Notice Board 2009

Site Images: We are keen to complete the species illustrations on the site, additionally some of the earlier photographs now look below par and could be improved. If anyone has photographs of the species that we have not yet pictured, or clear improvements, and does not mind us using them to fill some of our gaps will they please let John Ward know. Any photographs used will of course be acknowledged.

The up to date grid square coverage map is now available by clicking onto:
Request for Information/Records from the County Recorder

IDENTIFICATION AND NOTICE BOARD ENTRIES: Any member of the group is able to handle identification queries on moths at any of their stages and if in doubt will refer the matter on for a second opinion. At the outset the insect should be retained or a realistic photograph provided. In general we would like to hear of the following types of record at the time of recording and for entry on the notice board: -
Moths that are new for the county.
Moths that are classed on the site as very local, scarce or rare.
Moths that are classed as nationally scarce and above in the Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Waring, Townsend and Lewington, 2003. Although in some instances the statuses quoted in this book are clearly out of date, particularly the Clearwings, I have established that these are the latest available and are likely to remain valid for some years.
Any exceptional or interesting captures, i.e. very high numbers, species seen months out of season and unusual extremes of variation or melanism etc.
To keep the project within reasonable bounds we will generally only enter the first recording from a locality on the notice board but would appreciate the actual numbers involved at the end of the season.

2009 Records and Notices:

2009 trips and the input of VC32 data for the Butterfly Conservation Moth Count
Two pleas for help: -
Trips. -  Mark has drafted a partial provisional list of nine trips for 2009 which he is willing to lead.  Due to the constraints on his time the planned outings are rather less than normal. If the group is to continue running trips we badly need more people to become involved in the running of them. I will of course attend to the extent that I can.
Moth Count
. - I have many thousands of unpublished moth records going back to early Victorian times housed in my garage.  They represent the work of inumerable past naturalists and recorders and are an important reflection on how things have changed over the years. Currently this data is being computerised in three ways: - The Northamptonshire Biological Record Centre is entering records onto their Recorder programme, Mark is inputting data for the National Moth Count for Butterfly Conservation and Brenda and I are completing the annual update of the Moth Group Site. Progress is slow due to the welter of paper and computer work involved. We would really appreciate it if anyone could give us a hand with some of this. Any takers please let Mark or myself know. Your reward will hopefully be your best ever season for 2009!!!  John Ward. 


22 November 2009. It would be most helpful if all 2009 records could be sent to John Ward as soon as possible once recording for the season has finished with any new species for each site highlighted please. Any records received after January 15th will be too late for the 2009 season records update. We are also aware that this autumn there have been several records of moths taken well out of their Northamptonshire flight season. It would be interesting to summarise these and independently enter them on the notice board. If anyone has taken moths say more than a couple of months outside the normal flight period could they let us know prior to the submission of the records to enable us to do this please?

27 October 2009. A single Egyptian Bollworm E. insulana was taken in Nick Smith's Woodnewton (TL09) garden trap. This is the first county record of this very rare migrant species and we believe only the sixth British record (according to notes in the 3rd edition of Bernard Skinner's Colour Identification Guide to Moths). Nick did record other more usual migrants that evening including numbers of Rush Veneer, Dark Sword-grass and Silver Y. Below is a snap-shot photo of the specimen.

21 October 2009. A single White Point M. albipuncta taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. The fourth county record for this rare migrant.

13 October 2009. One Convolvulus Hawk-moth A. convolvuli observed by day at rest alongside an m.v. light trap run in a Wellingborough garden (SP86) by Derek Larkin.

19 September 2009. A reasonably successful excursion to Stanwick Lakes LNR (SP97) rounded off the field trips for 2009. Despite a slightly slow start as dusk fell, 43 macro species were recorded during the well attended three hour session run to mark National Moth Night. Alongside the expected assortment of autumnal and locally known wetland associated species was a single Webb's Wainscot A. sparganii. This Nationally Notable species has been targetted on this site on two previous occasions over the past three years, so it is most satisfying to finally record it here. This record constitues a new grid square and site record for this species which appears to be continuing to expand its range in the county. The award for the most dedicated moth recorder has to go to Chris Williams who travelled all the way from sunny Staffordshire to attend. Click here for full catch list.

30 August 2009. One Large Thorn E. autumnaria taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

29 August 2009. Twenty-seven species were recorded on the field trip to Hazelborough Forest (SP64). Most frequent species encountered was the nationally local Oak Lutestring C. diluta. Click here for full catch list.

14 August 2009. The trip to Fineshade Woods (SP99) resulted in 62 species being recorded. September Thorn was not amongst this list sadly. Formerly a relatively common sight in the moth traps at this time of year, it seems to have declined significantly over recent years. Click here for full catch list.

5 August 2009. One Ni Moth Trichoplusia ni taken in an Oundle garden m.v. light trap (TL08) by Phil Horsnail. A new grid square record and the fourth Northamptonshire record of this rare migrant.

