Sunday 12 February 2017

2017 'January Challenge' - the results

Hello Mothers,

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

This year 11 mothers took part and between us we recorded 22 species (16 macro and 6 micro) and 554 moths (541 macro and 13 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part.
Only one person achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 13 species, Chris Williams was next with 7 species, followed by Sue Southam with 5 species. However, no-one managed to get the 5 species of the micro part of the challenge - the best was again myself with 4 species then Paul Roughley with 3 species.

Now for a more in depth breakdown of what was recorded.

Macros - As can be seen in the chart below the species recorded by the most people was the Pale Brindled Beauty (6 people) , this was followed by the Winter Moth and the Spring Usher (4). Across all recorders the most numerous species was the Spring Usher with a massive 244 moths, incredibly most (219 moths) were recorded by Chris Williams on just two nights. The Mottled Umber came second with 109 moths and the Winter Moth third with 76 moths..
The most moths recorded by individual recorders was Chris Williams 315, Peter Williams 194 and Sue Southam 21.
Of the 16 species recorded, none were totally unexpected, although the Engrailed and Spruce Carpet are always a good January records.

Micros - these were particularly thin on the ground this year with only four recorders trapping anything at all, but the species recorded by the most recorders was Agonopterix heracliana (3 people), followed by Acleris notana (2). No unexpected micro species were recorded this year.

The chart below gives a breakdown of the the top five numerous macro species recorded over the past six years. As can be seen, the Winter Moth (normally in the top two species) has been pushed down into third place this year, with the Spring Usher (not unexpectedly) and Mottled Umber coming first and second.  

Key to recorders who took part:-

DG:      Deborah Griffith        
SS:        Simon Spencer           
PRW:   Peter Williams
JP & MTT:    Julie Pearce & Mark Thomas 
PR:       Paul Roughley 
AT:       Alan Tadman * indicates observations rather than trapping 
GBC:    Gavin Chambers        
JH:        Jeny Heard     
SOS:     Sue Southam  
SAS:     Sarah Anstis-Smith    
CW:      Chris Williams * Indicates that the record shown as an Acleris notana is in fact an Acleris notanat/ferrugana Agg.

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this years 'challenge', especially to Deborah, who as last year ran her trap throughout the month and as last year once again recorded nothing at all - now there's dedication (or madness) for you!


Monday 6 February 2017

Final call for 2016 records

We will be doing our annual download to our database very soon, so if anyone has still got any moth records for 2016 that haven't been sent to me, would they please send them to me now, thanks.


Friday 3 February 2017

Mystery minibeast

Just wondering whether anyone recognises this? It's attached to an egg box in my moth trap - may have been there a while as it's only about 6mm long and very well camouflaged, so could easily have been overlooked..

Am guessing it's a pupa in a net-like cocoon, and it has 2 dark stripes on its upper side, and possibly another two below.

There's a picture of a Schreckensteinia festaliella larva ready for pupation in the Field Guide to Micro Moths book (thanks Paul), showing the net-like cocoon, but I can't find a convincingly striped larva/pupa photo.
Plutella xylostella makes a similar net case, but again haven't found any pictures where the stripes are evident - I guess it may change colour during the process - one site ( - an American website) stated that a pupa had changed from whitish to very dark overnight.
Guess rearing it on may be the only way, and I'm having a go, but it will be good to get folks' thoughts.

I've no idea how it came to be attached to the egg box!

January Challenge

Hello Moth-ers ,

Could you please now send me your results for the ‘January challenge’? It will be very interesting to see how those who took part got on as it was a very changeable month as regards the weather. Please remember that all lists must come from one trapping site. If you trapped at multiple sites then please send me a list for each site, thanks.

I need just three bits of information from you all:-
1) A full list of macro and micro species you recorded during January.
2) Total number of moths you recorded for each species.
3) How many days did you trap during January? Or if species were sighted other than ‘light trapped’, please state.

Please remember, it doesn’t matter how many species you recorded during the month, even if you caught just a single moth (or indeed nothing), please send me the details as it all goes towards building up the larger picture. Thanks.

Once I’ve gathered in all the data I will post the results on our website blog (address below).