Thursday, 8 November 2012

Variation on a theme

A couple of nights ago Graham posted how he had found a new micro moth for the Strettons, Exapate congelatella, which according to records is a very rare species in Shropshire. What made this more interesting is that he caught 34 of them! Last night I caught eight of the same species, meaning that between us we have caught 42 individuals over two nights of a rarely recorded species. Of course it is unlikely that this is a truly rare moth, but more likely that, flying late in the year and being a tricky species to identify, it is just poorly recorded. But it does show how anyone has a  realistic chance of discovering a new species for the county record in their own back garden.

Moving on to the larger 'macro' moths, I also caught two new species for my garden. One of these was a Winter Moth, and other were two Mottled Umbers. The Mottled Umbers were particularly interesting, as I caught two quite different variations of this species. So much so that it took a while to identify them, but if you look carefully, the pattern of the dark spot halfway up the forewing and the 'cross-lines' is consistent.

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