Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1000. That's one THOUSAND!!

Well, it's been a while. Things have happened. Kicked off big time. At the start of July I was sitting just shy of 700 species, metaphorically wrestling with ground beetles. The moth trap was doing quite nicely, producing a few new species each night, but things hadn't really moved into top gear. That changed with the onset of warmer weather, and on 7th July I added four new odonata, namely broad-bodied chaser, blue tailed damsel, hairy dragonfly and banded demoiselle. These were followed later by southern hawker, ruddy darter and emperor, the ruddy darter on my still pretty new pond.
The pond has also produced some water beetles (seem very hard to identify), and greater and lesser water boatmen. Otherwise, it's all introduced bits and pieces I think. However, the list of arable weeds has become quite impressive, with the addition of small toadflax and sharp-leaved fluellen, and the list of sedges, which I expected to be non-existent, has grown to six (hirta, caryophyllea, otrubae, divulsa, muricata, remota). However, it's the Lepidoptera that have been the real stars of the show, with 179 new additional species of moth (and butterfly) in July alone. King among these was the stray female dark green fritillary I picked up, many miles from the nearest colony I know of:

The evening before I had seen purple hairstreaks fluttering round some nearby oak tree, and a six-spot burnet moth feeding on some teasel by the stream. All in beautiful, warm, summery conditions, a truly golden couple of days. Anyway, by last weekend, I found I was in a position to make an assault on the magical thousand, but with limited time due to ICC (imprtant child commitments). A quick poke around in the local plantation gave me a few more beasts in pots to ID, including this violet ground beetle:

So, at the last gasp, which species was going to tip the thousand for me? I toyed with the idea of counting Homo sapiens, as my daughter Zena really wanted to be No 1000. But I resisted that temptation, and made her No 1001, my reasoning being that humans are no more of a species than any other. So, here it is, No 1000, the (dead) hairy darkling beetle. Hoorah! What will No 2000 be?

PS I will put some moth photos on the garden moth challenge blog. Latest score 1007:-)

Update from TM0025
Well it's mainly the moth-trap again, with a few other bits and pieces thrown in. I need to get out and about in the square again, so as not just to rely on the moths (however good-looking many of them are).
503. Lasioglossum leucozonium
504. Lasioglossum morio
505. Sphaerophoria scripta
506. Blue-tailed damselfly, Ischneura elegans
507. Mystacides nigra
508. Phryganea grandis
509. Necrodes littoralis
510. Rhagonycha fulva
511. Rose chafer, Cetonia aurata

512. Serica brunnea
513. Acleris notana
514. Acrobasis suavella
515. Agapeta zoegana

516. Apple ermine, Yponomeuta malinellus
517. Argyresthia goedartella
518. Argyrotaenia ljungiana
519. Barred red, Hylaea fasciaria

520. Brimstone moth, Opisthograptis luteolata

521. Bryotropha domestica
522. Buff footman, Eilema depressa
523. Celypha cespitana
524. Clepsis consimilana
525. Common emerald, Hemithea aestivari
526. Common plume, Emmelina monodactyla
527. Dark fruit-tree tortrix, Pandemis heparana
528. Dichrorampha alpinana

529. Dioryctia abietella
530. Dipleurina lacustrata
531. Dusky brocade, Apamea remissa
532. Ear moth, Amphipoea oculea
533. Endotricha flammealis
534. Epiblema foenella

535. Eudonia lacustrata
536. Eudonia mercurella
537. Green pug, Pasiphila rectanglulata
538. Hedya salicella

539. July highflyer, Hydriomena furcata

540. Kent black arches, Meganola albula

541. Knot-grass, Aeronicta rumicis
542. Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing, Noctua janthe
543. Lesser common rustic, Mesapamea dydima
544. Lesser yellow underwing, Noctua comes
545. Lozotaeniodes formosana
546. Monopis crocicapitella
547. Oak eggar, Lasiocampa quercus
548. Oak hook-tip, Watsonella binaria
549. Phycita robarella
550. Red twin-spot carpet, Xanthorhoe spadicearia
551. Ringed china-mark, Parapoynx stratiota
552. Ruby tiger, Phragmatobia fuliginosa

