Thursday, August 8, 2013

TQ6410 - Plodding along ....

I don’t mind admitting I’ve almost ground to a crawl on the 1KSQ front during July which should have been one of the most productive months of the year. But some pretty serious, heavy-duty family stuff has been on-going behind the scenes recently and while all this hasn’t prevented me from occasionally walking around the square or even running the odd moth-trap here on the plot (but see also below), my main focus has necessarily been well away from TQ6410 of late. The recent hot weather and moth-trapping efforts also delivered a bit of a double whammy here and partly explain why I’m not exactly racing towards that elusive four-figure total as quite a few others have already impressively achieved.

On the one hand, more moths than I can possibly deal with, seem to end up in, around, on top of, or even underneath the old trap (as well as in the workshop when they’ve flown out of the trap), never mind all those hanging up or hiding away in the vegetation in the plot’s upper meadow/trapping area. Not only that, but I still haven’t quite got the hang of this moth-trapping malarkey, even after weeks and months of pink and orange blobs looming in front of me, eyes opened or closed. On more than one occasion last month, I found myself still crawling around on hands and knees with a torch in the dewy grass near the trap in the upper meadow, pill-boxes over-flowing, just as the first light of dawn straddled the north-eastern horizon and the rooks got going in the wood next door. In short, I kept forgetting to go to bed while the lamp was on and kept getting hopelessly, though enthusiastically engrossed (and knackered) by all the night-time lepidoptera on this plot.

 Brown Long-eared Bats' left-overs inside the barn  .... I'm not the only one catching moths here!

One of the downsides to the July heatwave and my on-going (day-time) surveys, wildlife treks, gardening work and vital family stuff elsewhere, is that I didn’t always leave enough time the next morning to give those poor old moths my undivided attention (for ID purposes). And so on more than one occasion, I released them all before I’d logged any mega rarities or added significantly to my 1KSQ total. Worse still, I was often way too dozy to have any hope in hell of writing up yet another blog so to get this far with my next 1KSQ contribution, I resolutely ignored the moth-trap on some of the warmest nights of the year and opted for some sleep instead!

But none of this properly explains the lack of smaller invertebrates in my total - I really ought to do a bit of beating and sweeping around the plot. But then I’d be back to square one and the mothy excuses I’ve just offered would apply equally to trying to identify a fridge full of obscure insects!

6th July - around the plot and square:
752 - Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris 

753 - Notch-horned Cleg-fly Haematopota pluvialis (above) ... tucking into my left arm ....

754 - Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (left)
755 - Bramble Shoot Moth Epiblema uddmanniana (micro-moth)
756 - Grey Dagger Acronicta psi
757 - Barred Yellow Cidaria fulvata
758 - Green Silver-lines Pseudoips prasinana

759 - Small Elephant Hawk Deilephila porcellus (above) .... one of four in the trap along with fourteen Large Elephant Hawks ...

760 - Pine Hawk Hyloicus pinastri
761 - Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (micro-moth)
762 - Bird’s Wing Dypterygia scabriuscula
763 - Green Pug Pasiphila rectangulata
764 - Hoverfly Cheilosia illustrata
765 - Barred Straw Eulithis pyraliata on the grass by the moth-trap
766 - Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris

767 - Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum (above ... two species?) on the edge of the arable field by the farm, SW corner of TQ6410, overlooking the Pevensey Levels and South Downs west of Eastbourne)
768 - Enchanter’s Nightshade Circaea lutetiana
769 - Water Plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica 

8th July - around the plot and square:
770 - Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum

771 - Twin-lobed Deer-fly Chrysops relictus (above) ... four on the barn's windbreak netting ...
772 - Fly Poecilobothrus nobilitatus
773 - Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis

10th July around the square:
774 - Miller Acronicta leporina

775 - Four-lined Horsefly Atylotus rusticus (above) ... two on creeping thistle flowers near the farm and church and two on the windbreak netting in the barn
776 - Brown House-moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella (micro-moth)
777 - Common Footman Eilema lurideola
778 - Wall Barley Hordeum murinum

13th July - around the plot and square:
779 - Little Emerald Jodis lactearia
780 - Common Centaury Centaurium erythraea
781 - Dot Moth Melanchra persicariae
782 - Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea
783 - Eucosma campolilana (micro-moth)
784 - Meadow Barley Hordeum brachyantherum

14th July (moth-trap) …. one of the mothiest night of the year .... but there were more to follow!
785 - Festoon Apoda limacodes
786 - Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria
787 - Blood-vein Timandra comae
788 - Rosy Footman Miltochrista miniata
789 - Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella (micro-moth)
790 - July Highflyer Hydriomena furcata
791 - Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis (micro-moth)
792 - Garden Tiger Arctia caja
793 - Brown-tailed Moth Euproctis chrysorrhoea
794 - Leopard Moth Zeuzera pyrina
795 - Bee Moth Aphomia sociella
796 - Clay Triple-lines Cyclophora linearia

15th July - around the plot and square:

797 - Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis
798 - Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
799 - Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea

800 - White Admiral Limenitis camilla (above) Along the wet woodland edge by the Castle's bridleway pond. Not the greatest photo ever but a very welcome first for the square. Had no idea they even existed nearby .....

