Thursday, September 08, 2022

Rare moths...

 As I am writing about something as trivial as moths, an ill old lady has the eyes of the world trained on her health up in Scotland. Will this be the end of an era? Time will tell...

It feels like I shouldn't be doing this at the minute but without any disrespect, the world turns.

Back to garden insects.

The other day I posted some pics of a lovely Convolvulous Hawk-moth I'd found on the road verge. Well, almost daily since then, rare and scarce migrant moths have been found in my moth trap. Its a novelty here as we are a long way north for moth migration.

Here they are - 

4th Sept
I've been looking for Beet Moth (Scrobipalpa ocellatella) this week without luck until this morning. I saw Tom and Ian both had first and second Northumberland records respectively so I was pleased to come in bronze position when I saw the target on the second tray from the trap.

This is where things go belly up... I got a pot and was about to pot the moth when I noticed another, larger micro near it. A pyralid.
My hesitation cost dearly as the Beet Moth flew off and away up the drive! Bugger.
Now, getting back to the cause of my distraction, the pyralid was duly potted. I knew I had not seen this species before so was keen to get on with identifying.

Imagine the shock when I find the moth in the Manley Guide and double check it on various moth sites etc and see it is very unexpected indeed. This time a gold medal winner, a first for Northumberland and a 'very local' species nationally.

Here it is -

1. Ancylosis oblitella Saltmarsh Knot-horn
Ancylosis oblitella

Knowing the invasive Beet Moths were out there, the trap was deployed again the next night. Sure enough, my 2nd and 3rd Beet Moths were secured this time. Firsts for vc68, 5th and 6th for Northumberland.

2. Beet Moth (Scrobipalpa ocellatella)

Beet Moth (Scrobipalpa ocellatella)

Accompanied by a few Rush Veneers as support.

Then as if to top it off on 6th the first moth I saw in the trap was this belter, a dark form of Box Tree Moth, another first for vc68 ( are you keeping up, 3 vc firsts in 3 nights!) but around the 16th for Northumberland as a whole ( vc67 and 68). It was accompanied by another 2 Beet Moths, my 4th and 5th.

3. Box Tree Moth

Box Tree Moth

Finally, last night I left the magic light on again. No tales of Oleanders or Beautiful Marbleds but another good migrant, a Scarce Bordered Straw, only my 3rd  ever and again with a Beet Moth. My 6th. 

4. Scarce Bordered Straw

Scarce Bordered Straw

So what a good mothing week its been, maybe my best. I wonder if there is anything else to catch out there?

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