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Posts Tagged ‘agapeta hamana’

The past couple of nights have been very quiet indoors. I spent a while last night watching a Common Emerald bobbing back and forth across the outside of the bathroom window; that was the nearest I came to seeing a macro species inside.

The only two moths to actually come into the house were a Bird-cherry Ermine (yponomeuta evonymella) :

Bird-cherry Ermine (yponomeuta evonymella)

Bird-cherry Ermine (yponomeuta evonymella)

Bird-cherry Ermine (yponomeuta evonymella)

Bird-cherry Ermine (yponomeuta evonymella)

The other small moth was an agapeta hamana, but whereas the Ermine was in lustrous condition this moth looked rather worn and faded.

The night before last was even slower. The only moth, and again it was very, very small was (I think) tinea trinotella; a moth the larvae of which feed off what they can find in birds’ nests. Perhaps another candidate for “icky thing of the moth”?

tinea trinotella

tinea trinotella

Now the only other thing to remark on is the relative absence this year of non-moth insects: in past years I’ve had beetles, bugs, bush-crickets (katydids). All sorts. Well last night for the first time this summer I had a greenlace wing. In the past I’ve looked into determining the species but greenlace wing species are hard to differentiate – way beyond my level of competence. I still like them, they’re quite pretty and relatively harmless.

Green lacewing

Green lacewing

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Last night was quiet again, even quieter than the previous night though with an almost completely new cast of characters.

A Dark Arches again lurked, in almost the same place. Had it not been for the moth’s absence during the day (oh, and the lack of any damage to the trailing edge) I might have thought it the same specimen. But a Small Magpie and a phylctaenia cornata were back again as well as a pair (this time) of another micro moth, agapeta hamana.

The other two moths in last night were large moths I haven’t yet ID’d, though I think these are both new ones or at least moths making their first appearance this year. And they both appear already to have been in the wars. Unfortunately neither is captured terribly well so I’ve rather handicapped myself in terms of sorting out what they are. At the moment I think the first a Wainscot and the second possibly the Dingy Shears. I have a rather hectic weekend ahead so may not get these nailed until early next week when I have a bit of what passes as ‘down time’.

Wainscot?

Wainscot?

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While I’m still moderately guilty with excitement at the overnight olive grove developments in between bits of work and alternate forms of displacement activity I have knuckled down to organising the records of the things that have either come into the house or been found by me outdoors while working or on walks.

This afternoon while pottering about at the far corner of the front beyond the greengage section on a fence panel largely shrouded in ivy I found these two moths this afternoon:

Currant Pug and eudonia mercurella

Currant Pug and eudonia mercurella

I’m frankly struggling to differentiate these pugs which are so similar in size and shape. It might well be the Currant Pug is one that has visited the bathroom of an evening but only with the natural light was I able to be even reasonably certain about the ID. The other is definitely a new one for me. The pug flew off to hide in the ivy when I took the first picture. The other moth chose to stay and I was able to get this better picture:

Eudonia mercurella

Eudonia mercurella

Most of the new moths have been small and therefore probably the relatively poorly documented micro moths. The major new macro moths are the following two, both making their first ever appearance – as noted by me, in the bathroom.

The Clay (mythimna ferrago)

The Clay (mythimna ferrago)

The Clay (mythimna ferrago)

The Clay (mythimna ferrago)

This is a specimen of the Clay (mythimna ferrago), a noctuid that is described as ‘plain’ in one authority but is actually a rather lovely colour, and heavy bodied relative to its wingspan (c.40mm). It is also described as common though a scan of my archive of pictures confirms I’ve not photographed it before. I uplifted this to flickr before posting and didn’t name it as I wasn’t certain. Thanks to Andrew MacKaywho came by and confirmed the ID. The link is to Andrew’s photostream.

Flame Shoulder (ochropleura plecta)

Flame Shoulder (ochropleura plecta)

This isn’t a great photo but representative. This moth is also a noctuid, again common and on the wing for a relatively extended period – April through to September. It isn’t particular in terms of habitat and the larvae feed on various herbaceous plants so it is slightly surprising this is the first I’ve seen.

Three other moths made their first appearance for the year.

Dwarf Cream Wave (idaea fuscovenosa)

Dwarf Cream Wave (idaea fuscovenosa)

And these ones which are personal favourites and quite unmistakeable:

Hook-marked Straw Moth (agapeta hamana)

Hook-marked Straw Moth (agapeta hamana)

Swallow-tailed Moth (ourapteryx sambucaria)

Swallow-tailed Moth (ourapteryx sambucaria)

Agapeta hamana is classed as a micro moth and doesn’t necessarily even make it into a reasonably comprehensive guide to British Moths. Ah well. The Swallow-tailed Moth is unmistakeable and I missed it last year. It is relatively a large British species of moth with a wing span of c.55mm. It is common, too.

Sometimes there’s so little room left in the moth trap bathroom the moths are having to rest on the floor. A couple of nights recently I’ve been worried I’d tread on one of these stupid but often lovely creatures.

Among the moths that have been in the bathroom over the course of the past two nights, having already made their first appearance are

Orange Moth
Bright-Line Brown-eye
Common Emerald
Willow Beauty
Riband Wave
Diamond-backed
Small Magpie
Broom
Small Blood-vein
Least Carpet
L-album Wainscot
Small Dusty Wave
Bee Moth

And there were a number of unidentified moths, mostly small (ie, wingspans of quite a bit less than 20mm). These moths don’t always lend themselves to the taking of good representative photographs: the following are some of the better pictures I was able to obtain. As ever any suggestions would be welcomed and gratefully received.

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possibly crambus perlella

possibly crambus perlella

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