Turnips and Satellites

Angle Shades
Angle Shades

 

This week the moth trap was located at Plantation Close south of Millennium wood for the second time on the 25/10/2017 started at 2100 and finishing at 0030. Firstly, tonight was the most successful in terms of the amount of species captured. This included 9 species in total, 8 macros and 1 micro moth. The most frequent moths seen last night was the November Moth (Epirrita dilutata) and Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) both belonging to the Family Geometridae. Pleasantly, the C. pennaria is a wonderfully marked and peach coloured wings was prevalent tonight as we caught 5 in total. Similarly, the E. dilutata has toothed edge coupled with wavy cross bars and closely resembling other closely related Epirrita species, a total count of 9 individuals. As the night progressed several beautiful moths made themselves catchable with the use of nets and pots.

A cryptic wonder of an Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) appears to be a foiled leaf, a logical adaptation for avoiding predator during its day roost. The flight period of these species extends from April to October where UK populations are supplemented by the amazing migration of individuals from continental Europe. Another fabulous macro-moth from the Noctuidae Family appeared, a wondering Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) with warm ginger centred kidney spots on the forewing. This is a species which appears from September to October then hibernating to reappear in May to April. The second Noctuidae species to join us was an inconspicuous and demarked Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) which has pure cream white fringing to the forewing, interestingly the larvae feed on roots of low growing plants.

Satellite
Satellite

As moth presence began to diminish, a leisurely walk over to the bus shelter produced more Epirrita dilutata, Colotois pennaria and a Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) all having a cosmopolitan distribution and abundance across the UK. An easily identifiable micro-moth, a Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) settled on the side of the trap for a substantial amount of time allowing successful identification. At this dynamic and transitional time of year, certain Genus groups enter their specific flight periods. A  striking yellow and ashy barred moth called Barred Sallow (Xanthia aurago) turned up and impressed the audience of budding lepidopterologists.

Turnip Moth
Turnip Moth

Consequently, as the moths began to disappear into the depths of the bedraggled dark cape of the night sky, we decided to disassemble the trap. What sprung out of the plastic works was two new species for the night. One that I and my cohorts could recognise as a Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta). The final species of the night was a lovely specimen finishing off a delightful nights mothing. Two sharply squared off forewings and dark qualities made it relatively easy to identify as a Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula). Thanks to the attendees of this moth trapping night, it was very enjoyable.

Barred Sallow
Barred Sallow

 

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