Monday, 25 March 2013

Fifty not out for 2013

Well I have finally limped over the 50 species total for this year. although given the moth drought so far this year I mustn't grumble; even compared to the amazing March last year, it has only taken about an extra week to reach this milestone.

Of course the vast majority of this total are micros, which account for 80% thus far.  The latest species to push the figure on to 50 are: Elachista apicipunctella, Argyresthia brockeella and Epinotia immundana the only recent-ish macro addition being a single March Moth.

Elachista apicipunctella reared ex mine on Dactylis
Elachista apicipunctella

Argyresthia brockeella
Argyresthia brockeella

The key to this success is simple - early stage daytime searches (including the rearing through of some of these to confirm ID's).  Many of my trials and tribulations in this area are covered in more detail on my blog dedicated to micros:


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Après moi, le deluge??

Whilst this time last year all the talk was of a drought in relation to lack of rainfall, there is a drought again this year, only this time it is of moths; spring is really taking its time to arrive this year...

Also on a drought theme, the post-Orthosia drought is well documented, but a pre-Orthosia drought too; it is almost too much to bear.

However, for the first time in weeks I put the trap on for a few hours yesterday evening and managed to end the drought, albeit with a single March Moth, that was at least new for the year list, so I should be thankful for small mercies.  Also had Dotted Border on the blackthorn thicket when dusking.

March Moth (Alsophila aescularia)

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)

I just hope the March Moth was a portent: "Après moi, le deluge", one can only hope we will soon be under a deluge of moths, but looking at the weather I doubt it just yet.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Brachypterous beauty

After long hours scouring bushes and trunks, finally managed to locate this wonderful female Dotted Border.

She was not an easy catch as she was scuttling up an Ash tree trunk and I had to clamber about 10ft up, wedge myself so that my hands were free and then coax her into a pot. Having the head torch was essential. I don't know what anyone walking past would have thought...

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) - female

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) - female

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) - female