As of March 2015, an official website for Surrey Moths has been set-up here. There you'll find information on everything to do with the Surrey Branch of Butterfly Conservation, including the updated events calender for 2015. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 31 May 2010

A Purple patch....

Although overall numbers remain low, it is supposed to warm up by the end of the week, and I can't wait. I say that, but the quality I have been getting has been fantastic.

The last two nights have been cold, but I managed to get several new for the year, three new for the garden, as well as a brand new species for me. Two nights ago the best was a lovely Purple Bar, but last night I managed a Small Dusty Wave (that I caught bare handed the evening before), Scalloped Hazel, a fabulous Lime Hawk-moth, and the new one for me in the shape of a Clouded-bordered Brindle of the form with the fantastic name, combusta.

Agreggate catch for 29 and 30 May (NFY = new for year, NFG = new for garden):

7 Treble Lines
4 Shuttle-shaped Dart
2 Common Marbled Carpet NFY
2 Green Carpet
1 White-spotted Pug
1 Pale Tussock
1 Purple Bar NFG
1 Uncertain NFY
1 Flame Carpet NFY
1 Brimstone NFY
1 Poplar Hawk-moth
1 Scalloped Hazel NFG
1 Heart and Dart
1 Lime Hawk-moth NFG
1 Shears
1 Mottled Pug
1 Clouded-bordered Brindle NFG
1 Small Dusty Wave NFY

Purple Bar


Small Dusty Wave

Scalloped Hazel

Lime Hawk-moth

Flame Carpet

Clouded-bordered Brindle

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Trapping the Light fantastic

Two nights ago I was discouraged when I opened the trap to just ten moths (although one of them was a Poplar Hawk-moth). But last night made up for that as cloudy skies yielded three brand new species to me, including a stunning Light Brocade. The others being Shears and Yellow-barred Brindle. What next?!

Aggregate catch for 25 and 26 May (NFG = new for garden, NFY = new for year):

Treble Lines 5
Common Pug 3
Heart and Dart 3
Mottled Pug 2
Garden Carpet 2
Oak-tree Pug 2
Poplar Hawk-moth 1 NFY
Flame Shoulder 1 NFY
Pale Tussock 1
Great Prominent 1
Buff-tip 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Orange Footman 1
Common Wave 1 NFY
Maiden's Blush 1
Light Brocade 1 NFG
Yellow-barred Brindle 1 NFG
Shears 1 NFG

Poplar Hawk-moth

A well marked Common Pug

And an unusual angle of the same

Common Wave

Yellow-barred Brindle


Light Brocade

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Two Pugtastic nights

Despite the last two nights being completely clear, I have trapped, and I've been amazed at the variety I am getting, but I suppose the warm air is the key factor.

I have been getting a particuarly high numbers of pugs, which are of course as tricky as ever, but I think I'm getting to grips with them slowly.

Aggregate catch list for 23 and 24May (NFG new for garden):

7 Mottled Pug
5 Treble Lines NFG
3 Hebrew Character
3 Common Pug NFG
3 Shuttle-shaped Dart
3 Maiden's Blush
2 Garden Carpet
2 Buff-tip
2 Orange Footman NFG
2 Red Twin-spot Carpet
2 Spruce Carpet NFG
1 White Ermine NFG
1 Pale Tussock NFG
1 White-spotted Pug
1 Engrailed
1 Brindled Pug
1 Small Phoenix
1 Nut-tree Tussock
1 Clouded Drab
1 Pebble Prominent
1 Spectacle
1 Small Fan-foot
1 Foxglove Pug NFG
1 Pale Prominent
1 Great Prominent
1 Green Carpet
1 Waved Umber NFG
1 Iron Prominent
1 Muslin Moth NFG
1 Heart and Dart
1 Peppered Moth
1 Freyer's Pug NFG
1 Pebble Hook-tip
1 Brown Silver-line NFG
1 Oak-tree Pug NFG


White-spotted Pug
White Ermine
Waved Umber
Treble Lines
Small Fan-foot
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Peppered Moth
Pebble Hook-tip

