For our first trapping session of 2015 we took our new 6W actinic trap to the oak woodland at Ynys-hir (we should have also had a 15W actinic but someone took the wrong battery!). Anyway we recorded 19 moths of 6 species (4 macro and 2 micro). They were Winter moth x3, Pale brindled beauty, Chestnut x7, Dotted border, Tortricodes alternella x5, Acleris ferrugana/notana x2. One ferrugana/notana refused to be potted but the other will be further investigated.
Our Winter Moth Scheme trap in our garden this weekend caught only one Winter Moth but a second, more sheltered trap in oak woodland produced 5 species. These included our first Spring Usher and Dotted Border of this year as well as Winter Moth, Mottled Umber & Chestnut.
If you find any dried heads of burdock, collect and leave them outside bringing them in in May, when you may have a number of M.lappella emerge.
To confirm their presence before this, break open a seed-head. The seeds should normally separate easily. If a few stick together, as in the photo here, they are almost certainly tenanted with lappella larvae. Separate the seeds and you will see proof of this in the form of silk, frass and maybe the larva itself, although the larva may be resting inside one of the seeds, as was the case with the seeds shown.
The larvae of this small plume moth feed within Hemp Agrimony stems.
They make a hole, presumably to allow removal of frass, and to allow the moth to escape.
The holes occur at or just below a swollen node/gall, as in the photo.
The larvae overwinter in the stem, eventually pupating in the same place.
To rear keep the stems outside, only bringing them inside close to their emergence time in spring. This one was found 20th Jan this year.
Feeds inside alder and Birch catkins, it may move from one catkin to the next through the side of the catkin.
Holes may therefore be apparent as in the photo.
Reddish frass may also be present.
The catkin itself will feel soft as it is being gradually hollowed out.
If you carefully open the catkin by pulling it at both ends, you will hopefully see the larva.
I am told they are quite easy to rear in a decent size pot (8x8cm). Just add a fresh catkin every 4-5 days, and remove the old one once vacated by the larva.
This is the first brood (April) only, the second brood (Sept) feeds in rolled leaves.
Look on the trunks of Lime Trees.
The B.thoracella larvae descend from the lime leaves in autumn on silken threads and land on the trunk forming these delicate, ridged, 2-3mm, buff-coloured cocoons before pupating.
No vc46 records yet....you could be the first to find it!!
Micro-moth field tips...Parsnip Moth, Depressaria radiella (was heraclei, was pastinacella!). This is an easy moth to record when you're out and about.
The larva feeds on the seeds of hogweed in summer.
The larva then enters the stem leaving this characteristic hole, top picture. If you open the stem, the vacated pupa should not be too far away from the hole.
There may be more than one larva per stem.