553. September thorn, Ennomos erosaria
554. Short-cloaked moth, Nola cucullatella
555. Shuttle-shaped dart, Agrotis puta
556. Silver-Y, Autographa gamma
557. Small angle shades,  Euplexia lucipara

558. Small china-mark, Cataclysta lemnata
559. Small dusty wave, Idaea seriata
560. Spilonota laricana
561. Timothy tortrix, Aphelia paleana
562. Tree-lichen beauty, Cryphia rumicis
563. Twenty-plumed moth, Alucita hexadactyla
564. V-pug, Chloroclystis v-ata

565. Whitepoint, Mythimna albipunctata
566. Willow ermine, Yponomeuta rorella
567. Arrowhead, Sagittaria sagittifolia
568. Great willowherb, Epilobium hirsutum
569. Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria
570. Short-fruited willowherb, Epilobium obscurum

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

900 in Guernsey

More than three-quarters of my additions in the last week have been moths and the trapping has been gooood. After the last three years of poor catches, it is a relief that this summer is going well and at this rate, I should easily pass 1000 with moths alone. There has been 5 new species for the garden in the last week, which is excellent since I have been trapping here for about 10 years.

The moth trap in situ on the patio.

So passing 900 was really easy - here are the additions (presume any non-labelled ones are moths) :

867 - Ruddy Carpet
868 - Brown-tail
869 - Synaphe punctalis
870 - Small Blood-vein
871 - Pediasia contaminella
872 - Wormwood Pug
873 - Crescent Dart
874 - Saltern Ear
875 - Dun-bar
876 - Migrant Hawker
877 - Eucallipterus tiliae (aphid)
878 - Yellow-tail
879 - Batia lunaris
880 - White-line Dart
881 - Hydrobius fuscipes (water beetle)
882 - Arctosa leopardus (spider)
883 - Stenodema calcarata (bug)
884 - Common Rustic
885 - Coleophora binderella - New for the garden and 2nd rec for Guernsey
886 - Coleophora lutipennella
887 - Coleophora saxicolella
888 - Lozotaeniodes formosanus
889 - Old Lady
890 - Blood-vein
891 - July Highflyer
892 - Mother of Pearl
893 - Archips podana
894 - Broom-tip - Lifer for me and 3rd rec for Guernsey

895 - Acleris holmiana - New species for garden
896 - Agriphila inquinatella
897 - Piniphila bifasciana
898 - Coleophora salicorniae
899 - Haworth's Pug
900 - 13-spot Ladybird - apparently a very rare species in the UK, what its status here is, I do not know. Perhaps it is rare here also, or perhaps there are colonies but people don't know about them.

901 - Montbretia
902 - Pale Galingale
903 - Agapeta hamana
904 - Plain Pug
905 - Small Rufous
906 - Scallop Shell
907 - Barred Rivulet
908 - Slender Pug
909 - Stigmella plagicolella - larvae mining Blackthorn leaves
910 - Fat-hen
911 - Phyllonorycter schreberella - larvae mining Elm leaves
912 - Aceria tenuis (mite) - gall of cock's-foot grass, wee creature within

913 - Creeping Bent
914 - Great Dart
915 - Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
916 - Araneus diadematus (spider)
917 - Scymnus frontalis (ladybird)
918 - Otiorhynchus ovatus (weevil)
919 - Coleophora follicularis - new moth species for the garden
920 - Scrobipalpa atriplicella
921 - Coleophora discordella
922 - Acleris variegana
923 - Phycita roborella
924 - European Corn-borer
925 - Four-spotted Footman
926 - Bryotropha terrella
927 - Lathronympha strigana - Lifer for me, and 2nd record for Guernsey
928 - Cameraria ohridella - larvae mining Horse Chestnut leaves
929 - Mugwort

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lincolnshire Update

With the help of bumper moth nights I have now reached 868 species, and as with Andy I am feeling tired somewhat with getting out of bed at 3 ish to cover the trap and record moths that are outside it. If I leave it until daylight hours the local Robins will take the lot as they sneak in the trap regardless of the hot mercury vapour bulb. 
The main highlight for me is the recording of displaying Purple Hairstreaks in my garden, a male even gave me the chance of a quick photo as it landed on a nearby leaf.

