Notice Board 2019

The notice board is one of the principal modes of communication for those interested in VC32 moths. I am keen to keep this resource active throughout the year and will be happy to post interesting sightings or issues. In general, at the time of recording I would like to hear of moths that are UK BAP species, new to the county, localised or rare. Additionally any exceptional or interesting captures, i.e. very high numbers, species seen out of season and unusual extremes of variation or melanism etc. will be welcome.

All other records can be submitted at the end of the season for inclusion in the central database.

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 the County Moth Recorder Mark Hammond 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 and a realistic photograph provided to confirm the identity. Due to the limitations sometimes imposed by photographic images of moths it is not always possible to identify difficult species from a photograph alone. Basically there is always a preference for a moth in the hand. Accordingly if there are still doubts the actual insect should then be seen by either Mark Hammond, Philip Horsnail, Pete Sharpe or John Ward who will act as determinors.


2019 Records and Notices:

7th November 2019
Mines of Stigmella assimilella were discovered at Kings Sutton (SP43). This is the 5th VC32 record.

Some retrospective records
The following are significant records gleaned from performing dissections:
27th August 2019: A single Haplotinea insectella taken in a garden light trap in Oundle (TL09). New VC32 record.
22nd July 2019: A single Parornix fagivora to light in Oundle (TL09). 3rd VC32 record.
7th July 2019: Singleton of Phycitodes saxicola taken at light in Oundle. 4th VC32 record.
6th July 2019: Endothenia ustulana at light in an Oundle garden. New to VC32.
30th June 2019: Monochroa tenebrella taken to light in Farthinghoe NR. 3rd VC32 record.
20th May 2019: Coleophora albidella reared from larva at Farthinghoe NR. 2nd VC32 record.

22nd October 2019
A single mine of Phyllonorycter pastorella was discoverd on Willow along the Nene at Thrapston (SP97). This is the 1st VC32 record of this recently discovered and spreading moth.

20th October 2019
A further two Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini were recorded to light at Fineshade (SP99). This brings the known total for 2019 to date to 13 moths!

6th October 2019
A quick migrant round-up:
Convolvulus Hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli - one taken in a garden light trap in Denton (SP85).
Delicate Mythimna vitellina - two that I am aware of so far, both from garden light traps, one in Nassington (TL09) and the other in Oundle (TL08).

4th October 2019
I have received two more records of Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini both being of adult moths found dead: Geddington Chase (SP98) on 04.x.2019 and Fineshade (SP99) on 30.ix.2019.

29th September 2019
Retrospective record:
28th August 2019: A new VC32 record of Tebenna micalis taken in a garden light trap in Kingsthorpe, Northampton (SP76).

27th September 2019
And still they come... Number 9 this year. Another single Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini recorded to a battery light trap placed in Hazelborough Wood (SP64), which was subsequently shown-off to universal appreciation at the Moth Breakfast on Saturday morning.

21st September 2019
Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini number 8 for 2019 (thus 9th all-time record) was taken in a garden light trap in Upper Boddington (SP45).

25th September 2019
A single European Corn Borer Ostrinia nubilalis was found on a wall adjacent to the moth trap in Oundle (TL08). An infrequent migrant to the county.

21st September 2019
A 2nd VC32 record of Tomato Leaf-miner Tuta absoluta to a garden light trap in Far Cotton, Northampton (SP75) (confirmed by dissection).

21st September 2019
A further Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini recorded to light at Farthingstowe Reserve (SP55), bringing the 2019 (reported/known) total so far to 7!

20th September 2019
Following on from a row of singleton records in the county, it is very pleasing to report that two Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini were taken in light traps in Fineshade Wood (SP99) - our first "multiple catch" record.

14th September 2019
The group meeting at Old Dry Hills/Fermyn Woods was preceded by a very warm, sunny day and promise of cloud from midnight to hold temperatures up a bit. On dusk, no cloud was to be seen and temperatures did therefore dip a little. Trap inspection before the group turned-in for the night made for furrowed brows and concern that we would have more or less empty traps in the morning, as there was very little moth activity to be seen. However when the traps were inspected in the morning, there was a reasonable array of autumnal species present. Nothing appeared in huge numbers, but this was more than made up for by the attendance of a single Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini. This is therefore the 5th VC32 record; 4th this year, mirroring the apparent widespread nature of records for this species across the UK in 2019. 55 species were recorded in all, with a couple of micros yet to be confirmed. A full catch list can be found here.

13th September 2019
For those of a superstitious nature, I am happy to report some good fortune from Friday 13th... A single Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii larva was swept from vegetation outside the WT offices at Lings, Northampton (SP86).

11th September 2019
A 4th VC32 record of Dewick's Plusia Macdunnoughia confusa has been taken in a garden light trap in Oundle (TL08). I am hopeful that this has now become established in the county and not a migrant individual.

