After a two-week pause due to the poor weather, the garden traps been back in action. Lunar, Large and Lesser Yellow U/wing make up most of the now limited catch, as does Set’ Hebrew Character. Black Rustic, Brown-spotted Pinion and Pink-barred Sallow have also appeared over the last few nights. A very fresh looking Silver Y on 20 Sept’ could have been a migrant but who knows. Still also catching Dusky Thorn (1 on 23rd), and the odd Light Emerald and Brimstone Moth (presumed 2nd generation). However, moth of the week must be the Monochroa palustrellus taken last night which is a surprise addition to the garden list. According to the Gelechiid Recording Scheme website, there have been a number of mid-late September records.
Monochroa palustrellus (Woolpit 23-09-17)
The leaf miner recording day has now been fully finalized. It will be on the 22nd October at Reydon wood, a site the group visited for an evening recording session earlier this year. Meet at TM480788 (car park along lane) at 10am. If you arrive slightly later than this you should still find us in the area as it will take us a bit of time to move away from the car park as we will be recording mines on the trees there!
After lunch at a local pub (or your own if you bring it), we will move to Beccles Marsh for the afternoon for more leaf-mining.
I have been invited (via Facebook) to go on Ipswich Community Radio where the Wednesday breakfast show presenter Nel VanHel would like to do a feature on moths and mothing. I can see from her profile and some of the posts that she is genuinely interested in moths so my expectation is that it would not be the usual media “moths eating clothes” garbage.
The point is I am unable to accept the invitation because a) I am caring for Mum and b) I am shy and retiring. Is there anyone from the SMG who would like to step in for me and speak for our Suffolk moths?
I trapped a typical form Box Tree moth Cydalima perspectalis last night (7th September) in my garden MV. My first site record of this species and I’m sure it won’t be the last going on the sightings of this moth in London for example that I’ve seen on the web recently.
I know that Matthew has taken this moth at Bawdsey both last year and this year and I was wondering if there have been any other sightings in Suffolk by other recorders. I believe Tony is planning to write an article on this moth for the Butterfly conservation local branch newsletter so any other records will be important to report.
This blog is also going out as a warning to watch out for the moth, especially in the Ipswich area as there will be plenty of foodplant for it in the urban landscape. Coincidentally I do have a small Box bush in my mixed hedge, did it draw the moth in?
The IGC Box tree moth
5 moth-ers attended this meeting, the last ‘official’ evening event for the year. Conditions didn’t look too promising, with some heavy showers in the afternoon followed by clear skies for the evening. 4 traps (1 actinic) were put out around the more scrubby areas on the common as putting them out in the open on a cold night would have been a waste of time.
A few moths trickled in but it was never going to be a busy night so we only gave it a few hours. To keep ourselves busy during quiet spells we looked round for a few larvae and leaf mines. This boosted the species list from 26sp seen at light up to 44sp.
Highlights included, light trap records first: Lunar yellow underwing (2, no surprise really as this is one of the best sites in the Sandlings for the moth), Feathered gothic, Hedge rustic, Birch mocha and a Latticed heath.
Leaf mines/larvae of note: Festoon (a number of larvae found on Oak tree next to the sheet light), Mother shipton (larva on grass), Caloptilia populetorum (mine on Birch), Bucculatrix demariella (mine on Birch) and Coleophora kuehnella (case on Oak).
So this meeting completed the evening events programme and in my opinion this has been one of the best field seasons for a long time with almost every session producing good numbers of moths and/or things of note. Once all the data is entered it will be interesting to see how it compares to 2006, the last great moth year.
Just catching at home during this period and with moth numbers relatively low though there are immigrants around. Shall probably branch out a little locally to try and capture the Butterbur that is in flight now.
Setaceous Hebrew Character seems to have taken its place as the most abundant moth species recently replacing a short lived peak of Turnip. As others have reported the Latticed Heath has been common as too has the Brimstone here. Also been catching a few Small Dusty Wave at light as I did last autumn. A moth that is often thought not to come to light does seem to do so during late summer/autumn. Also taken 2 Old Ladys at light too. Some interest in second brood emergence of Chrysoteuchia culmella, Heart and Dart, White Ermine and Buff Ermine. Cypress Pug turns up in low numbers regularly and Ancylosis oblitella is still going strong with another Pyrale , Nyctegretis lineana as a first for me. Three specimens caught so far. It has been a very good year for this family for me.
