WINE RACE 2016 .. MATTc380 .. TRENT 353 .. BEN 347 ...... Garden species:- Macros 357, Micros 365, Total 722

Friday, 31 October 2014

30th Oct 2014 ... Halloween Blood-vein

The silly season continues around the moth traps with late season moths turning up, except for the ones I've dipped out on !
 Blood-vein 30th Oct 2014
This Blood-vein is probably another "latest" record for VC30.
Last nights catch was disappointing given the warm, humid conditions.
The minimum temperature was 13 deg C and there is talk on the Weather Forecast of 21 degrees today in the London area which would beat the previous high by 1 deg.
The catch:-
Blastobasis lacticolella, 1
Epiphyas postvittana, 7
Emmelina monodactyla, 3
Red-green Carpet, 1
Blood-vein, 1
Blair's Shoulder-knot, 2
Yellow-line Quaker, 1
Beaded Chestnut, 1
Satellite, 1
Angle Shades, 2

Friday, 24 October 2014

23rd Oct 2014 .. Chestnut and Dark Chestnut + Fly I.D. wanted

Nothing startling happening around the garden traps apart from another very late Heart & Dart.
Chestnut and Dark Chestnut can be a bit confusing.
Here is a comparison pic of both together.
These were in the trap this morning, both are fresh and well marked and easy to tell apart. Note the shape of wing tips, not so easy when worn as Chestnut (left) can be much darker and worn wing tips on Dark Chestnut can appear to be rounded but Dark usually looks more boat shaped and Chestnut appears more compact and broader.

Chestnut (left) and Dark Chestnut
Heart & Dart has probably been fooled by the late warm weather, this one is my 2nd in 3 days .. very late but fresh.
Heart and Dart ... 23rd Oct 2014
Green-brindled Crescent f. capucina
Green-brindled Crescent f. capucina
This fly was found dead in the traps this morning.
It is new for my garden, anyone know what it is ?

Cheers Stewart, thanks to your comment I've now checked the interweb and found the cause.
Entomophthora muscae, a fungal disease that affects fly species.
Quote from wikipedia
"When it is critically ill, it tends to crawl to a high point, straighten its hind legs and open its wings, a behaviour that ensures that the fungal spores are dispersed as widely as possible"
As can be seen on my example, straight legs and opened wings.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

20th Oct 2014 ... Least expected

1699 Least Carpet 20/10/2014
This has been a topsy-turvy year for moth records.
My garden traps over the last 3 days have had the county recorders rewriting the record books.
Buff Ermine, Swallow-tailed Moth on the 18th Oct and last night I added a pristine Heart and Dart plus a Least Carpet !
Maybe there is still hope for Brindled Pug, a notable absentee from my garden year list back in April/May, I think not.
Trap results for 20th Oct ....
2 traps, placed under covers at 11p.m.
10.7 deg C minimum. Breezy/overcast turning to gales/rain from 2 a.m.
0464 Plutella xylostella, 1
0674 Depressaria badiella, 1, possibly... To be confirmed

0998 Epiphyas postvittana, 3
1415 Orthopygia glaucinalis, 1, (Now Hypsopygia glaucinalis)
1524 Emmelina monodactyla, 1
1699 Least Carpet, 1
1764 Common Marbled Carpet, 1
2089 Heart and Dart, 1
2089 Heart and Dart, 20/10/2014
2092, Shuttle-shaped Dart, 4
2232 Black Rustic, 1
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot, 1
2306 Angle Shades, 5
2375 Large Wainscot, 1
2375 Large Wainscot, 20/10/2014

2306 Angle Shades, 20/10/2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

18th Oct 2014 ... You're late !

This unseasonal warm weather has certainly confused the insect world.
Another Buff Ermine turned up which is possibly the same one I released 3 days ago.
Compare the and it looks very similar.
But Swallow-tailed Moth is another entry to the VC30 late list, just waiting for confirmation.
Speaking of warm weather ...
Can you hear that distant whine drifting across the English Channel ?
It's the Energy Company leeches moaning that they are not selling enough gas and their annual extortionate profits are down.
Ok, they are not all French.
"Nous devrons augmenter nos prix" I hear them moan.
Yes, you probably will increase your prices but you do that on the "supply and demand" basis too.  Where is eff offgas when you need them ? Oh well, pay up (shrug)
Give it a week or two and we will all be huddled around the heating (^_*)

18th Oct
Epiphyas postvittana 4
Ditula angustiorana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 2
November Moth agg. 1, year first
November Moth (agg)
Swallow-tailed Moth, 1
Buff Ermine, 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3
Lesser Yellow Underwing, 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character, 2
Blair's Shoulder-knot, 3
Yellow-line Quaker, 1
Angle Shades, 2

Swallow-tailed Moth
Buff Ermine
I've found a couple of these odd looking grubs around the garden, not knowing what they were.
Fortunately, Mark Skevington posted one on his blog and I now know that it is a Hover-fly larva.
This one is the red form of Syrphus ribesii most likely, a common garden species.
Mark has an excellent blog if anyone is interested in creepy crawlies and nature in general ....
Garden Orb Spiders ( Araneus diadematus) are everywhere at the moment.
This one seems to have taken on the colour of the brick wall it frequents..