7th September 2019
Hot on the heals of the previous records, a further Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini has been recorded, this time in a Northampton garden, sitting on the wall adjacent to the light trap (SP76). This is the 4th VC32 record.

5th September 2019
Another single Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini has turned-up in the County, this time in one of the Pitsford Reservoir traps (SP77). This is therefore the 3rd VC32 record. It is certainly true that this species is having a good year and is being recorded from numerous locations around the UK at the moment, but it is very good to have our fair share in the Midlands at last! I am told that the moth will be held for viewing at Pitsford Lodge until 2pm today if anyone wishes to go and have a look.

27th August 2019
A 2nd VC32 record of Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria was noted in Cogenhoe (SP86).

25th August 2019
Very pleased to report the capture of a single Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini in a garden light trap in Old Stratford (SP74). This is the 2nd county record for this migrant/colonising species, with only a single previous record in the first decade of the 20th Century. This earlier capture is noted in the Lepidoptera of Northamptonshire (Wallis, published 1907) as being taken by an emtomologist living in Castle Ashby, but who was know to be active throughout Northamptonshire around that period. The exact date and location of the capture is sadly unknown. In recent years, the species seems to have colonised the south of England, but there have been records in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire within the past couple of years.

24th August 2019
In support of Caz's Woodland Wings Project, the group ran an all-nighter at Salcey Forest (SP85). Approximately 100 species were noted, with highlights being a handful of the locally scarce Gelechiid Psoricoptera gibbosella along with Elachista bisulcella and two Ocnerostoma piniariella (3rd VC32 record) - all of which were identified/confirmed after the event by dissection. A full catch list can be found here.

20th August 2019
Another retrospective record as a result of further dissections:
31st July 2019: A single Tomato Leaf-miner Tuta absoluta was recorded in a Thrapston garden light trap (SP97). This is the first confirmed VC32 record for this spreading, adventive species (confirmed by dissection).

14th August 2019
A few retrospective records having performed a batch of rainy-day dissections:
29th May 2019: Coleophora taeniipennella taken at light at Weekly Hall Woods (SP88). This is only the 2nd post-2000 record for the locally rare species
29th May 2019: Mompha bradleyi amongst the same light trap catch as above at Weekly Hall Woods (SP88), being the 5th VC32 record.
14th May 2019: Coleophora albicosta taken flying around Gorse in close proximity to Farthinghoe Reserve (SP54). This is the 3rd VC32 record, and the first since 1998

10th August 2019
A single Oak Processionary Thaumetopoea processionea was recorded to light in a Northampton garden light trap (SP76). Seven individual moths were recorded in late July of 2018, so this might be progeny of this influx (although all those seen in light traps were male - females may well have been part of this migration), or a primary migrant.

4th August 2019
A single White-spotted Pinion Cosmia diffinis has been taken in a garden light trap in Barnack (TF00). The moth has not been recorded in that 10Km grid square for over 60 years.

3rd August 2019
A pleasing total of ten White-spotted Pinion Cosmia diffinis were recorded at a short trapping session at Polebrook Airfield (TL08), along with a singleton of the locally scarce Ypsolopha vittella, which is also an Elm-feeding species.

3rd August 2019
Having not been recorded in the county since 1999, a single example of Ancylosis oblitella has been taken in a garden light trap in Wollaston (SP76). Due to the transitory nature of this species, it's difficult to say whether this is a primary migrant or resident. This is the 4th VC32 record to date.

1st August 2019
A single Hedge Rustic Tholera cespitis was taken in one of the Pitsford Reservoir light traps (SP77, confirmed by photo). The species has never been recorded in great numbers in the county, and even less so in recent years. This record is the first since 2016. At first glance, the moth may be mistaken for a Straw Underwing - but a look at the hindwings will easily separate the two.

Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae
First recorded in VC32 in 2006, and at the time was likely to be a primary migrant (and those who remember 2006 will do so as the migrant year!). Since then, many southern counties in the UK have reported the moth regularly, and thus indicating that it has colonised the country. Up until the end of 2017, there had only been three records for this species in Northants. 2018 saw 7 records of 9 individuals. This started to indicate that the species was beginning to "move in" to VC32, particularly as there were a few records of multiple moths at some sites. Reports so far in 2019 more strongly indicate local colonisation. At the time of writing, records have been noted from 24th July 2019 onwards, including Old Statford (two individuals on one night, SP74), Northampton (SP76), Wollaston (SP96), Thrapston (SP97) and Nassington (TL09). The most convincing evidence however comes from Cogenhoe (SP86), where 10 moths have been recorded to light in a garden moth trap over the past few days, some as multiples per night. All of those moths were marked and released - and no marked moths have been re-captured. This site also had multiple records for the moth in 2017. A few days later, the site recorded another 8 in one night, some of which are pictured below:

29th July 2019
A 3rd VC32 record of Metalampra italica has been noted in a Kettering garden (SP88). This species has recently colonised the UK and appears to be extending its range northwards.

