Thursday, 10 April 2014

Norfolk moths: Rockland St. Peter garden, 9 April 2014

After a cool, but cloudless and sunny day, there was a think layer of high cloud overnight, which covered a half moon. The temperature was 12.1°C at 22h45, falling to 7.5°C by 05h50 when I turned off the trap, although it felt cooler. There was a barely noticeable movement of air.

A Blackcap sang, moving in an arc around me and finally showing itself in our tall birch tree, as I unloaded the trap in the half-light.

A good night, with eight species new for the trap. Oaks are the larval foodplant of the Frosted Green and it is usually found in woodland, so is presumably not a common species around here. Scorched Carpet larvae feed on Spindle Euonymus europaeus, a plant that occurs at low frequency in hedges and which I have planted in the garden; the moth's UK range mirrors that of the foodplant, which is largely restricted to southern England. The Streamer is a striking and distinctive carpet, while Brindled Pug – another species whose larvae feed on Oak is a bit more subtle and something of an identification challenge (expert Great Ellingham mothman Chris Knott confirmed this one). The smaller Double-striped Pug is easier to identify and shows that pugs are worth a second look: this one really was rufous-banded (rufifasciata). And at last: an Oak Nycteoline. A single male Brindled Beauty and a couple of male Muslin Moths were the pick of the trap.

Frosted Green Polyploca ridens, showiing the merest hint of colour.   
Streamer Anticlea derivata   
Brindled Eupithecia abbreviata (l) & Double-striped Pugs Gymnoscelis rufifasciata
This Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata lives up to its scientific name. 
Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata
Scorched Carpet Ligdia adustata
Brindled Beauty Lycia hirtaria    
Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica, from above and below

Macro-moths (43 moths of 18 spp.); no micros:- 

Polyploca ridens Frosted Green 1
Anticlea badiata Shoulder Stripe 3
Anticlea derivata Streamer 1
Lampropteryx suffumata Water Carpet 1
Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 1
Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug 1
Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet 1
Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 1
Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty 1
Biston strataria Oak Beauty 1
Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 2
Panolis flammea Pine Beauty 2
Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 1
Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 7
Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 2
Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 12
Xylocampa areola Early Grey 4
Nycteola revayana Oak Nycteoline 1

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