Pale Tussock

Pale Prominent
Orange Footman

Muslin Moth
Garden Carpet

Freyer's Pug

Foxglove Pug

Common Pug
Brown Silver-lines

Carpet Challenge

I was a bit disappointed with last night's catch considering how warm the day had been. But a clear sky again meant a limited no. of moths (although it didn't seem to stop the cockchafers arriving - there were about a dozen of them).
List as follows:
Orange Footman 2
Flame Carpet 2
Swallow prominent
Blood-vein (nfy)

Clouded Border (nfy)

May highflyer (nfy)

Poplar Hawk-moth
White Ermine
Muslin Moth 2
Broken-barred Carpet (nfy)

Common White Wave (nfy)

Pale Prominent
Celipha lacunana (nfy)

There was also a carpet which I'm struggling to ID. I think it's probably a faded common carpet but could it possibly be the rare wood carpet? I've asked for comments on www.birdforum.net so I'll probably know soon. Edit: It's just been pointed out that it's a Sharp-angled Carpet... Doh!

Today there was a lovely Pyrausta aurata flying around the mint in our garden. But I couldn't get a photo.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Far from a Dingy day at Denbies

I went on a guided walk around Denbies Hillside yesterday, looking for butterflies specifically. I was particularly hoping to see Dingy Skipper, and maybe Grizzled too, both being new to me.

I needn't have worried, as in perfect conditions, both were seen easily, with Dingys being particularly numerous. We also found lots of Green Haristreaks, Adonis Blues and Brown Argus. The butterfly list was completed with Small Heath, Large White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral, Brimestone, Speckled Wood, and Small White.

In addition, we also saw lots of other interesting insects, including Burnet Companion, Mother Shipton, 5-spot Burnet and Clouded Buff moths, and a smart Rose Chafer beetle. The rarest sighting of the day however was a Lace Border moth, a species very difficult to see away from the Downs.

In the blistering heat, most of the insects were jumpy and very difficult to photo, so I only managed these.
An odd 5-spot Burnet

Green Hairstreak

The view from Denbies, across the Surrey countryside

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Chafers don't Hog precedings at Norbury Park

I just had to be away for the week when it started to warm up didn't I! As a result I have not trapped in my garden for ages (I'll hopefully rectify that this evening), but I managed to get a fix from the mothing drug last night, and what a dramatic one it was.

I went to Norbury Park and trapped til 1am with David Gardner. The main surprise of the night was the shear number of Cockchafers. I think we got to about 50 come the end! They really were quite an inconvenience to say the least. Halfway through the night we also had a visit from a Hedgehog, and we were willing it over to help us clear the trap of Beetles!

Onto the moths, and we got 37 macros in the end, including a few surprises. I managed to get eight brand new species during the course of the night too. An interesting haul of Great Prominent also.

The final list (* is new to me):

Coronet (a dark form)
Treble Lines*
Small White Wave* x 5
Mottled Pug
Brindled Pug x 3
Pebble Hook-tip x 2
Common Carpet x 2
Pale Tussock x 3
Purple Bar x 2
Clay Triple-lines x 2
Nut-tree Tussock x 4
Brown Silver-lines* x 2
Red-green Carpet
Small Waved Umber x 2
Water Carpet
Scalloped Hazel x 2
Currant Pug*
Marbled Brown* x 6
Common White Wave
Coxcomb Prominent x 2
Silver-ground Carpet*
White Ermine
Pale Prominent
Flame Shoulder x 2
Oak Nycteoline
Scorched Carpet x 2
Least Black Arches x 2
Flame Carpet x 2
Brimestone x 5
Red Twin-spot Carpet x 4
Great Prominent x 10
Green Carpet x 16
Pretty Chalk Carpet
Waved Umber* x 2
White-pinion Spotted* x 7
Apologies for the poor shots, they were very much done on the spur of the moment.
Our late night visitor...
Waved Umber
Small White Wave
Pretty Chalk Carpet
White-pinion Spotted
Pebble Hook-tip
Pale Tussock
Oak Nycteoline
The Mocha
Marbled Brown
Great Prominent
Green Carpet

Coxcomb Prominent

Clay Triple-lines

The full trap!