Saturday, 26 September 2015


The nights have got colder and the moth trap's contents have settled into routine mode, with the likes of the Black Rustic and Lunar Underwing coming in good numbers, along with a dozen other familiar species. So it's been down to Penny the World's Leading Outside-the-Trap Spotter, to come up with the goods this time.

She spotted the little chap in the top two pictures on our flour jar - or should that be flour pot, as opposed to flowerpot)? At first, because of the heart shape, I thought it was what I call the Valentine moth, Acleris forsskaleana, which can have a second brood around now. But a closer look at the patterning and the wing shape convinces me that it is one of the lively family of Carnation Tortrixes,  Cacoecimorpha pronubana, who live in our greenhouse.

By chance, a rather similarly coloured micromoth spent the night in the trap. I think that it is a Light Brown Apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana, which is a stalwart here and no doubt enjoys our apple trees.  Back to Penny, and she did well to spot this Large Ranunculus, below, sleeping just under our porchlight, along with two Lunar Underwings, one grey and the other brown but both very well camouflaged.

I was a bit of a Penny myself when I went to inspect the moth trap. I usually check out its surroundings though my thoroughness depends on how sleepy I am feeling plus the competing call of early morning tea. On this occasion I was quite alert and spotted these three Black Rustics on the wall and grass.

While checking the eggboxes, I had time to take this photograph of a flimsy little carpetty moth, but it fluttered away before I could take a more illuminating shot. Dave Maunder on the endlessly excellent Upper Thames Moths blog has come to my rescue by ID-ing it as a Common Marbled Carpet.

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