Thursday, 8 August 2013

Familiar faces, plus the usual conundra

New moths are still arriving in the trap overnight but their numbers are much exceeded by familiar faces as the year's second generation gets into its stride. These are welcome, especially when they include one of my favourites from the rich batch of Oxfordshire species which we didn't get in Leeds: the Chocolate-tip, above.

Is this related to my fatal attraction to chocolate itself, shown yet again yesterday when Penny and I fell for a bag of Chocolate Eclairs at Woodall services on the M1? Maybe, but I am equally fond of the Prominent family, three of which turned up here last night.

The Lesser Swallow Prominent in my second picture adopted an unusual sprawl in its eggbox; normally these moths crouch low to the ground with their wings folded, like racing cars. The Coxcomb Prominent, just above, meanwhile perched on the trap rim (look at that dew; there was no rain overnight); and the third of the group was the darkly handsome Iron Prominent below.

Talking of dew, look how much has gathered on this Mother of Pearl, which chose to doze in the grass a few feet from the trap.

As ever, I have a stack of other moths awaiting identification when I get time. In case any of my friendly experts are around and not on holiday, or others would like a stab, here are some of them. Update: many thanks to CT for her macro IDs and to Dave for coming back to this post after his holidays and doing the lot. Very much appreciated. See answers to my conundra below.

This one and the next are Common Rustics

Above and below are Flounced Rustics

Above is a Straw Underwing and below the micro Cydia splendana

Above, a Caddis Fly and below Agriphila tristella

Below: tristella's relative Agriphila straminella, a regular visitor

Above: Cydia splendana from the side and below another Common Rustic

Above, a Dark Arches and below a Straw Underwing with wing clipped

A Common Carpet above and below, finally, a micro 
Carcina quercana, sonorous name. Many thanks to CT and Dave,
the latter especially for coming back to the post after hols.

Small, brown, grey and annoying are the words which initially come to mind. But when you look at each one in detail - click on the pic to enlarge - the heart softens. And I should know the last one - Carcina quercana, the UK's only, lonely representative of the Peleopodidae micro family, because it's on the cover of my micro-moth Bible.


Countryside Tales said...

Ok, you know I am by no means an expert so take these with a pinch of salt!
1. Slender Brindle
2. Common Rustic?
3. Clouded or Small Clouded Brindle (as per 4 and 5)
11. Slender Brindle
12. One of the Arches (dark/ grey/ beautiful I get them muddled!)
14. Red twin spot carpet (or similar!)
I also had a chocolate tip yesterday for the first time- beautiful moths.
Just about to start going through the box from last night now. Are you taking part in moth night? This thurs-sat. I expect you already know about it but if not the details are on my blog. CT :-)

MartinWainwright said...

Brill! What an early start too much appreciated. Didn't know about Moth Night but will have a look. I'm supposed to be helping identify moths at an RSPB event this w/e but have doubts about how useful I will be...

All v best and many thanks again


Countryside Tales said...

I expect you know more than you realise, and it will be a heck of a lot more than people who know nothing. Sounds like a great thing to be involved with. PS I think the Arches (no.12) may be a dark, as beautiful are thought to now be absent from the UK and the greys are more silvery, plus I've just found 3 in my box and they look a lot like yours!

David Shenton said...


Some thoughts from me on your conundra...for me

1 and 2 Common Rustic agg.
3 and 4 Flounced Rustic
5 Straw Underwing
6 Cydia splendana
7 a Caddis Fly
8 Agriphila tristella
9 Agriphila straminella
10 as 6
11 as 1
12 yes, Dark Arches
13 as 5
14 Common Carpet
15 Carcina quercana




MartinWainwright said...

That's hugely appreciated Dave. I will hasten to update now. Hope you had a great - and moth-rich - holiday

all warmest