"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

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Garden Moths

Garden Moths - GMS Week 4 Friday 27th March

Min Temp 6.7 degrees centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) x 1

Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) x 1 (New for Year)

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 3

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 2

and I am pretty sure this is Beautiful Plume (New for Year) Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

The 2015 list for Garden Moths now stands at 10.

I have been checking my Emperor moth pupae daily. At the moment they are still outside in the Coal House as I am hoping they will emerge at the same time as those in the wild so that I can put one of the females in the garden and see if I can lure any male Emperor Moths from a local population (if one exists). I've bought them a rather expensive new cage so they have somewhere roomy to fly around in before I release them in Sutton Park which is the nearest local site that has a resident population. I do have the County Recorder's approval for this - in fact, it seems to be the release site for captive bred Emperors in Warwickshire! If all goes well and some moths do emerge I may keep just a few eggs this year to raise about 6 caterpillars. Last year I had up to 50 which was fine when they were tiny but it became very difficult to clean them out daily when they became larger.

I treated myself to some rather cute Bee socks the other day - aren't they lovely? :)

Sorry for lack of posts recently the whole family has gone down one after another with the most foul of viruses which starts with a dreadful sore throat and cough and then develops into a chest infection. Hopefully, we're now all on the mend! I shall scream if I don't get out into the countryside soon!!


Countryside Tales said...

Yay for the moths! A Lovely selection. If this wind dies down here tonight I shall get the box out as it's been ages and seeing yours has made me miss them :o)

You posted before I could email and see how you were- I've not been blogging much the last couple of weeks but knew you'd been absent too. Glad all are on the mend- hopefully in time for some warmer weather! x

SeagullSuzie said...

Ooh the moths are back! Love the socks very very cute. So sorry you have all been unwell-hope it passes soon.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much for your comment and good wishes. I haven't been on blogger much tbh - in fact the computer wasn't even turned on for about 4 days - an all time record apart from when we are away on holiday!!

Hope you get some good moths - too windy here at the moment to put mine out again.

SeagullSuzie - Thanks so much for your comment and good wishes. Glad you liked the moths and socks :)

I do hope your husband continues to make progress - have been thinking of you.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hope you are all soon on the mend. Great socks, Love all the Moth shots.

amanda peters said...

Lovely moths to see, I would be interested in seeing the "tank" "cage" you have your Emperor moth pupae in, and what you put in with it. I fancy having a go at watching Butterfield/ Moth caterpillar to watch as it develops over its life span. How did you start ?
Amanda xx

Pete Duxon said...

you have my sympathies i have come back with a cold!!

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret for your comment and kind wishes :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. I'll do a post showing the tank I reared them in and the fancy netting cage I've bought (they need mesh sides when they emerge to climb up and dry their wings). B was going to make one but decided in the end it was just as cheap to buy one.

The Emperor Moth eggs I was given by the County Recorder - he has hand reared them for some years.

But in the past I have collected caterpillars from nettles and hand reared those - you can use a very large sweet jar. The cage I bought last year for the Emperors wasn't very expensive - certainly less than £10. The moment when they emerge from the pupa and slowly pump up their wings is wonderful to watch.

I think too you can buy educational kits that include cage, eggs/caterpillars (the sort meant for children). Although I personally would only buy native butterflies/moths.

Pete Duxon - Hope you feel better soon Pete - looks as though you had a wonderful holiday.

Sadly, the thing we have had wasn't a cold as such. 3 weeks later son is still suffering and B was admitted to hospital with pneumonia :( A particularly nasty bug :(

Stewart said...

Good luck with the Emperor Caroline, I caught one in the garden in 2010 and have not seen one since!

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Follow up to previous comment :) On reflection, if you are just going to raise a few caterpillars you might be able to get away with a large icecream container covered in clingfilm. I had to buy a container for the Emperors because the caterpillars became huge and I had so many! :) Will do a post anyway in a day or so and show the two cages.

Ragged Robin said...

Stewart - Thanks so much Stewart - am really excited as I have never seen one - just hope some do actually emerge!!!

They are pretty scarce in Warwickshire - there is the colony in Sutton Park and occasional (more historic) sightings suggest they may occur in low densities in South Warwickshire. I very much doubt if I will attract a male if I put a female in the garden but who knows :) It will be exciting to see :)

David Turner said...

Great to see the moths again, especially the Oak Beauty which certainly lives up to its name. I think you are right about the Beautiful Plume as well, a moth we seem to get in good numbers up here in Yorkshire early in the season.

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thanks so much David - good to hear from you and I hope you are well and soon be moving back into your cottage.

The Oak Beauty is rather lovely - I only caught my first last year but this year have had two already :)

Thanks so much for the confirmation re: Beautiful Plume.