Sunday, July 02, 2017

A sting in the tail...

And why not may I ask? "If you've got it, share it" has always been my motto. Whilst we are thinking about time and how fast it flies, and at the risk of alienating every female on the planet (not that I haven't done that already) why do women seldom wear watches? Because there's a clock on the cooker!

A few nights ago, I ran the moth trap and I am pleased to be able to report that it was quite successful this time. Catches have been disappointing for a while now and so to get, I think it was around 29 species, on one night, was really encouraging. Here are just some of the moths that I managed to photograph: all of the IDs are tentative and provisional of course. Please do let me know if I have got any wrong, or if you know the missing ones...

Buff Tip Moth - Phalera bucephala 

Buff Tip Moth - Phalera bucephala 

Clouded Border - Lomaspilis marginata

Buff Ermine - Spilosoma lutea

Grass moth - Possibly Ypsolopha alpella

Different Grass Moth ?

Clouded Silver - Lomographa temerata

The Coronet - Craniophora ligustri

Buff Arches - Habrosyne pyritoides

Buff Arches - Habrosyne pyritoides

Riband Wave - Idaea aversata

Possibly Swordgrass?

Bird-cherry Ermine - Yponomeuta evonymella

Many-plumed Moth - Alucita hexadactyla

Not at all sure about this one: Micropterix species maybe?

Small Magpie - Anania hortulata

White Ermin - Spilosoma lubricipeda

Dark arches - Apamea monoglypha

Possibly Blotched Emerald - Comibaena bajularia

Light Emerald - Campaea margaritata

Poplar Hawk-moth - Laothoe populi

I also had this beautiful, female Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli)

The males are rather gorgeous too. This is one I found in the garden soon after it emerged. I featured it here on the blog in a 2013 post.

The female left me with both a present and a problem: what I do normally is to start emptying the trap by collecting any moths that I would like to photo, in smaller containers. When I eventually opened the box to photograph this moth, she had laid quite a number of eggs. I decided to get a picture and release her before she added to the 'gifts'. My problem is, should I try to raise the larvae, if any emerge? I would love to be able to do that because it would be quite educational. But...they are said to feed underground on the roots of grasses and small plants; that isn't going to be easy to provide is it.

Freshly laid Ghost Moth eggs

Quite quickly, they darkened down

One day when I was out bug-hunting (that's every day isn't it?) I spotted what I thought at first was my first robber fly of 2017 - it transpired that it was actually a snipe-fly, and once I had found one, I realised there were lots of them...

A Snipe-fly - Poss: Rhagio scolopaceus

A Snipe-fly - Poss: Rhagio scolopaceus

A couple of bumble bee mimics, and I hope I have chosen the correct identities for them. These are both flies pretending they are bees, the top one is the better mimic don't you think? No...thought not!

Volucella bombylans 

Cheilosia illustrata

Another find was this tiny barkfly...

What else? Oh yes! This cricket that I spotted one day...

One more moth completes this update: I don't know species here, but I am going to call it the OX Moth...

And finally, there's always a sting in the tail...

A Hornet stinger


  1. What an amazing haul from your moth trapping! Such a great variety!
    Some are just gorgeous aren't they?
    Fabulous series of images as always!
    PS I ALWAYS wear a watch!

    1. Wow! Thanks for all of these wonderful comments Maria. You're a star..;-)

      Ah but (re-watch wearing) you probably don't cook anyway right? Not with THOSE nails ;-) said on Flickr the bugs may like your warm hands, warm hands are no good for pastry you know ;-)

      Thanks again Maria xx


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