Moths: April 2022
Ditto, ditto. Although the temperature stayed above the dizzy heights of 8.3°C the moths were not impressed and there were just five- two Common Quakers and singles of Oblique-striped,Shuttle-shaped Dart and Powdered Quaker.
Weather – ditto, moths not ditto. There were 21 of 16 species. This included the first Pinion-spotted Pug and Poplar Hawk-moth for the year. The former is not annual here. Also of interest were Red-green Carpet, Lychnis, Oblique-striped, and two Bright-line Brown-eyes.
Weather-ditto, resulting in just five moths. One of these was a Dog’s Tooth. I was surprised to find this was not our earliest record of this species which is regularly a mid-May species – this was April 23rd. The books say it can also be an immigrant and it is a slightly more patterned form than the usual.
Cloud gathered overnight keeping the temperature above 8.1°C but the easterly persists. There were 22 moths of 14 species. The best were the second Oblique-striped and Rustic Shoulder-knot for the year.
The wind still limits night-time activity and there were 18 moths of nine species, but of a different make up to the previous night. Rustic Shoulder-knot was new for the year. Five Flame Shoulders were the most numerous species followed by four Bright-line Brown-eyes.
A Seraphim was found on the Deal toll booth in the afternoon.
A bit of cloud kept the temperature above 7.4°C and there were 20 moths of 11 species. Yellow Belle was new for the year and it is proving a good year for Emperor moths with another female in the trap.
Putting some traps in the shelter of the Elms proved interesting. Pine Beauty was the highlight and V Pug, Streamer and Small Square-spot were new for the year. The warmth of the sun certainly seems to be helping some moths emerge early.
Having given up waiting for the cold easterly to go the trap was back out. There were 17 moths of 13 species. This included the first Oblique-striped and Pyrausta despicata for the year and two Bright-line Brown-eyes.
Conditions are changing and a period of cool onshore breezes is forecast which will greatly reduce activity. It also remains dry. Last night there were 19 moths of 12 species. A Blossom Underwing was notable and takes the total recorded here nearer to ten. Also new for the year was Mullein, we tend to see more of their larvae than adults. A Red Chestnut was the first for a few days.
After a lovely warm day with only a light south easterly, the temperature only dropped to 7.3°C and the catch improved. There were 39 moths of 16 species. New for the year were Puss Moth, Knot-grass (2), and Bright-line Brown-eye. Despite these early records there was also a late Dotted Border. Powdered Quaker (8) almost equalled Common Quaker (9). There was also our first Cinnabar of the year seen at the Point.
Similar conditions dropped the temperature a bit lower to 3.6°C. Despite this there were three times as many moths i.e. 12. These were six Hebrew Characters, four Common Quakers, and two Clouded Drabs.
With clear skies and a bright full moon it was not a surprise that there were only four moths – three Hebrew Characters inside and one on the outside.
The first Clouded Border of the year was enjoying the shelter provided by the Haven trees.
Some early light rain meant there was cloud around and the southerly breeze brought another coating of dust. The sky did clear allowing the temperature to drop to 6°C. There were 33 moths of 15 species. These included the first Nut-tree Tussock, Lychnis and Chinese Character of the year.
The trap by the feeders continued to have only a few moths but made up for it with the species. Twin-spot Quaker and Double-striped Pug were both new for the year but best of all was an early Rush Veneer. It looked like it had battled up from southern Europe as it was very worn.
There were 21 moths of 11 species in the main trap. This time Cabbage and Pebble Prominent were new for the year. Two Heralds added a splash of colour and Common Quaker continued to be most numerous with six.
An actinic trap in the Elms gave the first Red Twin-spot Carpet for the year. The moth shed added its own catch with another emergence of the micro Mompha epilobiella, with over 20 on the windows.
The weather is warming up during the day but still cool at night, dropping to 7.8°C. There were only 17 moths of 11 species but this did include The first Swallow Prominent and Shuttle-shaped Dart of the year plus a very smart female Emperor Moth.
The wind dropped but it was a clear sky dropping the temperature to 0°C. However, there were still some moths. Thirty moths of nine species were caught. Three Muslins were the first for the year and there was a second Flame Shoulder. Clouded Drab topped the table with seven.
The wind picked up through the night and there were only six moths of five species caught. Pale Pinion was the best of the bunch.
A couple of nights when it should be okay to have the trap out before another burst of wind and/or rain. Last night yielded 26 moth of six species. Flame Shoulder was new for the year.
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