Monday, January 2, 2017

Year review 2016 part 3


The garden yielded 276 species this year, this ranks only 3rd compared to 289 in in 2014 and an incredible 304 in 2013. After a few good years and with 361 macros already on the garden list, it is becoming increasingly hard to add new ones.

2016 saw the addition of another 12 species-

Blossom Underwing 30/03- 8th county record.
Pinion-spotted Pug 11/05- 13th county record, last seen in 2012.
Alder Moth 30/05- Uncommon resident, 83rd record.
Dotted Fan-foot 25/06- two caught this year, the 4th and 5th county records.
Slender Pug 06/07- Gen det A. Banthorpe, uncommon resident, 80th record.
Small Scallop 22/07- Common, a long awaited tick!
Coronet 22/07- 16th county record.
Jersey Tiger 27/07- 50th county record.
Hoary Footman 02/08- Gen det A. Banthorpe, only the 2nd record, after one trapped in Luton in 2014.
Dewick's Plusia 22/09- Other than this one, three other records in the county in 2016, after the first ever record in 2015.
Dark Spectacle 23/09- 20th county record.
Cypress Carpet 28/10- A new record for VC30!

Blossom Underwing

Pinion-spotted Pug

Alder Moth

Dotted Fan-foot

Slender Pug

Small Scallop


Jersey Tiger

Hoary Footman

Dewick's Plusia

Dark Spectacle

 Cypress Carpet

Year review 2016 part 2

Buccalatrix ulmella

Agriphila selasella

Pediasia contaminella

Aproaerema anthyllidella

Palpita vitrealis

Stigmella sakhalinella

  Monopis crocicapitella 

Year review 2016 part 1

To say I haven't blogged much recently is a bit of an understatement. Just one post in 2016, way back in March!
I had, however, carried on mothing throughout the year adding 6763 records and 40 more species to the garden list which now totals 714 species (373 Macro, 341 Micro)
I trapped less often than previous years, with only 220 trap nights. But did use more than one trap for the majority of these. July was my most productive month, recording 313 species from 27 days. February was my least productive, trapping on just two nights and recording ten species.

The top ten most abundant species of the year were as follows-

63.115 Acentria ephemerella Water Veneer 4631
73.359 Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 1947
73.342 Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing 1174
18.001 Plutella xylostella Diamond-back Moth 1025
73.325 Agrotis puta Shuttle-shaped Dart 583
73.357 Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic 404
73.317 Agrotis exclamationis Heart and Dart 397
63.080 Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer 364
73.291 Mythimna pallens Common Wainscot 297
73.162 Apamea monoglypha Dark Arches 282

It is no surprise that  Acentria ephemerella is the most abundant. On some nights it reaches near plague proportions, c1000 were recorded on 27th July alone.


This year I made a bit more of an effort with micros and logged a record number of species. I kept a few more for gen detting and paid more attention to collecting, photographing and identifying. This along with Louie's sweep netting managed to add 28 new species to the garden list. 230 species were recorded, beating my previous best of 218 in 2013.

Crocidosema plebejana 24/01- A scarce migrant to Beds, 15th county record
Scrobipalpa costella 03/04- Common
Depressaria ultimella 10/05- Gen det D. Manning, 13th record for Beds, last seen in 2011
Cryptoblabes bistriga 29/05- 14th record for Beds, last seen in 2014
Aethes tesserana 29/05- 22nd record for Beds
Cauchas fibulella 04/06- Gen det D. Manning, 23rd Beds record.
Nematopogon swammerdamella 06/06- Common
Elachista argentella 07/06- Common
Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella 23/06- 2 caught this year, 16th and 17th county records.
Peach Twig Borer Anarsia lineatella 07/07- This presumed migrant was VC30's first ever adult record after a larval record found and bred through from imported fruit. 
Athrips mouffetella 07/07- 2 caught this year. Bedfordshire's 22nd and 23rd records
Flax Tortrix Cnephasia asseclana 15/07- Gen det, A. Banthorpe, common
Coleophora coracipennella 16/07- Gen det A. Banthorpe, 20th County record
Brachmia blandella 19/07- 2 caught this year, common
Coleophora saxicolella 21/07- Gen det A. Banthorpe, Common
Elachista consortella 21/07- Gen det A. Banthorpe, 27th for the county, not seen since 2010
Monochroa lucidella 23/07- 2 caught on the same night, only the 5th and 6th Beds records.
Stigmella trimaculella 23/07- Gen det A. Banthorpe, common
Aethes cnicana 27/07- Common
Bucculatrix ulmella 29/07- Common
Coleophora versurella 02/08- Gen det A. Banthorpe, Common
Agriphila selasella 06/08- Local, 41st county record
Pediasia contaminella 07/08- Gen det A. Banthorpe, 5th county record.
Dichrorampha simpliciana 14/08- Gen det A. Banthorpe, common
Aproaerema anthyllidella 25/08- 3 caught this year, 35-37th record, not seen since 2013
Palpita vitrealis 12/09- Migrant, 5th county record.
Stigmella sakhalinella 14/10- Two Mines found in Birch, 39-40th county record
Monopis crocicapitella 28/10- 11th county record

