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

Saturday, 28 March 2015

27th March 2015 ... Diurnea fagella and simple rain covers.

It's very quiet around the garden traps at the moment, not surprising as temperatures struggle and remain below average.
Last night was a little warmer at 5.2 deg C minimum, but showers meant placing the perspex trap covers over the two Skinner traps.
Diurnea fagella was 3 weeks later than last year ....

At this time of year I find myself staring at the lighter coloured CLOUDED DRABS, especially the smaller ones, hoping to transform them into LEAD-COLOURED DRABS, although there hasn't been many to stare at so far this year.
The male Clouded Drab pictured below was having none of it though ...

2188 Clouded Drab
Garden traps;-
0663 Diurnea fagella, 1, year first
1862 Double-striped Pug, 1
2187 Common Quaker, 2
2188 Clouded Drab, 1
2190 Hebrew Character, 2
2243 Early Grey, 4

My home made Skinner traps with crude but effective rain covers, 1000mm x 900 mm perspex sheets (4mm), placed on posts fixed to the trap at an angle so that the rain runs off and the moths have plenty of space to enter ... simple. The perspex is pricey though and needs to be weighted down during windy weather (40 to 50 mph gusts will lift them)

Monday, 23 March 2015

22nd March ... Mompha subbistrigella

If you have an old garden shed/outbuilding, then now is the time to start looking for overwintering Mompha subbistrigella.
Last year I recorded around 90 from 1st April to early June on the inside of the shed windows in the late afternoons and many more went unrecorded.
This example was found yesterday afternoon ...

892 Mompha subbistrigella
Mompha epilobiella is another that is found overwintering in the shed, usually appearing a little later than subbistrigella, but in much smaller numbers.
Same size and shape but sandy in colour.
The very similar Mompha sturnipennella (Nationally scarce B) has not been seen in shed or garden.
It is like a slightly larger subbistrigella but with more white blotches/streaks around the costal areas and feeds on Rosebay.
There are not any good stands of rosebay nearby but I will continue to check the multitudes of subbistrigella from the old shed....
Pictures below from
An excellent German site for moth ID ... highly recommended.
Mompha epilobiella
Mompha sturnipennella

Saturday, 21 March 2015

20th March 2015 ... Slow mothing, Daylight robbery.

Despite warmer conditions, the moth count last night was as disappointing as the cloud covered Bedfordshire sky on the morning during the partial eclipse.
A brace of Double-striped Pugs were added to the garden year list, almost a month later than the 2014 first arrivals.
The garden year list is 7 species behind 2014 to date but from 20th Mar to 27th Mar 2014 we experienced near freezing conditions with no trapping so this coming week could be catch up time.
Last nights catch :-
1524 ... Emmelina monodactyla, 4
1862 ... Double-striped Pug, 2
2187 ... Common Quaker, 5
2190 ... Hebrew Character, 2
4.3 deg C min
Gusting N/W breeze

1862, Double-striped Pug
09.30 am 20th March
Bedfordshire grey sky at the height of the partial eclipse, cloud cover completely blocking out views of the sun ...

 Bedfordshire blue sky an hour or so later ...

Robbed !

Thursday, 19 March 2015

18th March 2015 ... Angle Shades larvae

19.15 hrs
18th March

Angle Shades larva ...

... on the brick wall for the last 3 nights feeding on lichen.
It will turn brown in its final instar stage and then pupate.
The larva below is approaching its final stage and was also feeding on lichen on the brick wall tonight.

Angle Shades is a common moth in my Biggleswade garden ...

Angle Shades, Oct 2014
19th March
Garden trap results for 18th March..
Chilly NE breeze, overcast, 2.3 deg min. temp.

The cold air drifting in from a Northerly bias is keeping moth numbers down in TL14.
The wind/breeze from this direction is coming across the town centre to my garden and is generally unproductive and only good for airborne supermarket bag spotting...
0688 Agonopterix heracliana, 1
Agonopterix heracliana

1524 Emmelina monodactyla, 1
2187 Common Quaker, 3
2190 Hebrew Character, 2

Friday, 13 March 2015

12th March 2015 ... Garden traps latest ... T-s Quaker

Not much happening around the garden traps at present with only 5 species noted.
Twin-spotted Quaker is by no means common in my town garden but it is regular with the highest count of 4 in 2014...
2189, Twin-spotted Quaker, Anorthoa munda
0688 ... Agonopterix heracliana, 1
1524 ... Emmelina monodactyla, 3
2187 ... Common Quaker, 2 ... year first
2189 ... Twin-spotted Quaker, 1
2243 ... Early Grey, 1
Butterflies were seen for the first time in the garden this year with both Tortoiseshell and Brimstone present.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

11th March 2015 ... Garden Moth trap latest

The first jumping spiders of the year appeared on my sunny garden wall today.
I like these little critters as they don't clutter the place up with webs .....
Salticus scenicus
On the moth trap front, a year first Early Grey was the 18th species for the year although given the conditions, the overall catch was a little disappointing.
2 x Agonopterix heracliana
7 x Emmelina monodactyla
5 x Common Quaker
1 x Early Grey
2 x Dark Chestnut

2243, Early Grey, Xylocampa aereola
5.4 deg C minimum
Overcast, calm.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Latest garden Moths

Moth numbers are increasing in the garden with the warmer nights although the strong gusting breeze and the large moon are doing their best to inhibit the nocturnal activity.
My garden tally is now 16 species compared to 11 species this time last year.
Common Quaker is now regular in the traps with Hebrew Character, and Agonopterix heracliana along with Emmelina monodactyla make up the majority of the micro catch.
Amblyptilia acanthadactyla was a new addition for the year on 5th March, difficult to spot on the brick wall near the trap.  Tortricodes alternella would have made the photo gallery but unfortunately it got badly crushed between pot and lid so no pic.
Hebrew Character (below)
very common and will be for another month or more

A brace of Satellites on the 6th

Grey Shoulder-knot was added last night (7th Mar)

Pale Brindled Beauty in the egg boxes this morning (8th)

2188 ... Clouded Drab, 8/3/15

Thursday, 5 March 2015

4th March 2015 ... Spring at last ?

Shhh !
Keep it under your hats, but it is looking like Mother Nature may have thrown the Spring switch.
Maybe some traps out this weekend, although there are usually some terms and conditions attached to the higher temperatures at this time of year, ie: Strong winds, full moon.
Last night was 8 deg at dusk, dropping sharply to minus 0.5 but still time to record the first macro moth to actually go inside the trap instead of the nearby walls, a year first Common Quaker, no doubt the first of many...

2187 ... Common Quaker
... and just one micro, Agonopterix heracliana, however I am optimistic about the weekend and looking forward to seeing plenty of moths on the blogs.