Sunday, 31 August 2008

Straw Dot invasion

Hi all,i had 2 Straw Dot in the trap last night,and there seems to a large invasion in the country with some people recoring 50 + a night./?Any one else recorded any.?Also my first Silver Y for a while.

Svensson's copper underwing.

hi all,just back from hols in cornwall(brilliant moffs) and its nice to see that the blogg has been very active.Trapped a Svensons last night and loads of yellow underwings.Am looking forward to getting out and finding some larvae and leaf mines as well as looking for Northern rustic and Brindled ocre on the moors with a couple of nights light trapping. Annomalous was a good moth Nick in your back garden not many people can say that.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Old Lady

Old Lady

A few goodies in the garden last night included this stunner feeding on the Buddleia, also another couple of Garden Dart's, Swallow Tailed Moth and Flounced Rustic amongst the more common moths

Garden Dart
Flounced Rustic

This might be a Straw Dot - I'm not sure - anyone got any ideas? - is it a pyralid?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Copper Underwings

Having spotted that various people have recorded both Svensson Copper Underwing and Copper Underwing I wonder has anyone ever found the larvae of Copper Underwing ? The reason I ask is that I recorded both types as adults mistakenly by using the old wing markings technique and flight times I was taught when I started in 1999. The YNU macro moth recorder Philip Winter refused to accept the Copper Underwing records (rightly, but for the wrong reasons I now believe) as he thought that only Svenssons occurred in Yorkshire. Philip by the way is the guy who first described the difference in the Palps that we all now use.

I was determined to prove him wrong as I could see a clear difference in flight times from my records or to be more accurate thought I could. The only way I knew for certain he would accept records without me taken adult voucher specimens was for me to find the larvae of both. I never found a single larvae of Copper Underwing in several years of searching despite me finding dozens of Svenssons larvae. Soon after this I stopped light trapping macros as my interest had switched to micros in the larval stages. This why I asked the question about anyone finding the larvae of Copper Underwing. Its obvious now that it does occur (I was the only one trapping seriously at that time in Calderdale so my records were biased to the areas I trapped) as many of you have seen and correctly ID both, but I would still dearly love for the larvae of both to be found in Calderdale to confirm breeding.

Monday, 25 August 2008

This weeks goodies

Not many goodies this last week just the usual masses of Large Yellow Underwings so here's the pick of the bunch. Also had a couple more of these Garden Dart types, the feeling is from the many experts who have seen the photo's is that they are Garden Dart. We are just waiting for confirmation on this. If we are correct our area will be the only site for this species in Yorkshire.

The Sallow
Yellow-barred Brindle

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Garden Dart

Flame Carpet

Sunday, 24 August 2008

August September Tips, a few to get you started !

1245 Grapholita janthinana
Distributed mainly in the southern half of England, this moth flies during the afternoon and early evening, and is at large during July and early August. The larva feeds in the berries of hawthorn (Crataegus), spinning two or three berries together with silk. The larva then leaves the spinning and spends the winter in a cocoon before pupating. I have been looking for this species in Calderdale since I was first shown by Adrian Wander how to recognize the spun together berries at a leaf mine event a couple of years back in Lancashire. At long last I found a few berries spun together in the typical fashion this morning whilst searching Hawthorn. There are some more superb images of the larvae on Ian Kimbers website taken by Ben Smart. Paul Talbot

1246 Grapholita tenebrosana

This species is widespread in Britain, but not frequently recorded. This may because it does not come readily to light. Records are more easily made by search for larvae in rose hips, and by assembling to pheromone lures intended for G. funebrana, obtainable from Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies.

