Sunday, 13 September 2015

Old Pine

I held the annual All Stretton quiz night last night. A combination of asking quiz questions in a noisy room, drinking a few bottles Old Speckled Hen and a late night meant I was not at my best this morning. Consequently I was a bit late turning off the moth trap, and not quite awake when I went through the contents.

There were mercifully few moths, and amongst the catch there were no tricky identifications and lots of nice colourful moths to ease my hangover. The best moth was, as it so often is, outside the trap rather than inside it. In this case it was resting on the outside of the trap and a took a photograph and potted it for later identification as it was an unfamiliar species. It did not take long to identify it as a Pine Carpet Pennithera firmata, a new species for my Batch Valley garden. This moth occurs wherever there is Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris, which is a bit of a mystery as there is no Scots Pine I know of locally. I have already come across this conundrum, when I caught the gelechid Exoteleia dodecella back in July. There must be some Scots Pine trees lurking unknown in nearby gardens.

Pine Carpet Pennithera firmata

One of our finest autumn carpets is the Red-green Carpet Chloroclysta siterata, and it was very pleasing to find this individual on the inside of the moth trap lid. This is a species associated with deciduous trees, and is only a very occasional visitor to my trap.

Red-green Carpet Chloroclysta siterata

Amongst the noctuid moths, the various 'sallow' moths are a real treat. I was pleased to find this beautiful Sallow Cirrhia icteritia outside the trap. Again, this is a species I have caught on very few occasions. As the name might suggest, the larvae feed on the catkins of Salix species.

The Sallow Cirrhia icteritia

A typical micro moth of the late summer and early autumn is the Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana. This is a really common moth in much of the UK, but in Batch valley it is a rarity. I think this is a species I have only caught once before, and two of these last night was therefore a bit of a surprise.

Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana

Finally, I do not usually need much encouragement to post a picture of an Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa.

Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa

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