Sunday, 15 February 2015

Winter Moth

Following our trapping session we had a discussion about the moths that do not have proboscises and how they survive as adults.  We already knew that the Winter Moth had a shortened proboscis just to imbibe moisture, so we decided to look at a dead specimen under a microscope. Here is the result.

Carolyn & Evan

Saturday, 14 February 2015

First Early Moth, March Moth & Mottled Grey

After a run of cold nights we had a warmer, damper night which led to an explosion (150!) of Spring Ushers and plentiful Pale Brindled Beauties, including this melanistic form. We also had our first Early Moth, March Moth and Mottled Grey for this year.  Other species were Satellite, Winter Moth & the micro Tortricodes alternella.  Once again the garden trap yielded a few whilst the woodland trap overflowed!

Carolyn & Evan

Early Moth 

March Moth

Mottled Grey

Pale Brindled Beauty f. monacharia

Iberian Wildlife holiday opportunity!

I know adverts on blogs are usually frowned upon but this is a brilliant opportunity with a leading  lepidopterist, English but resident for over 20 years in Northern Spain.  Haven't noticed any other nature tour companies rushing to pass on the good- for- us Euro news!

There are just a few places left on my early tours to Extremadura and Grazalema, as well as for the spring holidays focussing on butterflies and moths and flowers in the Picos de Europa.  And given the fabulous sterling-euros exchange rate at the moment – the best for almost 10 years – they are likely to work out cheaper than ever!  
In fact, I am willing to offer anyone who books any 2015 holiday with us before the end of the month, and pays in full at the time of booking, TODAY’s exchange rate (1.35 euros to the pound).  For example, this works out at just £985 per person sharing a room for Springtime in Extremadura, and £800 for the 6-night Spring Butterflies and Moths trip in the Picos de Europa, and many of you will also be able to deduct the 5% customer-loyalty discount as well!   In addition, I will also refund any difference that might arise as compared with the exchange rate on the date the invoice for the balance would be issued, as specified in the pre-departure information for each tour, but will NOT charge you any extra if the exchange rate goes the other way.  It’s a win-win situation!
I’ve taken the liberty of attaching the pre-departure information for the two tours mentioned above, but if you fancy taking me up on the offer for anyof my other trips this year, please do drop me a line, and I’ll send you the information pack and price as per the stated offer (please let me know if you will require a single room).
I do hope I’ll be seeing some of you again this year.
all the best
Office phone: +34 942 754154
Mobile phone: +34 656 337129

The attachments are available on the Iberian wildlife website, click on links above.
I can thoroughly recommend Teresa and the moths arriving on her terrace are just amazing!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Mottled Grey and Friends

Two Actinic traps in woodland last night with a nice new shiny Mottled Grey in each.
These two plus Pale Brindled Beauty (6), Spring Usher (33), Dotted Border (6), Chestnut (15), Satellite (1) and Tortricodes alternella (17).
For some reason Blogger will not upload my photos, so will try later.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Micro-moth field tips - Limnaecia phragmitella

Ben Smart.

Limnaecia phragmitella
The larvae of this species feed communally in the seedheads of bulrush throughout the winter.
Their presence can be recognised by large amounts of white seeds protruding from the seedheads as in the photo. The seeds are held together with silk from the larvae.
Larvae are well camouflaged within the seeds and although distinctive are difficult to spot.
To rear, it is probably best to check first that there is a larva present, as if there is one, there will be many more. Then put the whole of the seed head or two in a stocking/pop sock and tie up outside. Make sure it is tied securely and that there are no holes in the material as these larvae do like to wander once they are disturbed. Alternatively, put a few larvae in an 8x8 cm plastic pot with a handful of seeds. Keep the pot in the shed. You should only need to change the seeds every few weeks.
Flight period of adult is June to August.

This is a common moth, but there are only 3 records for the county and I am afraid to's another 'little brown job'!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

National Moth Recorders' Meeting, Birmingham 2015

Yesterday Tony and I attended the National Moth Recorders’ Meeting in Birmingham. There was a very interesting program of talks on some wide ranging topics from Sweden, Scotland and even Wales!
Mark Young put forward the arguments for and against a national micro-moth recording scheme, a very good idea but for the obvious problems of verification.

Some interesting work being done on producing synthetic pheromones for some of the rarer moths, using Burnet moths as an example.
A talk by Dr Lars Pettersson of Lund University in Sweden, on the rapid range expansion of moths in Sweden. This to some extent echoed the northerly shift of some moth species in Britain.

Other subjects covered were Cinnabar Moths, recording moths in Lakeland and some thoughts on results from the Garden Moths Scheme.

A very good finale was a piece on extreme mothing in Wales by George Tordoff, this included high altitude recording, some of it with a cherry picker!!
There was of course a discussion on the up-coming atlas of Macro-moths and a list of ‘white holes’ was available, should anyone fancy a holiday in an out of the way place we have the list.  We have no unrecorded squares in vc46, but we do have three under-recorded squares listed.  Two of these are of no concern as they are mostly in the sea, one off Bird Rocks, New Quay and the other off Ynyslas can only be considered land when the tide is out!  SN87, beyond Cwmystwyth, is the third under-recorded square, and this is shared by two other vice counties. If anyone fancies a trip up there, or knows someone who lives in the area a few more records would be welcomed.

This was a very enjoyable day - time to spend money on moth books and equipment as well as meet up with friends and fellow mothers both old and new.