Moth records include 3 new garden records with Muslin Footman, Gelechia rhombella and Ptychotomoides aeriferanus which brings the garden total to 845.
Gelechia rhombella - Scarce micro, believe Andy has recorded it also, could be a Lincolnshire or VC first

Muslin Footman - Unexpected new garden record

Other interesting records were Blackneck, Brown Scallop and Scarce Silver-lines.

Believe the click beetle below is Stenagostus rhombeus ? which I found in the moth trap this morning.

Stenagostus rhombeus ?

Probably a bit late now to ask but how do you transfer the numbers from an excel spredsheet
to this Blog.  Thanks Martin Gray

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The rarest species of the last week was the moth Anarsia lineatella, or Peach-twig Borer, which emerged from a Plum, which we found a live larva inside a few weeks ago. As the plum was bought at the local Co-op supermarket and labelled "produce of Spain", I don't think I can really have it for the total!

Anarsia lineatella

The moth trap is really doing its business in these hot times, but a pity I missed 5 nights of this weather by being on a school trip. Here are the latest additions (all listed by their scientific names indicate a moth unless stated):

807 - Jersey Tiger
808 - Cloaked Minor
809 - Blue-bordered Carpet
810 - Endotricha flammealis
811 - Southern Wainscot
812 - Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
813 - Small Fan-footed Wave
814 - Marbled Green
815 - Pempelia formosa
816 - Carcina quercana
817 - Dark Sword-grass
818 - Andrena thoracica (bee)
819 - Microchrysa polita (Black-horned Gem) - (soldier fly)

820 - Acleris sparsana
821 - Tawny Cockroach
822 - Orthotylus marginalis (bug)
823 - Rhagonycha fulva (Common Red Soldier Beetle)
824 - Gatekeeper
825 - Peacock Butterfly
826 - Common Fleabane
827 - Corn Marigold
828 - Yellow Bartsia
829 - Agriphila straminella
830 - Caloptilia elongella
831 - Phtheochroa inopiana
832 - Lagria hirta (beetle)
833 - Codling Moth
834 - Cydia splendana
835 - Single-dotted Wave
836 - Rosy Footman
837 - V-Pug
838 - Small Rivulet
839 - Eucosma cana
840 - Hoary Footman
841 - Barred Straw
842 - Kent Black Arches
843 - Cryptoblabes bistriga
844 - Buff Footman
845 - Least Yellow Underwing
846 - Scrobipalpa costella
847 - Dioryctria abietella

848 - Treble Brown-spot
849 - Turnip Moth
850 - Fen Wainscot
851 - Currant Pug
852 - False-brome
853 - Smooth Hawk's-beard
854 - Aproaerema anthyllidella
855 - Beautiful Hook-tip
856 - Rush Veneer
857 - Coronet
858 - Vestal
859 - Hedgehog (at last - a non-squished one too!)
860 - Miridius quadrivirgatus (bug)
861 - Stenotus binotatus (bug)
862 - Sthenarus rotermundi (bug)
863 - Blepharidopterus angulatus (bug)
864 - Orthops kalmii (bug)
865 - Polymerus palustris (bug) - these last 6 mirid bugs were all in the same moth trap catch, and this final one appears to be a new genus for Guernsey!

866 - Rhyacionia buoliana

A couple of unknowns:
- I don't know what the hell this little creature is, but I thought it was rather pretty!

- I've had a few of these craneflies with the black and yellow pattern.

