Wednesday, 9 October 2013


The moth trap has been running at the country park over the last few nights, making the most of the settled night-time weather, before the cooler and windier weather sets in for the autumn. Over eighty moths of about 24 species have been turning up at the trap most nights.

A few migrant moths have continued to be noted such as this diminutive gem moth pictured above, which has not been recorded here before. Several have been noted in small numbers across southern England over the last week or so.

Other migrant moths noted over the last five or so nights  have included dark swordgrass, silver- Y as well as the micro migrants rush veneer and the diamond-backed moth.

This figure of eight moth pictured above, is a surprising first record for the park. It's a common moth across Essex whose foodplant is hawthorn, blackthorn and apple which all occur here at the park, so it's probably resident here but just not made it to the trap before at this time of year.

It's always nice to note the increasingly scarce dusky lemon sallow each autumn, as their foodplant the elm has suffered in recent decades.

Several mallow moths have been in the trap most nights, some with very pronounced markings.

There have been some autumns when the red-line quaker has not been recorded, so it was nice to see a couple in the trap one night this week. The first yellow-line quakers of the autumn have also been noted this week.

One of the commonest autumn moths has been the lunar underwing. This one pictured above is one of the paler forms, whilst many have been the darker grey colouring.

The beaded chestnut has also had a good season with up to a dozen in the trap over several nights since the start of October.

Other moths noted recently have been November moth, common marbled carpet, willow beauty, red-green carpet, white-pont, L-album wainscot, flounced chestnut, sallow, angle shades, snout, brindled green, feathered ranunculus, brick, rosy rustic, black rustic, dark-brown dart and frosted orange.

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