We all need to be very vigilant when checking the trap at this time of year as some of the more uncommon spring species can be overlooked or misidentified in amongst the more common species. The following list shows what we should be checking for in the trap.
· The Small Quaker can be a very numerous species, but check them carefully as there might just be the much more uncommon, but the very similar looking Blossom Underwing in amongst them.
· Clouded Drab and the Twin-spotted Quaker both have very variable colour forms and one colour form of Clouded Drab in particular can look like a form of Twin-spotted Quaker, so we need also to be on our toes here.
· The rather less common Powdered Quaker will be on the wing soon. This species has a dusting of speckles and is slightly bigger than the Common Quaker, but if the speckles aren’t very prominent it can easily be mistaken for the latter species.
· Last year we had the first confirmed record of Lead-coloured Drab recorded in the county. It has been recorded from the same site again this year, but I feel it may well be overlooked from other sites from around the county. This species can easily be confused with the much more common Clouded Drab (and sometimes darker forms of Common Quaker). The Lead-coloured Drab has a more even leaden colour and the apex of the forewing is more rounded than that of the Clouded Drab. It would be great if we could get some more confirmed records of this species, so again, be vigilant.
· Our first two specifies of Pugs are also on the wing now, i.e. Brindled Pug and Double-striped Pug and while they’re not that similar, care should be taken with id.
· Several species of Agonopterix and Depressaria are also on the wing at this time of year, many of which can be confused with others, if your not too sure about id, check with me.
Other good early species to look out for now are; Pine Beauty, White-marked, Brindled Beauty, Glaucous Shears, Broom-tip and Grey Birch.
If you’re in any doubt with identification, of any of the above species (or any other species), as always, send me a photo and I’ll do my best to confirm it for you.