Moths

Friday, June 10th 2022

The moth trap was set over Tuesday night with little hope of any moths, having looked at the weather forecast, wet and a bit of a breeze.  However a pleasant surprise was waiting for the moth team on Wednesday morning, with a good collection of moths to ID.

One of the highlights was Green Silver-lines.  A rare visitor to the trap and usually they are in their senior years and look a little on the battered side.  This one is pristine.  It is on the wing from May to July and occasionally some may be seen in August through to September, although this second generation is more likely to be further south than Foxglove.  Larvae feed on broadleaved trees including Oak, Silver and Downy Birch and Beech.  It pupates in a tough boat-shaped cocoon either on the underside of a leaf of the food plant or in a bark crevice.

Poplar Kitten is another moth that does not often get recorded.  Information states that it is less frequent in the North of England.  As its name suggests the larvae enjoy poplars and sometimes Aspen.  The Aspen trees on the reserve are growing well.  Some Black Poplars were planted in 2012 in the area that had been clear felled above the lake.  These are doing well, so in the future we may have more records of this beautiful large moth.

A moth that can be very difficult to ID when looking at its wings, is the Spectacle Moth.  Head on it is really easy!  As its name suggests it has spectacles!

Thank you to the moth team for IDing the moths and recording them.  The data will be sent to the moth recorder for VC65.  Thank you to Janet for the photos.

After checking the forecast the moth trap was left out on Wednesday night.  The catch was not as large nor varied but still some lovely moths.  Small Angle Shades is quite a small moth but beautifully marked.  Its larvae feed on Bracken and a variety of ferns.

Pale Prominent Moth is a striking moth, and on the right background it is well camouflaged.

On a green leaf it stands out.

The Pale Tussock moth is furry.  If it walks onto your hand trying to get it to leave is not easy, rather like velcro sticking to you.

The forecast will be scrutinised over the coming days to decide when the traps can be put out safely.  Fingers crossed for a good catch!


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