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!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Polecat Produces Plenty!

The weather conditions have been really good for the last three nights (and look decent tonight for a garden trapping), and although I failed to do anything two nights ago, I made up for it last night.  I trapped at a woodland site near me in Haslemere called Polecat Valley.  I only trapped up to 12, but no doubt I would have done it for longer if it weren't for the fact that I had work the next morning.  Not as busy a night as Holmen's Grove, but still decent numbers with 72 moths.  These included the unexpected lifer of Waved Carpet.

27th June, Polecat Valley:
4 Green Oak Tortrix
3 Dipleurina lacustrana
3 Flame Carpet
3 Snout
3 Brimstone
3 Satin Lutestring
3 Light Emerald
2 Clouded Silver
2 Chrysoteuchia culmella
2 Morophaga choragella*
2 Fan-foot
2 Straw Dot
2 Common Marbled Carpet
2 Variegated Golden Tortrix
2 Bee Moth
2 Beautiful Hook-tip
2 Foxglove Pug
2 Acleris forsskaleana
2 Argyresthia bonnetella
1 Buff Ermine
1 Iron Prominent
1 Green Carpet
1 Small Magpie
1 Treble Brown-spot
1 Brown Silver-line
1 Angle Shades
1 Minor sp.
1 Grey Pine Carpet
1 Small Angle Shades
1 Beautiful Golden Y
1 Middle-barred Minor
1 Bordered White
1 Waved Carpet*
1 Cydia fagiglandana*
1 Brindled White-spot
1 Scoparia pyralella
1 Willow Beauty
1 Riband Wave
1 Common Emerald
1 Lobster Moth
1 Large Fruit-tree Tortrix
1 White-shouldered House Moth
1 Buff-tip
1 Clouded-bordered Brindle
1 Tawny-barred Angle

Waved Carpet

Satin Lutestring

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

118 Moths; Is This 2012?

At last!  Just as others experienced last night, the weather here was almost perfect, and finally produced good numbers.  Although it does appear that this year I am only getting quality or quantity, never both!  Shouldn't complain though as I got 66 macros of 41 species, and another 24 micro species.  Amongst these macros were 13 year ticks, but most were expected, just a Lilac Beauty that wasn't,  which was my second record in the garden.

25th June:
8 Dark Arches
4 Light Emerald NFY
3 Peppered Moth
3 Heart and Dart
3 Orange Footman
2 Brimstone
2 Poplar Hawk-moth NFY
2 Lesser Swallow Prominent
2 Marbled White-spot
2 Fan-foot NFY
2 Lobster
2 Heart and Club NFY
2 Treble Lines
2 Minor sp.
1 Treble Brown-spot NFY
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Lilac Beauty NFY
1 Dusky Brocade NFY
1 Elephant Hawk-moth
1 Common Wave
1 Common White Wave
1 Flame Carpet
1 Straw Dot
1 Ingrailed Clay NFY
1 Foxglove Pug
1 Freyer's Pug NFY
1 Common Pug
1 Grey Pug
1 Swallow Prominent
1 Rosy Footman NFY
1 Brown Silver-line NFY
1 Flame Shoulder
1 Silver Y
1 Angle Shades
1 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Spectacle
1 Willow Beauty
1 Bird's Wing
1 Blotched Emerald NFY
1 Beautiful Hook-tip NFY
1 Double-striped Pug

Micros (* = new):
1 Common White Plume
2 Brown House Moth
1 Ananis (was Phlyctaenia) coronata
2 Variegated Golden Tortrix
3 Scoparia pyralella
1 Diamond-back Moth
3 Celypha lacunana
13 Dipleurina lacustrata
1 Celypha striana*
1 Notocelia rosaecolana*
4 Green Oak Tortrix
4 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix
4 Light Brown Apple Moth
1 Small Magpie
1 Eudonia mercurella
1 Hawthorn Moth*
1 Bee Moth
1 Plum Tortrix*
1 Cherry Bark Tortrix
2 Chrysoteucia culmella
1 Udea olivalis
1 Ash Bud Moth*
1 Argyresthia bonnetella*
1 Ocnerostoma piniariella*

Lilac Beauty

Beautiful Hook-tip

Poplar Hawk-moth

Treble Brown-spot

Freyer's Pug

Ingrailed Clay

Dusky Brocade

Straw Dot

Heart and Club

Rosy Footman

Blotched Emerald

Ash Bud Moth

Cherry Bark Tortrix

Notocelia rosaecolana

Scoparia pyralella

Celypha striana

Yesterday, I came across this newly emerged Psyche casta on a window:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

O for the Wing of a Swallow

Conditions continue to be appalingly cold, but a load of cloud cover last night prompted me to try and trap, but needless to say the rain guard was an essential piece of equipment.  Numbers still ridiculously low for the time of year, but at least I now have something to submit for National Moth Night.  Just like the last trapping, only expected year ticks were achieved.