Friday, 17 October 2014

16th Oct 2014 ... "Green Stuff"

Above ... Merveille de la Nuit would be a more appropriate name for this beautiful moth ... always a thrill to see in the autumn moth trap.
Last night was overcast and much warmer with warm air being pulled in from the Azores, enjoy it while it lasts.
The forecasted rain during the night missed Biggleswade and the night was pleasantly warm.
31 moths of 17 species was a good return compared to the last couple of weeks.
Both Sallow and Mallow were rescued from the numerous Garden Orb spider webs around the garden.
So far it's been a poor year for Sallow species in my garden with only Centre-barred, Barred and The Sallow recorded in low numbers.
The normally annual Pink-barred and Dusky Lemon Sallow have not yet been recorded this year although there is still time, and Pale Lemon Sallow has turned up in the past.
Diamond-back Moth has had a big year with another two seen on the trap perspex.
Of the "green stuff" ... Red-green Carpet was last seen in spring until last night, Green-brindled Crescent and Merveille du Jour were both new for 2014
Great Diving Beetles are on the move and occasionally turn up in the traps and I normally drop them in the small garden pond, but not this time as I have many Goldfish fry in there, I know Halloween is approaching but ........
16th Oct :-
Monopis obviella, 2
Plutella xylostella, 2
Epiphyas postvittana, 6
Emmelina monodactyla, 3
Mallow, 1
Red-green Carpet, 1
Red-green Carpet
Common Marbled Carpet, 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3
Lesser Yellow Underwing, 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character, 2
Blair's Shoulder-knot, 3
Merveille du Jour, 1 ... year first
Merveille du Jour
Green-brindled Crescent, 1 ... year first
Green-brindled Crescent
Dark Chestnut, 1
Dark Chestnut
Barred Sallow, 1
Barrted Sallow
Sallow, 1
Angle Shades, 2

Great Diving Beetle

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Search for Buff October ...

In the trap last night, 14th Oct ....

A Buff Ermine, probably late or is it really early ! Almost certainly the latest VC30 record.
Either way, with the partial view I got when I looked in the trap my first thoughts were of Ben Sale and Britains first Fall Webworm, hoping it was Britains 2nd until I got a look at it.
Still, a Buff Ermine on October 14th must be a lot rarer than all of the autumn moths I've dipped out on lately :(
Last nights catch:-
Plutella xylostella, 1
Blastobasis lacticolella, 1
Epiphyas postvittana, 4
Emmelina monodactyla, 2
Willow Beauty, 1
Common Marbled Carpet, 1
Spruce Carpet, 1
1769 Spruce Carpet
Buff Ermine, 1
Turnip Moth, 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart, 4
Large Yellow U'wing, 1
Lesser Yellow U'wing, 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character, 1
Black Rustic, 1
Blair's Shoulder-knot, 3
Beaded Chestnut, 4
Lunar Underwing, 1
Pale Mottled Willow, 1 (small, autumn generation)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

11th Oct 2014 .. Slowing down

Not a lot to report in the garden traps, the bright full moon of late isn't helping.
Only two moths added to the the year list since I last posted on the 5th Oct, a rather worn Dark Sword-grass (9th) and a Red-line Quaker last night.
Micro moths are down to the regular Light Brown Apple Moth and Common Plume...
Red-line Quaker
11th Oct
Epiphyas postvittana, 2
Emmelina monodactyla, 1
Mallow, 1
Common Marbled Carpet, 1
Willow Beauty, 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart, 4
Large Yellow Underwing, 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing, 3
Square-spot Rustic, 1
Black Rustic, 3
Blair's Shoulder-knot, 4
Large Ranunculus, 2
Red-line Quaker, 1, year first
Beaded Chestnut, 1
Lunar Underwing, 3
Barred Sallow, 1

Monday, 6 October 2014

5th Oct 2014 ... Barred Sallow + new micro

Min overnight temp 7.6 deg.
Barred Sallow was added to the year list, not unexpected, but the Blackthorn seedlings I planted in Spring have yielded a new micro moth in leaf mine form..
0067 ... Stigmella plagicolella
A distinctive mine on Blackthorn ... 67 Stigmella plagicolella
2272 Barred Sallow

Sunday, 5 October 2014

4th Oct 2014 .. What a change !

Talk about good luck.
The week-long boating holiday last week was blessed with glorious sunny weather, I even got sunburnt.
Temperatures above 20 degrees all week and minimum night temps no lower than 12.
I missed a good autumn mothing week though, and just to rub it in, I put on the garden traps last night and the cold front dropped the temp down to 3 degrees with a clear sky and a bright waxing moon.
However, I managed to add a Sallow to the year list which was one of just 8 species.....
BF 2274 The Sallow
The wine race took a turn for the worst as Matt of Trappingsofsuccess took full advantage of my weeks absence and leaf-mined his garden with a fine tooth pick, he must have checked every leaf in the garden, the result of which has put me firmly back in 2nd place ... no change there then.
Sad to say, Ben Sale of Essex Moths, back in 3rd place, will require powerful binoculars to pick out the puffs of dust on the horizon ...
The said Ben Sale will not be too bothered about the wine race.
While I was away, he dicovered a Fall Webworm in his Stevenage garden trap, a new species for Britain.
Now that's what I call a mega-tick !