Tuesday, 12 February 2019

January Moth Challenge 2019


Hello Moth-ers,

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

This year only nine mothers took part, which considering the mild January we had is a little disappointing, but between us we did manage to record 30 species, the highest figure ever for the challenge (19 macro and 11 micro) and 643 moths (607 macro and 36 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part. Because of the mild weather, (apart from the last few days of the month when it turned quite a bit colder) moth numbers were well up on last year.
Only one person achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 14 species. Sue Southam was very unlucky, just missing the target with 9 species, followed closely by Julie Pearce/Mark Thomas who recorded 8 species. I also managed to achieve the micro part of the challenge with 9 species (the most micro species ever recorded for the challenge).

The recorders who have shared this year's coveted ‘wooden MV bulb’ award (formally the ‘wooden spoon’ award), are; Deborah Griffiths, Clare Boyes and Paul Roughley, but well done for having a go.

Recorder BP TS DG SOS PR CBo JP & MTT JeH PRW Count of species Count of moths
Species: Macro moths Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count
Log No. Days Trapped/recorded 6 1 7 17 3 1 12 4 30
1769 Spruce Carpet - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1775 Mottled Grey 3 - - - - - - - 177 2 180
1799 Winter Moth - - - 4 - - - - 104 2 108
1925 Small Brindled Beauty - - - - - - 1 - - 1 1
1926 Pale Brindled Beauty - 1 - 22 - - 11 1 52 5 87
1932 Spring Usher - - - 12 - - 4 - 20 3 36
1934 Dotted Border - - - - - - - - 4 1 4
1935 Mottled Umber 3 - - 3 - - 5 - 82 4 93
1947 Engrailed - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1960 Early Moth 1 - - 6 - - 3 - 6 4 16
2187 Common Quaker - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
2188 Clouded Drab - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
2190 Hebrew Character - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
2241 Red Sword-grass - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
2243 Early Grey - - - - - - 1 - - 1 1
2256 Satellite 2 - - - - - - - - 1 2
2258 Chestnut 3 - - 26 - - 1 1 30 5 61
2259 Dark Chestnut - - - 2 - - 1 - 2 3 5
2321 Dark Arches - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
Macro species recorded 5 1 0 9 0 0 8 2 14 19
Macro moths recorded 12 1 0 77 0 0 27 2 488 607
Log No. Species: Micro moths
461 Ypsolopha ustella - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
464 Plutella xylostella - - - - - - - - 12 1 12
647 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
688 Agonopterix heracliana - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
688 Agonopterix heracliana - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1025 Tortricodes  alternella  - - - 1 - - 3 - 2 3 6
1045 Acleris notana - - - - - - - - 6 1 6
1054 Acleris cristana - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
1057 Acleris hastiana - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
1288 Alucita hexadactyla - - - 1 - - - - 1 2 2
1398 Nomophila noctuella 1 - - - - - - - - 1 1
Micro species/moths recorded 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 9 11
Micro moths recorded 1 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 29 36
Total species macro + micro 6 1 0 12 0 0 9 2 23 30
Total count macro + micro 13 1 0 80 0 0 30 2 517 643


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

Macros - As can be seen in the chart above several people managed to record 4+ species. Across all recorders the most numerous species was the Mottled Grey (180 moths), pushing last year's species with top spot the Winter moth (108) into second place and the Mottled Umber (93) took the third spot.
The most moths recorded by individual recorders was 488 by myself, Sue 77 and Julie/Mark 27.

Of the 19 species recorded, those worthy of a special mention are, Dark Arches - which is the first January record for Montgomeryshire, which resulted from a partial very late second brood; Red Sword-grass - an overwintering species brought out by the mild weather. And an slightly early Small Brindled Beauty, which aren't usually on the wing until February.

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 any micro species. The species recorded by the most recorders was Tortricodes alternella (3 people). Only one person achieved the target figure of five species, that was myself with 9 species. There weren't really any unexpected micro species recorded this year although the autumn/winter influx of Plutella xylostella was still quite apparent.

The chart below shows the top five macro species recorded (along with the total of moths) in the last eight years. 2019 was certainly one of the better years.

January moth challenge - Top five recorded macro species for the last eight years
Year 2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019  
  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
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
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
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
5 Spring Usher 13 Early Moth 16 Herald 15 Chestnut 13 Mottled Grey 21 Mottled Grey 23 Chestnut 18 Chestnut 61
                                 
Tot   247   610   329   123   172   497   144   529



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



BP       Ben Porter, Machynlleth
TS        Tammy Stretton, Welshpool
DG      Deborah Griffith, Welshpool
SOS     Sue Southam, Guilsfield
PR       Paul Roughly, Abermule
CBo     Clare Boyes, Middletown
JP&MTT    Julie Pearce & Mark Thomas, Aberbechan
JeH      Jeny Heard, Montgomery
PRW   Peter Williams, Commins Coch
Thanks once again to all those who took part.

Happy mothing to all in 2019.

Peter.


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