23rd June:
5 Heart and Dart
4 Peppered Moth (including one near carbonaria)
2 Lobster Moth
2 Green Pug NFY
2 Flame NFY
2 Minor sp.
1 Willow Beauty NFY
1 Pale Prominent
1 Bird's Wing NFY
1 Marbled White-spot
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Small Angle Shades
1 Swallow-tailed Moth NFY
1 Snout NFY
1 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Uncertain NFY
1 Buff-tip
1 Buff Ermine

1 Small Magpie
1 Celypha lacunana
1 Chrysoteucia culmella
1 Orthotaenia undulana (I'd appreciate a confirmation or otherwise)

Bird's Wing  (one of my favourite moths)

Swallow-tailed Moth


Green Pug

Willow Beauty


Orthotaenia undulana (I think)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

ID Help Please!

Apologies for recent radio silence but a combination of travelling halfway around the UK and back again, plus the dreadful weather, has resulted in not very much in my mothtrap.  At least, nothing any different to what is already being logged here.

However, this week has turned up a couple.  A Great Oak Beauty - not that rare I know but uncommon enough to be an appearance of note. No photo yet as he doesn't want to pose for the camera.

The second is one I would appreciate some help with.  I know what I think it is, and I know what my partner thinks it is, and we agree.  But without putting any ideas in your minds, I'd be really interested to know what you think it is!  I have passed the photo to Graham Collins for his opinion as well. 
Moth for ID


Since the beginning of June, I've been eagerly awaiting an appropriate weather window to string up some Clearwing pheromones in the garden, to see if I can repeat last year's success with them.

The opportunity finally arose yesterday morning, with warm temperatures, intermediate sunshine and a noticable wind to carry the pheromones across the adjacent gardens. I put up the 'VES' lure in a small apple tree, with surrounding cultivated 'decorative' plants, and within 15 minutes, 4 Orange-tailed Clearwings were fighting for top spot on the washing bag containing the pheromones. I caught a single individual last year, and assumed it to be a wanderer from distant chalk downland, but its pretty clear that there is now a healthy colony in the area.

The lure went out again later in the evening, and it was nice to catch up with Yellow-legged Clearwing, the other species that this particular pheromone is designed to attract, and usually quite common here in mid-summer. A few more Orange-tailed Clearwings passed through, but didn't stay long.

The undoubted highlight was a surprise visit from a Red-tipped Clearwing, which I only just noticed out the corner of my eye, as it hovered over some flowers a little way from the lure. A new one for the garden, and the third species caught here.

Red-tipped Clearwing...

Yellow-legged Clearwing (left) and Orange-tailed Clearwing (right)

Certainly makes up for the complete lack of night time activity around the trap.

All's Rosy, as I find the Red-neck of the Grove

I thought it might be worth popping up the road yesterday evening to a small woodland called Holmen's Grove, as its a previously (as far as I know) unsurveyed site.  According to the forecast, there would only be a small window of oppurtunity between the clear skies and the heavy rain, but I thought I may as well give it a go for an hour or two, as the habitat looked really nice (Nightingale and Woodcock present for instance).

The cloud cover was there as forecast, but incredibly, I got to 12:30 with no rain.  This leant itself to a quality night for moths, and boy was it.   I had to pack up early, as I had work the next day, but I would have stayed longer if I could.  As it was, I was woken up at around 4:00 by the rain lashing down outside!

There was a constant stream of moths towards the end of the session after a slow start.  I managed three macro lifers, including a stonking Red-necked Footman!  The others were a very worn moth that I am pretty confident is a Brindled White-spot, and three Rosy Marbled.  I was delighted I was able to pick out the latter without first taking a skim through the micro book!

A few micro ticks were got too including Brown China-mark, Dipleurina (was Eudonia) lacustrana and Ptocheuusa paupella.