Depressaria ultimella

Cryptoblabes bistriga

Aethes tesserana

Elachista argentella

Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella

Peach Twig Borer Anarsia lineatella

Athrips mouffetella

Brachmia blandella

Monochroa lucidella

Aethes cnicana

Saturday, March 19, 2016

In with a roar..............

Well it's March already and I haven't blogged for a while. So after a record breaking January in the garden, recording 12 species by the end of the month (double my previous best). It seemed like there was nothing going to get in the way of an equally impressive February. But the weather did finally turn and after just two trap nights and only a handful in March so far. The early head start has now been pegged back and I am nine species down on my best ever on the same date (2014).
As I type the temperatures are still slightly below average.

Brindled Pug
 Caught 18th March.

Dotted Border
 After one on 23rd January. This was the second record for the year, 16th March

Yellow Horned
After an absence from last years records, caught 12th March

Monday, December 28, 2015

October & March on December 27th............. the wacky Winter weather continues, there seems to be no end to the unusual records. As well as record breaking early emergence, there seems to be evidence of some migrant activity too. I also have a query on a possible Acleris kochiella and have included a species list at the bottom of this post. 

Rusty Dot Pearl Udea ferrugalis
 Previous latest garden record, 22nd November in 2014

Silver Y
Previous latest garden record, 8th November in 2011. 

Dotted Border
 This was a real surprise. Earliest previous garden record 21st February, 2011. All time earliest in VC30 (Beds), 7th January. 

Hebrew Character
 No need to say really, but another early garden record. Previous earliest garden record 22nd February in 2014. This is an equal VC30 earliest record (27th December)

Pale Brindled Beauty
 Previous earliest garden record was 3rd January in 2013. Another record breaker as the earliest ever in VC30 was 1st January.

Acleris kochiella
 Has been retained, but looks like a good candidate. The Winter flight of this species always looks grey compared to the Summer flight, which is often extremely pale with prominent markings. If it does turn out to be one, it will be new for the garden and only the 2nd I have ever seen. Confirmed as A. kochiella, Gen Det AM Banthorpe

Acleris kochiella
For comparison, here is an example caught in Home Wood 2nd July 2014. The strong markings point towards kochiella, though this one was Gen. detted just to make sure. (photo: Ben Sale)

Acleris logiana
A second record for the year after one trapped 10th July. 

27-12-2015- 2 traps, Upper Caldecote Garden- 14 of 11 species-

1050  Acleris kochiella  1- Confirmed, gen det AMB
1051  Acleris logiana  1
1395  Rusty-dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis)  1
1524  Emmelina monodactyla  1
1799  Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata)  4
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  1
1934  Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)  1
1935  Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria)  1
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  1
2258  Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  1
2441  Silver Y (Autographa gamma)  1

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Crazy Month

December 2015 has been an exceptional month. Usually I only trap on favourable nights in Winter. So if its too cold or too windy, I've tended not to bother. Unfortunately, I haven't got 'blanks' recorded for the first years of my records. A bit of a blunder really, though as said, this wouldn't account for many if any nights in some years, so not as scientific as I would have liked. But I suppose you can get the gist of it.
Clearly the high yields are down to high temperatures at night. This has led to more than a few surprises up and down the country, especially on the South coast. December isn't usually considered to be a highlight in migrant terms. But the season hasn't really tailed off since October. I for one will keep the traps burning until the end of the year as anything seems possible.

