Saturday, 3 October 2015


We have builders in again, but this provided a bit of an impromptu opportunity for moth recording yesterday. On my afternoon coffee break I noticed a plume moth high on the side of the house, but within reach of the scaffolding. So I clambered up, feeling a little shaky with my morbid fear of any height that inolves my feet leaving the ground, and managed to pot it.

New moth observation platform

The moth proved to be a Beautiful Plume Amblyptillia acanthadactyla, only the scond I have recorded here in Batch Valley. Remarkably, this small moth hibernates and reappears in the late spring. It was very atcive, so I had to settle for this in-the-pot photograph.

Beautiful Plume Amblyptillia acanthadactyla

I took a stroll around the garden to recover from the excitement, and was delighted to find this Grey Dagger Acronicta psi larva in a hawthorn (Crataegus). I regularly catch Dagger moths in the summer, but it is impossible to identify whether these are Grey or Dark Dagger A. tridens without resorting to dissection. Fortunately, the caterpillars are completely distinctive. This is the second Grey Dagger larva I have found in the garden, so I am still not sure whether Dark Dagger occurs.

Grey Dagger larva Acronticta psi

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