Saturday, 30 May 2015

Question time

This is a very practical posting as you will discover, but I thought that I would start it inconsequentially before we all get down to business. The day got off to a good start, in spite of very meagre attendance in the moth trap, when an imperious-looking Sparrowhawk settled on top of our bird feeder and fixed out breakfast-making in the kitchen with his, or her, beady yellow-rimmed eye.

It was too brief a stay for me to photograph and fortunately he, or she, didn't make off with any small birds. But an hour or so later, as I biked into Oxford along the canal towpath, I did have time to take pictures of this typical family scene:

"Now don't go too far dears!"

"That's better - plenty of food to dabble for near the bank."

"All content? Then I'm off to Tesco in Kidlington."

And to so to the nuts and bolts. I've assembled in one place, for convenience, all the May moths whose ID I've failed definitely to crack. I've put my best guesses on a lot of the captions, but would as always be grateful for more expert views.  A big THANK YOU in advance. Update: and a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Ben Sale, who has gone through the whole lot, corrected those I got wrong and ID-ed those I left as mysterious. MUCH appreciated, Ben.

Clouded Drab? Ben agrees

Another differently patterned Clouded Drab? No, a Rustic Shoulder-knot

Small Square-spot? Yes, says Ben

Argyresthia retinella? No, Cnephasia spp (needs detailed examination to tell which one)

Early Tooth-striped? No, Yellow-barred Brindle

Knot Grass? Hooray, Ben agrees

Twin-spot Carpet? No, Common Carpet

Garden Carpet? Yup, I got that one right

Mmmm? It's a Seraphim, lovely name

Plain Golden Y? Nope, an immigrant Silver Y

Balsam Carpet? Or Common Carpet? The latter

Dotted Pug? Nope, White-spotted Pug

Clouded Drab? Nope, Rustic Shoulder-knot

Bordered Pug? Nope, Mottled

Mottled Pug? Nope - see above for that. This one is an Oak Tree Pug

Common Marbled Carpet? Yes! Yay!

Mmmmm? Red Twin`spot Carpet

Small Square-spot? Yes!

Something rather worn - and it's another Seraphim

A Carpet. But which? None of them. It's a Seraphim again. What an epic. Thanks again, Ben


Bennyboymothman said...

oooo blimey.
I've got my work cut-out here but always happy to peruse and help :)

Blimey you are getting a great selection of moths...I will try trapping again tonight as I still haven't even seen a Hawk-moth in the garden this year yet!

Right Martin..I shall begin.

1. Clouded Drab YES
2. Rustic Shoulder-knot
3. YES
4. Cnephasia sp (needs gen det)
5. Yellow-barred Brindle
6. YES
7. Common Carpet
8. YES
9. Seraphim
10. Silver-Y
11. Common Carpet
12. White-spotted Pug
13. Rustic Shoulder-knot
14. Mottled Pug
15. Oak-tree Pug

hope you are keeping up :)

16. YES
17. Red Twin-spot Carpet

Woah we made it...and just in ime for your return from Tesco.

All the best.

Martin Wainwright said...

Ben that is just amazing - way beyond the call of duty! Thanks SO much. I will try to learn from the IDs though don't hold out much hope

Things seem to be thinner this year so far here too, but actually the species count is not at all bad - thanks to you, I can now draw up an up-to-May list and make a comparison with last year

all warmest and thanks again