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Monday, 8 July 2019

Two new macro-moths

This is something that doesn't happen too often these days, two new macros.  Off the back of delivering a vehicle to Carlyon Bay in Cornwall I had enough tacho hours to get back as far as Somerset.  Calling on my local knowledge I aimed for Shapwick Heath where I used to do some bird ringing back in the 1990's. I parked up and walked to my proposed site to find that the willow sprigs planted all those years ago and kept to no more than 10' by regular cutting were now a veritable forest!  It really wasn't suitable for moth trapping close enough to parking, so I opted to try Godwins peatworks on nearby Westhay Heath with ample parking and where I also ringed some birds.  On arrival a Great White Egret feeding on an open pool was an excellent omen.  I put a single Robinson trap out 100m up a drove with reed-beds on one side, willow scrub and a open water on the other.  It proved a reasonable night with modest numbers and species, 94 moths of 39 species, but did include some interesting species; there were a good selection of China-marks and Wainscots as might be expected from such habitat.
Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark)

Archanara dissoluta (Brown-veined Wainscot)

Chilodes maritima (Silky Wainscot)
The commonest moth was another Wainscot, of which there were 15, and one was potted for photographing and identification.  On checking it soon became evident they were Obscure Wainscots, another new one for me and according to the Somerset Moth Group website not showing any dots for the County.  I have since learned that the moth does occur in Somerset with some frequency and the absence of dots on the map is a result of name changes within MapMate.  
Brown-veined Wainscot (left) and Obscure Wainscot (right)

Obscure Wainscot
There was only one pug which looked very small, nondescript and had an orange 'waistband'; it was clearly a Haworth's Pug, another new one for me.
Haworth's Pug
A successful visit to a County where I started moth trapping all those years ago but not seriously enough to have recorded my Blackford gardens catches in Mapmate.

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