The larvae feed in August and September on the hips of Dog rose (Rosa canina), other species of rose and, occasionally, the fruits of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). The early instar larva eats a small entry hole surrounded by a brown spot, and makes mines under the surface, which are visible as brown lines. Later instars cause the skin of the hip to wrinkle and go deep purple, sometimes with frass extruding through the sides. Larvae are shining pale yellow, tinged red dorsally. The larva leaves the fruit in October and over winters in a spun hibernaculum. Pupation, in dead wood or under bark, is from April to June.I have to admit I have never managed to rear this species from Rose Hips I have collected over the years; so perhaps it’s not that common in my area. I do however rear huge numbers of Pictured Winged flies (Diptera Otitidae) every year, so at least I get something for my trouble. I tend to pick any Rose Hips that look wrinkled or have gone a purplish colour; the healthy hips stay bright red even well into winter. Paul Talbot

The silken cases of Coleophora striatipennella can be found at the moment on Common Mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum). Usually they are attached to the end of the seed capsule, but sometimes they go right in so that only the tip of the case projects from the capsule. There is an unsolved puzzle in the life history of this species. It has two food-plants. Lesser Stitchwort starts to flower around the beginning of June, much later than Mouse-ear, but the moth can often be found flying in mid-May. These early individuals must lay their eggs on Mouse-ear. The moths continue to fly until the beginning of July. On several occasions I have had fresh specimens coming to light in mid-August, which strongly suggests a small second brood. However, I have yet to obtain August moths from cases found in July, and I never find cases in June (probably I haven't looked hard enough). So it remains uncertain whether the August specimens are a second brood or just late individuals of a protracted emergence.The only British Coleophora known to be double-brooded is C. alcyonipennella (C. frischella). Martin Corley

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) flowers are attractive to micros. Not just the species with larvae feeding on the tansy, but others (mostly Agriphila straminella) but also Argyresthias, Momphas etc. I'd be interested to hear if anyone gets anything and if so what. Best time is on a warm evening towards sunset. The flowers have a solvent smell - don't smoke near them! Martin Corley.

This week I have two micros which rather rarely come to light, but are easy to find as larvae, easy to rear and obligingly hatch in the autumn. And I have two others, both dayflying species, which have to be kept overwinter as larvae.Mompha jurassicella (formerly subdivisella) larvae feed in the stems of Epilobium hirsutum (Great Hairy Willowherb), allegedly preferring plants in waste places rather than those in wet places. Snap a stem in half. If it is plain green inside, move on and snap another one. If the larva has fed in the stem there will be a brown line running up most of the length of the stem. If you don't find signs of larval activity in the first half dozen stems, it probably isn't present. Pupation took place here about 10th August. If you keep snapping the upper part of the stem, you should be able to narrow down the location of the pupa, preferably without actually exposing it. On the outside of the stem there will be a 1 mm circle (usually at a node I think) which is the emergence hole, covered with just the epidermis. Sections of stem about 15 cm long can be stored until the moths emerge in September. The distribution of this species is still very incompletely known. The species was rediscovered and its larval behaviour discovered by Phil Sterling and John Langmaid in 1988.Acrolepia autumnitella larvae are feeding at the moment in large blotches in the leaves of Solanum dulcamara (Woody nightshade). They leave the mines to make an elegant cocoon. The moths hatch in late September or October. The larvae of the attractive little gelechiids Chrysoesthia drurella and C. sexguttella both mine the leaves of Chenopodium (Goosefoot) and Atriplex (Orache) species. The mines are quite different, drurella has a green zig-zagging or spiralling gallery mine, sexguttella has a whitish blotch mine.These plants also often have yellow blotch mines made by a dipteran, often several larvae to a blotch. Unlike most leafminers, the larvae will change leaves. This sometimes happens naturally producing incomplete mines. The larvae leave the mines when full fed and spin up for the winter. In spring they pupate, but drurella leaves its cocoon in order to pupate. I have had sexguttella emerge during the winter (I don't know when - I just found them dead at the beginning of April). They can be successfully overwintered in a suitable container in an unheated room or outhouse.Both species are mainly dayflying. Eventually I think they will be put in different genera. The similarities of life history have led to them being treated as close relatives, but there the similarity ends. Martin Corley

So perhaps I could join the 'This Week's Tip Club' and recommend thatpeople look for the larvae of palealis in the umbels of Wild Carrot. Theycan be found both by searching and by sweeping. Southern counties arethe best place to look but it is possibly breeding as far north asLeicestershire now. Tony Davies...this was some years back by Tony and they may be in Yorkshire now, though I am not sure if Wild Carrot occurs anywhere locally ?

