Posted by: lensweb | August 31, 2016

Nightlife at Clover Close

Fri Aug 26,  Clover Close, Elvaston

Moth Trapping

Meet 8.30pm at Thulston

Grid ref  SK407323

Leaders: Marion Bryce and Derek Brumbill

The weather has been so unreliable lately that we didn’t invite you to the moth trapping at Clover Close, the Coronation Meadow at Derbyshire County Council’s Country Park at Elvaston Castle. It would have been better with more people to carry the equipment as it was very difficult to get to Clover Close by the back way. Two Skinner traps were used, one with a 125w MV lamp and one with a 15w actinic lamp. The traps were placed out of line of sight near the pine copse in the middle of the field. When we finally got set up it was 8.50pm.


We were treated to a stately fly past of 2 tawny owls who kept calling throughout the evening. The sky was clear, it was lovely to see all the stars but it meant the temperature zoomed down to 14 degrees Centigrade and the moths were having difficulty getting the energy to fly. We could see green carpet moths and yellow shell moths clinging onto grass stems near the trap unable to fly. The first moth that made it into the trap was a gold spot, a very good looking moth.  A large black sexton beetle flew in, then a fair number of square spot rustics and feathered gothics made it to the light. Large yellow underwings blundered about inside the trap and we got some interesting micro moths.The yellow triangle slender has a name much bigger than itself.

The moth business was not brisk, the 125W MV tried hard but the 15W actinic caught very few moths. We cheered up when Sally and Robin arrived but we hadn’t got any big moths to show them, huge Old Lady had visited then left. Sally shone her torch on a barn owl which flew silently across the field. By 12 midnight the temperature was lower than 10 degrees. Time to go home.


When we opened the traps to pack up we found we had some interesting species, it was only the second time we had caught a maiden’s blush which has a ‘local’ ie less common, distribution and we hadn’t seen a dark chestnut before yet there were several in the trap. There were 31 species of which 27 were macro-moths. The highest number of moths were species which are found everywhere and species of grassland. There was one moth which shouldn’t have been there at all, the Gem is an immigrant species which likes warm sunny places, it is unable to overwinter in the UK.

Conistra ligula Dark Chestnut Common Hawthorn, oak etc
Plutella xylostella Diamond-back Moth Common Cabbage family
Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug Common Holly, ivy etc
Ennomos fuscantaria Dusky Thorn Common Ash, privet
Tholera decimalis Feathered Gothic Common Hard bladed grasses
Xanthorhoe designata Flame carpet Common Cabbage family
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder Common Herbaceous plants incl ribwort plantain
Luperina testacea Flounced Rustic Common Grass
Orthonama obstipata Gem Immigrant Bindweed, docks etc
Plusia festucae Gold Spot Common Sedge poss grass
Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet Common Bedstraw, cleavers
Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing Common Grass, dock
Noctua janthe Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Common Hawthorn & herbaceous plants
Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Underwing Common Nettle, dock etc
Cyclophora punctaria Maiden’s Blush Local Oak
Acleris forsskaleana Maple Button Common Field maple, sycamore
Cryphia domestica Marbled Beauty Common Lichen
Mormo maura Old Lady Local Dock, hawthorn
Chilo phragmitella Reed Veneer Local Reed sweetgrass etc
Hydraecia micacea Rosy Rustic Common Dock, plantain etc
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character Common Nettle, willowherb
Diarsia rubi Small Square-spot Common Dandelion, dock etc
Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic Common Grass, plantain
Rivula sericealis Straw Dot Common Grass
Acentria ephemerella Water Veneer Common Canadian waterweed
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow Beauty Common Hawthorn, ivy, pine etc
Camptogramma bilineata Yellow Shell Common Cleavers, docks etc
Caloptilia alchimiella Yellow-triangle Slender Common Oak


Marion Bryce 31 August 2016

Data from Waring and Townsend Field Guide to Moths Revised edition: Sterling and Parsons Field Guide to Micromoths




































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