20th June, Holmen's Grove (* = lifer):
2 Grey Pine Carpet
6 Common Swift
11 Scorparia ambigualis
5 Straw Dot
3 Brown Silver-line
3 Celypha lacunana
1 Emmetia marginea*
4 Green Oak Tortrix
1 Willow Beauty
2 Brown China-mark*
4 Mottled Beauty
2 Udea olivalis
2 Green Carpet
1 Nematopogon metaxella*
2 Tinea semifulvella
1 Large Fruit-tree Tortrix*
1 Ptocheuusa paupella*
1 Beautiful Hook-tip
2 Small Seraphim
1 Bramble Shoot Moth
4 Light Emerald
3 Common Carpet
1 Middle-barred Minor
1 Beautiful Golden Y (pristine specimen!)
2 Orange Footman
2 Common White Wave
1 Scalloped Hook-tip
2 Spruce Carpet
1 Scorched Wing
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Blood Vein
1 Red-necked Footman *
1 Epinotia demarniana*
1 Brimstone
1 Poplar Grey
1 Agapeta hamana
2 Purple Clay
1 Peach Blossom
1 Red-barred Tortrix*
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character
1 Maiden's Blush
1 Fan-foot
1 Blotched Emerald
1 Peppered Moth
2 Small Angle Shades
1 Marbled White-spot
1 Dwarf Pug
1 Foxglove Pug
3 Rosy Marbled*
1 Brindled White-spot*
1 Dipleurina lacustrana*
1 Carpatolechia proximella*
1 Lobster Moth
1 Satin Lutestring
1 Flame
1 Barred Yellow
1 Ingrailed Clay
1 White Ermine
1 Holly Tortrix
1 Dusky Brocade
Total: 59

Red-necked Footman

Rosy Marbled

Brindled White-spot (it was more confincing in the flesh, honest!)

Brown China-mark

Blood Vein

Purple Clay no. 1

Purple Clay no. 2 (decent shout for Square-spotted Clay?)

Peach Blossom

Oak-tree Pug (it was tiny!)

Dipleurina lacustrana

Thats what mothing is all about!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Pink Elephant

A completely clear night last night, but I was hoping the warm day temperature would encourage a bit of a hatch.  As it was, it was only just a little better than two days ago in numbers, but no garden ticks (is my trap loosing its mojoo?!).  Eight year ticks were all rather expected, although a Straw Dot was only my second garden record, and an Elephant Hawk-moth always puts a smile on my face.

19th June:
5 Heart and Dart
3 Minor sp.
2 Dark Arches
1 Clouded Border NFY
1 Buff-tip
1 Foxglove Pug NFY
1 Dagger sp.
1 Lesser Swallow Prominent
1 Common Rustic sp. NFY
1 Common Wave
1 Grey Pug NFY
1 Common White Wave
1 Peppered Moth
1 Elephant Hawk-moth NFY
1 Beautiful Golden Y
1 Mottled Beauty NFY
1 Straw Dot NFY
1 Flame Carpet NFY

1 Celypha lacunana
1 Small Magpie
2 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix
1 Scorparia ambigualis
1 Lozotaenia forsterana
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella
2 Light Brown Apple Moth
1 Cherry Bark Moth

Elephant Hawk-moth

Dagger sp.

Foxglove Pug

Clouded Border

Monday, 18 June 2012

Beauty is Golden

After two and a half weeks of no trapping in the garden, I was starting to get desperate, so I decided to take a gamble with last night, despite the rainy forecast.  It was wet, very, and that was reflected in the appaling numbers, but luckily, quality was high, with another two garden ticks.  These were a Four-dotted Footman, and a pristine Beautiful Golden Y, along with expected year ticks (plus only my second garden Purple Bar).

17th June:
5 Common Marbled Carpet
2 Heart and Dart
2 Buff Ermine NFY
1 Dark Arches NFY
1 Peppered Moth
1 Minor sp.
1 Four-dotted Footman NFG
1 Vine's Rustic
1 Lesser Swallow Prominent
1 Figure of 80
1 Purple Bar NFY
1 Beautiful Golden Y NFG
1 Garden Carpet
1 Large Yellow Underwing NFY
1 Small Angle Shades NFY

The only identifiable micros were a Small Magpie and a Diamond-back Moth.

Beautiful Golden Y

Four-dotted Footman

Purple Bar

Large Yellow Underwing

Dark Arches

Small Angle Shades

Heart and Dart

Buff Ermines