A small but rather attractive species, having a buff ground colour streaked whitish and with darker speckling. Its distribution covers the southern half of England, with the odd record further north. It frequents generally damper habitats, and flies during June and again in August and September.The larvae feed in the seedheads of a number of plants, most notably common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) and golden samphire (Inula crithmoides).

The flowers of fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) are worth looking at for the little gelechiid moths Apodia bifractella and Ptocheuusa paupella. They can be found on the flowers in early evening sunshine.

905 Blastodacna hellerellaA fairly distinctive moth which occurs throughout England and parts of Scotland. The moth is to be found in woodland margins, parks and gardens, where hawthorn Crataegus is to be found. The adult is nocturnal, and flies during June and July, when it can be attracted by light. The larvae burrow into the berries. I thought I would try a few berries & nuts tips to try and be seasonal now that autumn is now almost upon us. Judging by the sheer abundance of acorns and Hawthorn berries locally here in Calderdale then its going to be a bumper fruiting season. I found several occupied berries on Hawthorn (Crataegus) this morning on my walk. Ian Kimber and I noted a couple of year’s back that the supposed signs of a larva inside the berries of the small blackened hole (see photo) is not always a sure sign of an occupied berry. We looked mainly at berries that looked slightly discolored or felt soft when gently (very, very gently!) squeezed and that 99% of such berries contained a larva when carefully opened. To rear through: simply collect a couple of dozen berries you think are occupied and then add a couple of dozen unoccupied berries to a net bag made from old tights or pop socks and tie to a sheltered spot in a hedge or behind the shed in the garden. In May I then simply cut open the bag, popped the by now shriveled berries into a lidded container and awaited the emergence of adults. I had 7 adults emerge in late June. I assume that the larvae pupate in leaf debris in the wild, but they seem to pupate quite happily amongst the old berries, although I did not look too closely at the time for pupa/cocoons. Paul Talbot

I have listed the name of the person who first posted these tips on UK Moths over the years but make no claim to anyone named as the originator of the tip...most of us pinched them from Tutt ! If you manage to rear any Charly would you please send me the images if you don't post them on the blog ? I have literally hundreds of such tips stored over the years so if you wish I will post some more now and then ? I will also dig out the file Ian Smith kindly sent me some years back with lepidoptera on ragwort....its stuffed with goodies and lots of it at Cromwell Bottom.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

black darter's whiteholme

finally managed a visit to whiteholme res for the black darters(this is the only place i know of them in calderdale)and given the weather i was not disappointed.
up to 50 at the pools.
also here

common hawker 6
emerald damselfly 3

black darter


in 'cop'

Sunny Vale

The warm weather yesterday brought the butterflies out in force in the garden.
1 comma
2 speckled wood
1 Large white
2 Peacock

Also took a walk down to the lake and had a small copper late on this afternoon.

Midgley Moths

An interesting evenings mothing with Brian and Martyn, rather cool and breezy with occasional drizzle but still a good opportunity for me to continue the learning curve!
Moths noted were
Chevron 2
Yellow Shell 1
Square Spot Rustic 50++
Common Rustic 10
Anomolus (top photo, an excellent record apparently)
Dark Arches 6
Flame Carpet 1
Small Pheonix 1
Silver Y 1
Common Wainscot 1
Common Marbled Carpet
Snout 1
Shuttle Shaped dart
Grey Chi (middle photo)
And just when I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it I empty the trap this morning and find the moth in the bottom photo, is this a Common Rustic? they appear very variable if it is.
Thanks to Andy for the loan of his MV trap.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Nicrophorus investigator

