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Saturday, 31 July 2021

July records at work, Roecliffe, VC64

I have worked at the Alexanders site in Roecliffe VC64 near Boroughbridge since 2013, and regularly recorded moths attracted to the security lights, and more recently operated a 125w MV Robinson trap on waste ground adjacent to a small pond at the rear of the premises.

I operated the trap on six nights in July, on the 1st, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd and 26th, at slightly different locations when on subsequent nights.  Fairly modest totals each night but managed a total of 807 moths  of 143 species.  Many of these are new for site, and there were a fair number of significant records.  The most numerous were Chrysoteuchia culmella (Garden Grass-veneer), Bird-cherry Ermine and Common Footman.  Working through the list the moths of interest with comments, as follows:

Some of this family are difficult to identify to specific level but this is noticeably dark with a distinct spur shaped white mark on the forewing. 

15.010 Caloptilia stigmatella 

This tiny moth was very mobile and difficult to photograph, three were seen in total. 

28.015 Batia lunaris

Another tiny moth, a damp grassland species, larval plant Canary Reed-grass and one I have seen at Staveley and the Brafferton woodland area.

38.039 Elachista maculicerusella

One of the Mompha species, this quite a distinct one, the larval plant is Willowherb spp, of which the site has many plants.

40.004 Mompha propinquella

This next moth provoked some interest in that I knew which page to look on for the family, the photos were taken in poor early evening light boosted by LEDs giving an orange cast to the image.  Typically after photographing it the moth made a dash for freedom so was just left with the images to try and put a name to it.  It should have been easy but the unusual colour made it less straightforward; initially Cochylis flaviciliana was considered but after input from Charlie and Harry C.roseana was thought to be more likely.  Teasel, the larval foodplant is fairly common close by.  Still a reasonable record and a new species for me.  

49.134 Cochylis roseana

A very distinctive tortrix moth presenting little difficulty in putting a name to it, and only my second.

49.288 Epiblema foenella

A Gold Spangle which is a great looking moth, has an interesting distribution in that with global warming this species is retreating to higher ground at least in Yorkshire, but this shows the odd ones are still hanging on in lowland areas, as this is 16 metres asl.

73.018 Gold Spangle

The next two photos are interesting in that it shows a classic Gold Spot in the first photo, followed by one showing characteristics of Lempke's Gold Spot.  The best feature is the shape of the post median line where it meets the silver dash: in Gold Spot the line is very acutely angled pointing to the forward blotch, resulting in a pointed and long silver dash.  In Lempke's it is more obtuse and pointing towards the rear blotch, resulting in a shorter, broader apical streak.  However, at least in Yorkshire there appear to be some that should be confirmed by gen. det., with Lempke's paler, smaller and commoner on higher ground.  Being very cautious I ran this past Charlie who agrees that this is as good a candidate as could be for Lempke's Gold Spot, hardly an intermediate!

73.022 Gold Spot

73.023 Lempke's Gold Spot

It was good to see a Silky Wainscot here, a moth I have only recorded at the nearby reed-beds at Staveley.

73.100 Silky Wainscot

A moth that did not make it into the trap but was seen attracted to one of the security lights was a Scarce Silver-lines, a moth I have only seen once before in Yorkshire in 2012 when I had three at Pilmoor.

74.007 Scarce Silver-lines

Monday, 12 July 2021

An unwelcome first for VC65

I have claimed Tinea pellionella caught in the house on three previous occasions but not taken photos or kept specimens.  I caught this one during the evening of 29 June and eventually managed to get a photo without letting it escape, and this time dispatched the moth to Charlie Fletcher for gen. det. confirmation.  As usual, Charlie got back to me without delay confirming that it was indeed what I suspected and was a first for VC65.  The fact that the common name for this moth is Case-bearing Clothes Moth does make this a rather unwelcome addition to the house list.

12.027 Tinea pellionella Case-bearing Clothes Moth

Saturday, 10 July 2021

National Moth Night 2021

The theme for 2021 is reed-beds and the nearest suitable habitat to me is at Staveley, just a couple of miles from home.  The big drawback for the site is poor access with long distance to lug the equipment to get to the reedbeds.  In the past I have used a wheelbarrow but since my daughter moved her horses away I no longer have that luxury.  On Thursday night 8th July, I managed to get set up based at the furthest hide by 2215, and I retired to the car to get some sleep.  A start at counting and identifying from 0400 and took 3 hours to count the four traps and pack everything away.

A fairly modest haul with no great numbers, and surprisingly few Wainscot species.  A total of about 360 moths of 85 species, several micros still to be sorted, the most numerous being 47 Clouded Border, 40 Smoky Wainscot, 33 Uncertain/Rustic agg., and 26 July Highflier.  The reedbed specialities were few in number but included singles each of  Crescent, Southern Wainscot, and a new Yorkshire record for me of Obscure Wainscot.

73.119 Crescent Helotropha leucostigma

73.294 Southern Wainscot Mythimna straminea

73.302 Obscure Wainscot Leucania obsoleta

A good feature shown by Southern Wainscot is a browband clearly seen when viewed head-on.

Southern Wainscot, browband feature.

Other species seen included the following, some colourful moths others rather plainer but still of interest. 
49.215 Ancylis achatana

63.020 Anania perlucidalis

63.079 Calamotropha paludella

63.080 Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella

70.013 Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata

70.093 Barred Straw Gandaritis pyraliata

70.278 Common Wave Cabera exanthemata

73.101 Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica