Sunday 27 November 2016

Micros at home

When a lichen-eater crawls across your living room window, it's probaby time to get out the squeegee. But I rescued it first:
Luffia ferchaultella
It has quite a comical crawl:

Just afterwards a Mompha langiella came to sit on me.
Today, a Phyllonorycter sp. landed on the house. I think messaniella given the time of year.


Thursday 24 November 2016

New book!

February 2017
Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland
Third edition
Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland

Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland has been fully revised and restructured, to reflect the latest thinking in taxonomy. There are new descriptions and illustrations for newly discovered species, and existing entries have been updated, with distribution information revised and maps included for the first time.

Pbk £29.99  
Hbk £49.99
Find out more

Xmas is a-coming!  Wonder if it is different enough?

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Feathered Thorns

Can someone tell me what is going on here please? These two were in the trap this morning. Both have broad, feathered antennae, so I take them to be males. Is such a large variation in size usual with this species?

Sunday 13 November 2016

1,000 th Post - Ynys-hir

As the title tells us this is the one thousandth post on the Ceredigion Moths blog so before I start can we thank everyone who has contributed to and/or viewed the posts over the last four years since we started.  Averaging 250 posts a year didn't seem like much until we realised it is five a week.

Last night at Ynys-hir Tony deployed two actinic light traps in the woodland which captured nine macro species and one micro.  I picked up an Oak leaf this morning which contained a larva of Stigmella atricapitella.  I'm sorry I have not got a reasonable photo as I had to open up the mine to look at the larva, the only way to be sure it was S.atricapitella.

Mottled Umber 3,  November Moth agg 60 (a conservative estimate), Red-line Quaker 1, December Moth 7, Red-green Carpet 2, Feathered Thorn 13, Green-brindled Crescent 2, Chestnut 2, Yellow-line Quaker 1, ad last but not least (except in size) Pschoides filicivora 1.
December Moth

Feathered Thorn

P. filicivora

Saturday 12 November 2016

December Moth

We had our first two December Moths last night together with several Feathered Thorns out of a total of eight macro species.  It seems to have been an exceptionally good autumn for the Epirrita species (November Moth aggs). Last night we had 63 of these in our woodland trap and the week before 120.

Carolyn & Evan

December Moth

Feathered Thorn

Thursday 10 November 2016

Overwintering Leafminers

One or two people have mentioned to me that they are starting to develop an interest in leaf mines.  This has prompted me to put together a tip or two and although it may be a little late for this year there are still a few 'green islands' around among the fallen leaves.  Beech and Oak are the best for this, look for a green patch in the middle of an otherwise brown leaf and there should be a larva still in there.  Beech mines are easily identified but Oak mines are a little more complicated and may need rearing through the winter.
More information can be found on the internet and by carefully working through the key, link (here) you will have some success I'm sure. You can start with either the 'Mine-keys' or 'Plants' page but I suggest using both.  You will not be able to identify everything, so don't try and start off with the easy ones.
Stigmella tityrella on Beech

Stigmella hemargyrella on Beech

Rearing miners through the winter.

Some species cannot safely be identified from the mine alone. A look at the larva or pupa can help in some cases but this needs care.
If you find a mine containing a live larva or pupa;  cut up some old tights and tie off one end, put the leaf inside and tie off the other end and secure it to a low growing bush in the garden.  Don't forget a label! Choose a sheltered spot for this, you are trying to mimic what would happen to a leaf 'in the wild'.  Bring the leaf indoors next year March or April time, remove the leaf from the tights, put it in a pot and wait to see what emerges. Phyllonorycter mines work well to start with.

Best of luck.