I guess it all started on Friday pm when a walk in my mini nature garden seemed alive with micro moths for the first time this year providing 2 new ones for the website and 10 of a lovely micro moth that I see here every year now. Its fascination watching how this garden which changes year on year naturally attracts mostly passing micros with emphasis on the word attracts as that is what this garden is all about. At one end I have a large clump of Garden Mint and Spearmint growing which has also attracted the Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata which has 3 broods per year.
I felt the calmness of that afternoon felt like a change had taken place and that the trap would also come good Friday night into Saturday and to be correct had me spending the best part of 12 hours yesterday providing photos and a small trip to Odiham Common for a break,hence the late blog.
The first new moth of which this time length produced 7 (NFW) moths, was a little micro called Dichrorampha acuminatana which is best viewed under certain light where it changes to pinkiish/purple which is hard to believe looking at the photos but did find it first looking resplendant.
The second needs good eyesight as its so small there are not a lot of grains of sand the its make-up.Its a minute micro called Argyresthia trifasciata.
The micro that produced 10 moths was the charming Plutella (Psuedoplutella) porrectella
This moth with its 8mm wingspan was difficult to see and is regarded as a local moth that was first recorded in Hampshire in 1998 in the north-east of the county where I live so keeping up this event. Clearly its one of the passing moths as the larvae feed on Juniper and Cypress varieties of which none are in the garden.Cant help but notice the eyes which seem enormous and give its head an out of space look.
There were 10 of this lovely little moth that likes to pose on top of the plants or just hide underneath the tip of a leaf as if to miss nothing.Its the highest count for the garden which clearly states its resident.Another moth that produces larvae that feed on Ex-eye Daisy so that was a good decision to include in this small garden.It is only found where this food plant exists making it common under this criteria so the choice is obvious,growing the LFP is a must.
Saturday 23 May 2015
Last night the moth species decided to turn up in good numbers especially the species which I think read 35 moths of 22 species being without doubt the best night of the year to date.
Another 2 (NFW) moths are included in the this which were Ancylis mitterbacheriana (to be confirmed) and my first Ochreous Pug - Eupithecia indigata I have ever recorded.The full list is as follows -
Ochreous Pug 1, Light Brown Apple Moth 7, Shuttle-shaped Dart 2, Treble lines 1, Bee Moth 4, Tachystola acroxantha 1, Lesser Swallow Prominent 1, Flame Shoulder 1, Poplar Hawk-moth 1, Pebble Prominent 1, Bright-line Brown-eye 1, Peppered Moth 2, Common Marbled Carpet 1, Buff-tip 1, May Highflyer 2, Grey Pine Carpet 1, White Ermine 1, Oak Hook-tip 1, V-pug 1, Ancylis mitterbacheriana 1, Celypha striana 1
Some are returns but most come under the NFY or NFW heading so here is a collection of the moths recorded.
Of conservation concern this one and from memory I didnt see one last year as it was all about the "Buff" variety so the three so far is a better year.The larvae feed on Nettles or Docks making it more common down here where that can be found in abundance.Its a May to June/July emerging moth so plenty of time to increase the numbers
From a photo point of view this is probably my favourite of the "Prominent and luckily appears every year so is common.The larvae feed on Sallows and Willows so once again no shortage of those trees in the North-east of Hampshire. Double-brooded in April/May & July/August is another bonus.
An extremely variable species this is another moth that arrives in numbers at the moth trap or on the house wall.The larvae are polyphagous feeding on a wide variety of plants which eiither give it an advantage or nature just redressing the balance on a highly predated moth.
Another of one of those species that seems to always be in the trap with two broods a year in May/June & August.
The larvae take advantage of the plentiful supply of Dandelions as well as Docks & Knotgrasses.Can be found also in a wide range of habitats possibly for the same reason as previous moth.The "shuttles" which give this moth its vernacular name can be seen in the centre of the wing adjacent to the costa(Outside) and simulate the shuttles used in the cloth trade.
The Buff-tip is another regular to the trap also with a mid-May to July flight period.The moth is well camouflaged looking like a broken Birch twig. The larvae feed on the Birches,Oaks and Hazel so another moth that has a plentiful supply for the larvae.
This moth fascinates me with its reliance on bees or wasp nests for its survival where it feeds on the debris as the vernacular name shows. Another fine feature in the wildlife garden is a Bee house which gives such joy turning into spring.It is reliant on the "sandhills" here in the South-east England.
With such a long preparation time for the previous report it was a trip to Odiham Common basically to get some fresh air and a break from the computer but of course all it did was increase the amount required
It never ceases to amaze me how the Forester Moth has so many colours dependent on the lighting conditions from a drab green to this metallic green.
Another moth with conservation concern it is found in downland,heathland and woodland margins and the larvae feed on Common Sorrel.
One of the two skittish moths that are found on the common and always find a way to hide behind the grass stems but the Burnet Campanion is the most frustrating.The larvae have plenty of LFP here feeding on Bird's-foot Trefoil,Clovers and Black Medick.
It may as the name suggests be the commonest of the Swift moths but its the first one I have seen and adds another NFW to the list of this exciting time.The larvae feed on roots of grasses so no shortage here. The moth is variable sometimes without markings at all.
The trap last night provided moths at manageable numbers but unbelievably gave me yet another NFW species and is a local moth named the Alder Moth.
Here is a run down on the species and numbers.
Alder Moth 1, May Highflyer 1, Lesser Swallow Prominent 1, Common Pug 2, Twenty-plume Moth 1, Cabbage Moth 1, Iron Prominent .
As the name suggests this moth has a liking for Brassicas and as such can be a pest in certain areas. The moth correspondingly is a common moth where it is found in gardens,open woodlands and other habitats.Around all the summer months this moth always appears at the trap,sometime each year.
As of yesterday I decided to take a quick trip to Odiham Common and came back with yet another 2 NFW moths in an unbelievable run of luck namely the White-pinion Spotted,a poor example and a pretty Mocha moth.
I hope you enjoyed this rather long blog.
Best to all