16th July - around the square, plot and moth-trap:
801 - Common Rustic Mesapamea secalis
802 - Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis (micro-moth)
803 - Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata
804 - Fan-foot Zanclognatha tarsipennalis
805 - Yarrow Plume Platyptilia pallidactyla (micro-moth)
806 - Aleimma loeflingiana (micro moth)
807 - Common Wainscot Mythimna pallens
808 - Tutsan Hypericum androsaemum ... growing in a grassy bank near the Castle's Bader building
809 - Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

17th Jul - around the plot:
810 - Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile willughbiella (above) in and out of a small plant-pot on the outdoor benching while I was watering the plants. The bee was less than impressed ….. but all safely back on the plant-bench now.

811 - Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

18th July - moth trap:
812 - Buff Ermine Spilosoma luteum
813 - Small Dotted Buff Photedes minima
814 - Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria
815 - Endotricha flammealis (micro-moth)
816 - Carcina quercana (micro-moth)
817 - Clepsis consimilana (micro-moth)
818 - Garden Grass Veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella (micro-moth)

21st July - around the plot:
819 - Purple Hairstreak Neozephyrus quercus ... spiralled out of the rookery wood oaks and down to the smaller oak-trees re-generating widely around the upper plot the other evening (my third sighting here).

22nd July:
820 - Agapeta hamana (micro-moth) flew in with the mozzies through the open window the other evening.
821 - Agapeta zoegana (micro-moth) ditto …. and again on 2ndAug
822 - Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus …. a female found on the wind-break netting and somehow missed by the bats.

26th July - moth-trap:
823 - Black Arches Lymantria monacha
824 - Poplar Lutestring Tethea or
825 - Small Emerald Hemistola chrysoprasaria
826 - Lesser Common Rustic Mesapamea didyma
827 - Rustic Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens
828 - Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe
829 - Dun-bar Cosmia trapezina
830 - Acleris forsskaleana (micro-moth)
831 - Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella (micro-moth)
832 - Scalloped Oak Crocallis elinguaria

28th July - around the plot:
833 - Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia  ... spotted by elder daughter nectaring on bramble (the SWF, not my daughter) - a first ever for the plot (and square?) - while we were doing a trial run for the Big Butterfly Count.
834 - Yellow-tailed moth Euproctis similis
835 - Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix

1st Aug - around the plot:
836 - Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

4th Aug - around the plot and moth-trap:
837 - Figwort Sawfly Tenthredo scrophulariae (above)

838 - Chalkhill Blue Polyommatus coridon (above) ... only the second sighting at the plot. Probably blown across the Pevensey Levels from the South Downs above Eastbourne or Polegate 7-8 miles away as the crow flies (weather conditions were exactly the same as per the previous sighting in 1996).

839 - Magpie Moth Abraxas grossulariata
840 - Marbled Green Cryphia muralis
841 - Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria

842 - Reed Dagger Simyra albovenosa (above) ..... well, I hope it is, anyway. Only the second record here at the plot.
843 - Meal Moth Pyralis farinalis (micro-moth)
844 - Smoky Wainscot Mythimna impura
845 - Yellow-spotted Lance-wing Phaulernis fulviguttella (micro-moth)

5th Aug - around the plot and square:
846 - Wall Brown Lasiommata megera ....  on the edge of the arable field by the farm
847 - Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata
848 - Wych Elm Ulmus glabra
849 - Black Nightshade Solanum nigrum
850 - Good King Henry Chenopodium bonus-henricus
851 - Black Bindweed Fallopia convolvulus (these last three near the farmyard/arable field edge)
852 - Broad-leaved Pondweed Potamogeton natans

853 - Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum .... same spot as the White Admiral

7th Aug - around the plot:
854 - Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata (micro-moth)

And happily plodding along on 854 species .....


  1. old nemesis is back in action again ;) 'bout time I sorted my act out and got back in the fray methinks, lol. Only thing I'd question is your 771 Chrysops relictus which looks more like Chryspos viduatus to me. I've never actually seen the latter, but ticked the former a few weeks back so know the patterning! Good to see you back in action Mike :)

  2. Cheers Seth - haven't really been away from the 1KSQ action, just pootling quietly along, watching everyone else disappear into the 1000 species sunset! Yeah, can see you zooming away too and getting there well before me at this rate - go for it! My limited knowledge of flies via the internet (and via all those that hang around long enough at my plot or in the barn and workshop to be annoying) is that Chryspos viduatus, according to one website " .... is also known as the Striped deer-fly due to the three longitudinal stripes on its thorax, and four (longitudinal) stripes on its broad, blunt abdomen" .... but then maybe that's some North American sub-species! Have you got some more reliable info via a key or whatever?

  3. Can't see stripes on 771's thorax Mike, only on 753! I know nothing about horseflies mind - was hoping to learn summat.

  4. "...To separate these species, it is best to avoid use of any differences in the markings on tergite 2, and to rely instead on the shape and markings of the wing...The wing markings of viduatus are sharper than those of relictus, in particular the apical spot and median band, and they lack the extensive diffuse brown areas of relictus..."

    Stubbs & Drake.

    Looks like viduatus.

    1. Thanks Chris et al .... I'll try and get a better photo of the wing shape/markings next time I see any more horseflies here. Definitely another book for my shopping list by the looks of things ....