Thursday, 17 April 2008

April Larval Tips 3 Cocksfoot Moth Glyphipterix simpliciella




I found lots of the larval signs of this species at Cromwell Bottom this morning. I would probably have given this out as a winter tip this year but as its still so cold the adults will not yet have emerged. In practice one looks for the tall brown steams from last year in the middle of a clump of Cocks Foot Grass (Dactylis glomerata), and searches for the small emergence holes bored by the larvae for ease of emergence as an adult. I did not take and open any of the stems this morning as I have reared this species through before. If you wish to rear some through, all you need to do is cut some stems well below the holes and stick them upright in a lump of florists oasis in some sort of clear container with a mesh top (pop socks) and await the adults.

The adults will be around shortly once the weather warms up and its usualy dead easy to find them on any yellow flowering plant such as buttercups or dandelions. Just to make my "tips" clear, they are not "my tips" anymore than anyone elses, I have simply read up and gone out looking, most of the tips will have been available since Victorian times so they are not "mine".

PS I note a distinct lack of postings on this blog at the moment, there are absoloutely loads of moth species you can find even in a spring as poor as this one, as long as you do not rely on light trapping alone, so come on people lets have some posts from those prepared to have a 10 min walk to find larvae or pupae.Moss, lasts years dried stems and seed heads are stuffed full of goodies at this time of year if you are prepared to look.

13 comments:

drepana said...

Hi Paul

Been out today looking at nettles but none of the signs you gave spotted yet (actually found one but nobody at home). Also got my collection of Sallow catkins for later examination! looking forward to the woodland larvae forray. suggest a date when you can

Winston

Winston

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Winston
I think you are further up the valley (Hebden Bridge ?) and thus timing are likely to be a few days out compared even to Elland. When you read most lepidoptera books take flight times etc with a pinch of salt as most are based on records for the south of England and can be as much as a month or more in front of us here. It can also be astonishing how much altitude differances play in emergence times as well.

As the season is back this year I suggest we wait until May for some better weather and leaves on the trees as the larvae will be back this year also. I suggest we have a trip to North Dean woods at West Vale as the woodland trip, its a good variety of habitats and south facing slopes.

drepana said...

Hi Paul
Yes that makes sense, Some of the sallows I was looking at yesterday are not yet showing fully developed catkins although others are. We have a nice sheltered patch of them just near me and I will have a go at following your sallowing advice. the coming week looks to have a bit warmer nights if a little showery.
Winston

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Winston
Warm nights with LIGHT rain are the best possible nights for moffing in my opinion, not the most pleasant but the best. Do not expect the hundreds or thousands of moths on Sallow as suggested in the old literature. Moth number have declined dramatically since those days AND most of these reports are from darn sarf. But should conditions be right you wil find far more than at light. Ian Kimber and I stopped ruuning lights at Cromwell Bottom at this time of year andwent sallowing as we bagged more species/numbers and kept warmer by moving around. If we manage a daytime midweek trip in late May to a good area we should be able to bag 30/40 species bewteen us if the weather warms up. There is one Sycamore in North Dean which ever year is stripped almost bare by thousands of Mottled Umber larvae.

charly streets said...

Paul, I've often wanted to extend my night time moth photography to beyond the garden and really wanted to photograph some of these moths on sallow particularly species such as Satellite and Twin-spot Quaker but never really found anywhere suitable where the branches haven't beeb lopped of to above head height.Just wondered if you knew of anywhere handy bearing in mind it will be dark on the way back?

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Charly
Cromwell Bottom would be idea, but its a long way with no transport.

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Charly
Cromwell Bottom would be ideal, but its a long way with no transport.

charly streets said...

Hi Paul, distance isn't a really problem so long as I stand a reasonable chance of seeing something. It's just that round my way it seems all the sallows are pruned so they don't overhang footpaths and so are out of reach of my camera.I'll have a wander round CB tommorow and see if I can suss out some likely sites as the weather looks to improve next week. Crikey, it can't get much worse :-(

drepana said...

Hi Charly / Paul / Andy

I have an estate car and don't mind picking people up if it might help (coming from Hebden Bridge).

Winston

AndyC said...

Tuesday night looks the best for a Cromwell Bottom evening.

charly streets said...

That sounds a good idea Andy, I'll definitely give that a go if anyone else is interested. Does anyone know a particular area of CB to try?

drepana said...

Hi All

If thats tuesday eve coming (22nd April) I would be up for that. Perhaps we should meet in the car park? what time? Anyone need a lift?

Winston

charly streets said...

Winston, I'd like to take you up on your offer of a lift, it's much appreciated. Could you email me your tel. number in case I need to contact you over the next day or so. I'll have a recce round CB this morning to suss out some likely spots.

charlie.streets@btinternet.com