Saturday 2 December 2023

Some Moths during Late Autumn

 Autumn is now over and temperatures have dropped considerably as we move into Winter. Since the start of December, night-time temperatures have dropped to below zero and day-time temperatures haven't risen much higher than 4 or 5 degrees centigrade. The moth trap will go into temporary hibernation until we get a few days of milder weather.

Here are some images of moths during late Autumn.

December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) (male)

Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) (male)

Scarce Umber (Agriopis aurantiaria) (male)

Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria) (male)

November Moth (Epirrita dilutata) (or Epirrita sp.)

Sprawler (Asteroscopus sphinx)

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)

Rusty-dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis)

The following two species of micro-moth are winter hibernators and I regularly disturb them when working in the woods.

Agonopterix ocellana 

(pale and dark forms) 

Agonopterix arenella

Musotima nitidalis

This species is an accidental import from the Antipodes and is now well established in East Sussex and beyond. 

A couple of fungi species to finish on. They are both very common and can be found in a variety of habitats.

Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus)

Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare)

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Changing Seasons

 Summer extended it's influence into early October as the first couple of weeks were mild with prolonged sunny spells. As the month progressed, Autumn took more of a hold and the weather became more changeable and blustery. Now we are into November, slightly cooler temperatures accompany the wind and rain and meteorological Winter officially starts in three weeks time. 

There were certainly a few butterflies still on the wing as October began but as the month continued, insects in general dwindled in number and my focus has turned to looking for fungi.

Small White (Pieris rapae) (mating)

Red-legged Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)

Sphaerophoria taeniata (Hoverfly sp.)

Glyphotaelius pellucidus (Caddisfly sp.)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) (female)

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

False Death Cap (Amanita citrina)

Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum)

The following fungus has got me scratching my head. I think that it may be a member of the Cortinariaceae group. The images are of the same specimen taken eleven days apart.

Winter work has begun in the wood, starting with the burning of Rhododendron waste cut since last winter.



Friday 20 October 2023

Some Moths during Early Autumn

 The weather during the first half of October was pretty good for moth-trapping and here are some fairly typical moth species that appear at this time of year.

Merveille du Jour (Dichonia aprilina)

Sallow (Xanthia icteritia)

Barred Sallow (Xanthia aurago)

Pink-barred Sallow (Xanthia togata)

Lunar Underwing (Omphaloscelis lunosa)

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)

Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra)

Green-brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae)

L-album Wainscot (Mythimna l-album)

Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota)

Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)

Grey Shoulder-knot (Lithophane ornitopus lactipennis)

Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria)

Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata)

Pine Carpet (Thera firmata)

Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)

Sunday 1 October 2023

Some Moths during September

         As summer ends and autumn begins, an interesting variety of species can be attracted to the moth trap in the form of rare or regular migrants and late season residents.

Blue Underwing (Catocala fraxini)

This magnificent moth, also known as the Clifden Nonpareil, historically only occurred in Britain as a rare migrant but during the last decade or two it has become an occasional breeder in southern England.

Of the following images, the first three and the next three are of two different individuals.

Portland Ribbon Wave (Idaea degeneraria)

This species has only ever been a regular resident breeding species on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.

In recent years however, it has regularly been recorded at light traps in Sussex, most likely from migration across the English Channel and may now be an occasional breeder in the county.

Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata alternata)

Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)

Centre-barred Sallow (Atethmia centrago)

Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae)

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)

Svensson's Copper Underwing (Amphipyra berbera svenssoni)

Although a little worn, this specimen was displaying particularly drab markings.

Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)