Hotter than July

A second successful Saturday afternoon ‘Pilning Safari’ with Andy Pym, lots of revisiting the best accessible spots (the flowery ‘traveller’s field’ and the cycle path’s ditches and verges) and the garden moth trap have, in combination, almost doubled the score since mid June. In particular the current hot weather has produced the best garden mothing for some time (2006?), albeit with some common species still in very low numbers. At least 8 garden ticks so far including three macros: Barred Red, Green Arches and True Lover’s Knot (nearest Heather probably in S Wales); plus Epermenia chaerophyllella (lifer), Acleris bergmanniana, Argyresthia retinella, Bryotropha affinis (tbc) and, last night, no less than 8 Gynnidomorpha vectisana, which feeds on sea arrow-grass (growing on the salt marshes less than 2km away as the moth flies, but a new moth for me). The vascular plant and moth totals have both now sneaked past 300. Notable amongst those moths not new for the garden was Crescent Dart - not many Glos records – one here on 6th July 2001 was the first - this year’s was on 4th July).
There must be more interest to be found in parts of the square that are unfortunately out of bounds. The M4 verges, for example, where Lepidium ruderale can be seen from one of the bridges but more interesting halophytes than Cochlearia danica are proving elusive. The main London-Swansea rail line dips into the Severn Tunnel in the square, right by the house and is no doubt responsible for some interesting garden moths. Again inaccessible though, but I must try scoping it from the train spotter's bridge for Chamerion angustifolium.
Of garden specialities Anania perlucidalis has appeared a few times this year, but still no Cream-spot Tiger for the first time in 17 years, and no European Corn-borer (usually guaranteed). I haven't quite given up on the last though.
Fly mines have been helpful in bosting the total and the bugs and hoverflies are new favourites, albeit not always easy to identify. With a bit more effort I should get to 900 by the end of the month, but then many groups will be past their peak. Here are a few recent personal highlights. Current total 879
Essex Skipper - common on verges near the White Horse pub - not noticed them before here!

Gold Spot - 2nd for the garden
Crescent Dart - first since July 2001, when it was new for Glos
Verbascum blattaria - 188 spikes in the 'flowery field'

Agapanthia villoviridescens - belter of a longhorn - well spotted Andy Pym
Eristalinus sepulcharis - 33 hoverers so far

Shotesham update ...and still they come

After the big push to reach the 1000 mark, I thought I'd be taking my foot off the gas, and to some extent I have really. However, the score has continued to rise at about eight species per day anyway, mostly thanks to the spell of excellent moth-trapping that has been occurring. The majority of these additions have therefore been "easy" (i.e. easy if you've seen them before), although I've largely been checking the walls near the trap at midnight, then again at 0330 when I've covered the trap to keep the birds out, then gone through properly at 0630. After about a week at a time of doing this, it does start to drain you a little.

Not all moths though, and I've enjoyed finding yet more smart soldierflies, and selection of the plants I was still missing, and a fantastic Great Silver Beetle coming to light. With the score on 1,115, and the late summer and autumn around the corner, plus still rather a lot of pots in the fridge, I'm wondering if 1,500 is too much to hope for?

Late update from 2nd June
1001 - Trachycera advenella - green caterpillar with twin red lines on hawthorn, kept to rear and emerged by 9th July as this

9th July
1002 - Wachtliella rosarum - thickened up-folded leaf of garden rose, multiple grubs in folds
1003 - Donacia marginata - glossy longish beetle on along streamside vegetation, keyed
1004 - Oplodontha viridula (Common Green Colonel) - green soliderfly
1005 - Mythimna ferrago (The Clay) - trap
1006 - Aleimma loeflingiana - trap
1007 - Hepialus humuli (Ghost Moth) - trap
1008 - Phycitodes binaevella - trap

11th July
1009 - Agriphila straminella - trap
1010 - Argyresthia cupressella - trap
1011 - Melanchra persicariae (Dot Moth) - trap
1012 - Mythimna conigera (Brown-line Bright-eye) - trap
1013 - Anaplectoides prasina (Green Arches) - trap
1014 - Hoplodrina blanda (The Rustic) - trap

12th July
1015 - Oxycera rara (Four-barred Major) - smart male soliderfly, landed on the car roof in the morning as I was getting in!
1016 - Udea prunalis - trap

13th July
1017 - Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine) - trap
1018 - Earias clorana (Cream-bordered Green Pea) - trap
1019 - Phycita roborella - trap
1020 - Leucoma salicis (White Satin) - trap
1021 - Epiblema foenella - trap
1022 - Chiasmia clathrata (Latticed Heath) - trap
1023 - Acronicta leporina (The Miller) - trap
1024 - Ditula angustiorana (Red-barred Tortrix) - trap
1025 - Parastichtis ypsillon (Dingy Shears) - trap
1026 - Eulithis mellinata (The Spinach) - trap
1027 - Scopula immutata (Lesser Cream Wave) - trap
1028 - Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata (Large Twin-spot Carpet) - trap
1029 - Archips xylosteana - trap

