Wednesday, 4 May 2016

First Trip of the Year!

My first proper (ie not in the garden) trip of the year took place on Sunday night; the weather forecast showing overcast all night with a minimum of 9C (10C warmer than the previous night).

With two accomplices, we set up a range of MV, actinic and UV bulbs in an area containing scrubby woodland, old buildings and a bit of chalk grassland.

At the start of the evening we saw more bats than moths, although if there are bats, they must be feeding on something, so we hung on as the drizzle increased. There were moths, and we recorded 19 species before leaving at 11, all but one of the traps left on site until the morning.

Returning at 7:30, we were vindicated in the decision to leave traps as it was apparent there had been a lot more late night activity, as the traps revealed 83 moths of 34 species.

The largest number of individuals of any species was Clouded Drab (15) and there were a handful of Common Quakers and Hebrew Characters hanging on, but the warm weather had definitely encouraged emergences as there were some lovely fresh specimens, including Grapholita jungiella, Oak-tree Pug, Peppered Moth, Lesser Swallow Prominent and Streamer.

Peppered Moth

This is the start of my 3rd season trapping at this particular site, and yet there were 5 new species for the site list, including V Pug and Semioscopis steinkellneriana.

Other new for year included White Spotted Pug and 3 of the colour forms of Oak Nycteoline.

White-spotted Pug
Oak Nycteoline

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