Sunday, July 26, 2015


..........and this time it's the turn of the micros. A good run of late has added ten new species since 30th June. Five of which were recorded in just three nights!
  • Orchard Ermine Yponomeuta padella- 30th June
  • Pammene regiana- 30th June
  • Delplanqueia dilutella- 3rd July
  • Phtheochroa inopiana- 4th July
  • Plum Fruit Moth Grapholita funebrana- 4th July
  • Scoparia basistrigalis- 17th July
  • Dioryctria abietella- 18th July
  • Elachista maculicerusella- 18th July
  • Olindia schumacherana- 18th July
  • Oidaematophorus lithodactyla- 19th July

Orchard Ermine Yponomeuta padella

Pammene regiana

Delplanqueia dilutella

Phtheochroa inopiana

Plum Fruit Moth Grapholita funebrana

300 continued..........

Scoparia basistrigalis

Dioryctria abietella

Elachista maculicerusella

Olindia schumacherana

Oidaematophorus lithodactyla

Monday, June 29, 2015


Battered Pugs at this time of year are the hardest to identify. In fact, after a certain amount of wear this becomes pretty much impossible. The most common in the garden at the moment are Green, Grey and of course Common Pug. Though most of the pugs are on the wing in June/July. Below are a couple that have/are testing me.
Oak-tree Pug?
Caught 27th June. It's been ages since I've caught one (11th May), but this seems to be what it is? Size, shape and distinctive white area to the outside of the discals all seem to fit. If it is an Oak-tree, it certainly is late. My latest previously record was 24th May 2010.................

Pug sp.?
Caught 26th June. This could be a new species for the garden. 18mm wingspan, posture and very large discals give it all the hallmarks of a Dwarf Pug. I could easily be wrong of course as its so badly worn- retained for gen. det. So will find out soon enough.......

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Recently, I clocked up moth species #650 for the garden. It is now getting very difficult to find new macro species, there is little likelihood of getting more than a few per year. But in the micro department, I still have plenty of wriggle room. This is mainly due to (a) Not patrolling the traps at night- this is the best chance of something new as most micro species are gone by morning. Skinner traps tend not to hold too many and most manage to abscond well before morning. (b) Not retaining- I have had plenty of chances to retain Cnephasias (Grey Tortrix), Coleophoras and Phyllonorycters. I haven't bothered over the years, as I can't be arsed. But these three groups alone could yield 10's of new garden ticks.
Below are my latest offerings, all micros were caught by Keely and Louie's relentless daytime netting along the hedgerow- I don't know where they get it from!

Cherry-bark Moth Enarmonia formosana
NFG- A long awaited tick on 7th June. A lack of suitable food plants in the area

Silky Wainscot
NFG, 16th June- Only the 7th record for Beds VC30. But my garden punches well above its weight for Wetland species.

Psyche casta
 NFG, 17th June. Swept from the hedge by Louie and is the first 'Bagworm' type micro I have seen.

Apple Leaf Skeletonizer Choreutis pariana
 NFG, 22nd June- No doubt the best name for a moth in the whole book! Yet again, swept from the hedge, this time by Keely. Surprisingly scarce- only the 12th VC30 record of this species, though is almost certainly overlooked. Skeletonizer indeed!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


......And what a good year it's been so far with good numbers all over the place this year, including Striped Hawk-moth and Ni Moth. This usually means absolutely nothing in Bedfordshire. But this year I have already had a few notables.

Bordered Straw
This tatty specimen on 7th May is very early in the year for this species. Only my second record.

Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella
Unusually early, I don't normally see these until Autumn- NFY 5th June.

Bordered Straw
 After a five year absence, a second one turns up in just under a month on 6th June! Third garden record.

Small Mottled Willow
 A third record for the garden on 12th June, after missing out in 2014

Thursday, May 14, 2015

13/05 Camomile Infusion

This has been on the 'expected' list for a long time. The last Shark sp. I caught in May turned out to be just a Shark. This one is fairly dark in colour too. Anyway, its macro #356 for the garden.

