Sunday, 30 March 2014

Earning my stripes

We are back to warmer nights and back to more moths. There were 51 in the trap last night, the highest count of the year, with 13 species represented. Pick of the bunch were two Shoulder-stripe, a good looking moth and a welcome addition to the garden list. This is quite a common and widespread species, and it was nice to finally record this here in Batch Valley.


Otherwise, there were some welcome reappearances - moths coming to the trap for the first time this year. Best of these was only the second Engrailed for the garden. I nearly missed it as it was not in the trap, but settled nearby on the wall of the house, showing that it pays to search carefully around the trap each morning!

The Engrailed

In the trap itself was an Early Thorn, a regularly occurring species but also a real favourite. This is one species that is always popular when we carry out our moth surveys. This species always rests with its wings closed, the underside of the wing also looking brighter than the upperside.

Early Thorn

One of the major headaches that moth recorders get is identifying pugs. There are quite a number of pug species, which look very similar and wear very quickly, meaning that many a disparaging word is said against them. When they are freshly emerged, however, they are very attractive little moths. This Brindled Pug was my first pug species this year.

Brindled Pug

I will finish off with a Red Chestnut, a speciality for this garden and one of my favourite of the spring moths. I caught this very bright specimen which I thought was deserving of having its photograph taken.

Red Chestnut

Other moths were very much the usual suspects, with 13 Mottled Greys and 15 Hebrew Characters the most common. I also recorded 6 March Moths, meaning I have now recorded more than ten individuals this year of this moth, which had not appeared in the garden before this year.

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