"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

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Moths and Bees on Cosmos

New moth species for 2012 are still turning up.

I wasn't 100% sure of a Square-spot Rustic identification in a worn moth recently but I am pretty sure the moth in the photo below is this species.

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (I hope!) is also new for year

I caught this Mother of Pearl Moth at a lighted garage window the evening prior to the moth trapping session - again the first I've seen this year. This lovely, large pyralid moth gets its common name from the opalescent sheen on its wings.

Summary of Moths Trapped Sunday, 2nd September

8.00 pm. until dawn. Minimum temperature 9.8 degrees centigrade
15w Actinic Skinner Trap

2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) x 19

2134 Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa) x 1 NFY

2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) x 1

2353 Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea) x 22

1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) x 1

1742 Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bileanata) x 1

2297 Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidea) x 4

1738 Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata) x 1

2303 Straw Underwing (Thalpophila matura) x 2

0969 Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis corylana) x 1 NFY

plus 1st September

1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) x 1 NFY

As always please let me know if the moths in the photos are wrongly identified!

On a slightly different note I am really pleased we decided to grow (for the first time) Cosmos and Night Scented Stock. We planted them this year in a front garden border and the cosmos flowers are constantly attracting bees and hoverflies and next year we'll put some in the back garden. I've identified a border on one side of the patio currently totally overgrown as its hidden behind the rabbit hutch and run. Sadly, we lost the rabbit last year so once I can find somewhere to store the hutch and we can see the border again it will be ideal for annuals.

Cosmos and Bees


Rohrerbot said...

Lots and lots of bugs right now:) I tried ID'ing moths.....in fact, I'm still stuck on one post and I hate it. The moths are very very difficult to name. Some you'd think would be easy to figure out but with the post coming up, I'm having a hard time. It's very very tricky. So I understand your hesitancy to try and id with "I think:)". I'm always afraid someone will blast me for ID'ing something incorrectly. Now that doesn't seem to be the case often but it has happened:)

The best thing is that you are id'ing them and taking the time to notice the patterns on wings etc. After I'm finished with the moth post, I'm done for good with ID'ing moths....I'll still take pictures of them and try to ID but not like I do with the birds:) Kudos to you on that challenge. Glad they're still coming your way and look forward to seeing more.

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - you have my sympathies with the moth id Chris!! When I first started trapping moths a few years ago it would take me hours just to identify one moth! It does get easier but it is very time consuming. You catch something that looks really distinctive and open the id guides and find several looking so similar. The moth lbj's are even harder especially as markings vary even in the same species and then you get the moths that are very worn!!

I would imagine that you have a lot more species where you are too! I shouldn't worry about people blasting you for misidentifications - anyone can make mistakes! Could your bug lady in Arizona help you with id?? Or do you have any moth forums or moth societies where you could post photos and ask for help??

I look forward to your moth post :) - it will be interesting to see what you have seen!

Glad you enjoyed your trip and hope the insect bites are getting better.

Bovey Belle said...

This summer I have scarcely been outside after dark (a spell of ill health led to early nights), but we have had a splendid caterpillar here this week - an Elephant Hawk Moth. We've had them regularly over the years - mainly I think because they feed on Willowherb, and we have lots on our land.

I am interested in moths, and indeed, there is a book beside me, Moths of Trigon (a Dorset country estate) which a friend sent me a couple of years back.

Well done with your observations and ID's. They're not that easy.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Many thanks for your kind comment. I was ever so sorry to hear you hadn't been well and hope you feel a bit better now.

You are so fortunate to have Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillars - they are totally amazing! I caught one of the adult moths last year - the highlight of my moth exploits so far!

Moths of Trigon sounds a really interesting book and I am being tempted yet again to buy another book!!! At a time when I am supposed to be scaling down my collection - a task I find impossible!

As you will have seen I find moth id a challenge! but its good fun and moth trapping is very addictive. Though I hasten to add the moths are unharmed and released once photographed and identified.