"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 12 July 2010

Butterflies and Moths Galore

The hot weather at the weekend brought loads of butterflies and moths into the garden.

Yesterday I saw 7 species of butterfly - large and small whites, holly blue, speckled wood, gatekeeper, comma and small tortoiseshell. The last 3 being first garden sightings for 2010.

Moth trapping on Friday evening was very successful with lots of new species for the garden again. Trying to pot the moths on Saturday morning was hard work as every time I opened the trap to pot one moth about two flew out and escaped!

Some photos of a few of the moths trapped followed by a full list below.

First of all a mystery moth - I haven't a clue what this is despite spending an hour or more trawling through websites and going through moth id books. I will keep on trying to identify but any suggestions as to the species would be very welcome!

Edit - Thanks to Bill D who has identified this as a Bright-line Brown-eye

Not 100 per cent certain but I think this is a micro called Mother of Pearl. It was very worn making id even harder.

A Scalloped Hazel
Edit - Thanks again to Bill D for pointing out this is a Scalloped Oak (I somehow managed to upload the wrong photo!)

Poplar Grey (I think!!)

Pale Shouldered Brocade (again a slight degree of uncertainty!)
Edit - Many thanks again to Bill D for correcting my id - this is Dark Arches

This is a pair of Dunbar showing the variation in colour you can get with the same species.


This is my favourite moth so far - even beats the Lime Hawk Moth I caught earlier this year. It is a real beauty and sadly the photos just don't do it justice.

Finally,Bird's Wing - a very chocolatey coloured moth and according to my moth "Bible" by Waring et al a species that occurs on a "local" basis.

Moths trapped Friday 9th July
in Actinic Skinner 15w trap
10.00 p.m. till dawn Minimum temperature 15.2 degrees centigrade

1 x Brimstone New for year and new for Garden
8 x Heart and Dart
1 x Swallowtailed Moth
1 x Riband Wave
3 x Rustic
1 x Buff Arches New for year and new for garden
2 x Scalloped Oak
1 x Bird's Wing New for year and new for garden
1 x Common Wainscot
1 x Poplar Grey New for year and new for garden
9 x Mottled Rustic
1 x Uncertain
1 x Clouded Border New for year and new for garden
1 x Dagger New for year and new for garden
2 x Flame
1 x Common Footman
2 x Dunbar New for Year and for garden
1 x Pale Shouldered Brocade- Edit this should be Dark Arches
1 x Mother of Pearl (micro moth)
Edit Mystery moth now kindly identified by Bill D
so 1 x Bright-line Brown-eye

Noticed an unusual piece of bird behaviour yesterday evening whilst eating a barbecue - and yes it did put me off my beefburgher! We watched a blackbird chasing what initially we thought was a butterfly and then just as we realised it was a young frog the blackbird ate it! Have seen them eating tadpoles before but not frogs.


Bill D said...


Your mystery moth is a Bright-line Brown-eye. Your Scalloped Hazel is a Scalloped Oak and your PS Brocade is a Dark Arches.

Hope this helps, nice blog by the way.


Ragged Robin said...

Thanks so much Bill for identifying my mystery moth and correcting the other two species I had misidentified - its much appreciated. I have only been trapping since last August and still finding identification a struggle at times!

Glad you like the blog - nice to know someone other than me is reading it!

Tricia said...

What little beauties they are and moths have such wonderful names. Moth trapping sounds like an interesting and educative pastime.

Ragged Robin said...

They are beautiful, Tricia. I can't believe the amazing variety you can get in a garden. Moth trapping is very addictive though! I am trying to limit myself to once a week as it takes me hours to identify them and nothing else gets done!

I love the names. I have been trying, without success to buy a book on moth names. Roy Leverton in his brilliant book "Enjoying Moths" mentions a feature in "British Wildlife" magazine in 1998 by P Marrren entitled "The English Names of Moths" but unfortunately that was before I subscribed to the magazine and the Publishers don't keep copies that far back.