29th July 2019
The UK has been experiencing warm southerlies which has drawn lots of migrant species to the country, mostly noted in the south. The midland counties tend to be a bit short of records for "decent migrants", but a single Palpita vitrealis was recorded in a Northampton garden light trap (SP76). A very irregular migrant to this part of the UK, and the 6th VC32 record in total.

28th July 2019
The 2nd VC32 record of Monochroa palustrellus was taken in a garden light trap in Oundle (TL08).

13th July 2019
A singleton of the rare migrant Small Marbled Eublemma parva was taken in a garden light trap in Kingsthorpe, Northampton (SP76). Amazingly, with this being only the 5th time the moth has been recorded in the Vice County, three of these (including this one) have been recorded in the same garden! Reports from around the UK, especially on social media sites, indicate that a good number of these have been reported throughout the southern half of the UK in recent days. Sometimes the species is overlooked as being a Tortrix moth due to it's diminutive size.

12th July 2019
A further interesting record following the rearing-through of larvae in terminal spinnings found on Knapweed - this time Agonopterix kaekeritziana. The larva was collected from Castor Hanglands (TF10) on 20th June 2019. This is the 2nd modern, post-2000 record for the species, which rarely puts in an appearance to light traps. Another species which is likely to be under-recorded as a result.

1st July 2019
The 4th County record of Agonopterix pallorella has been recorded as a result of collecting and rearing the terminal leaf spinnings of Knapweed - this time along a track to the south of Fermyn Woods (SP98) [NB: spinnings collected on 1st June 2019].

29th June 2019
Contained within a 150 species catch at a private woodland site near Kettering (SP88) were singletons of Elachista gleichenella (4th VC32 record) and five Concolorous Photedes extrema, previously unrecorded at this site. Also, yet more success using the VES pheromone lure left overnight - singletons each of Nemapogon ruricolella (this now the 3rd VC32 record) and Nemapogon wolffiella and what appears to be single Strophedra weirana (TBC).

27th June 2019
Further success using the VES pheromone lure left overnight in the grounds of a private estate (SP66) - another two Nemapogon ruricolella and a single Nemapogon wolffiella. I have found a reference to the 2002-04 Moth Report of the Carmarthanshire Moth Group, noting that the only moth attratced to the VES lure was N. wolffiella. So another species worthy of targetting with this lure.

24th July 2019
The 3rd VC32 record of the recent colonist Metalampra italica was taken in a garden light trap in Thrapston (SP97)

22nd June 2019
A new VC32 record: Nemapogon ruricolella. Five moths were attracted to the VES lure contained in a pheromone lure trap and left overnight in Old Sulehay's Cow Wood area (TL09). The moth is probably under-recorded generally given its similarity to others in the genus, but as far as I am aware, the only species in the genus to be attracted to the lure. Also of note were four Grapholita lobarzewskii recorded in another lure trap placed in a single Apple tree along the Old Sulehay access track (a mature tree, and known site for Red-belted Clearwing). This is the first record away from Northampton where it has been recorded regularly in one Far Cotton garden, and as below, at the allotments along Harlestone Road.

20th June 2019
An amazing 51 Grapholita lobarzewskii were recorded in a pheromone lure trap, left overnigth, at the Harlestone Rd allotments in Northampton (SP76). The photo below shows the inside of the trap in the morning with just some of the remaining males in situ. If you have the "SKI" lure, then it is worth targeting mature apple trees and orchards.

6th June 2019
A single Stephensia brunnichella was swept from low-growing, herb-rich sward at Old Sulehay Quarry (TL09). Weather was partially sunny, but with long spells of overcast sky. This is 2nd VC32 record, and first modern, post-2000 record, with the last being recorded in 1907. Also swept from a nearby area were several Dichrorampha sequana, which has very few VC32 records - likely to be under-recorded rather than rare.

5th June 2019
Another larval web of Small Eggar Eriogaster lanestris was recorded, this time at Summer Leys NR (SP86). This appears to represent the edge of its current VC32 range, with records seemingly concentrated in the North-east of the county and The Soke.

3rd June 2019
A single Dog's Tooth Lacanobia suasa was recorded in a moth trap in an Oundle garden (TL08). This got me thinking about the species, and a paucity of recent records. Since 2000, there have only been a dozen records, with a gap between 2012 and 2017 with none at all, although it has never been a common moth in VC32. One to keep an eye out forwhen near to wetland habitat.

3rd June 2019
Nice to hear of a Garden Tiger Arctia caja being taken in a garden light trap in Wellingborough. This species remains quite scarce in the county and always a pleasure to see.