14th July
1030 - Aethusa cynapium (Fool's Parsley) - grows in flowerbed every year, I've always assumed it's kind of wild (does that make me a fool?)
1031 - Pyronia tithonus (The Gatekeeper) - hedgerows
1032 - Thymelicus sylvestris (Small Skipper) - Shotesham Common
1033 - Juncus subnodulosus (Blunt-flowered Rush) - sizeable patches of it on Shotesham Common
1034 - Nemotelus nigrinus (All-black Snout) - shiny black soldierfly with long snout, ivory halteres, few bits of yellow on legs, wing venation correct
1035 - Persicaria maculosa (Redshank) - on muddy streambank, also field margins
1036 - Bactra lancealana - netted by day, also in trap
1037 - Aeshna grandis (Brown Hawker) - small numbers so far
1038 - Chorthippus parallelus (Meadow Grasshopper) - heard only
1039 - Chorthippus brunneus (Field Grasshopper) - heard only
1040 - Hylaea fasciaria (Barred Red) - trap
1041 - Cochylis hybridella - trap
1042 - Idaea biselata (Small Fan-footed Wave) - trap
1043 - Macaria liturata (Tawny-barred Angle) - trap
1044 - Mesapamea secalis (Common Rustic) - trap (gen det.)
1045 - Ancylis achatana - trap

15th July
1046 - Aythya fuligula (Tufted Duck) - female flew over
1047 - Fallopia convolvulus (Black Bindweed) - arable margins
1048 - Polygonum aviculare (Knotgrass) - arable margins
1049 - Piniphila bifasciana - netted at dusk
1050 - Lasiocampa quercus (Oak Eggar) - trap
1051 - Pandemis heparana (Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix) - trap
1052 - Idaea dimidiata (Single-dotted Wave) - trap
1053 - Phlyctaenia coronata - trap
1054 - Eulithis prunata (The Phoenix) - trap

16th July
1055 - Oxycera nigricornis (Delicate Soldier) - male soldierfly, landed on my arm on the patio whilst eating tea
1056 - Thyatira batis (Peach Blossom) - trap
1057 - Zeuzera pyrina (Leopard Moth) - trap
1058 - Nephopterix angustella - trap
1059 - Batia unitella - trap

17th July
1060 - Hedya salicella - trap
1061 - Geometra papilionaria (Large Emerald) - trap
1062 - Cosmia trapezina (The Dun-bar) - trap
1063 - Arctia caja (Garden Tiger) - trap
1064 - Endotricha flammealis - trap

19th July
1065 - Orthopygia glaucinalis - trap
1066 - Miltochrista miniata (Rosy Footman) - trap
1067 - Acentria ephemerella (Water veneer) - trap
1068 - Aethes rubigana - trap
1069 - Brachmia blandella - trap
1070 - Eudonia angustea - trap
1071 - Amphipoea oculea (Ear Moth) - trap (gen det.)
1072 - Acleris variegana (Garden Rose Tortrix) - trap
1073 - Acleris holmiana - trap
1074 - Udea lutealis - trap
1075 - Noctua fimbriata (Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing) - trap
1076 - Apamea epomidion (Clouded Brindle) - trap
1077 - Paraswammerdamia lutarea - trap (=nebulella)

20th July
1078 - Phyllonorycter platani - occupied mines in plane tree leaves
1079 - Chrysolina americana (Rosemary Beetle) - on lavender plants along the road
1080 - Thlaspi arvense (Field Penny-cress) - arable margins
1081 - Bena bicolorana (Scarce Silver-lines) - trap
1082 - Hydriomena furcata (July Highflyer) - trap
1083 - Scopula imitaria (Small Blood-vein) - trap
1084 - Euproctis similis (Yellow-tail) - trap
1085 - Eilema griseola (Dingy Footman) - trap
1086 - Herminia grisealis (Small Fan-foot) - trap
1087 - Eupithecia succenturiata (Bordered Pug) - trap
1088 - Idaea rusticata (Least Carpet) - trap
1089 - Plemyria rubiginata (Blue-bordered Carpet) - trap
1090 - Mythimna straminea (Southern Wainscot) - trap
1091 - Apamea ophiogramma (Double Lobed) - trap
1092 - Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) - trap
1093 - Teleiodes vulgella - trap
1094 - Parachronistis albiceps - trap
1095 - Cidaria fulvata (Barred Yellow) - trap
1096 - Lobesia absicana - trap

