Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A "freezer"

No, the night was not a freezer, in fact, it was quite mild, which is why I put the trap on for the first time in 2 weeks.  And, was it worth the effort? - well, judge for yourselves.

Firstly, there were 77 moths in and around the trap, the largest number for weeks. What is more there were three new species for the Strettons Moth list.

The first new moth, both to me, the Strettons and (I believe) to Shropshire - but to be confirmed - is a tortrix moth called Exapate congelatella - and now I can explain the title of this blog! In France, a kitchen freezer is a congelator! What is very interesting is that there were 34 of them.

Exapate congelatella

There were a dozen Feathered Thorn's and the same number of Mottled Umbers, plus Angle Shades, Black Rustic and Yellow-line Quaker, all of which have appeared on the blog Similarly, 4 Sprawler's and a dreaded "November moth"

The second new moth was a December moth, which although it looks like a noctuid moth is actually from the "eggar" family - and they regularly fly from late October to defy their name.

December Moth

And, last, but not least, a Dark Chestnut. This species is very similar to the Chestnut and is not always darker. The main clue to identification is based on the fact that the wings seem to be much more "square" and there is often a greyish-white band on the edge of the wing - quite clear on the photo.

Dark Chestnut

I spent a few days with a friend (Colin Plant)  in the south and visited the BEHNS annual exhibition in London where there was a selection of moths and other insects displayed.

Colin performed dissections of 5 the different looking "Ear moths" which I wrote about in mid-September. Although they all looked very different from each other, they all turned out to be the Ear Moth. He also confirmed for me that the small, greyish "elachista" moth featured here recently was Elachista canapennella.

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