1 & 3 August 2009. One Scarce Bordered Straw H. armigera and one Webb's Wainscot A. sparganii taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith. Both moths were in very worn and bad condition; the latter being restricted to a forewing and hindwing, presumably the result of bird predation.

1 August 2009. Derek and James once again braved the changeable weather to set traps for the previously postponed event at at Irchester Country Park (SP96). A full list of species recorded will be available shortly.

31 July 2009. James Skinner and Derek Larkin ably stepped in at late notice to run the trip to Short Wood (TL09) in the hope of recording White-spotted Pinion amongst remaining English Elms there. Unfortunatley this species was not recorded amongst the twenty-seven species that were on this occasion. Click here for full catch list.

23 July 2009. One Small Ranunculus H. dysodea taken at m.v. light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. This is the fourth example of this species recorded in the Peterborough area in recent years.

10 July 2009. One Webb's Wainscot A. sparganii taken at m.v. light during the Wildlife Trust's bio-blitz at Abington Meadows (SP76) by Derek Larkin. In view of the abnormally early date of capture the record was supported by photographic evidence. This nationally notable species is clearly spreading along the River Nene as all previous records have been in the vicinity of the river.

6 July 2009. Ten pairs of Hornet Moth S. apiformis observed in cop in a Great Billing garden (SP86) by Adrian Thirkill. - Yes ten pairings counted.

5 July 2009. Two Mere Wainscot C. fluxa taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

4 & 5 July 2009. One Orange-tailed Clearwing S. andrenaeformis taken at pheomone lure on both days at Pitsford Water (SP77) by Jenny Wallace.

4 July 2009. One The Concolorous P. extrema taken at Storefield Wood and Quarry (SP88) by Brenda and John Ward. Also included in the catch were three Mere Wainscot
flux. Please see entry of 28 June below. As I was of the opinion that both species had been lost, it is particularly pleasing to see that despite the burying of the large stand of Calamagrostis, both are still present on the site, although in greatly reduced numbers. The likelihood is that the plant is still hanging on in one of the partly concealed drainage ditches scattered around the old quarry area. Due to the importance of The Concolorous, I have mentioned the situation to the contractor and with his help am hoping to reinstate the food plant.

28 June 2009. One Cream-bordered Green Pea E. clorana taken in a Little Billing garden (SP86) by Hugh Matthews.

28 June 2009. Two Mere Wainscot C. fluxa taken in an m.v. light trap at Storefield Wood and Quarry (SP88) by Brenda and John Ward. It is of interest to note that Mere Wainscot along with its congener The Concolorous P. extrema have both occurred regularly on this site in previous years, in the case of the former numerously. Over the winter months a large stand of Calamagrostis has been lost to land fill in the quarry.  This is the first of either species that we have seen this year.

27 June 2009. One Red-tipped Clearwing S. formicaeformis attracted to pheromone lure at Pitsford Water (SP77) and a Hornet Moth S. apiformis found at rest on a poplar tree trunk at Pitsford Water Lodge (SP77) by Jenny Wallace and Charlie Barnes.

26 June 2009. One Ruddy Carpet C. rubidata and The Festoon A. limacodes taken in a Robinson trap at Castor Hanglands (TF10) by Chris Gardiner.

26 June 2009. One The Coronet C. ligustri observed sitting on an m.v. light trap in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Tom Smith.

25 June 2009. Two Orange-tailed Clearwing S. andrenaeformis attracted to pheromone lures in an East Haddon garden (SP66) by Charlie Barnes.

24 June 2009. One Treble Brown Spot I. trigeminata taken in an Oundle garden m.v. light trap (TL08) by Phil Horsnail.

24 June 2009. One Cream-bordered Green Pea E. clorana taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

20/06/2009. One Six-belted Clearwing B. ichneumoniformis netted at Twywell Hills and Dales (SP97) by Sheila Brooke.

15 June 2009. One Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis seen necturing on bramble at Glapthorne Cow Pastures (TL09) by Steve Blandford.

13 June 2009. One Treble Brown Spot I. trigeminata taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. A scarce moth in Northamptonshire.

2 June 2009. Five hundred and fifty-six macro moths covering eighty species taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. The catch included single examples of the nationally scarce Festoon A. limacodes and Orange Footman E. sororcula and seven The Concolorous P. extrema. The later has already been recorded from Woodnewton this year.

27 May 2009. Five Marsh Pug E. pygmaeata observed flying by day at Pitsford Water (SP77) by Mark Hammond.

23 May 2009. A large web of Small Eggar E. lanestris caterpillars observed feeding on hawthorn just outside Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

22 May 2009. The moth group trip to Easton Hornstocks (TF00) resulted in an overall catch of sixty-five species. Unfortunately the target species Pauper Pug (Fletcher's Pug) was not seen on this occasion. The most notable capture of the evening being a single example of The Coronet C. ligustri.

21 May 2009. Three The Concolorous P. extrema taken at Ring Haw (TL09) by Keith Tailby and Ron Follows et al.

20 May 2009. One The Concolorous P. extrema taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

15 May 2009. One Marsh Pug E. pygmaeata seen in flight at Barford Meadows (SP88) by John Ward.

13 May 2009. One Northern Drab O. opima taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith. Only the second Northamptonshire record away from Collyweston Quarry since the 1980's.

