"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

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Garden Butterflies and Moths

I've had a lot of fun in the last week or so doing Big Butterfly Counts in the garden. You can do as many counts as you like and what can be lovelier than wandering round the garden counting butterflies.

Monday 21st July

Peacock x 1

Small Tortoiseshell x 1
Comma x 1
Green-veined White x 1
Gatekeeper x 2 (the first I've seen in the garden this year)
Speckled Wood x 1
Large White x 1

Thursday 24th July

Large White x 2
Peacock x 1
Gatekeeper x 4

Saturday 26th July

Peacock x 3
Large White x 2
Small White x 3
Holly Blue x 1

Speckled Wood x 2

Tuesday 29th July

Speckled Wood x 2
Peacock x 3
Gatekeeper x 1
Holly Blue x 2
Large White x 1
Small White x 1

The moth trap has been out several times since I last wrote a post on moths.

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata)

and its very pretty "underskirt".

Willow Beauty - there are quite a few similar species - I am sure half the time I miss new garden "ticks" as I don't always look as closely as I should at more common species.

Scarce Footman (Eilema complana) (with furled edges of wings) - hope I am right on this one - I do struggle with the Footman species. (new for year) Dean will never forgive me if I get this wrong as he's always correcting my Footman id's :)

The very similar Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) - New for Year

Most of the moths I tend to trap tend to be noctuids so its always pleasing to get something a bit out of the ordinary - here the lovely Sallow Kitten (Furcula furcula) again New for Year)

Bordered Pug - this is one of the larger pugs - many are very small (Eupithecia succentariata) - New for Year

Square-spot Rustic ((Xestia xanthographa) - New For Year

Crambus pascuella

Bird-cherry Ermine ((Yponomeuta evonymella) - New for Year

Marbled Minor Aggregate - Marbled Minor, Rufous Minor and Tawny Marbled Minor are all very similar and can only be separated by genitalia dissection - a route I am not prepared to take!!

Dagger Agg - again Grey and Dark Dagger are that similar that they can only be 100% identified by the dreaded genitalia dissection

Common Rustic Agg - again Common Rustic, Lesser Common Rustic and Remm's Rustic can only be separated by, yes you guessed it, genitalia dissection!!

I had a lovely walk this afternoon round Marsh Lane NR - lots of butterflies, hoverflies, bees, dragon and damselflies about. I have a few insects to identify so I'll do a separate post in a few days.


Countryside Tales said...

I've just spent a couple of hours in the garden today doing flutter counts too. Envious of your holly blue, I haven't seen them in the garden here. Lovely selection of moths too :-)

Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderful selection of Butterflies and Moths to feast our eyes on today.

amanda peters said...

Great count on the Butterflies in your garden, I put a record in for the park.The Sallow Kitten moth is beautiful..
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Many thanks. We get Holly Blues regularly here but I've never seen any other "Blues" in the garden.

Margaret Adamson - Thanks so much Margaret.

Amanda Peters - Many thanks Amanda. I meant to do a count yesterday when I was at Marsh Lane but forgot my watch :(

Chris Rohrer said...

Loving that Bordered Pug:) I've been doing the same lately. The butterflies are out in full force right now and I'm trying to ID newer ones that I've never seen before. It seems that every year there are a couple new ones to add to the list.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris - its so satisfying to identify a species :) I am "getting into" hoverfly id this year :)

SeagullSuzie said...

Wonderful stuff! The weather has been fantastic for butterflies and I've seen so many ladybirds here in my new garden-they are just everywhere I turn. The nicest thing is they are all natives.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks so much :) I'm thrilled to hear that you are getting lots of native ladybirds in your new garden. Sadly, its not the same here - most are the dreaded Harlequin :(

Toffeeapple said...

What a lot you have! Aren't they beautiful as well?
I have only a few Gatekeepers and one gorgeous day-flying tiny moth whose name I can never remember.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Many thanks :) Yes, so beautiful :) I think we've talked about your pretty dayflying tiny moth before? Was it a Mint Moth - Pyrausta aurata?