Thursday 31 May 2012

Notable net gains

Have been very lucky with the net during daytime searching of hedgerows and chalk grassland close to home this week with a good range of species added to the year list.

Highlights were two that were new for me, a very pleasant surprise indeed:

Aethes williana
Aethes williana

Elachista subocellea
Elachista subocellea

Who needs a light trap eh? (well I do of course, but it's good to use an array of methods as there are many species you'll never see if you restrict your activities).


Wednesday 30 May 2012

Early stages: Coleophora follicularis

Another larval case, this time Coleophora follicularis, found on Hemp-Agrimony (Eupatorium) near Seaton Lakes, East Kent.

Another one that's not too hard to find as the feeding signs are very obvious.

Coleophora follicularis case on Hemp-Agrimony
Coleophora follicularis case on Hemp-Agrimony (2) Dave

Tuesday 29 May 2012

My mate Geoff Goodwing

Otherwise known as Alabonia geoffrella or perhaps Geoffroy's Goodwing...

I look forward each year to the time when this moth is on the wing, it is just such a stunning moth.

Alabonia geoffrella

I like the interpretation of the Generic name by Emmet - "good wing", which is written with the caveat that its formulation is so unusual as to cast doubt on this interpretation.  I for one wouldn't disagree that it has good wings!


Monday 28 May 2012

Number 1 Moth

Micropterix tunbergella

Well it is #1 going by Bradley and Fletcher at least and it is such a gem that it's high on my favourites list.

Micropterix tunbergella

Netted this little gem by the house by a patch of Greater Stitchwort yesterday morning, amongst dozens of Cocksfoot Moth (Glypihpterix simpliciella).


Friday 25 May 2012

Eriocrania extravaganza

The appearance of many of the Eriocrania leaf mines has been somewhat delayed this year but I finally managed to catch up with several of these over the last couple of days, the first three all on Birch, the last one on Oak:

Eriocrania sangii
Eriocrania sangii tenanted mine (2)

Eriocrania sangii larva

Eriocrania cicatricella
Eriocrania cicatricella larva
Eriocrania cicatricella mine - 3 larvae were present

Eriocrania salopiella
Eriocrania salopiella tenanted mine
Eriocrania salopiella tenanted mine (2)

Eriocrania subpurpurella
Eriocrania subpurpurella mine (2)
Eriocrania subpurpurella mine

Thursday 24 May 2012

Bonsai banzai bonanza

Had an early evening trip to Bonsai Bank and Denge Woods in the Kent Downs yesterday.  A stunning display of Lady Orchids and Twayblades and of course of micro moths (inc. leaf miners).

Denge Woods and Bonsai Bank, sweep netting, 23 May 2012 (5:15 - 7:15 pm)

Pyrausta nigrata - 6
Pyrausta nigrata

Mompha raschkiella - 1
Mompha raschkiella

Micropterix calthella - 45+
Micropterix calthella

Epinotia subocellana
Epinotia subocellana

Aethes tesserana
Aethes tesserana

Eucosma aspidiscana
Eucosma aspidiscana

Nematopogon swammerdamella
Eriocrania sangii - 3 mines
E. cicatricella - 3 larva in single mine
E. salopiella


Wednesday 23 May 2012

On the up and up

Had the first warm night in a long time yesterday and whilst micros to the trap were still under-represented the dusking foray yesterday evening had me running around with my net and head torch like a madman.

Dusking, 22/5/12, East Kent

Cocksfoot Moth (Glyphipterix simpliciella) 5
Cocksfoot Moth (Glyphipterix simpliciella)

Pseudoswammerdamia combinella
Pseudoswammerdamia combinella

Monopis laevigella - 2
Skin Moth (Monopis laevigella)

Plutella xylostella - 1
Parsnip Moth
Agonopterix alstromeriana
Elachista rufocinerea - 3
Aphelia paleana (larvae)
Endrosis sarcitrella

Still finding loads of Coleophora cases too:

C. peribenanderi - on creeping thistle
C. paripennella - on creeping thistle and knapweed
C. solitariella - 8
C. lineolea - 14 on one small clump of hedge woundwort, the feeding signs are now really obvious
C. serratella - on hazel


Thursday 17 May 2012

Fruitful dusking forays

Whilst micros to the garden trap are almost non-existent at the moment, dusking including early stage searching is proving increasingly successful.