Immigrants have been regulars in this period. Short of listing them, I have not taken anything exceptional, but in common with others the Scarce Bordered Straw has been particularly common, very few Plutella xylostella and only one Vestal so far but also one Evergestis limbata that I put down as an immigrant individual. The reason being that I saw a local second brood some considerable time back.
This weekend’s meeting, the last ‘official’ Suffolk group evening event this year will take place on Saturday night – showers forecast Friday late afternoon hence why not that night. Meeting time is 7.30pm. Can’t see that it will be a late finish at this time of year.
Hope to see some of you there.
To coin a birding phrase, last nights seemingly unpromising clear skies delivered a classic migrant moth in the form of a single Scarce Bordered Straw. It has been eleven years since this species last graced the garden trap – in the classic autumn of 2006 when I took six individuals between 11 Sept and 21 Oct. Otherwise, things have been pretty mundane with just two sightings of Rush Veneer, the odd Latticed Heath and a Hummingbird Hawk seen briefly nectaring in the garden on the evening of 23 Aug. As others may have reported elsewhere, Square-spot and Flounced Rustic are thin on the ground, while Set’ Hebrew Character seems to be doing quite well.
August has primarily been a disappointing month at IGC for moths. The start of the month saw a massive decline in catches due to poor weather. On top of this some work and family commitments reduced trapping opportunities. Moth numbers improved later from 20th onwards, with a very big catch of moths of 117sp on the 21st, a very high total for the time of year here. Interest has been limited though, with fewer scarce species recorded and hardly any migrants. What has been good has been the strong second brood showing of some moths, including Light emerald (150+ on the 21st for example), Brimstone, both peacock species and the prominents (especially Maple). Be interesting to see if others have noticed this too. All down to the better weather earlier in the summer.
Macros to comment on included the following. Sandhill rustic (second site record on the 14th), Square-spotted clay (17th), Leopard (a late record on 23rd), Tree-lichen beauty (numbers still increasing year on year), Latticed heath (seen most nights later in the month with a high of 25 on the 17th), Yellow-legged clearwing (female found in polytunnel on the 18th, the 5th record at least this year), Satin wave (good numbers of second brood), Dusky thorn (a few), Vestal (7th, 21st and one seen by day on the 14th). Common wainscot has been around in better numbers this year, it’s best season for some while.
The micros have been of more interest during the month. Best record was Cochylis molliculana on the 16th, the only new site record for the site, a long expected arrival of this quite common species on the coast. Was always going to take some time to arrive at IGC as there are only 2 specimens of the food-plant Bristly ox-tongue on the whole site! Another was caught on the 21st. Others seen: Cydia amplana (7th – 2, 21st – probably local bred specimens rather than migrants), Ypsolopha alpella (14th), Stenolechia gemmella (regular), Anania verbascalis (a late record on the 17th), Nephopterix angustella (20th), Eucosma tripoliana (22nd), Ocnerostoma friesei (22nd) and Ptocheuusa paupella (21st and 28th, the 3rd and 4th site records).
An interesting beetle was found in the traps on the 8th – a Hornet rove beetle. This distinctive large black species normally lives inside Hornet nests and is known to be drawn to moth lights. First time I’ve seen it.
Hornet rove beetle
A very quiet August here near Halesworth. No migrants until the last week or so when things kicked off with a flurry of migrant hawker dragonflies and a couple of painted ladies in the garden, but no hummers or even Silver Ys. Nothing unexpected in the garden MV. Over the last week I’ve had 7 scarce bordered straws, a few rush veneer and dark sword-grass, and yesterday morning (27th) a small mottled willow.
Took the grandchildren down to Southwold beach yesterday and found a cypress pug sitting on the toilet-block window. Not sure how excited I should be about this but I thought I’d share it with you; over the years, toilet blocks (i.e. their lights!) seem to have figured large in my moth-hunting adventures.