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Posts Tagged ‘Bee Moth’

Last night was quieter, but the bathroom moth trap has been setting an unanticipated and unprecedented standard in terms of both quantity and quality over most of the past week.

I’ve posted on the ones that I photographed and don’t expect to ID as well as those I’m hesitant about in the two preceding posts. This last catch up post features the moths I’ve been able to ID. Some have established themselves as regular visitors this year, others are returns from previous years. Happily though the list of visitors has now significantly expanded with some new species and new variants. Here they are:

Carcina quercana

Carcina quercana

This is a lovely moth from the family Oecophoridae which are as a group among the most colourful of those classed as micro moths. About half the world’s species are found in Australia; this one is normally on the wing in July and August and typically frequents woodland though I’ve seen it before in the strawberry patch. This one was in the bathroom a couple of nights ago and stayed until the previous evening but is now gone.

 The Least Carpet  (idaea rusticata atrosignaria) isn’t scarce but is found predominantly in the south-east of England from here around to Dorset and on the wing from June to August. The larvae feed on Ivy and Traveller’s Joy. This is the first I’ve seen and noted in the bathroom, it is prettier than the more common Garden Carpet.

Least Carpet (idaea rusticata atrosignaria)

Least Carpet (idaea rusticata atrosignaria)

Phylctaenia coronata is a regular visitor. It is associated with Elder both as a moth and in its larval form. It is on the wing through June and July.

Phylctaenia coronata

Phylctaenia coronata

The Magpie Moth (abraxas grossulariata) is one of the most eye catching moths to turn up in the bathroom; big and bright and distinctive. This is the first one I’ve seen in the bathroom. It is a common moth and will be on the wing through now until August. It isn’t particular in terms of plants. It has a wingspan in the order of 50mm but isn’t as heavy bodied as some, so it wasn’t such an overpowering presence, and quite lovely to look at when at rest. This particular one stayed overnight and until the following evening.  

Magpie Moth (abraxas grossulariata)

Magpie Moth (abraxas grossulariata)

The Small Magpie (eurrhypara hortulata) has been in any number of times this year; it has a shorter season, being on the wing in June and July. It is specifically associated with Common Nettle.

Small Magpie (eurrhypara hortulata)

Small Magpie (eurrhypara hortulata)

The Orange Moth (angerona prunaria) has been to the Bathroom light in previous years – it is the moth in the header photograph.  But it has two quite different forms. The one I used in the header is orange with a bit of brown bordering and light flecking across the wings. The moth that came into the bathroom was huge – certainly at least the 50mm guideline.

Orange Moth (angerona prunaria)

Orange Moth (angerona prunaria)

The Bee Moth (aphomia sociella) is a new one this year and made a second appearance. It is a threat to honeycomb and therefore not entirely to be welcomed. It is on the wing between June and August.

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella)

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella)

The Common Emerald (hemithea aestivaria) has been in the bathroom in past years but this year is appearing in far greater numbers. It also seems to be appearing in two forms: one deep emerald the other very washed out. They are in effect the same size and in no way resemble any of the other ‘emerald’ moths.

Udea olivalis

Udea olivalis

Udea olivalis is a common moth and on the wing in June and July. It has been in the house before this year, and I’ve spotted it in previous years. It is a pyralid, therefore a micro moth, found through out Britain and in its larval form dines on a variety of plants.

Willow Beauty (peribatodes rhomboidaria)

Willow Beauty (peribatodes rhomboidaria)

The Willow Beauty (peribatodes rhombaoidaria), on the wing between June and October though in two generations, is common and widespread. Like a lot of the moths that come to the bathroom the food plants include Ivy.

 And also…

Of course last night there would be more small moths I’m unsure of. The larger moth on the left in this photo is a Small Dusty Wave. The point of the pic. is the smaller moth on the right – I took several pictures but this is the one that shows its markings most clearly.

Small Dusty Wave and unidentified micro moth

Small Dusty Wave and unidentified micro moth

And then there was this moth. Its highly reflective scales meant I could not get a particularly good picture of it. For what it is worth:

Unidentified micro moth

Unidentified micro moth

And with that I have caught up on the moth trap and it remains only to sift through the photographs taken on my walk this afternoon.

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I’ll start by apologising to fellow residents in this part of Essex, and even more particularly to the organisers of and contributors to the region’s recent out burst of Culcha.

I hadn’t known until after the events that RiverFest had gone hi-tech with its own website and a Twitter account. I don’t believe that the ArtTrail has been tweeting but it certainly had its own website. I realise that I could have done much more to flog all this before my limited readership. Oh well.

The art’s still out and about for another four days according to the programme so if you’re in the vicinity and the weather’s fine there are worse things you could do. If all else fails there’s a place selling ice creams down by the river and the walk along the river itself isn’t awful. Just remember to stop before you get to the North Sea.

Back at the homestead the olive trees are still defiantly not in bloom. I’m on tenterhooks. The grapes are still minuscule. I’m determined not to invade their privacy until the buds on the olive trees begin to open and then I shall run a floral post.

I had really thought that the beautifully sunny warm weather of the past couple of days might do the trick but they are determined to drag their roots however auspicious the weather.

On the other hand this weather which holds out so much promise of excellent bug activity has not delivered. The moth counts are way down and that includes the kamikaze character who last night repeatedly head-butted the closed bathroom window. I fully expected to find a corpse on the ground outside below the window this morning but some how this thing survived. I guess it keeps what brains it has somewhere else.

There have been lots of smaller moths, though the White-shouldered and Brown House Moths are not among them. How odd that this year they’ve virtually disappeared when other moths are so prevalent.

The only big moth to make an entrance last night was a regular Bright-line Brown-eye, which is a pest of tomato plants and so not particularly welcome. New species over the past couple of days have been micro moths and harder to ID.

The first of them is a female of the Bee Moth (aphomia socialla).

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella) F.

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella) F.

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella) F.

Bee Moth (aphomia sociella) F.

The male and female of this moth are very different in appearance. It is on the wing from now until the end of summer. The larva feed on comb in the nests of wasps and bees (hence the name). Given our need for pollinators I’m unclear whether this moth is a monster or not. The books don’t say exterminate on sight. This one flew off in the night. I rather hope it lays any eggs it has to lay in a wasp nest.

This rather small macro moth seems pretty clearly to be a member of the sterrhinae sub-family of geometers and there are plenty of members of that family I’m prepared to say it isn’t.

Geometer

Geometer

It had gone by morning. Looking through last night’s photos to pick out the above shot I’ve been reminded that there was also a Garden Carpet. Just for the record.

The final moth is one that was in the bathroom a couple of  nights ago. Photographing moths against window is an exercise in futility of course, so I made my first attempt at capturing, chilling and then photographing. Sounds horrid but this character was none the worse for it, I promise. Anyway the point is after taking the photos against the window, trapping & etc I’ve realised that the least bad photograph of the twenty four hour period in terms of ID is the first one I took. Grrr. Thanks to it, I concluded I’d got myself either a Toadflax Pug or Foxglove Pug.

I didn’t have any confidence to make a call because the flight times didn’t seem to quite fit until checking in at Ben Sale’s blog where I noticed he’d posted a Foxglove (eupithecia pulchellata). So that’s what I’m going with. And I suppose it is almost appropriate to apologise at the end of the post, as I did at the start, though this time for the not great photograph.

Foxglove Pug (eupithecia puchellata)

Foxglove Pug (eupithecia puchellata)

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