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Sunday, 20 June 2010

We Loop-the-loop at Oaken!

Another session out and about last night with David Gardner, and I was most excited by it, as it was at the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Oaken Wood. Initially however, it looked as if we might be scuppered by the weather, as it looked fairly clear, and a little windy. Luckily, it was not quite that bad, and the moths came, in thier hundreds! Although admittedly, about 80% of that number is made up of Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana!

In the end, I managed to see 7 new species, as well as many stunning moths. The best record came from my trap (which is so much less powerful than David's!), as two Rannoch Looper turned up, suggesting they are breeding there. Also fantastic Four-dotted Footman and a gorgeous Map-winged Swift.

The final number up to 1:00 in David's and my traps, was 75 macros of 34 species, plus the hundreds of Tortrix viridana and a load of Scorparia ambigualis as well. The final list (* is a new species to me):

7 Willow Beauty
6 Four-dotted Footman *
6 Green Carpet
5 Buff Ermine
4 Brown Silver-line
4 Mottled Beauty
3 Common Marbled Carpet
3 Common White Wave
3 Barred Yellow *
2 Little Emerald *
2 Orange Moth *
2 Common Swift
2 Flame Shoulder
2 Blotched Emerald
2 Grey Arches
2 Rannoch Looper *
2 Light Emerald
2 Ingrailed Clay
1 Map-winged Swift *
1 Marbled Minor
1 Lobster Moth
1 Beautiful Golden Y *
1 Clouded-bordered Brindle
1 Grey Pug
1 Silver-ground Carpet
1 Common Wainscot
1 Treble Lines
1 Middle-barred Minor
1 Common Wave
1 Buff-tip
1 Clouded Border
1 Lilac Beauty
1 Small Square-spot
1 Green Silver-lines

Just as usual for these outings, I was not able to get particularly good shots.

Barred Yellow

Beautiful Golden Y

Blotched Emerald

Common Swift

Four-dotted Footman

One of many Grasshoppers around the trap!

Grey Arches

Lilac Beauty, Mottled Beauty, and Tortrix viridana

Little Emerald

Map-winged Swift

Orange Moth

The first Rannoch Looper

Both Rannoch Looper

The full trap!


  1. I am impressed Sean... several species there that I've not seen.
    Why do you think the Rannoch loopers are breeding? There was an obvious influx over the last few days. I had two vestals in the trap once but it didn't occur to me that they might be breeding!
    This coming week looks promising. I hope to be well enough to run the trap at least once.
    Good luck

  2. Sorry to hear you have been unwell Ken, get well soon.

    I don't really know enough about these things to be honest, David seemed to think that they may well be breeding on Bramble. It would amaze me to be honest if two migrant Rannochs found thier way to my tiny trap, in the middle of a wood, there can't be that many of this very rare moth coming in surely!

    It was an amazing night!

  3. I'm fascinated by your trap photo! Any chance of giving us some more detailed shots of the inner workings of this beast?



  4. Hi Steve,

    That trap is not mine (unfortunately!), but David Gardner's (leader of Kent and Surrey branches of Butterfly Conservation).

    It is a mega piece of kit! The whole thing is made of perspex, with an MV, and two Actinic bulbs on top. He had it made for him specially. If you like I can get some more details from him as to who made it etc.