Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Michelin Moth

Found yesterday on the front tyre of our car!

I look upon it as a sign it will be a "Goodyear" for mothing.[Sorry]

Stay safe and healthy everyone

Alan

Sunday, 23 February 2020

4th in the series 'One to look out for' - the Small Brindled Beauty


I think there's something quite amusing about the Small Brindled Beauty, its a 'cheeky little chap' and one I look forwards to seeing each year. It's a fairly local and uncommon species in Montgomeryshire and usually found is very small numbers throughout its flight season which can be in February or March, but its actual flight time is usually only for a couple of weeks or so, so this can be earlier or later depending on the weather condition at the time. Its short flight time, early in the year probably accounts for the small numbers of records we have in our database and I doubt if it would ever be recorded in larger numbers, no matter how much recording was done. The dot map (shown on the species page) shows that it has only been recorded at seven different sites in the county during the past ten years, but I feel that this number could be improved upon slightly with a bit more recording.

As I've said, the moth is on the wing late winter-early spring, but the female (as with several species in the group) is wingless. The male (as can be seen below) has a quite furry appearance, especially around the thorax and is easily recognisable. It is easily attracted to light. After mating the female climbs up its foodplant (deciduous tree species), probably not far from where she emerged from her chrysalis; these include pedunculate oak, hawthorn, silver birch, hazel, elm, hornbeam and chestnut to lay its eggs. The larvae feed until fully grown, then they pupate underground until they emerge the following spring.





If you would like a bit more information on the the Small Brindled Beauty please go to its species page on our website - click here.

Peter.



Saturday, 15 February 2020

January Moth Challenge 2020

The January challenge has now finished, the data is all in and has been collated in the two charts below.

This year, as last year, only nine mothers took part (and two of those were from out of county recorders), which considering the mild January we had is a little disappointing, but between us we did manage to record 28 species, which is only two species down on last years record number of species. There were 17 macro and 11 micro species recorded which resulted in 377 moths (347 macro and 30 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part. Despite the fairly mild weather throughout the month,  moth numbers were well down on last years record total of 643. 



Only two of us achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 12 species and 10 species from Alec Undrill, an Essex recorder. Sue Southam was once again (like last year) very unlucky, just missing the target with 9 species, as was Alan Sibley from Essex, also with 9 species. I also managed to scrape home with the micro part of the challenge with 5 species, with Alec just missing out with 4 species.


The recorders who have shared this year's coveted ‘wooden MV bulb’ award (formally the ‘wooden spoon’ award), are; Tim Ward, Deborah Griffiths, Phil McGregor and Jeny Heard with no moths, but well done as always for having a go.




Recorder
AS
TW
SOS
DG
AU
PMG
CSB
PRW
JeH
Count of species
Count of moths

Species: Macro moths
Count
Count
Count
Count
Count
Count
Count
Count
Count
Log No.
Days Trapped/recorded
31
3
20
4
13
4
5
31
2


1663
March Moth
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
3
1760
Red-green Carpet
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
2
2
1769
Spruce Carpet
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
1
1
1775
Mottled Grey
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
64
-
1
64
1799
Winter Moth
2
-
3
-
1
-
-
39
-
4
45
1926
Pale Brindled Beauty
8
-
14
-
5
-
1
14
-
5
42
1927
Brindled Beauty
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
1
2
1930
Oak Beauty
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
2
1932
Spring Usher
10
-
10
-
16
-
-
7
-
4
43
1934
Dotted Border
1
-
2
-
1
-
-
2
-
4
6
1935
Mottled Umber
3
-
2
-
17
-
-
26
-
4
48
1947
Engrailed
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
1
1
1960
Early Moth
-
-
5
-
1
-
-
-
-
2
6
2241
Red Sword-grass
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
1
-
2
2
2256
Satellite
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
5
-
2
6
2258
Chestnut
1
-
1
-
11
-
-
45
-
4
58
2259
Dark Chestnut
12
-
-
-
2
-
2
-
-
3
16













Macro species recorded
9
0
9
0
10
0
2
12
0
17

Macro moths recorded
41
0
40
0
57
0
3
206
0
42
347













Log No.
Species: Micro moths











435
Zelleria hepariella
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
1
1
461
Ypsolopha ustella
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
2
7
688
Agonopterix heracliana
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
1
697
Agonopterix arenella
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
2
893
Mompha epilobiella
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
1
1
998
Epiphyas postviteana
1
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
2
4
1044
Acleris ferrugana
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
3
-
2
4
1045
Acleris notana
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
3
-
2
5
1057
Acleris hastiana
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
1
1
1498
Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
1
1
1524
Emmelina monodactyla
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
3













Micro species/moths recorded
3
0
3
0
4
0
0
5
0
11

Micro moths recorded
5
0
5
0
6
0
0
14
0

30













Total species macro + micro
12
0
12
0
14
0
2
17
0
28

Total count macro + micro
46
0
45
0
63
0
3
220
0

377






Now for a more in depth breakdown of what was recorded.
Macros - As can be seen in the chart above four of us managed to record 4+ species. Across all recorders the most numerous species (like last year) was the Mottled Grey with 64 moths, followed by the Chestnut with 58 moths and in third place  was the Mottled Umber with 48 moths
The most moths recorded by individual recorders were 206 by myself, Alec 57 and Alan Sibley on 41.



Of the 17 species recorded, those worthy of a special mention are, Brindled Beauty, which are normally not seen before late March; Red Sword-grass - an overwintering species brought out by the mild weather. 


Micros - Once again there were 11 micro species recorded, which matched last year's record number, so that was a particularly good effort on the part of the four recorders who recorded all the micro species. There weren't really any unexpected micro species recorded this year. 



The chart below shows the top five macro species recorded (along with the total of moths)from 2012 to 2020.






January moth challenge - Top five recorded macro species 2012 to 2020
Year
2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020


Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
Species
Total
1
Winter Moth
131
Winter Moth
229
Winter Moth
169
Winter Moth
64
Chestnut
64
Spring Usher
244
Winter Moth
47
Mottled Grey
180
Mottled Grey
64
2
Mottled Grey
59
Mottled Umber
157
Mottled Grey
69
Mottled Umber
19
Winter Moth
30
Mottled Umber
109
Mottled Umber
31
Winter Moth
108
Chestnut
58
3
Mottled Umber
24
Mottled Grey
147
Mottled Umber
54
Early Moth
14
Mottled Umber
29
Winter Moth
76
Mottled Grey
26
Mottled Umber
93
Mottled Umber
48
4
Chestnut
20
Pale Brindled Beauty
61
Early Moth
22
Spring Usher
13
Pale Brindled Beauty
28
Pale Brindled Beauty
45
Early Moth
22
Pale Brindled Beauty
87
Winter Moth
45
5
Spring Usher
13
Early Moth
16
Herald
15
Chestnut
13
Mottled Grey
21
Mottled Grey
23
Chestnut
18
Chestnut
61
Spring Usher
43



















Tot

247

610

329

123

172

497

144

529

258

Key the recorders who took part in this year's challenge is: -

AS       Alan Sibley - Sible Hedingham         
TW      Tim Ward - Pentre Llifior      
SOS     Sue Southam - Guilsfield      
DG      Deborah Griffith - Welshpool
AU      Alec Undrill - Colchester       
PMG   Phil McGregor - Llanfihangel
CSB    Clare Backshall - Llanymynech         
PRW   Peter Williams - Commins Coch       
JeH      Jeny Heard - Montgomery

Once again many thanks for all those who took part in this years challange.

Happy mothing in 2020

Peter.