Saturday, 28 February 2009

Get your traps on.

Had the mv light trap on for the first time in Northowram last night and caught this Common Quaker(above).At sugar I had 7 Satellites and 1 Chestnut.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Tuesday Night

Hi all, On tuesday night A very nice Oak beauty came to the Skinner trap. Winston

Psychoides verhuella

Hi all
I just bagged this species (new lifer for me) here on the Llyn Peninsular this week and its probably around now in Calderdale as well.You need to look on Hartstongue fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium ) on the sporangia under the leaves. It makes distinctive cases from the old sporangia and its possible to see the larva feeding head first in the mine it makes. You need to look on the older leaves that have gone brown. Its just a case of truning over leaves until you spot it. If you find it the larva has a black head and anal plate. If the head plate is light brown its a related species called 200 Psychoides filicivora

I seem to remember that there is a large area of this fern on the path up from the main road to Underbank near Jumble Hole clough. Its the track Sue and I took you on last year Andy. It will be a good record as I never really looked for it in Calderdale, so new record awaits someone.

Mystery Micro

Hi all, is this little moth a rather rolled up Tortricodes alternella?


Monday, 23 February 2009

False Dawn

After last weeks excitement the last three nights have produced zero moths! However there is a March moth near the trap tonight, photos to follow hopefully.

Actually not such a false dawn after all, 1 Chestnut, 1 Pale brindled beauty and 1 more March moth arrived!


Grass Tip for Charly

391 Cocksfoot Moth Glyphipterix simpliciella

I searched the old last years flowering stems of cock's foot (Dactylis glomerata), up the lane from the caravan today and found several showing the chracteristic holes in the stem (see photo) which is made by the larva before it pupates to facilitate its emergence as an adult later in the year. I find the holes are usually between 4 and 12 inches from the top of the stem. If you are not sure of the grass; its the big clumps you see with large dead stems emerging from the center, see top photo. I found this species in Calderdale but usually in a sheltered spot, not if the plant was in an exposed situation. If you want to rear them through; just stick some occupied stalks (they should all be pupa by now) into some florists dry oasis and pop them into a plastic jar (Dobsons sweet shop in Elland will give you as many as you want) and pop some old tights or pop sock over the top and the adults should emerge around May/June.

Ivy Tip

1002 Lozotaenia forsterana
I found a couple of occupied leaves on Ivy (Hedera) this morning here in N.Wales containing larva of this species. Its a species I have looked for in the past in Yorkshire in its larval stage but never found until today here in Wales. Lots of the older leaves on the plants I searched had old feeding signs so I assume the larva moves from leaf to leaf whilst feeding. The only occupied leaves I found were on the newer green growth. I also found some spun together leaves which I think have E.postvittana larva in them. Much more detail of L.forsterana can be seen on Ian Kimbers UK Moths website at Lots of detailed images by Ben Smart appear showing the full larval stages and the adult.
PHOTO Curtesy of Ben Smart

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Is it too early?

to start running the Actinic trap?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Spring ushers in !

My First Ever Spring ushers arrived last night. One dark specimen and one light together with 3 Pale Brindled beauties.

Ivy Blisters

found these blisters on ivy plants in Hebden, are these leaf mines and if so can the miner be identified? or are they a caused by something else?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Bradford Botany Group

For those of you of a botanical nature, I’ve attached the summer programme of the Bradford Botany Group. They are a great bunch and although very learned they are very friendly. They are visiting a couple of places in Calderdale this year (Crow Nest quarry, Hipperholme (with Halifax Scientific Society) and Clifton Lagoons) and some close by. It’s a good way to see visit interesting reserves and see rare and unusual plants with a nice bunch of people. So do come along if you can. No previous experience required.... great if you are a beginner like me!eddie Jolly(BAP co-ordinator)
CROW NEST QUARRY, HALIFAX Sun, 14th June2:00 pm
Joint visit with the Halifax Scientific Society. The in-filled quarry has a variety of soil types and a diverse flora including good numbers of bee orchid. We aim to produce a complete species list for the site, since it is under threat from development.Leaders: Edie Jolley and Andrew Kafel
SE 132 248From Hipperholme crossroads (SE 124 255), take the A644 SE towards Brighouse. After 1.5 km, turn left just after the Dusty Miller pub, then left again into Spout House Lane. After 400m, the road bends left and turns into St Giles Lane. Take the small lane on the right leading to the football ground car park Wed,
QUEENSBURY TRIANGLE ,15th July 6:45 pm Partly landscaped former railway station and goods yard. Several local and interesting species including wood vetch, northern dock and possibly dittander. Easy walking.Leader: Jesse Tregale SE 107 309 Take the A647 out of Bradford towards Queensbury. About 100 metres before the main crossroads turn right into Station Road at SE104 303. This is a tarmac road, but very rough in places. Park at the end (approx. 500m) by the roadside at the above GR. Wed, 29th July6:45 pm

CLIFTON LAGOONThis area forms part of the Calder flood plain and incorporates a small lake. Plants of interest include pepper-saxifrage, rough hawkbit and, reputedly, lesser bulrush. There are many planted trees on the periphery of the site.Leader: Andrew Kafel
SE 167 221 From M62 junction 25 (Clifton, M62/A644), take the A644 east towards Mirfield and, after just 200 metres, park in the lay-by on either side of the road. The entrance to the site is on the south side of the road.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Guyanan interlude

Hi all, A friend of mine has gone to live on the edge of a rainforest in Guyana for a few years! He lived in Hebden and Calderdale for some time and has sent back this pic taken last week just to make us jealous of the tropical conditions out there. I believe it is a Female Monarch. Roll on summer, Winston

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Excellent Book

I can highly recomend this book on British and Irish Butterflies,packed full of information on where to see all the British species of butterfly.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Lepidoptera Apprentice /job anyone.?

BTCV Natural Talent Lepidoptera Apprentice
Organisation: BTCV Scotland
Salary: £12,568
Location: Edinburgh and RSPB Insh Marshes
Position Type: Paid/Fixed Term Contract
Part/Full Time: Full Time
Closing Date: 09 Feb 09
Contact: Tricia Burden
Contact Telephone: 01786 479697
Contact Email:

The Lepidoptera apprenticeship will cover the ecology, distribution and conservation of Moths. The apprentice will gain skills in identifying and recording Moths as well as techniques used for surveying and sampling. They will also learn preservation and curation techniques, working closely with Museums throughout Scotland on storage of historical material and voucher specimens.

As part of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will work alongside other Moth experts and with Conservation organisations such as RSPB and Butterfly Conservation to survey for and record LBAP and UKBAP species.
The apprentice will have the opportunity to work with other major collections of Lepidoptera in Scotland culminating in the writing of a report on an aspect of Lepidoptera conservation.

The Apprenticeship comes with a salary of £12,568 per annum, a training budget, equipment budget and travel budget. Anyone can apply for this post. You don’t need qualifications to apply, there are no age restrictions either; all we ask is that you have a passion for conserving our Natural Heritage and the drive, commitment and determination to complete this apprenticeship to a very high standard.