Saturday, 23 May 2015

Flying high

A good session with the MV Robinson trap provided my second highest haul of the year, with 119 moths of 34 species. As with becoming regular with this trap, I am recording new species at a fierce rate.

The crowd-pleasers last night were two of these Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria. Despite its curious appearance, this is a common species and one I have been expecting to get in some numbers, particularly as one of the food plants for the larvae is Garden Privet Ligustrum ovalifolium.

Waved Umber Menophora abruptaria

I get quite a few species in the garden that are associated with moorland (though the Long Mynd itself is not moorland by definition, it is an extensive upland heath). A new species for me, and one again associated with this habitat, was this Pale-shouldered Brocade Lacanobia thalassina.

Pale-shouldered Brocade Lacanobia thalassina

And so into the micromoths, and there were three particularly nice species. First up is Aspilapteryx tringipennella, which rests hugh on its front legs in a similar manner to the Caloptilla.

Aspilapteryx tringipennella

Next is Epiblema scutulana, which is one of the Tortricidae and uses thistles as food plants for the larvae.

Epiblema scutulana

I will finish off however with one of my favourite macromoths. I love the fine detail of the patterning and the 'shouldery' shape of the May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata. The two thin black streaks just below the pale band towars the edge of the forewing are the key distinction for identification for the July Highflyer (the month in which you see the moth makes little difference!). This moth needs Alder Alnus glutinosa as a food plant for the larvae, which spin the leaves together in the autumn.

May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata

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