Thursday, 10 September 2015

Game of Thorns

If there was previously any doubt that autumn was now in full swing, it arrived last night in the moth trap. The first Lunar Underwing Omphaloscelis lunosa of the year always appears when the nights begin to draw in, the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures drop. This species will not be with me for a few weeks, and should become the commonest species in the moth trap. In previous years I have had double figure hauls of this moth with nothing else amongst them.

Lunar Underwing Omphaloscelis lunosa

There was also a 'Game of Thorns', with two well marked individuals of the Ennomos species. These were a Canary-shouldered Thorn E. alniaria, the Minion of the moth world, and a September Thorn E. erosaria. It has been a good year so far for September Thorn, I have recorded more so far than in the previous three years put together. There is plenty of birch Betula and oak Quercus close to me, two of the caterpillars food plants, suggesting a healthy population in Batch Valley.

Canary-shouldered Thorn Ennomos alniaria

September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

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