Sunday, 30 March 2014

March Round up ...Diurnea fagella

Again into the local woods for the month of march and after all the Dotted Borders at the beginning of the month,late March was the turn of Diurnea flagella to take the stage. The peak was on the 29th march with 185 seen with 35 pairs in cop located, I only found one female that was not melanic and about 50 melanics.Other species seen were ------

461 Ypsolopha ustella 1
663 Diurnea flagella 481
688 Agonopterix heracliana 12
1663 x March Moth 4
1852x Brindled Pug 2
1926x Pale Brindled Beauty 1
1932x Spring Usher 3
1934 Dotted Border  91
1934 Dotted Border (melanic ab. fuscata) 4
2182x Small Quaker 3
2187x Common Quaker 3
2256x Satellite 1
2258 x Chestnut 4

Monday, 24 March 2014

Bagworm hunt, Hardcastle Craggs, 24.3.14.

Brian and Andy get to work. The target species, which we found, was Diplodoma laichartingella, a rarely recorded species in Yorkshire but we suspect it is locally common in the area.These case-bearing larva are perhaps best found at this time of year in the characteristic hollows, slots and recesses around the base of Beech trees. A torch and kneeling mat are a necessity rather than a luxury.

Not surprisingly other lepidoptera were found including three of these Diurnea fagellas resting on the trunks.

It wasn't long before Brian relocated some of his earlier bagworm finds deep inside the hollows, often too deep and narrow to be able to get the camera close enough for some decent shots.

I would class myself as a reasonably experienced lepidopterist but even when I knew what I was looking at I could scarcely make out anything resembling a structure made by a moth larva. They resembled what they were I suppose, dried plant and animal debris. How Brian found these originally is remarkable.

I collected five cases for rearing purposes and all five contained larva.When disturbed they simply pick up their cases and walk off with them. Talk about everything apart from the kitchen sink on their backs!

The cases typically measure up to 10mm in length. The larvae will be given moss, lichen and some dead parasitic wasps ( that I'd reared earlier) to eat.

All in all we found 7 cases from Pecket Well clough and one from Middle Dean wood.
Thanks to Andy for the lift and Brian for his fantastic field skills.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Change of plan

We are meeting on Sunday at 12 in the crags car park, weather looks poor for Saturday.We have two sites to have a look at,,...Sorry for inconvenience......Andy

Thursday, 20 March 2014

663 Diurnea fagella

A cold n/w wind was blowing with sleet and rain making it feel very wintery as I walked down into the wood tonight again expecting little I was pleased to find 51 Diurnea flagella .They were mostly on beech upto about 4 foot , but 3 were on Oak and 1 on Sycamore. At least 10 were the melanic types and the only female I could find was a melanic type in cop with a normal type male. The only other species I could find was an adult Small Quaker resting on Beech out of the wind.
I only had chance to do about 1 third of the wood tonight...............................
On the 21st  57 Diurnea Fagella were found with 2 common and 1 Small Quakers and on the 22nd a beautiful Brindled Pug and 14 Diurnea flagella hiding low down out of the wind and driving sleet.

Bagworm Hunt.

Charlie, Bri and myself are going to Peckit Well  Wood on sat afternoon meeting at 1 o'clock in The Craggs car park, bring kneeling mat and torch if you have um.We are looking for Diplodoma laichartingella    which is a  not common species in Yorkshire but they have been recorded in this area this year so we are hopeful are seeing a few. They are found in the hollows at the bottom of Beech and oak.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Diurnea fagella

The first Diurnea fagella last night in the local wood was soon followed by 16 more , with one pair in cop and a good mix of 6 females and 8 males (6 melanic and 2 pale forms) all quite low down on Oak and Beech. 1 y.ustella found on oak.2 Common Quakers were netted and a Satellite was found nectaring on the flowering garden privet. Still 20 Heralds and 3 Peacocks hibernating in the local tunnel.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bagworm Hunt

Planning a bagworm hunt to  Peckit Well Clough next weekend .Details to follow depending on weather.etc....

Hardcastle Craggs - last night.(A beauty)

I think we all thought we were in for a quiet night when we set off in the cool, blustery conditions but it was surprisingly calm and quite mild in the craggs and the moths didn't disappoint.Present were Andy, Brian Martyn and myself.

Highlight for me were my first ever Yellow Horneds.

Andy did well to spot this Ypsolopha ustella resting high up in a Beech tree.

This red variety of Pine Beauty certainly lived up to it's name.

Micros were well represented on the night with pick of the bunch for me this Tortricodes alternella (Photographed at home).
Species recorded

2179 Panolis flammea Pine Beauty 1 1
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 1 1
2189 Orthosia munda Twin-spotted Quaker 5 5
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 8 8
1659 Achlya flavicornis Yellow Horned 2 2
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 3 3
1934 Agriopis marginaria Dotted Border 2 2
461 Ypsolopha ustella  2       2
1025 Tortricodes alternella 3 3
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1 1
2256 Eupsilia transversa Satellite 1 1

Thursday, 13 March 2014


My first butterflies of the year, small tortoiseshell & peacock at Brackenbeds in the sunshine this afternoon.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Hardcastle Craggs on Friday

Running the trap and tree searching this Friday 6.15 onwards.................All welcome..Plenty Small tortoiseshell on the wing this week at Northowram but little flying in the woods as the cold temps and strong winds have kept things quiet.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Early Spring....

2 Small Tortoiseshell in the garden today and 3 Orange Underwing at Cromwell Bottom this afternoon. 2 Chestnut , 1 Dotted Border , 1 Satellite and 4 Agonoptrix Her in the wood this evening.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Hardcastle craggs 6.03.2014

A bulb blow out meant we did not run the trap, but tree searching on a cold night 2/3 degrees  produced
Dotted Border    10
Engrailed              1
Pale Brindled Beauty 1
Ypsolopha ustella 1
The weather looks excellent next week for the first Orange Underwings and Orthosia species should be starting to emerge..

Monday, 3 March 2014

Spring Usher female

Thanks for posting Win. Spring Usher female was one of my target species for Feb so glad to find it tonight. Plenty Dotted Border still about with 20 + again tonight. If the weather is ok on Friday we are going to trap at Hardcastle Craggs all welcome be there about 6ish......

Spring Ushers (from Andy)

Andy is still having posting problems so has asked me to put these pics up of some great Spring Usher pairs :-)