Posted by: lensweb | September 4, 2017

More Moths at Toton

INTRODUCTION:

This was the third moth trapping session at Toton Sidings this year and the fourth session working towards a baseline study of wildlife in Toton. The dates of previous moth trapping sessions were 23 July 2016, 14 April 2017, 16 June 2017.

METHOD:

Skinner design moth traps were used, which consist of a wooden box with a central wooden crossbar housing a bulb holder and rain guard. Two large, angled pieces of clear Perspex have dual purposes, deflecting moths downwards, and allowing easy visual inspection to find moths which settle into the empty egg boxes which are placed in the box. Two 125W mercury vapour (MV) lamps were placed in similar habitat, out of line of site, halfway up Toton Hill overlooking the Toton Sidings Site. Currently the brownfield site looks like a woodland of ash, birch and willow with some hawthorn scrub. The traps had a clear outlook to the south-west at tree top level with hawthorn scrub screening a housing estate behind.

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RESULTS:

Date: 1 September 2017

Temperature: 16.1C-12.3C

Time: 20.15-24.00

Cloud: 65%

Moon: waxing gibbous

 

Toton Hill SK490351 01/09/2017
Trap 1
Latin name Common name Number of moths
Phlogophora meticulosa Angle Shades 1
Apotomis betuletana Birch Marble 4
Ennomos alniaria Canary-shouldered Thorn 3
Cilix glaucata Chinese Character 2
Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1
Korscheltellus lupulina Common Swift 2
Amphipyra pyramidea Copper Underwing 3
Ennomos fuscantaria Dusky Thorn 1
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 3
Agriphila geniculea Garden Grass-veneer 2
Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 4
Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing 15
Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 3
Pleuroptya ruralis Mother of Pearl 3
Mormo maura Old Lady 3 Local
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 3
Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic 13
Rivula sericealis Straw Dot 1
Agriphila straminella Straw Grass-veneer 1
Aplocera plagiata Treble-bar 2
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow beauty 4
Trap 2
Latin name Common name Number of moths
Enargia paleacea Angle-striped sallow 1 Nb
Apotomis betuletana Birch Marble 3
Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 1
Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House-moth 1
Ennomos alniaria Canary-shouldered Thorn 3
Dysstroma truncata Common Marbled Carpet 1
Emmelina monodactyla Common Plume 1
Mesapamea secalis Common Rustic 1
Korscheltellus lupulina Common Swift 3
Amphipyra pyramidea agg. Copper Underwing agg. 3
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 3
Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 4
Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing 8
Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 3
Pleuroptya ruralis Mother of Pearl 2
Amphipyra tragopoginis Mouse Moth 1
Acleris emargana Notch Wing Tortix 1
Mormo maura Old Lady 2 Local
Litoligia literosa Rosy Minor 1
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Mythimna impura Smoky Wainscot 1
Hypena proboscidalis Snout 1
Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic 11
Agriphila straminella Straw Grass-veneer 1
Aplocera plagiata Treble-bar 1
Hoplodrina ambigua Vine’s Rustic 1
Agriphila latistria White-streak Grass-veneer 1 Local
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow beauty 2
Camptogramma bilineata Yellow Shell 1

 

Discussion:

It was a very fine evening with a beautiful sunset. We could have wished for higher night time temperatures for moth trapping. The site did not look too promising with a lot of long grass, mainly brome, few wildflowers, some bramble and hawthorn, but there were a lot of wildflowers on the site in the summer and the chosen spot overlooks the treetops and the whole of the brownfield site of Toton Sidings.

The first moths to arrive were the common swifts, quickly followed by green carpet moths. It seems Toton must now classify as being in the southern half of Britain as the bright colours confirmed these must have been second generation moths.  Foodplants for the common swift are grasses, bedstraw for the green carpet moth.

By the end of the evening 140 moths had been trapped, 35 species of moths were identified.

The two most frequent moths were the large yellow underwing  and the square spot rustic. The square spot rustic a very common species found in woodland edges, waste ground and in suburban habitats, it has a distribution covering most of Britain. A frequent visitor to the light-trap, it flies in August and September. The nocturnal caterpillars feed during the winter, mainly on grasses, but also on other low-growing plants.

The large yellow underwing is possibly the most abundant of the larger moths, found throughout Britain. It exhibits a wide range of colour forms and patterns, although the yellow hindwings bordered with black remain pretty constant. It flies from July to September and is freely attracted to light; often hundreds arriving at the moth-trap in peak season. Occupying a range of habitats, the caterpillars feed on a variety of herbaceous plants and grasses.

The Angle-striped sallow is a distinctive yellow moth, the forewing is broad with a slightly hooked tip. There is also a fine, roughly centrally elbowed inner central cross line and curved outer cross line. It is a Nottinghamshire GRADE 2 SPECIES This category includes all Nationally Notable Group B species recorded from more than 5 10Km squares in Nottinghamshire since 1990, together with all Nationally Local species recorded from 5 or fewer 10Km squares in Nottinghamshire since 1990.

The Angle-striped sallow is Nationally Notable, scarce in the UK. Recorded from between 31 and 100 10Km squares of the national grid since 1980.

The Old Lady is a huge, sombre-coloured moth, which is distributed  locally throughout much of Britain, and common in places. It hides by day in old buildings and sheds, and frequents damp localities as well as waste ground and gardens. The adults are on the wing in July and August. The caterpillars feed in the spring after overwintering, on blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), and other shrubs and trees. It is a Nottinghamshire GRADE 3 SPECIES. This category includes all Nationally Local species recorded from more than 5 10Km squares in Nottinghamshire since 1990, together with all Nationally Common species recorded from 5 or fewer 10Km squares in Nottinghamshire since 1990. It is also nationally Local.  Locally distributed in the UK.  Recorded from between 101 and 300 10Km squares of the national grid since 1980.

White-streak grass veneer distinguished by its single, white longitudinal streak against a bright brown background. It is normally found in drier or coastal habitats and feeds on grasses, especially brome. It was classified as Local in Butterfly Conservation’s 2011 Microlepidoptera report.

All other species were common.

CONCLUSION: 35 species of moth were caught and identified. The Angle-striped sallow is Nationally Notable. The Old Lady and the White-streak grass veneer are of local status.

Thanks to UK Moths and The Conservation Status of Larger Moths in Nottinghamshire by Sheila Wright 2014 update.

 

Marion Bryce and Derek Brumbill with Norman Lewis MBE 1 September 2017


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