Black-spotted Chestnut
 This was the surprise of the year, caught 18th Decmber. Though I missed out on getting my first 'New for VC' macro moth by a matter of 20 hours as one was caught in Biggleswade (17th December)- by my father!
Incredibly, this species has only been know in the UK since 2011 and I actually had to renew my Mapmate licence to update my checklist as it didn't exist!
The only other records come from a small colony in Kent and a single record in Suffolk. Easily the rarest moth I've ever caught and the furthest North the species has ever been recorded in Britain!

Spring Usher
 .........Though should be called the 'Christmas Usher' this year. After an early record from The Lodge, Sandy on 17th, I was still very surprised to catch this on 21st December. My previous earliest record was 18th January!
Scarce Umber
Fairly scarce in my garden, usually with one record per year. All previous record have been in November. But this turned up 7th December.

Below is all of my records from the garden in December. This year comes off the back of three blanks, so makes it particularly unusual.

12/2009- from 2 records- 2 of 2 species

1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1- found indoors 2-12
2469 Scoliopteryx libatrix Herald 1- found hibernating 10-12

12/2010- from 7 Productive nights- 13 of 3 species

1631 Poecilocampa populi December Moth 1
1799 Operophtera brumata Winter Moth 11
1800 Operophtera fagata Northern Winter Moth 1

12/2011- from 5 Productive nights- 12 of 5 species

0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
1631 Poecilocampa populi December Moth 1
1799 Operophtera brumata Winter Moth 8
2256 Eupsilia transversa Satellite 1
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 1

12/2012- No Records

12/2013- No Records

12/2014- No Records

12/2015- from 6 Productive nights (4 blanks)- 49 of 14 species so far........

0998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 5
1047 Acleris schalleriana  1
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 3
1799 Operophtera brumata Winter Moth 18
1932 Agriopis leucophaearia Spring Usher 1
1933 Agriopis aurantiaria Scarce Umber 1
1935 Erannis defoliaria Mottled Umber 1
2087 Agrotis segetum Turnip Moth 1
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 1
2259 Conistra ligula Dark Chestnut 11
2259a Conistra rubiginosa Black-spotted Chestnut 1
2306 Phlogophora meticulosa Angle Shades 1
2321 Apamea monoglypha Dark Arches 1
2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y 3

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mines..... Help needed!

It's about this time of year that my attention turns to leaf mines. The majority of species mine leaves between September and October. Generally I compile a list of around 20 species, but even though the garden has changed very little as far as hosts are concerned, the species list varies quite considerable and has never been the same from one year to another. Once again I have added new species to the garden list. The top two images are the newbies and below those are are few that I'm not sure about.........

112 Stigmella luteella  Lyonetia clerkella
 Totally caught out by this. I can't remember seeing the larvae so clearly. The 'Michelin Man' heavily segmented look of the larvae is diagnostic.

260 Leucoptera malifoliella
 NFG- This was found on Conference Pear. Again only one mine found.

Mine on Birch?
 Not sure on this one, very small. Could just be an aborted L. clerkella mine.

99 Stigmella hybnerella
On Hawthorn- very common

Mine on Hawthorn?

Stigmella Sp. on Bramble
To me this looks like Stigmella splendidissimella but after doing a little research it seems that it could be a sub species of S. aurella (f. gei). My question is; can you tell the difference without breeding through?

Full list below- Sept/Oct

0050  Stigmella aurella   Bramble, NFY
0075  Stigmella floslactella   Hornbeam, NFY
0099  Stigmella hybnerella   Hawthorn, NFY
0111  Stigmella microtheriella  Hazel, NFY
0254  Laburnum Leaf Miner (Leucoptera laburnella)  Laburnham, NFY
0260  Pear Leaf Blister Moth (Leucoptera malifoliella)  Pear, NFG
0263  Apple Leaf Miner (Lyonetia clerkella)
0272  Bucculatrix cidarella  Alder, NFY
0275  Bucculatrix bechsteinella  Hawthorn, NFY
0293  Caloptilia syringella  Lilac/Forsythia, NFY
0303  Parornix anglicella
0304  Parornix devoniella  Hazel, NFY
0323  Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae  Hawthorn, NFY
0332  Phyllonorycter corylifoliella  Hawthorn, NFY
0345  Phyllonorycter rajella  Alder, NFY
0353  Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella  Birch, NFY
0358  Phyllonorycter froelichiella  Alder, NFY
0360  Phyllonorycter kleemannella  Alder, NFY