Dusking foray (16/05/2012)

Elachista argentella - 2
E. rufocinerea - 3
Nematopogon swammerdamella
Nematopogon swammerdamella

Parornix sp. - 2
Parsnip Moth
Endrosis sarcitrella
Adela reamurella - 2
Adela reamurella - male


Coleophora solitariella - 6
Coleophora solitariella on Stellaria

C. serratella - 7
C. hemerobiella - 2
Coleophora sp. case on Crataegus

C. lineolea
Coleophora lineolea on Stachys

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Early Stages: Metzneria aestivella

The larvae of this moth feed inside the seed head of Carline Thistle.  I was lucky enough to locate these at a coastal site in Kent at the weekend and will hopefully rear them through.

Metzneria aestivella - larva on Carline Thistle

Metzneria aestivella - larva on Carline Thistle

Metzneria aestivella - larva on Carline Thistle

I noticed that all of the affected seed heads would show a small, darkened clump of seeds that betrayed the feeding larva below.  Gently teasing the seed head apart revealed the larva feeding on the seeds at the base of the seed head.

If you do go looking for these, wear gloves.


Monday 14 May 2012

Rearing success: Lozotaenia forsterana

This smart, yet brute of a Tortrix emerged from its pupa over the weekend: Lozotaenia forsterana.

Lozotaenia forsterana

The larva, given away by its spinning of leaves together, was collected from Hawthorn three weeks ago and duly emerged on 12.v.12.

I am always fascinated by what's left behind too so have also included a picture of the exuvia.

Lozotaenia forsterana - exuvia


Monday 7 May 2012

Early Stages: more on Coleophora serratella

Following up on the previous post, now managed to find Coleophora serratella larvae in their new, spring cases:

Coleophora serratella - overwinter and spring cases
The discarded first case can be seen towards the top of this image and the larva can be seen in the mine

Coleophora serratella - spring case

Coleophora serratella - constructing spring case

I observed this one for some time while it was in the process of constructing its new case.



Sunday 6 May 2012

Early stages: two more Coleophorids

Managing to find plenty of cases of late, these two were on Alder.  The feeding signs are quite obvious and these only took a few minutes to find.

Coleophora binderella - case on Alnus
Coleophora binderella - case on Alder

Coleophora serratella
 Coleophora serratella - case on Alder


Friday 4 May 2012

Early stages: Coleophora lineolea

Successfully targeted Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), one of the foodplants of the case-bearing larvae of Coleophora lineolea yesterday.

The feeding signs are quite obvious from above, betraying the larval cases below, and don't take too long to find at all.

One to look out for.

Coleophora lineolea

Coleophora lineolea

Coleophora lineolea


Thursday 3 May 2012

Early stages: Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana)

The larvae of Timothy Tortrix feed on a range of plants and are relatively easy to find right now as the feeding signs can be quite obvious; the larva is also distinctive.  I find this species most often on Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), growing on waste ground in various locations.

Timothy Tortrix - larva on Plantago
Larva in leaf fold of Ribwort Plantain

Timothy Tortrix - feeding signs, Plantago
Feeding signs

Timothy Tortrix - feeding signs, Plantago (2)
Feeding signs, again

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Covert Wood, 29th April 2012

Spent a few minutes sweeping across the heathland areas within this woodland complex at the weekend with pretty pleasing results, including these two:

Neofaculta ericetella
Neofaculta ericetella

Ancylis uncella
Ancylis uncella

Also quite a few mines around, including this one:

Eriocrania unimaculella tenanted mine
Eriocrania unimaculella

Eriocrania unimaculella - mature larva