Saturday, 26 April 2014

Norfolk moths: Rockland St. Peter garden, 25 April 2014

The afternoon of 25 April was dull, overcast and misty, so by teatime it was already dark and murky. Although the evening temperature was high (12.5°C at 21h30), the damp air felt chilly as I set out the trap. Overcast in the evening, the skies were clear by first light and the temperature had dropped to 5.2°C by 04h50, when I turned off the trap, causing a heavy dew. There was very little air movement. No sign of the waning crescent moon.

A disappointing night for numbers and diversity, but since I had not employed the trap for two weeks, there were several new species. Oak Hook-tip and Chocolate-tip were new for the trap while Brimstone Moth, Flame Shoulder and Red Twin-spot Carpet firsts for the year. It took me a long time to clinch the identity of the two Twin-spot Carpets, the more worn of which seemed a candidate for Dark-barred Xanthorhoe ferrugata, but Jon Clifton Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies kindly set me straight. Both were males, but the smaller one (upper) showed a much paler, less well-marked underside to the wings.

Oak Hook-tip Watsonalla binaria
Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia  
Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia      
Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia showing the well-marked underside.

Chocolate-tip Clostera curtula
Powdered Quaker Orthosia gracilis - 2nd of the year   

Macro-moths (25 moths of 10 spp.); no micros:-

Watsonalla binaria Oak Hook-tip 1
Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet 2
Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 1
Anticlea derivata Streamer 1
Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 1
Clostera curtula Chocolate-tip 1
Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 2
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 1
Orthosia gracilis Powdered Quaker 1
Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 14

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