Hi Chris

Retrieved this smelly beetle from the moth trap here on the Llyn this morning. This is N. investigator. If you compare it with your image you can see a definite difference in the shape of the posterior orange band and it has orange knobs to its antennae as opposed to black in your specimen. To see the image in its full size simply move the cursor over the image and right click.
Poor trap list this morning as we had a not forecasted torrential downpour overnight and this morning. One species around in some numbers (apart from the ubiquitous LYU) is Brimstone moth in its second brood. These are much smaller individuals than the ones I recorded earlier in the season. Hope the weather is OK for you guys back in Yorkshire, Sun is out here now and its starting to get quite warm at long last....time to go bug hunting methinks.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

another quick moth trap

caught the antler again. please could somebody help with these

Friday, 15 August 2008

common hawker green withens

a very welcome 'common hawker' this evening at green withens dragonflies breed here so a very welcome site record.
sorry for the poor photos but it would not settle,hence the flight shots.but it does show the yellow costa nicley.

Cromwell Bottom LNR

We were supposed to hold a family event at Cromwell Bottom LNR looking at Grassland minibeasts. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it's up to you) there was no takers, so we spend a wonderful afternoon on Tag Loop and on the footpath to Cromwell Lock with lots of butterflies and dragonflies around.


Gatekeeper - 20+
Speckled wood - 20+
Meadow Brown - 20+
Small Skipper - 3
Large White - 4
Common Blue (female) - 1
Wall Brown - 1
Peacock - 3
Comma - 4
Small Copper - 1

Red Darter
Common Darter
Common blue damselflies
Hawkers (common hawker, but other species as well) - 20+

Also came across a burrowing beetle Nicrophorus investigator (above)which had just found a shrew and on returning about 40 minutes later was well on the way to burrowing it completely.

Darts & Stuff

Hi all
Been quiet for a couple of weeks here in N Wales on the moth front due to visits back to Yorkshire, visitors and the sad death of my Springer Spaniel, Maya :-((

Garden Dart; Never recorded this for certain in my years of trapping in Calderdale and was never proficient enough to make sure of gen ids. Some of the Darts shown on the blog recently I would just put down as unknowns myself. Its very difficult with worn moths to be certain without checking its tackle and unless you are desperate to know just pop em back to live another day.

Holly Blue: This species was around in massive numbers in 1997 and 1998 and I have dozens of photos of it egg laying and in cop. Holly Blues fluctuate dramatically due to parasitism by a small braconid wasp which causes a massive population crash. I have hardly seen a single Holly Blue in Calderdale for the last 8 years or so. Great news one was spotted and put on the blog. It will hopefully mean numbers will build up again before it crashes again. There is a great feature on the Holly Blue and populations crashes in one of the old issues of British Wildlife, well worth reading.

Butterflies are around here on the Llyn in huge numbers compared to Calderdale with Gatekeeper the most common at the moment, its not unusual to count 30 or 40 in 100 yards of sheltered hedgerow. One species around in great numbers as larvae at the moment is Garden Tiger. Sue and I move at least a couple of dozen off the roads each time we go out cycling.

Just a reminder if anyone does fancy a trip to North wales, you are welcome to visit Sue and I for a natter and some grub

Comma & Green Veined White?

These two were taken at Ogden Res this morning.

Oats Royd

Taken this morning when there were a few of this dragonfly/damselfly species about. The Butterfly, although only thumbnail size was a beautiful Sky Blue colour but always settled with closed wings. Id. help definitely needed!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Wall Brown

Just to let you know had a wonderfully bright Wall Brown in the poly tunnel area of Manor Heath today.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Garden Dart

This is the Garden Dart from Tuesday night, which shows much more detail than one I posted yesterday - I have also posted a dark Turnip Moth for comparison. Turnip Moth is actually a Dart but is a larger Moth than Garden Dart.

Turnip Moth

Another Dart sp

this was caught at light by Nick dawrty last friday.?

A Note from Tom Hubball(dragonfly recorder VC63)

Just been looking at your Calderdale blog.....found it from your recent post about Garden Darts on the Yorkshiremoths group.

On the July page I noticed the following blog by Chris : "Also found a number of these caterpillars in the garden this afternoon, does anyone know what they might be? (middle)". I think that this is a Campion larva. Please could you let Chris know as there are no contact details for him.

