Posted by: lensweb | June 29, 2017

Another Close Encounter

Moth Trapping at Clover Close

Sunday, 25 June 2017,  Clover Close, Elvaston

Moth Trapping

Meet 9.30pm-1.00am  Grid ref  SK407323

Marion Bryce and Derek Brumbill

A spell of warm weather lured us into moth trapping at Clover Close. Two Skinner traps were used, a 125w MV lamp and a 15w actinic lamp. These were placed out of line of sight near the pine copse in the centre edge of the field. When we finally got set up it was 10.00pm.


A beautiful white barn owl floated over the top of the grass soaring and searching, finally going down for a feast of field vole, but where were the moths? The cloud cover was 100% but thin, and the temperature zoomed down to 10 degrees Centigrade, Brrr!  As we had made the effort we decided to wait it out. Excitingly our first moth was a huge brown furry Drinker, a very good looking moth.  Apart from Common Footman, Smoky Wainscot and Rustic ten of, the moths were few and far between but we managed to catch some which landed just short of the light. At 1am a Poplar Hawk Moth signalled the end of our session.

When we opened the traps to pack up we found very few moths, the most interesting catch was a summer chafer Amphimallon solstitiale . Altogether that night there were 37 species of moth identified of which 32 were macro-moths. The highest number of moths were species which  feed on coarse grass or bramble and also the nearby trees and shrubs. The most interesting moth was a micromoth, the Rough-winged conch, it’s white face and front legs shining in the light of the trap, tufted and unkempt, looking like a caddis larva that has gathered stones to decorate it’s case. This woodland species is distributed mainly in southern England, becoming scarcer further north into the Midlands. It is on the wing during May and June, and flies around dusk. During the day it relies on camouflage, taking on the appearance of a bird-dropping. The larvae feed on white bryony (Bryonia dioica). Listed as LOCAL in Waring and Townsend it is COMMON in the Butterfly Conservation Microlepidoptera Report 2011. Maybe it depends if you live in the North or the South of the UK?

List of moth species at Clover Close 25 June 2017 with the larval food plant

Species Common name
Agriphila straminella Straw Grass-veneer Fine Grass Common
Agrotis exclamationis Heart & Dart Herbaceous plants incl dock, plantain Common
Alcis repandata Mottled Beauty Hawthorn, bramble Common
Bupalus piniaria Bordered White Scot’s Pine Common
Cabera pusaria Common White Wave Birch, Chestnut, Sallow Common
Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald Many trees and shrubs Common
Camptogramma bilineata Yellow Shell Herbaceous plants incl cleavers, bedstraws Common
Diarsia mendica Ingrailed Clay Herbaceous and woody plants incl bramble Common
Ditula angustiorana Red-barred Tortrix Most trees and shrubs Common
Dysstroma truncata Common Marbled Carpet Many incl willow, bramble Common
Eilema lurideola Common Footman Hawthorn, lichens Common
Eulithis mellinata Spinach Blackcurrant Common
Euplexia lucipara Small Angle Shades Wide range incl bracken, ivy, foxglove Common
Euthrix potatoria Drinker Coarse grass Common
Habrosyne pyritoides Buff Arches Bramble Common
Hemithea aestivaria Common Emerald Hawthorn, hazel etc Common
Hoplodrina blanda Rustic Herbaceous plants incl chickweed, dock, plantain Common
Hypena proboscidalis Snout Pellitory Common
Idaea aversata Riband Wave Herbaceous plants incl dandelion, primrose Common
Idaea biselata Small Fan-footed Wave Low plants Common
Idaea dimidiata Single-dotted Wave Cow Parsley Common
Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth Poplar and Willow Common
Lomaspilis marginata Clouded Border Willow Common
Lozotaeniodes formosana Orange Pine Scot’s Pine Common
Mythimna ferrago Clay Grass incl cocksfoot and meadow grass Common
Mythimna impura Smoky Wainscot Coarse grass Common
Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing Herbaceous plants incl dock Common
Nola cucullatella Short-cloaked Moth Hawthorn etc Common
Oligia fasciuncula Middle barred Minor Grass Common
Oligia strigilis Marbled Minor Grass Common
Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth Many incl blackthorn, hawthorn Common
Photedes minima Small Dotted Buff Tufted Hairgrass Common
Phtheochroa rugosana Rough-winged Conch White Bryony Local
Thyatira batis Peach Blossom Bramble Common
Timandra comae Bloodvein Coarse grass Common
Tortrix viridana Green Oak Tortrix Oak and other trees Common
Xestia triangulum Double-square Spot Many plants, buttercups, cow parsley Common

If data from the two previous moth trapping sessions is included, 26 August and 1 September 2016, we now have 56 moths on the Elvaston list. To these we could add several moths which have been seen in the day time, Ghost, Chimney Sweeper, Shaded Broad-bar, Cinnabar, Narrow-bordered 5-spot burnet and 6 -spot Burnet. As the hay meadow flora improves it is expected that the number of species of moth will increase.

Elvaston Moths

Species Common name
Agriphila geniculea Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer
Agriphila straminella Straw Grass-veneer
Agrotis exclamationis Heart & Dart
Alcis repandata Mottled Beauty
Amphipyra pyramidea Copper Underwing
Amphipyra tragopoginis Mouse Moth
Atethmia centrago Centre-barred Sallow
Bupalus piniaria Bordered White
Cabera pusaria Common White Wave
Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald
Camptogramma bilineata Yellow Shell
Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet
Diarsia mendica Ingrailed Clay
Diarsia rubi Small Square-spot
Ditula angustiorana Red-barred Tortrix
Dysstroma truncata Common Marbled Carpet
Eilema lurideola Common Footman
Ennomos fuscantaria Dusky Thorn
Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth
Eulithis mellinata Spinach
Euplexia lucipara Small Angle Shades
Euthrix potatoria Drinker
Euzophera pinguis Ash-bark Knot-horn
Habrosyne pyritoides Buff Arches
Hemithea aestivaria Common Emerald
Hoplodrina blanda Rustic
Hypena proboscidalis Snout
Idaea aversata Riband Wave
Idaea biselata Small Fan-footed Wave
Idaea dimidiata Single-dotted Wave
Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth
Lomaspilis marginata Clouded Border
Lozotaeniodes formosana Orange Pine
Mesapamea secalis agg. Common Rustic agg.
Mythimna ferrago Clay
Mythimna impura Smoky Wainscot
Mythimna pallens Common Wainscot
Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing
Nola cucullatella Short-cloaked Moth
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder
Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow beauty
Photedes minima Small Dotted Buff
Phtheochroa rugosana Rough-winged Conch
Rhizedra lutosa Large Wainscot
Rivula sericealis Straw Dot
Tholera decimalis Feathered Gothic
Thyatira batis Peach Blossom
Timandra comae Bloodvein
Tortrix viridana Green Oak Tortrix
Watsonalla binaria Oak Hook-tip
Xanthorhoe fluctuata Garden Carpet
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character
Xestia sexstrigata Six-striped Rustic
Xestia triangulum Double-square Spot
Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic


Marion Bryce 29 June 2017

Data from Waring and Townsend Field Guide to Moths Revised edition: Sterling and Parsons Field Guide to Micromoths also Ian Kimber ‘UK Moths’



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