"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, 10 July 2012

Highest Macro and Micro Moth Catch of the Year - so far!

For various reasons (mainly the dreadful rainy weather) I haven't put out the moth trap for a while so I was thrilled to find on Saturday morning, after putting the trap out on Friday night, that the moths have finally started to arrive.

Highlight though of the week was my first Swallow-tailed moth of the year seen on the outside of the kitchen window on Thursday night. I didn't manage to pot it so here's a photo of this beautiful species taken last year!

Here are some photos of Friday night's catch - some are a bit blurred due to the liveliness of the moths or the fact that they are that small and the photos are very heavily cropped. I didn't use the macro lens as I have still not mastered focusing on something as small as the micro moths. I am unsure of some of my identifications so any help would be very much appreciated as always.

I am pretty sure this moth is Barred Straw (and not Spinach) which would be a completely new garden tick. It was very difficult to photo as it just would not keep still but finally it calmed down for just a few seconds and I was able to take the lid off the pot.

Riband Wave?

The Uncertains and Rustics have started to arrive en masse

Uncertain (I think - due to the clearly visible Antemedial line and the clear Median area shading passing through the kidney)

Rustic (I think - as the Antemedial line is reduced to dots and the Median area shading is faint)

Another query - I think this is Heart and Club although its quite worn!

The next 3 are all Crambus pascuella (hopefully!)

A worn Tachystola acoxantha

The next 2 are, I think, Agriphila straminella

Garden Grass-veneer? - this is the best photo of an awful bunch!

Dipleurina lacustrata?

and finally, Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix?

Apologies for the fact that there are even more queries than usual! Things have been a bit hectic concerning my mother(plus I've been watching far too much tennis :) ) and I just haven't been able to spend all the usual hours poring over the moths and checking in id guides and on the internet.

Here's a very provisional summary of the moths caught

Summary of Moths Trapped Friday, 6th July

9.00 until dawn

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Minimum Temperature - 11.4 degrees centigrade

1921 Scalloped Oak (Crocallis elinguaria) x 2

2381 Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines) x 18 NFY

2382 Rustic (Hoplodrina blanda) x 3 NFY

2089 Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) x 3

2088 Heart and Club (Agrotis clavis) x 1 ?

2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha x 1

1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) x 1 ? NFY

1758 Barred Straw (Eulithis pyraliala) x 1 ? NFG

1293 Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) x 8 NFY

1294 Crambus pascuella x 4 NFY

1338 Dipleurina lacustrata x 1? NFY

0970 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana) x 1? NFY

0656 Tachystola acroxantha x 1

1304 Agriphila straminella x 2 ? NFY


Gardens-In-The-Sand said...

Please tell us what a "moth trap" is.
I spend my time stalking my flowers with a flash-light and a camera to catch these charmers in action... Does trapping these guise harm them? or do you turn them loose after the photo shoot?
The Swallow-tailed moth is spectacular! I don't think any of those guise live here'bouts.
Some of those others look like somethin that might fly outa the cereal box...

Dartford Warbler said...

An amazing collection and heartening to see that some of the moths are surviving this wet summer.
The swallowtail is so beautiful.

Ragged Robin said...

Gardens-in-the-Sand - Glad you like the Swallow-tailed Moth. The smaller moths are only about a centimetre long and are known as Micro Moths. Very hard to id!

Moth trapping doesn't hurt the moths! I wouldn't do it if it did. There are different types of trap Robinson (round) and Skinner (Square). Robinson traps retain moths better but the Skinner is cheaper. Then there are different types of bulbs like Actinic (which I use as its not so bright for a garden) and MV bulbs. The moths are attracted to the light and then tumble into the trap where they tend to doze among the egg boxes. Next day I pot up those that don't escape and after I have identified them they are all released unharmed.

You can attract quite a lot of moths with a white sheet and a light hung above or you can make up a treacly like mix out of wine and treacle etc. and paint it on fences which will attract moths.

Dartford Warbler - I am certainly seeing more moths than butterflies in the garden at the moment.
I think the Swallow-tailed moths is one of my favourites after the hawk moths! At least its easy to identify :)

Rohrerbot said...

You did get a nice collection! Love the dart looking moths. Everytime I see them in our garden, I think of you. I don't know what they are called, but it's fun seeing them around. I did get a picture of one of our moths here. It's coming up:) Our moths look a little different:) Can't wait for you to see it. Strange looking thing that only comes around during our wet and humid summer from Mexico.

Hope the moths keep coming. :)

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - Very excited about seeing your moth picture :) I would imagine its a bit more colourful than some of mine!!!Look forward to that post immensely :)
Hope you are having a good week and finding more time to get out and about.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline, You certainly turned up a good selection there! I'm afraid I'm no help to you with ID. I did have to smile when I saw you were a little uncertain about the Uncertain though ;-) I do like the Swallow-tail, that is a beauty!

I am going to ask something now which I'm afraid shows my ignorance but regarding your mention on a reply of putting a mix of wine and treacle on the fence, wouldn't the moths stick to the treacle? That sounds horrendous but I'm sure I must have it wrong.

By the way I can think of much nicer things to do with wine :-) -:)

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird Hi Jan, The Uncertains and Rustics are notoriously difficult to separate!!! (Uncertain is a very good name for that moth :) ) and even with the help of the new micro moth book, I find the micros really difficult! Its a pity they aren't all as easy to id as the Swallow-tailed!

I think you boil up the treacle, sugar and wine (or beer) before applying to trees/fences so presumably the mixture is of a consistency that it wouldn't harm the moths. I think you can also make wine ropes although again it sounds very messy. All the different methods are called sugaring. I've just done a google search and the sugaring technique is mentioned by various wildlife sites and I am sure they wouldn't recommend it if it harmed the moths but to make sure if anyone wants to give it a go follow a recipe from the internet!

I haven't tried any of these methods though - as you say there are much nicer things to do with wine :)

Omi said...

Another impressive lot of moths, Caroline. Again, I just love some of their names!

Ragged Robin said...

Omi - Many thanks. The names just get better and better :)