Tuesday, 30 June 2015

More from the moth trap

One of my next door neighbours is away on holiday, so I took the opportunity to set the moth trap in the more open area of the garden last night. I usually avoid this as the light would shine right into my neighbours bedroom window. As with other recent sessions, there were plenty of new moths and some real crackers amongst them. So straight down to business.

I am a sucker for a good looking tortrix, and this Aethes cnicana was just the ticket. One of the Tortricinae, this is a species that uses thistles (Cirsium).

Aethes cnicana

There was a Barred Yellow Cidaria fulvata, a species that I have been hoping for in the garde,n but as it is only locally distributed I thought I may have to wait a while. This moth decided not to pose nicely, so an 'in-the-pot' picture will have to do.

Barred Yellow Cidaria fulvata

Another new micromoth was Phycitodes binaevella, and I was pleased to find three of these in the trap. They were also pleased to find each other, as the below picture shows. The Phycitinae is a new family for me, and this is another thistle feeder with larvae using Spear Thistle Cirsium vukgare

Phycitodes binaevella

The absolute star of the show was this cracking little moth Sophronia semicostella.  I was delighted to see this. This is one of the Gelechids, identifed through the furry palps, white costal streak and banded cilia. It is thought to use Sweet Vernal Grass Anthoxanthum odoratum, which grows plentifully in my garden and on the Long Mynd. In Shropshire this species has never been recorded away from the three locations, and on only one occasion since 1987 when 14 came to light at Prees Heath.

Sophronia semicostella

Running a close second for moth of the day was this Sallow Kitten Furcula furcula. I have never really noticed any sallow (Salix) around the garden, though there are some further up the valley, so perhaps this is a slight wanderer. In whatever case it was quite unexpected.

Sallow Kitten Furcula furcula

There was also my first Swallow-tailed Moth Ouraptery sambucaria of the year. Though this is a moth I have recorded many times before, I have not seen one so fresh and undamaged, with both of the 'swallow tails' intact.

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