Sunday, 19 August 2012

18 August

A moth trapping session on Saturday night revealed another six new species for the garden, out of 50 moths identified. The first was this beauty found roosting on a grass stem by the trap.

September Thorn

Next was this noctuid, which took a little while to identify, but is actually a quite straightforward Six-striped Rustic. A subtle moth but quite distinctive.

Six-striped Rustic

I also had two Lesser Yellow Underwings, which were my first records. This tortix also caught my eye. It seems a tough ID between Pandemis cerasana and P. heparana, but I think this is the latter.

Pandemis heparana

This very distinctive moth was roosting on the inside of the trap. It had me scratching my head for a while. Was it a very worn Swallow-tailed Moth? It didn't look right, but I could not see any other alternative with those tail projections. A bit more research and I found that it is of course a worn Light Emerald, which has lost its light green colour.

Light Emerald

The other new moth was a Square-spot Rustic, which I found in the grass after I had put the trapping kit away. A reminder to check surrounding vegetation thoroughly.

It was noticable that numbers of footman were down, after the 58 in last weeks trap. I did get this nice comparison of Scarce and Common Footman though.

Common (above) & Scarce Footman

According to the Butterflies and Moths of Shropshire, Scarce Footman is a bit of a rarity in the county. This cannot be true though after the 41 last weekend and another seven today. A bit more investigation is needed to see if this is true, as the book is now quite out of date.

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