Camomile Shark

The shot below shows the diagnostic feature. The thin lateral lines terminate beyond the fringe with no dashed terminal line. Unlike Shark, in which the lines terminate neatly up to the lighter fringe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


After another short break, testing some new electrics gave me an excuse to put a trap at either end of the garden.
Amongst the usual orthosias, a bevy of NFYs. Early Thorn, Engrailed, Light Brown Apple Moth, Oak Nycteolene and a fairly poorly marked Lead-coloured Drab.

Lead-coloured Drab

Oak Nycteolene


Upper Caldecote Garden- 2 traps- 07-04-2015- 66 of 13 species

0998  Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)  2 NFY
1524  Emmelina monodactyla  8
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  6
1917  Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)  1 NFY
1947  Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia) 1 NFY
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  6
2185  Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti)  1 NFY
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  19
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  9
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  8
2237  Grey Shoulder-knot (Lithophane ornitopus)  1
2243  Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)  4
2423  Oak Nycteoline (Nycteola revayana)  1 NFY

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Breakfast- 03-04-2015

After a two week break, the traps were back on. There seemed precious little point of trapping in the last week in March as it seemed unlikely any insects would be flying in winds gusting up to 60MPH.
Anyway, four NFY's was a positive outcome, although numbers of individual species are still pretty low. No shot of the Nut-tree Tussock as it was gone by morning.

Brindled Pug

Double-striped Pug

Red Chestnut

Upper Caldecote Garden- 2 Traps- 30 of 9 species

1524  Emmelina monodactyla  1
1852  Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata)  1 NFY
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  1 NFY
2139  Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)  2 NFY
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  9
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  5
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  7
2243  Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)  3
2425  Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli)  1 NFY

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Home Wood- 25th February 2015

After missing the whole of January, mainly due to the cold and unreasonable weather. It was time to get back into the woods, albeit in the modest form of a single battery powered Actinic/Synergetic Skinner trap. Weather wise, it was probably one of the best nights of the month with temperatures not dipping below 8°C. Not a bad haul, but nothing particularly unexpected. In the garden, it was a bit quieter. However, I did add Common Quaker and March Moth to my list.

Small Brindled Beauty

Early Moth


March Moth

1025 Tortricodes alternella 

Home Wood- 25-02-15 38 of 9 species

1025  Tortricodes alternella  4
1663  March Moth (Alsophila aescularia)  9
1925  Small Brindled Beauty (Apocheima hispidaria)  1
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  11
1932  Spring Usher (Agriopis leucophaearia)  1
1934  Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)  4
1947  Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata)  1
1960  Early Moth (Theria primaria)  1
2258  Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  6

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Moths

I haven't done a lot of trapping in the past two months, due mainly to the extremely low night time temperatures. Agonopterix heracliana was attracted to a lit window on 9th Feb and then two days later a slight upturn in night time temps tempted me to try the traps, the first time they'd been out for almost two weeks.

Pale Brindled Beauty

Spring Usher

The catch was from two traps at either end of the garden. It was interesting that the Twin 15w Actinic easily out performed the far larger and slightly more powerful Twin 20w Synergetic. Though this could simply be down to location. Tonight, I will be trapping again and have reversed the traps to see if it makes any difference. I have also heard that Synergetic tubes lose some of their potency after around a year's use? It would be hard for me to prove, so having had the current tubes from June 2013- I may invest in new ones for the upcoming months.

Upper Caldecote Garden  14-02-2015-

Twin 20w Synergetic Skinner
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  1

Twin 15w Actinic Skinner
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  2
1932  Spring Usher (Agriopis leucophaearia)  2 NFY
2259  Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula)  1

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Off the Mark............

A really good start to the New Year. Very mild all evening with very little wind, a rare thing indeed at this early stage. Friday night looks pretty good too, with night time temps set to hit 13°c!

Mottled Umber
A record count of 3 in one night, all to Actinic light.

Upper Caldecote Garden- 2 Traps- 05/01/15- 8 of 5 species.

1524  Emmelina monodactyla  1 NFY
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  1 NFY
1935  Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria)  3 NFY
2258  Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  1 NFY
2259  Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula)  2 NFY

Sunday, November 23, 2014

.......and still they come

Overnight conditions were mild but extremely wet. Just one trap out, though it was under the overhanging shed roof. 8 species is exceptional for this time of year, also nice to see there is still some migrants around.

