Tuesday, 4 June 2013

An Elephant in the grass

There was a very nice surprise in the garden yesterday afternoon. I let some areas of the lawn grow long, to give a bit of diversity to the sward, and in the long grass I found this Small Elephant Hawkmoth lurking. My moth highlight of the year so far.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

It was therefore with some enthusiasm and optimism that I set up the moth trap. Within one minute of the trap being switched on, a had a visitor and another new species for the garden - a Treble Lines. In the morning there were four in and around the trap.

Treble Lines

There were three more new species waiting for me in the trap. The first was a Nut-tree Tussock, which Graham recorded and blogged about last month. The second was a subtle yet very pretty moth, a Shears. This moth gets its name from the pointed marks half way up the wing pointing towards the trailing edge.

The Shears

The other new species was this Brown Rustic., which caused a little bit of head-scratching before the identity was revealed.

Brown Rustic

In addition to the moths, there was also a Crane Fly in the trap. Over a pint or two in the Bucks Head last night, Graham told me how he has been sending pictures of Crane Flys to Pete Boardman to help with this years county atlas. So I decided to take a picture and send a tweet to Pete's @biofell account on twitter. I got a reply from @rockwolf74 identifying it as a Tipula oleracea, which was soon confirmed by Pete. An incredible looking beast it is too.

Tipula oleracea

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