By the way, I'm also the VC63 dragonfly recorder for the British Dragonfly Society and would appreciate any records you have. Hope you don't mind but I've attached a recording form for your use...if you you're willing to pass them on.

Many thanks

Tom Hubball
if any one wants a recording form please send me an e-mail and I will forward you one.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

What is this?

I caught this moth a couple of nights ago, (Andy this is the black one I was telling you about), I think it is a very dark Garden Dart - which by the way is a rare Moth in Yorkshire with very few recent records - saying that I have had over 40 in the last two years - the only alternative I can think of is a very small (Garden Dart sized!) Turnip Moth - below are a cpouple of photos of a Garden Darts for reference

While we are on the subject of Garden Dart I had one last night that I will post as soon as I can get a photo

Garden Dart 21/08/2007

Garden Dart 14/08/2006

Now this is one I'm sure about, Gold Spangle, lovely

Monday, 11 August 2008

Moth Trap

I am off to Cornwall(pendeen) for 2 weeks on Friday if any body would like to borrow my (very bright)moth trap for two weeks they are more than welcome.Please leave a comment below.

Mothmen in action

Photos from last weeks mothing at Withens Clough, thanks again to Andy, Brian and Martyn for a fascinating evening.

Unintended Mystery Moth

Sorry about this paltry pic but it's all I can manage. The creature settled at an impossible angle on my curtains.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Moth trapping event at Foxglove Covert

Just to let you know there will be a Moth Trapping session at Foxglove Covert LNR, Catterick Garrison omn August 29th/30th.

On Saturday morning, 30th August, they will be identifying the moths. This starts at around 7.00am.

If you would like to come and see the moths you should come on the Saturday morning.
To book, please call us at the Field Centre on 01748 831113 or 07754 270980.

For anyone who does not know it, Foxglove is a cracking reserve on Catterick Garrison, they have a fully kitted bird ringing station and are moth trapping most of the season. I took the local WATCH group from Ogden there in July and we had a fantastic time. Anyone can visit, just contact the centre and they will get you past the Gurkha on guard duty.
firstly thanks to andy for the invite.
dragonflies are my main interest after birds.its getting a bit late in the season for dragonflies but this week i found two good local species
first 2 banded demoiselle at elland gp on wednesday(060808) on the canal,both males.i have only seen this species in calderdale on 2 occasions at elland gp and bradley hall farm.
secondly a black tailed skimmer (female) at green withens res on thursday(070808) i think this species was only recorded in calderdale for the first time in 2004.

banded demoiselle
elland gp

black tailed skimmer
green withens res

Withens Clough Car park

Nice to Nick carter and Martyn last night along with Brian we had a good night.2 UFO spotters turned up as well.??????
Antler moth 54
Large y.U 36
Chevron 2
Northern Spinach 8
Twin Spot carpet 1
Swift sp 1
Smoky Waiscot 10
Common waiscot 4
Gold Spot 5
Dark Archers 12
Straw Dot 1
Minor sp 3
L/C Rustic 4
Lesser Y U 10
Pepple Hook tip 1
Green carpet 4
Riband wave 2
Broad BLYU 1
Purple Bar 10+
Clouded Bordered Brindle 3
Dark Barred twin Spot Carpet 2
Willow Beauty 2
Square Spot Rustic 2
Lesser swallow prominent 5
Small Dotted Buff 1
Dotted Clay 2
Latticed heath 1
and the moth of the night Scalloped Hook Tip

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Last nights moths

Pammene aurita

Catoptria falsella

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Uncertain

I've not been having much variety lately - just masses of Large Yellow Underwings - but have had these three goddies over the past week

The Uncertain

Dotted Clay

Golden Plusia

I keep checking the shed for an Old Lady but have not found one this year so here's a photo of the one from 2006

In the Greenhouse

Went searching round the Greenhouse today and found this beauty a Purple thorn,also in there were Early Thorn,Dark archers,Yellow shell,Mother of Pearl,Single dotted Wave and Riband wave(non banded form).

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

a quick moth trap

just a few moths
please could somebody help with i.d