26 April 2009 . A group outing was organised to take in a stretch of the Brampton Valley Way (SP78) which incorporates a Wild Flower Reserve, New Covert and Langborough Wood, both part of the Kelmarsh Estate that the group has been invited to investigate. Common Butterflies were on the wing due to it being a glorious sunny day but only one ‘carpet' was seen flying and not captured. Beating was carried out on suitable Hawthorn, Sloe, Birch, and Crab apple resulting in a selection of tiny micro and macro larvae which will be grown on to reveal their true identity as a report at a later date. A great walk to investigate new habitats with plenty of spring sunshine.

27 March 2009. The first group outing was made to Fermyn Woods (Royal Coppice area - SP98). The target species, Small Eggar, once again eluded us on a cold and ultimately slightly frosty night. However four Blossom Underwing O. miniosa and three White-marked C. leucographa were recorded during the two-hour session. Click here for full catch list.

20 March 2009. Over thirty Orange Underwing A. partheniasat seen flying around silver birch at Old Sulehay (TL09) by Nick Smith. The moths were seen at about 3pm with nine observed flying at any one time. Although only local in the county this record is entered due to the high number of moths seen.

19 March 2009. Three Light Orange Underwing A. notha seen flying around aspen at Grafton Park Wood (SP98) by Brenda and John Ward. Despite the late start the season now seems to be catching up.

15 March 2009. One Small Eggar E. lanestris sitting on an actinic light trap, part of a 272 moth catch covering sixteen species at Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith. Of meteorological interest, the commencing night-time temperature at 6p.m. was 13c, still 10c at 9p.m., but then clearing and 1c and a frost at dawn.

5 March 2009. Further to the entry directly below today we received the following e-mail from Nick Smith giving the month’s totals for his exceptionally high yielding Woodnewton garden moth trap.
"Hello John and Mark,
Just seeing the comment on the website, there is a remarkable similarity between the Pitsford Reservoir records and the Woodnewton records for February 2009. Here, I did not trap at all in February until 14th February, as the conditions were so poor. However, I ended February 2009 with 499 moths, of 15 Macro species.  I only started recording regularly in 2007, with February 2007 (140) and February 2008 (96), so February 2009 is approx. 3.5 x 2007 and 5 x 2008 numbers. I would suggest the same reason as Jenny Wallace for this significant increase compared to the 2 previous years." 
The breakdown is as follows: - Chestnut - 26, Clouded Drab - 3, Common Quaker - 5, Dark Chestnut - 8, Dotted Border - 41, Early Moth - 30, Grey Shoulder-knot - 13, Hebrew Character - 7, March Moth - 28, Oak Beauty - 3, Pale Brindle Beauty - 250, Satellite - 54, Small Brindle Beauty - 4, Small Quaker - 3 and Spring Usher 24. To add further interest to this I have obtained the details of the minimum temperatures for the two sites and averaged them out for the relevant period. Surprisingly despite one of the Pitsford traps being located very near to the water the mean temperature for the two sites was almost the same. Viz: - Woodnewton 4.73 degrees centigrade and Pitsford Water 4.63 degrees centigrade.

2 March 2009. We have received the following e-mail from Jenny Wallace at Pitsford and have included it as it is an interesting comment on the moth’s response to the unusual weather pattern for February this year.
“Hello John,
I just thought I would drop you a note about the moths we have had at Pitsford this February. The freezing temperatures produced a terrible start to the month (only 3 moths up to the 14th), but after that date they seem to have gone crazy. The month ended with 475 individuals caught between the two traps, this is the highest ever February total for Pitsford and is staggering when you consider that the average number of moths caught in February here (from 2000-2008) is 97. The next highest total is only 151, in Feb 2003. I’m putting this down to the warm overnight temperatures in the last couple of weeks, which have been consistently well above zero and high for the time of year.”
The moths that were taken before the middle of the month were three over-wintering Satellites. More detail of the overall moths recorded in February is as follows: - Chestnut - 51, Clouded Drab - 1, Common Quaker - 1, Dotted Border - 4, Early Moth - 7, Hebrew Character - 3, March Moth - 41, Oak Beauty - 4, Pale Brindled Beauty - 344, Satellite - 15, Small Brindled Beauty - 1, Small Quaker - 1 and Spring Usher - 2. Can anyone beat this?

16 February 2009. As the 2009 season has so far been such a drab affair and has only this week shown signs of starting I thought that it would be encouraging to show Nick Smith's last nights garden moth trap catch from Woodnewton (TL09). The tally was - 70 Macros moths of 7 species: 45x Pale Brindled Beauty (inc 3 x monacharia), 8 x Spring Usher, 7 x Satellite, 4 x March Moth, 3 x Dark Chestnut, 2 x Chestnut and 1 x Dotted Border. Additionally another 26 micros of 3 species! This gets us off to a good start, lets hope that things continue this way now.