 Rusty Dot Pearl Udea ferrugalis

December Moth
After keeping this female in a pot for a day, it layed eggs which will hopefully hatch in the next few weeks. They are common in my garden, probably on account of the mature Hawthorn on two of the boundaries. Apparently, they also feed on Oak and Birch.

Upper Caldecote Garden- 22-11-2014- 1x Twin T12 Synergetic Skinner, 8 of 8 species

0464  Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella)  1
1395  Rusty-dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis)  1
1524  Emmelina monodactyla  1
1631  December Moth (Poecilocampa populi)  1 NFY
1799  Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata)  1
2240  Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri)  1
2259  Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula)  1
2263  Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota)  1

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

500 up..............

For the 2nd year in a row I've managed to record 500 species in the garden. I haven't trapped quite as much this year, but even so would have struggled to beat last year's 522 species. These are my last four NFY's.

Only the 2nd garden record on 14th November. Last caught, 9th November 2009.

Mottled Umber
This is the 5th record of this species. One per year since 2010. NFY, 15th November.

Winter Moth
Common in the garden and usually seen first at the beginning of the year. NFY, 15th November 

Scarce Umber 
 Only the 3rd record. NFY, 18th November. Last seen 28th November 2011.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October top 20

I did this last year with a very different outcome. It shows clearly just how good an October it was in 2013.  Last year's winner has been relegated to 4th place and to put it in context, I caught 63 Setaceous Hebrew Character on just one night ( 2nd October 2013). Whereas in 2014 it took a whole month to catch just 33! (not that I'm complaining)

October 2014

2267 Agrochola lychnidis  Beaded Chestnut 63
2092 Agrotis puta  Shuttle-shaped Dart  54
2240 Lithophane leautieri hesperica  Blair's Shoulder-knot 52
2126 Xestia c-nigrum  Setaceous Hebrew Character 33
2232 Aporophyla nigra  Black Rustic 31
2270 Omphaloscelis lunosa  Lunar Underwing 26
1795x Epirrita dilutata agg.  November Moth agg. 19
0998 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 18
2107 Noctua pronuba  Large Yellow Underwing 17
1760 Chloroclysta siterata  Red-green Carpet 15
1937 Peribatodes rhomboidaria  Willow Beauty 15
2245 Allophyes oxyacanthae  Green-brindled Crescent  14
2263 Agrochola lota   Red-line Quaker 13
1745 Larentia clavaria  Mallow 12
2109 Noctua comes  Lesser Yellow Underwing 12
1764 Chloroclysta truncata  Common Marbled Carpet 11
2231 Aporophyla lutulenta  Deep-brown Dart 11
1395 Udea ferrugalis  Rusty-dot Pearl 9
2375 Rhizedra lutosa  Large Wainscot 8
0464 Plutella xylostella  Diamond-back Moth 8

October 2013

2126 Xestia c-nigrum  Setaceous Hebrew Character 208
2107 Noctua pronuba  Large Yellow Underwing 118
2267 Agrochola lychnidis  Beaded Chestnut 117
2240 Lithophane leautieri  Blair's Shoulder-knot 76
2389 Paradrina clavipalpis  Pale Mottled Willow 44
2232 Aporophyla nigra  Black Rustic 39
2109 Noctua comes  Lesser Yellow Underwing 39
2270 Omphaloscelis lunosa  Lunar Underwing 35
1937 Peribatodes rhomboidaria  Willow Beauty 31
2091 Agrotis ipsilon   Dark Sword-grass 19
1745 Larentia clavaria  Mallow 19
2092 Agrotis puta  Shuttle-shaped Dart  17
2306 Phlogophora meticulosa  Angle Shades 15
0998 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 14
2264 Agrochola macilenta  Yellow-line Quaker  12
2375 Rhizedra lutosa  Large Wainscot 12
1764 Chloroclysta truncata  Common Marbled Carpet 11
1760 Chloroclysta siterata  Red-green Carpet 9
2263 Agrochola lota   Red-line Quaker 8
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 8