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.
Yellow-legged Clearwing (left) and Orange-tailed Clearwing (right)
Certainly makes up for the complete lack of night time activity around the trap.
Cromwell Bottom Sat 1 July
4 hours ago