On wednesday 21st, I ran the trap on a pleasantly warm evening and was greeted by a good haul of moths in the morning. First things first... Yellow Underwings. I'd begun to trap some of these regularly and had read that they can dominate your trap in the summer months. In this instance I had 43 Large Yellow Underwings in my trap, which constituted 52% of the total catch. I won't grumble though as they are a fascinating species, with much variation in their patterning which means they must be checked anyway, due to possible confusion with similar species. Obviously size rules out all but the Broad-bordered yellow underwing but this has much more distinctive patterning from my experience. These two photos show some of the more contrasting forms which may be found.
|Classic patterning, with clear stigmas|
|More brick-red appearance, another common form|
Other than this I had small numbers of other common species, including Lesser Yellow Underwing and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. I also caught several Copper Underwings which I had a crack at with seperating to species leve, mainly by looking at the palps and the brightness and contrast of their forewing markings. I made no conclusive decisions but it was interesting to look at these moths in more detail. I'll still record them as aggregates though, to be on the safe side.
|Uniformly light palps.... could be Copper rather than svenssons...|
I got some new ones for the year, including two macros, Garden Carpet, the first carpet i've trapped in the Garden, which is fitting. I also had my first Square-spot Rustic of the year. More confusing noctuinae. I have also finally invested in the 'micro bible' so can now try to identify some micro-moths without bothering people on twitter and birdforum, or trawling through photos on UKmoths. Borkhausenia fuscescens, Phycitodes binaevella and Pandemis heparana are all micros which were new to me which were ID'd from this source, so it has come in handy already.
|Garden Carpet... in the Garden|
The weather was once again perfect on Sunday night, warm, overcast and still, so I put the moth trap on again. I went over at 5.30 am to turn it off and cover it up and put it away somewhere sheltered as I was off bird-ringing. Once I'd finished ringing, I returned and took a look at what I had.
It was another successful night, with some more new ones for me, as well as good numbers of the other regulars. There were only 21 yellow underwing species, 18 of them of the 'Large' variety. The best of the 'Newies' were all residing at the bottom of the trap, saving themselves til last. The species, 'Old Lady' is, I think, a bit of a sought after moth due to it being one of our larger species. I had four tonight which I was impressed with, and they were reasonably docile, allowing me to get a good look at their chunky bodies and large wings.
In addition, I had 4 Shuttle-shaped Dart, which I struggled with, originally mistaking them for The Flame (axylia putris), due to their similar colouration.
Setaceous hebrew character was also new for me, and was the first moth I pulled out the trap, and instantly recognised it from looking at my books.
Small Ranunculus was new for me too, and one I was hoping to encounter, as this moth has been trapped locally over the last few years and was once regarded as extinct in the UK. I'm unsure of its current status in Notts, but i'm particularly pleased about it, especially as it nearly escaped the trap too.
I'm on 87 moth species this year which I'm happy with. The traps on tonight... hoping to crack 100 soon.
Here's another Large Yellow Underwing to wrap up