Monday 27 February 2017

New Micro ID Book - available soon

Provisional title is 'Micro-moth Field Tips: A Guide to Finding the Early Stages in Lancashire and Cheshire'. 
It is a 216-page guide to locating the early stages of our micro-moths by searching for their feeding signs, leaf-mines and larvae.
The book provides detailed advice on the life-cycles of over 170 species, and contains over 600 photos illustrating the early stages of over 300 species found within Lancashire and Cheshire, (and of course also found elsewhere within the rest of the country).
Below is a couple of sample pages (not proof-read yet, so any errors will be corrected!)

The book will be chronological, with twelve main chapters, one for each month.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Brindled Beauties

Carolyn and Evan's post started me looking again at the state of these three species: Brindled Beauty, Pale Brindled Beauty and Small Brindled Beauty. They all have similar flight periods, habitat, larval foodplants and life cycle. They are all present in Ceredigion although their national status, according to Waring" is different, ie. Small Brindled Beauty is "Local S,(C)", Pale Brindled Beauty is "Common T", and Brindled Beauty is "Common S,C,(N)". The following maps show the distribution of the three species in Ceredigion.

The following graphs show the number of Ceredigion records per year for each species over the 50 years to 2015. There are separate lines on the graphs for: non-Rothamsted(RIS) records, RIS records from Ian's trap at Tregaron (which he has operated for the last 40 years), and all other RIS traps which have run in several different places for varying amounts of time.

Brindled Beauty

Pale Brindled Beauty

Small Brindled Beauty
I am not sure what, if any, conclusions can be drawn from this!


Wednesday 22 February 2017

Another Small Brindled Beauty

Thanks to Ina's recent blog we now realise that the rather small Brindled Beauty that we caught in our garden trap two nights ago was indeed a Small Brindled Beauty.  We discounted it after some discussion as we thought it was restricted to southern regions but with hindsight now it ticked all the boxes.  The rest of our catch included Dotted Border, Spring Usher, Pale Brindled Beauty and two slightly early moths - Early Grey and Mottled Grey, the latter unfortunately could only be photographed posthumously!   The only micro was Tortricodes alternella.

Carolyn & Evan

Small Brindled Beauty

Early Grey

Mottled Grey

Sunday 19 February 2017

Signs of spring in Aberystwyth

My garden trap managed six moths last night: Early Moth (1), Hebrew Character (2), Common Quaker (2) and Double-striped Pug (1):

Water Carpet at Coed Maidie

We ran two 6W Heath traps on this Wildlife Trust reserve last night. This morning we showed the moths to the volunteers who joined the work party to attack some of the encroaching bramble. We had only 25 moths of 7 species, 4 of which were firsts for us for the year. They were Early moth (3), Engrailed (2), Water carpet and Grey shoulder-knot. This was the second earliest county record for Water carpet, and the sixth earliest for Engrailed. The others were Dotted border (15), Chestnut (2), and Tortricodes alternella.
Water carpet

Dotted border

Early moth


Grey shoulder-knot
Thanks to Em and Julia for organising the work party and especially thanks to those who came along to help with this work which is vital for conserving the species diversity on the reserve.

Tony & Ina

Saturday 18 February 2017

Dotted Border - Nebo, Cross Inn

I have trapped my first moth! Sorry about the poor photo but I put it down to the gusty wind...

Thursday 16 February 2017

Ynys-hir Woodland

Seven macro moth species and four micro (147individuals) last night at Ynys-hir. The main highlight was two Small Brindled Beauty, this is only the thirteenth record from three sites in the county since 2000.
The first appearance for us of March moth and Oak Beauty, one of the Ooo moths!
The four micro species were one each of Agonopterix ocellana, Acleris hyemana, Acleris ferrugana/notana and 56 Tortricodes shortage of that species!
Acleris hyemana

Agonopterix ocellana

March Moth

Small Brindled Beauty

Small Brindled Beauty

Spring Usher

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Coed Maidie

If anyone can spare an hour or two on Sunday 19th Feb please come along and help with some scrub clearance at Coed Maidie - 10:00 to 3:30.
Details on previous blog page;

Thursday 9 February 2017

Bernard Skinner

Some sad news via Les Hill.

Bernard Skinner, author of the Colour Identification Guide to Moths of The British Isles which revolutionised moth identification and designer of the collapsible "Skinner" moth trap, passed away on 7 February 2017. Our condolences to his family whom have requested not to be contacted during this difficult time - RIP Bernard.

Monday 6 February 2017

New Waring and Townsend

The Third Edition arrived this morning from NHBS £30.98 inc postage, CHEAPER than Amazon!

Looks good though I think the pics are more to the page so less space for comments/notes and to my eye the printing of the pics is not quite so crisp.  Otherwise same layout for text as the Micro book including maps so much quicker to reference than text (though the text still has distribution details) and the pics are numbered as plates rather than pages with clearer colour demarcation for families than previously.

There are 55 additional illustrations and revised texts to account for the many changes since Ed 2 which was printed in 2009 and of course the moths are arranged in a new order which might bother those of you who mastered the page numbers in the old book!

Last night's attempt to add Spring Usher to the Coed Y Bont species list (standing at 215) failed as the cloud did not materialise but will be trying again once the battery has recovered!

Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland (Field Guides) Paperback – 9 Feb 2017
by Paul Waring (Author), Martin Townsend (Author), Richard Lewington (Illustrator)

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Wet Night - Dry Morning

Only eight species last night at Ynys-hir.
Dotted Border - 7
Spring Usher - 44
Pale Brindled Beauty - 15
Satellite - 1
Chestnut - 12
Winter Moth - 4
Tortricodes alternella - 27
Acleris - ferrugana/notana (probably the former) - 5