21st July
1097 - Heterotoma planicornis - small colony found on nettles
1098 - Neozephyrus quercus (Purple Hairstreak) - having glimpsed several during the week, good to eventually confirm around oak tops
1099 - Solanum nigrum (Black Nightshade) - arable margins
1100 - Aphrophora alni (Alder Spittlebug) - found on an oak leaf
1101 - Troilus luridus - new shieldbug for me, found by my son whilst we were walking under an alder tree by the stream
1102 - Thymelicus lineola (Essex Skipper) - on lavender
1103 - Torilis japonica (Upright Hedge Parsley) - in flower in verges
1104 - Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter's-nightshade) - in alder carr
1105 - Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed) - along stream on common
1106 - Fumaria officinalis (Common Fumitory) - finally found some in a flowerbed, presumably not deliberately planted - flowers still but going to seed
1107 - Hemistola chrysoprasaria (Small Emerald) - trap
1108 - Eilema depressa (Buff Footman) - trap

22nd July
1109 - Hydrophilus piceus (Great Silver Beetle) - landed next to trap, released into our garden pond
1110 - Nycteola revayana (Oak Nycteoline) - trap
1111 - Euzophera pinguis - trap
1112 - Euproctis chrysorrhoea (Brown-tail) - trap
1113 - Cosmia pyralina (Lunar-spotted Pinion) - trap
1114 - Cnephasia longana - trap
1115 - Schoenobius gigantella - trap

Broad-bodier Chaser - not common round here so always good to see

Fool's Parsley in the flowerbed

Rosemary Beetle - what a stunner!

The shieldbug Troilus luridus

Just passed the 800 mark

As with many others, the moth trap is the main source of new species at the moment but a Whimbrel flying over calling as I emptied it the other morning was more unexpected than anything inside the trap. Plodding on solely but its time I need, not only in the field but also examining some of the many pots currently in the fridge. Anyway just passed the 800 mark.

Actual Expected
Birds   76 70
Vascular Plants   293 395
Mosses & Liverworts  41 50
Lichens   12 12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   13 20
Terrestrial Mammals   7 8
Butterflies   19 20
Moths   214 336
Dragonflies   5 9
Hoverflies   22 25
Other inverts   101 50
Amphibians & Reptiles   2 5
Aggregates & hybrids (not included) 18  
TOTAL 805 1000

Keith Robson
Waldridge (vc66)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Latest from SP4993 (Leicestershire)


What a bumper month July has been for moth trap results - which is perhaps as well really because it's been too hot do much bug huntin' during the day. I passed the 1000 mark at the time of my last posting, and have now moved on to 1048 as at 20th July.  The 'cream' of my finds have been the bug Miridius quadrivirgatus which is rare in our area, but the outstanding one came from last night's moth trap a VC55 County first - the moth Evergestis limbata - so far off limits in Leicestershire that it wouldn't even have made a list of possibles.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Update from TM0025
Well I think that it’s worth doing a small update so soon after the previous one, simply because this brings me up to halfway. I must admit that I felt for quite some time that I would never even get this far, but here I am. The additions all come from last night’s moth trap:
492. Bird-cherry ermine, Yponomeuta evonymella
493. Burnished brass, Diachrysia chrysitis

494. Common Rustic, Mesapamea secalis
495. European corn-borer, Ostrinia nubilalis

496. Fan-foot, Zanclognatha tarsipennalis
497. Mother-of-pearl, Pleuroptya ruralis

498. Pine shoot moth, Rhyaciania buoliana

499. Red-barred tortrix, Ditula angustiorana

500. Scarce footman, Eileme complana

501. Small emerald, Hemistola chrysoprasaria
502. Treble brown-spot, Idaea trigeminata