, Rhomboid Tortrix, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Dark Chestnut, Lunar Underwing, and one which I think is a Brick (3rd last photo)?
A few other micro's to go through.






























13 comments:

  1. Looks like a Brick to me, Mel. What a great haul. I bet you're pleased with your M du J - I seem to recall that you hadn't had much luck with those.

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  2. I love those moths and only had one for the first time last year, so yes I am pleased. You seem to do well in the Alder grove with numbers though which I'm jealous of.

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  3. Madder Pearl is a great record - only 9 previous records, 3 of which are from Llansteffan. Brick is pretty good too.

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  4. Thanks Sam, I've added a couple of micros which maybe Acleris sparsana if you could confirm for me?

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  5. Just to note that you don't actually need to dissect November moths, just examine the underside of the tip of the abdomen. Admittedly it easier to do this if the moth is not alive, as often you need to remove scales from the final segment to view the teeth-like processes, but it is possible! And don't bother if it is female as these cannot be done without extracting eggs, rearing them out and hoping you get a male offspring.

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  6. I'll leave all that to the experts Dave! Saying that I have got a microscope and could have a go with patience. How do you tell males from females without killing them, having caught 90+ it's a lot to go through?

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  7. I sent a few Carms `core recorders` details on how to do this about a week or so ago, explaining that you do not need a microscope (I use a x10 and x20 hand lens). You can`t tell the males from the females Mel without killing them and you do not have to kill all your catch. Keep a dozen alive, bump some off in the freezer( just 3 or so to start off with) and carefully hold the abdomen and look at the underside - it`s all explained in that email I sent. Once you`ve i/d what it is, you can release the rest (or kill a few more until you get some males).
    It`s only the males that have the `teeth` at their rear-bottom abdomen ends, if they are not there, they are females and discard.

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  8. I'm sorry about not reading the email properly that you sent Ian, put it down to tiredness. I realised after I'd blogged that I didn't need scientific equipment to have a look at their bits & pieces. I just thought it would be fun to show the different colours and forms of the ones I caught. If I'd caught one or two possibly I would have had a go, but catching ninety plus meant I was pushed for time. It's another learning curve for me.
    Thanks for all replies.

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  9. No need to apologise Mel - keep up the good work.

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  10. With practice you can tell males from females from the shape of the abdomen. Females tend to look fatter, the males more slender and pointy.

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  11. Ok if I catch any more, I'll have a go, thanks Dave

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