Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A Thorny issue

Today started with a quick check of the moth trap. There was a reasonable catch, not huge numbers but a couple of nice new species for the year. The first was this Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria, a species of woodland and heathland. Unlike the Early Thorn S. dentaria which resolutely holds its wings close, this moth rests with its wings slightly open. There are a few other plumage features that help to distinguish the pair. The half moon like crescent markings on the underside of both the hind and forewings gives the species name tetralunaria (four moons).

Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunararia

The other new species was this Six-striped Rustic Xestia sexstrigata. It feels a little early to be catching this species, as the last post said it is a sign that autumn is coming.

Six-striped Rustic Xestua sexstrigata

When I am working from home I both manage to go through the moth trp before starting work and half a wander in the garden over lunchtime. This lunchtime I found this species of fly in the front meadow. I popped it in the spi-pot and had a closer look. This is in fact a species of hoverfly and can be easilt identified as Chrysotoxum bicinctum by the two yellow, chocolate wing patches and long forward-pointing antennae.

Chrysotoxum bicinctum

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