The Patch, June 2017

The Patch is a private area of land that I am grateful to the landowner for allowing me to moth trap there. It has turned up some very interesting results. Despite the trap locations being only around 500 metres from my home the catches are very different owing to the very different habitats. The land borders the Black Ditch and is wet woodland with areas of boggy ground, beds of rush, sedge and reed. It has springs, streams and ponds and a huge range of tree species having been planted as a ‘garden’ in the past. Name a tree and it will either be there now or has been. There are a lot of fallen trees since as the ground is wet they readily fall. Then there are the natural species for a wetland site, the sallows, willows and alder. Bucculatrix cidarella was numerous at the end of June. Psyche casta males flying in profusion in mid June. Expected wetland species are there and some surprises. A number of species new to me have been caught, which is good for just two months of trapping to date. Aethes cnicana has been in abundance and I have yet to find it at home. Coleophora taeniipennella in the rush bed. Elachista utonella found in the sedge bed. This is virtually identical to the E. scirpi I get at home but has white dorsally to the ‘black dash’. They are very different upon dissection. Strophedra weirana is there. Larger and not such a smart looking moth as S. nitidana I have found at other location. Spilonota laricana has been captured and Monochroa tenebrella was a first for me. A number of he attractive Purple Clay and the Rufous Minor was common with few other Minors.

However after the Agrotera nemoralis in May the best catch/discovery to date is of Catoptria verellus. When sorting on 19th I found a Catoptia verellus and thought wow that’s a good record. Then another appeared, and another. My mind then got confused and wondered if I was mis-identifying. But no. There were 5 from two traps. To prove the point I returned to trap on 26th. A further 5 Catoptria verellus from my two traps. The species is clearly breeding at the site. Reading the texts the larval food is given as moss on old trees. Perfect for the site.

Elachistaicat cnic

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