Sunday, 14 April 2013

On the road

Having signed up many volunteers back in January, and following weeks of cold weather, the Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group moth trapping surveys are finally underway. Last night I paid a visit to our first 'client' in the Strettons and a new moth trap was given its first outing. I called round this morning to go through the contents, and we were not be disappointed.

The first thing that caught my eye was a micro moth roosting near the trap. It was not a species familiar to me and my initial identification forays in the Crambidae group were wide of the mark. Once back home I had another look and worked out I was looking in the wrong family, and then was quickly able to identify it as a Diurnea fagella. This species shows sexual dimorphism in terms of wing shape, and this example was a male.

Diurnea fagella

Also lurking on the outside of the trap was a new species for me, and one of four Orthosia species on offer. A very nice Twin-spotted Quaker, with the distinctive blackish 'twin spots' near the base of the forewing.

Twin-spotted Quaker

Once the trap was inside and being emptied, the other quakers started. There were four Common Quakers and seven Small Quakers. One of the latter caused me confusion, as I was thrown by the reddish colouration and dark filled stigmata and this led to an incorrect identification of Blossom Underwing. A closer look at home showed I was well wide of the mark and, as the picture below shows, it was a Small Quaker.

Small Quaker

The final Orthosia was a fine Hebrew Character, the best looking moth of the morning. We finished up with a worn Chestnut that caused some brief head-scratching, and four Red Chestnuts.

So a successful first outing, lets hope that the next few visits live up to expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment