Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Sloth Moth

Feeling Lethargic after Xmas ?

Consider the Coprophagus Sloth Moth Cryptoses choloepi,

Not Strictly in Calderdale but I thought this rather obvious example of adaption might reflect a wider lesson of  some of the more subtle adaptions of moths that go unsung throughout the UK and adds to philosophy that it is what we dont know thats counts. So think twice before we Chop it , Cut It , Kill it , Alter it or Remove it !!!!

Its wing markings admirably marked for living amongst the fur of Sloths were  subsequently Larvae feed on dung.The larvae of the sloth moth, Cryptoses choloepi, live in the dung of the three-toed sloth, Bradypus infuscatus. Adult female moths apparently leave the fur of the sloth to oviposit when the sloth descends, once a week, to the forest floor to defecate.

Monday, 25 December 2017

25th Dec 2017

Just finished a Royal Christmas Dinner.  Not being far from my mind most of the time, I thought I should send seasons greetings to those moth people I've had the pleasure to have met and to those I have not met. Merry Christmas to all.

Here is one of my Christmas deigns for this year.

Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas To All on the Blog and I suppose as close as you can get to a Santa Moth

LikelyTrosia nigropunctigera 

Maybe  a moth is not what you would "expects from an empty Santa Sack :-) But if you are a Calderdale Moffer its truly a Gift

Best wishes & Seasons Greetings to All those Creatures of the Night known Collectively as "The Calderdale Moffers "

UK Butterflies.........

merry X -mas

How to Moth an Egg
2 Northern Eggars
Burnished Brass with a lid
Clouded Silver Saucepan
Ruby Tiger Tablespoon
Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing
True Lover’s Knot timer
  1. cover the eggs with Chevron by about ½-inch
  2. Then quickly but gently Swallow Prominent one at a time using a Feathered Ranunculus
  3. Now switch a on Conformist, and give the Drinker exactly 1 min
  4. remove the Great Brocade from the heat using the Dark Dagger
6 mins will produce a soft White Plume
7 mins will produce a firmer, more creamy Frosted Orange
by Winston Powes...........

Friday, 22 December 2017

Lee Mount - 21st December

Still up to 3 Winter Moths about in the last few days and yesterday a nice Mottle Umber also turned up - and still there on the pebble-dashing all day today.
Mottled Umber

Monday, 18 December 2017

Lee Mount - 18th December

2 Winter Moths tonight near the light in the porch. The first moths here  since 2 in the same place on 3rd December.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

10th December


As it's still quiet on the moth front, I thought I'd post an image I created two hours ago. It's supposed to represent a moth in flight and the air turbulence around it's wings. I hope you don't mind.

 Moth in Flight.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Bare Head Tunnel

Just 7 Heralds today in Bare head Tunnel............................

Monday, 27 November 2017

HELP needed ....................Tree Planting.....

The Friends of Roils Head
Tree Planting!
Roils Head Moor
next to Bridleway Hx 548
(at the top of Broadley Road and Rye Lane)
1.30pm – 3pm
Saturday 2 December 2017

The FoRH (with Calderdale MBC Countryside Team) will be planting a Woodland Trust Tree Pack along the moor side of the Bridleway. To create a natural hedgerow and to establish more food sources for wildlife in the area. Creating a living legacy for future generations.
All are welcome to come and help!
Please wear appropriate clothing

Saturday, 18 November 2017

We love Ragwort ...............18th November.

Hi everyone. As this is a quiet time for moths, I thought I would post links to two sites which disprove all the myths about the dangers of ragwort. They also demonstrate that the supposed large number of horses that ragwort, is "known" to have killed, to be untrue.

The ragwort issue surfaces regularly and not enough people know the real truth about it. I found the first site about three years ago, it makes for compelling reading. It's a shame that this information is not more widely known. But then, some of the "Ragwort-is-evil-and-must-be-eradicated" brigade, are high profile people, with easy access to getting their hysterical comments into the eye of the media.

The first link disproves the myths about ragwort. The second link looks very carefully at the statements made by the BHS - British Horse Society. It clearly shows the false premises and dodgy "statistics" about horse deaths by ragwort.

Spread the good word for ragwort people!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

15th November.

By the door this morning I spotted what for all the world looked like a lump of fluff about 1 inch long. It looked almost like a scrap of rag. As far as I could tell, it was grey and dark grey, with a yellow/buff part near the tail end. I got the ladder to photograph it. Once I was up it, the thing had gone. Blast! I'd looked at it from floor level for about 1 minute.  I can only think it may have been a December moth, (another one I'd love to see). I wasn't close enough to get a good look. I hope it returns.

However, on the fanlight was my first ever Mottled Umber. I did get some photos of this one. Yet another "common" moth I'd never seen!

Mottled Umber.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Door moths

A couple of moths from recent weeks, both found on doors, but they are both causing me problems with the ID. Any help would be appreciated.

 Moth 1. Seen 4.11.17 - Ogden Water

Moth 2. Seen 11.11.17 - Copley

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Stainland, 8th November

About 8 pm I found this rather bland moth on the fanlight. That's in spite of the cold and the gusty wind. I don't know what it is, can anyone help, please?

November agg.
Thanks for the ID Andy.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Lee Mount - 5th November

Yesterday on the outside door frame - I think this looks like Pale Brindled Beauty - perhaps a bit early so need to check please !
Also today 6th from Swales Moor, Ringby Lane, a Red Admiral >W over the top of the hill late morning

Sunday, 29 October 2017

29 October

Just one Angle Shades moth today, it looked like the others I saw this year, so I didn't bother to post an image.

I forgot to say that I was surprised to find any moths in view of the strong, gusting wind, rain and cold. It's a hardy moth!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Lee Mount - 24th October

In or around the trap this morning - it makes a difference when the weather is mild.
November Moth agg x 1
Common Marbled Carpet x 1 (worn but still just about showing the orange blaze)
Large Yellow Underwing x 1 (thought it was getting late for them)!
Mottle Umber x 5
Tachystola acroxantha x 1
Light-brown Apple moth x 7
Red-green Carpet x 1
Yellow-line Quaker x 1
Satellite x 1

Will try getting some photos on later if I get time.

Stainland, 24th October .

I have a Red-Green Carpet moth on the door this morning. It's yet another first for me. They really are nice looking little things.

Red-Green Carpet.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Gallows Pole Plantation

Had a wander up to the plantation yesterday - with the rain and leaden skies it looked like something out of a dark fairytale. The ground is permanently water-logged and I regularly flushed flocks of Wood Pigeons from the stunted, gnarly tree tops - very spooky!

There were dahlica bagworm cases on the side of the main road at Greetland and on Norland moor near the plantation - seems they are widespread and locally abundant. That's 6 areas at 4 sites now.

Another interesting find was this Exapate congelatella resting on a dry-stone wall by the plantation. I thought with the cool, wet weather it would hang around for photos but it was up and away from the off allowing just one record shot. Seems they do fly on calm afternoons. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Stainland 20 October

Hi David, yes the size is right for Angle Shades cats. Below are two photos of the green form which I took this year on the 5th of April.

Updated Comment:
I should have mentioned that I've never seen a Small Angle Shades (in answer to your remarks about them.).

Angle Shades caterpillar.

Lee Mount - 20th October

In the trap this morning..
Blair's Shoulder-knot x 1 (a different individual from the day before)
Light-brown Apple-moth x 1

I think this other one could be a Red-line Quaker which, if confirmed, would be another new one for me after the Yellow-line Quaker from the day before.
A much greyer moth than the YLQ though of a similar size and just about showing the outermost cross line along with darker on the kidney marks. I could be missing something though but not sure what else it might be.

UPDATE after a re-think and looking at the pale marks around the kidney - could more likely be Pale Mottled Willow.
Red-line Quaker or Pale Mottled Willow (?)

Caterpillar trail

Thanks for your help Gordon.With your prompt I just found this on Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara  - which apparently has two colour forms. Though this reference below does not refer to 2 colour forms on the Angle Shades Phlogophlora meticulosa - though it might have (??)

I did find 2 of the same caterpillars of different sizes on the Phlox - I didn't measure them though the larger one was c24mm and the smaller one was c17mm

Stainland 20 October

I've just found out that the global decline of insects is far more serious than was thought. Follow the link below, it is not happy reading. (Copy the link and past it into your browser).

Stainland 20 October

The attached photos of an Angle Shades Caterpillar were taken last year. They are simply a cross check reference for David with his caterpillar post. The trouble is, David didn't give an proximate size of the cat he found.  I hope this helps, one way or another.

A quote from:

"Larvae that hatch in autumn overwinter as caterpillars and pupate in the soil the following spring to produce the first generation of adults that year".

Angle Shades caterpillar.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Lee Mount - 19th October

Just four moths in the trap this morning
Yellow-line Quaker - x  1 (TBC as it's a first for me. Never had Red-line Quaker either but expect that to be greyer rather than this orangey one)
Mottled Umber x 1
Blair's Shoulder-knot x 1
Acleris sparsana x 1
 Blair's Shoulder-knot
 Mottled Umber
Yellow-line Quaker
Also from earlier in the week
A Red-green Carpet looking a little faded, and a caterpillar found on Phlox with I haven't been able to identify yet.

 Caterpillar still to i d

Red-green Carpet

Stainland 19th October 2017.

Just one moth today, Blastobasis lacticolella. The weather wasn't great during the night, it will have kept most moths safe in bed.

Blastobasis lacticolella.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Lee Mount - 16th October

This morning
Angle Shades x 1
November Moth agg x 3
Common Marbled Carpet x 2 (both faded but still just showing orange blaze)
Light-brown Apple-moth x 3
Tachystola acroxantha x 1
Spruce or Juniper Carpet x 1 - need some help with this one !
 Spruce or Juniper Carpet ?
Angle Shades

Northowram 15th October 2017 National Moth Night

Vestal x 1 (first for 10 years )
Feathered Thorn x 1
Light Brown Apple Moth x 11
Red Green Carpet x 2
Blairs Shoulder Knot x 4
Silver Y x 1
Garden Rose Tortrix x 1
Juniper Carpet x  4  ( not seen any for many years so I am tentative about ID )

**Brian Leesey recorded 5 Streak at Meadows Edge Todmorden on Sat Night **

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Lee Mount - 15th October

2 Silver Y from this morning... just wanted to check i d as they look quite different..
The top one was much paler (quite silvery) smaller than the lower one which was larger and darker.
I've never seen Scarce Silver Y - which in any case would seem to be out of season anyway but always worth a check. (?)
c 15 mm
c20 mm
Also this morning...
Common Marbled Carpet x 3 together  - and all pretty worn
November Moth agg x 5
Blair's Shoulder-knot x 1
Light-brown Apple-moth x 4
Tachystola acroxantha x 1

Friday, 13 October 2017

Stainland 13th October 2017

It's 10 pm. I just open the door to find four moths having a party. They were flying around the door, when they settled, they turned out to be Light Brown Apple moths. There seem to be endless amounts of them round here.

Common Marbled Carpet

                        Half a day old Common Marbled Carpet larvae feeding on Sallow.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Streak

This was found by Andy Huyton in Ovenden on the 4th October . a day time observation...Many thanks Andy not seen one for a few years now.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Stainland 11th October 2017.

A moth appeared by our door sometime after 1:00 a.m. this morning. I spent a while trying to ID it. In the end, I put one of my photos of it into the Google image search. It came up with a moth very similar to this one. I was  amazed to find that the site the Google moth was on was Calderdale Moths... I started to read the entry, half was down, I suddenly realised that I was reading my own entry for the Feathered Ranuculus, last September. What an idiot I can be.

I'm still not 100% sure it's the same species but I think it's another Feathered Ranuculus. If so, it proves that there must be a small colony round here somewhere.

Feathered Ranuculus (TBC)

Norland tonight ..

Looking a bit wet for Norland tonight , tomorrow looks good if any one fancies a moth night ..??

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Shibden Head

I had a stroll up there this afternoon and checked Bare Head Tunnel on the way round - torch at the ready ! I could only find 5 Herald Moths but they are still special. Tricky to get any really good photo's through the gaps in the stone and keeping the 'flash' in line, these below are the best I could do.

Herald - Scoliopteryx libatrix

Stainland 10th October 2017


Apologies to the three people who saw my latest blog post on this site today. I didn't realise that I'd clicked the wrong blog in my list to post to. When I saved it, then looked to see if it was OK. It had gone, not even a draft version was there. Two hours work lost. A short while later I decided to look again. The first site which comes up on my blog list is this one. To my horror, I saw my "lost" graphics post was there. I've deleted it of course, and it's now on my own site. Sorry about this, blame it on old age.

Moth trap on Norland

Chris & Robin from the Countryside Service are holding a moth trapping event on Norland Moor. Wednesday 11th October from 7pm.

We are meeting in the car park opposite the pub and then heading onto the moor to see what is about. Hopefully the weather will be suitable.

If anyone wants to join us they are welcome to come along (your moth ID will probably be better than ours!) if you want to bring any lights, generators etc then feel free!

Thanks, Chris

Monday, 9 October 2017

Stodfold (valley between Mixenden and Ogden)

4 Red Admirals today along with 2 Speckled Woods near the stream but still no sign of Fox Moth caterpillars on the golf course - they must be there somewhere !

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lee Mount - 7th October

Not much doing this week, other than a Common Marbled Carpet, with the weather as it is... but this moth this morning was worthwhile.
 Blair's Shoulder-knot

I did check it against the possibility of Grey Shoulder-knot but think it's Blair's. I noticed as well that the abdomen underneath had quite a pink tinge about it as described in the Waring/Townsend and Lewington Filed Guide.

Friday, 6 October 2017

70 mile wide flock of Painted Lady Butterflies.

In Denver, Colorado, National Weather Service Radar spotted a 70 mile wide flock of Painted Lady butterflies. More on the BBC site below. NOTE:  The lines of text in orange are NOT links, the real links are on the BBC site.

Also further down that BBC page, are two more butterfly links:

Radar solves the mystery of the disappearing UK butterfly

The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the Painted Lady.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Lee Mount - 5th October

Still at least 5 Red Admirals today finding a few flowers to nectar on and sunbathe on the walls. They are amazing,
Also, I finally got to grips with a day-flying Vapourer Moth which flew about with the Red Admirals for a few moments. That's the fourth one suspected this back-end but the only one I have confirmed for sure what it was. No photo unfortunately, in flight and landed briefly on a neighbours chimney stack.

Less Small Midget (Phyllonorycter froelichiella)

Don't you just love the old English names for micros - shame they're not more widely used. Infrequent (?) this one in Common Alder. Key points are multiple, long mines per leaf with a reddish/brown spot where the side vein meets the mid-rib. Each mine has a larva and frass pile visible.

Found at Copley village by the Calder a few days ago.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Stainland 3rd October 2017 Yesterday's moth revisited.Updated)

After a discussion in the comments section with Andy, I've now renamed the moth in this post to a Novermber agg. Thanks Andy.

This post is something in the way of an apology for any confusion I caused yesterday with a moth photo of mine.

The moth I described as possibly a Pale Autumnal yesterday, was still by the door today. When I looked at it this morning, I thought, "That moth is a sort of charcoal grey, what is going on?"  I have no idea why I didn't see that yesterday

I decided to photograph it in natural light, as quick test I used the "Intelligent Auto" setting. This put the camera aperture down to f2 instead of  f22, so no depth of field is achieved. However, it showed me that somehow, I've accidentally changed the light balance setting to something other than "Flash" and didn't notice.

I'm posting two shots I took this morning, with and without flash. The without, shows the moth at it's natural colour. After breakfast, I shall check the camera settings, Sorry if I mislead anyone. It is still a Pale Autumnal? I've not had time to look yet.

November agg.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Stainland 2nd October 21017This moth arrive about 11 pm

This moth arrived about 11 pm on the 1st Oct. I took one photo, as I was off to bed when I saw it. Due to bad weather, it was here this morning but had moved to the door from the fanlight.

I've had a fair bit of trouble with this one. It's a poorly marked moth and very similar to one or two others. To try and help get a correct ID, I'm posting 3 images of it. One is where the wing blew it wing up as I was taking photos. For the moment, I've settled on it being an Autumnal Moth - Epirrita autumnata (TBC). Whatever it is, it's another first for me.

Autumnal Moth - 
Epirrita autumnata. TBC.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Stainland 1st October 2917

In spite of the rain last night I had a couple of moths by the door.
Angle shades and Garden Carpet.

Angle Shades.

Garden Carpet.

On the underside of a rose leaf, I found a tiny looper caterpillar. It would have been about 5 mm long if it was stretched out, certainly no bigger . I did wonder if it may be a Garden Rose Tort, but that seemed unlikely. You can see where it, (or something) has eaten the bottom side layer of the leaf away. Does anyone recognise it? 

ID needed.

The photo below shows the topside of the same leaf. Down the centre rib, was what looks like a leaf miner. Is it the leaf mine of a moth? From underneath, nothing was showing. The yellow wavy line was about 3 mm long. Note that the centre rib is a lot darker by the leaf mine.


A short distance away was a small orange fly. I only got one shot of it and the focus is a little soft. It was about the size of a greenfly, possibly a bit smaller. It can't be an Aphid, (I don't think) as it does not have projecting cornicles. I'd love to know what it is, Anyone?