Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Every Cloud...

A gap in work commitments, along with promising conditions overnight, meant that Tuesday night was moth trap night. The returns were modest, with 27 moths of 13 species, but this included a new macro species for the garden and two new for the year appearances.

The crowd-pleasers were this squadron of Poplar Hawk-moths. Having been waiting for my first record of 2014, three arrived at once. All were beautiful fresh-looking individuals, with the lovely lilac sheen on parts of the upper forewing.

Poplar Hawk-moths (with Brown Rustic)

The new macro species for the garden was this Clouded-bordered Brindle, and very nice it was too. Not a record that caused much of a surprise, except for why this has taken so long to appear here. This is a common moth species, and the larvae feed on various grasses (which are not in short supply here).

Clouded-bordered Brindle

The other new species for the year was the only micro moth amongst the 27, this Teleiopsis diffinis. This is one of the gelechids and though apparently common over much of the country, it does not seem to be recorded particularly frequently in moth traps. It is a species that I have recorded several times, though the number of records for Shropshire is quite small.

Teleiopsis diffinis

One of the other highlights was this lovely Scalloped Hazel. Before this spring my only record had involved a dead individual found in my porch, however this is the third 'live' individual I have found this year.

Scalloped Hazel

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Picking up

Not much activity here for the last few weeks, mainly due to a distinct lack of activity in the moth trap. With the sunny weather though the moths have started arriving, with nearly 30 moths last night, compared to the threes of fours we have been recording.

I was pleased to record two new species for the garden over the last couple of sessions. One is a species I have been looking out for, the other was a bit of a head-scratcher - by methodically trawling through the UK moths website I finally identified it!

Here is the first, a Muslin Moth. This is a male, I know this because while the females are white the males are grey-brown. I am more likely to catch males in the trap as whilst the males are nocturnal, the females fly in the day.

Muslin Moth

The second new moth was a micro, Blastobasis lacticolella. This is not originally a British species, instead it was accidentally introduced. The larvae feed on a wide range of foodstuffs, including stored products, leaf-litter and vegetation. It does not appear to have been commonly recorded in Shropshire, so I am pleased to record it.

Blastobasis lacticolella