Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hornet Moth

Checked the row of mature Poplars on the north side of the East of England Showground this morning and sure enough there were plenty of exit holes near the bases. The fourth tree had this newly emerged adult crawling up the trunk. Note the wings are not fully unfurled in the first couple of pics and there are still scales on the clear part of the wings. Compare this to the fully emerged ones photographed at Dogsthorpe by Weedon's World of Nature.

Click for larger pics.

Hornet Moth Sesia apiformis

Nikon Coolpix P4

Small Skipper and Emerald Damsel

The rather unpromising litter-strewn layby on the Fletton/Orton Parkway roundabout is right next to the NW corner of Serpentine BP, which is excellent for insects. Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies were abundant and I had my first Small Skipper and Emerald Damsselfly of the year this morning.

Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris

Emerald Damselfy Lestes sponsa

Nikon Coolpix P4

Monday, June 26, 2006

Small Elephant Hawk-moth

This Small Elephant Hawk-moth and a Cream-bordered Green Pea were the pick of a reasonable catch last night.

Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus

Nikon Coolpix P4

Sunday, June 25, 2006

More Migrants and Garden Firsts

A weekend of excellent moths in the garden. Among 171 moths of 64 species the traps attracted another couple of migrants on Friday night with Diamond-back and a Dark Sword-grass (only the second one for the garden). The star for me though was the tiny Cherry-bark Moth - a really striking tortrix. With only 9 previous VC31 records its another great find and a first for the garden.

Better however was the Red-belted Clearwing that came to the 'cul' pheromone lure within minutes of putting it out on Sunday. The picture is not very clear as the moth dashes around the lure without settling but the wing bases appear to be black ruling out the similar and rarer Large Red-belted Clearwing.

Another garden first was the Mullein caterpillar found by Karen on a garden Buddleia. We have never recorded the adult and it could be a while before this larva provides us with one: they can pupate for up to four years.

Nice to get a good pic of the Barred Straw, a flighty moth at the best of times that has not settled well for me in the past.

And finally a reminder just how big Britain's largest resident moth is.

Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon

Cherry-bark Moth Enarmonia formosana

Red-belted Clearwing Synanthedon myopaeformis

The Mullein Cucullia verbasci, larva

Barred Straw Eulithis pyraliata

Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri

Nikon Coolpix P4

Thursday, June 22, 2006


A windy mild night so I ran the trap in an enclosed yard to try to reduce the influence of the wind. As well as the White-point, a rare migrant locally, the first Privet Hawk-moth, Swallow-tailed Moth, Common Emerald and Turnip Moth of the year appeared.

68 moths of 30 species to single 125W MV skinner
0724 Metzneria lappella 1
1083 Marbled Orchard Tortrix (Hedya nubiferana) 1
1177 Epiblema rosaecolana 1
1392 Udea olivalis 1
1669 Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria) 1
1711 Treble Brown Spot (Idaea trigeminata) 2
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) 1
1758 Barred Straw (Eulithis pyraliata) 1
1776 Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria) 1
1860 Green Pug (Chloroclystis rectangulata) 1
1922 Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria) 1
1976 Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri) 1
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi) 1
2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) 1
2061 Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 1
2087 Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) 1
2089 Heart & Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) 10
2098 The Flame (Axylia putris) 2
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 1
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 2
2160 Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea) 2
2194 White-point (Mythimna albipuncta) 1
2199 Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) 1
2302 Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea) 1
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) 10
2334 Rustic Shoulder-knot (Apamea sordens) 1
2337x Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.) 16
2340 Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula) 2
2434 Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) f. juncta 1
2489 The Fan-foot (Herminia tarsipennalis) 1

White-point Mythimna albipuncta

Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

Turnip Moth Agrotis segetum

Nikon Coolpix P4

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Shark

A good catch in the garden MV moth trap last night with The Shark being the second new macro-moth of the year for the garden. I've now recorded 446 leps in the garden. Pale-shouldered Brocade and Small Clouded Brindle are both scarce in the garden too.

58 moths of 21 species to single 125W MV skinner
1392 Udea olivalis 1
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) ab. remutata 1
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) 1
1994 Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala) 1
2060 White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 1
2061 Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 2
2089 Heart & Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) 17
2098 The Flame (Axylia putris) 1
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 4
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 2
2158 Pale-shouldered Brocade (Lacanobia thalassina) 1
2160 Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea) 2
2199 Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) 2
2205 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Mythimna comma) 1
2216 The Shark (Cucullia umbratica) 1
2302 Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea) 2
2331 Small Clouded Brindle (Apamea unanimis) 1
2334 Rustic Shoulder-knot (Apamea sordens) 5
2337x Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.) 9
2380 Treble Lines (Charanyca trigrammica) 2
2384 Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua) 1

The Shark Cucullia umbratica

Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor

Buff-tip Phalera bucephala

Pale-shouldered Brocade Lacanobia thalassina

Small Clouded Brindle Apamea unanimis

Nikon Coolpix P4

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Vapourer

No sooner had the Green Pug flown the nest than I came across this spectacular-looking larva on the upper branches of our aphid-ridden and honeydew soaked Plum tree. A great opportunity to raise this interesting species and a chance of it being a female. Not only are these hard to find they can 'assemble' males to their pheromones.

The Vapourer Orgyia antiqua

Nikon Coolpix 995 & P4

Green Pug reared to adult

I found this larva under a purple flowering cherry on 7 May. It fed on apple blossom until pupating sometime around 22 May. On about 10 Jun the adult moth emerged.

Green Pug Chloroclystis rectangulata

Nikon Coolpix 995 & P4

Wasp Beetle

Most coleoptera are less than straightforward to identify but some are more distinctive. Like this one. A nice garden first.

Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis

Nikon Coolpix 995 & P4

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Little Tern

Just leaving for work this morning and got a message that there was a Little Tern at Ferry Meadows. This is a rare bird inland and they don't appear every year in the Peterborough area (see here). As it was on the way to work I just nipped in and could see the bird hammering up and down Gunwade Lake even before I got out of the car. These record shots are a bit of a miracle and are a testament to how well the P4 can work with the Leica scope. This is a small bird flying fast at up to 200m away over a lake.

Little Tern Sterna albifrons

Nikon Coolpix P4 handheld to 20x eyepieve of Lieca APO77