2nd June 2019
A small larval web of Small Eggar Eriogaster lanestris was seen at the entrance to Grafton Park Wood (SP98), located on Blackthorn. The larvae were quite well-developed and likely to disperse soon.

1st June 2019
A new VC32 record - a single Phtheochroa schreibersiana was recorded in a Peterborough garden (TF20). Interestingly this also turned up in nearby Hunts (VC31).

1st June 2019
Recorded only twice before in the county, a single Phylloporia bistrigella was taken to light at Yardley Chase, which remains the only known VC32 location for this widespread but very overlooked species.

1st June 2019
Another new site has been discovered for the UK BAP Priority Species, Grapholita pallifrontana: this time at the south end of Fermyn Woods (SP98) with eleven adults seen on and around Wild Liquorice. Well worth checking any patches of Wild Liquorice that you run into in the coming two or three weeks, particularly on sunny days.

31st May 2019
A single Buttoned Snout Hypena rostralis was recorded in a garden light trap in Oundle (TL08), before being "bounced" by an over-eager Willow Beauty and legging it. Possibly a moth more widespread than we think, as it seems not to attend light traps with any frequency. Worth checking Hop leaves in a month to look for the (equally twitchy) larvae.

29th May 2019
Pleased to report that there were reasonable numbers of Four-spotted Moth Tyta luctuosa recorded during a regular transect walk along the railway line at Werrington, Peterborough (TF10). Numbers here had apparently declined in the last couple of years. Interestingly, also noted the same day, two of this species at Maxey Pits (also TF10), which I believe has not been recorded previously on this site.

28th May 2019
Only the 4th post-2000 record in VC32, a single Map-winged Swift Korscheltellus fusconebulosa was taken in a garden light trap in Upper Boddington (SP45).

20th May 2019
This amazing aberation of Latticed Heath Semiothisa clathrata was taken at Polebrook Airfield (TL09) - named ab. alboguttata.

18th May 2019
A fairly chilly night for the group field event at Grafton Park Wood (SP98)! The weather forecast was for a mild and cloudy night...but this was not the case. As such, omly 49 species were recorded, despite the centre of the wood being well-lit by over 20 moth traps of various designs and types. A full catch list can be seen here. Of particular note were some extremely bright and well-marked forms of Ingrailed Clay Diarsia mendica.

13th May 2019
Not seen in the County since Eustace Wallis' record of 1910 and only the 3rd County record, a single Mompha langiella was netted at Old Sulehay (TL09). Also noted was the 6th VC32 record of Paracrania chrysolepidella with a single tenanted blotch mine being found on Hazel. To round-off a very succesful few hours on the site, two larval feeding tubes of Infurcitinea argentimaculella were noted on a mature Oak tree. This is only the 4th VC32 record.

12th May 2019
A very small moth was netted along a woodland track in Fermyn Woods (SP98) proving to be Lampronia morosa. This is only the 4th VC32 record, and not recorded in the county since 1998. Textbooks note that the adult moth flies on sunny days up until approx 11am, but this individual was taken nearer 1pm, but was on the shady side of a tall mixed hedgerow.

6th May 2019
Whilst walking through Fermyn Woods/Old Dry Hills area (SP98), vast number of small larvae were noted hanging by silk threads from various deciduous trees and bushes along the woodland rides. It appeared that the most affected were Blackthorn bushes, many of which appeared to have been stripped bare of greenery. The larvae were predominantly Winter Moth, Northern Winter Moth and Mottled Umber. I have been told that one particular garden nest-box-cam shows the Blue Tits bringing a profusion of moth larvae to their brood this year, having failed to succesfully rear broods there in the last couple of years due to a local dearth of food! Also, potted at rest on some Dogwood, was a single example of the Oak feeding Phylonorycter lautella, apparently rare locally, with very few VC32 records to date

21st April 2019
What appears to be leaf mines of Stigmella suberivora were found on Evergreen Oak on the roadside near to Aynho (SP53). Ideally larvae need to be found and reared through to confirm, but this would be a new species for VC32.

21st April 2019
Attracted to a synthetic pheromone lure, a single Grapholita lobarzewskii was recorded in Northampton allotment site (SP76). This is only the second site for this species in the vice county (both being within Northampton itself), and demonstrates the value of using lures to increase recording.

18th March 2019
A single Small Eggar Eriogaster lanestriswas seen on the wall adjacent to a garden moth trap in Oundle (TL08). The area north of Oundle remains the known stronghold for the species in the County, but always good to record this early-flyer.

4th March 2019
As last year, I have penned a brief review of the 2018 season - click here. It summarises known species recorded as new to VC32, along with those for which there are only a few previous records. Looking at the figures, these certainly support the suggestion that 2018 was a "good year for moths". Apologies are made if I have missed anything out, or more importantly, failed to credit a record. So on that note I'd like to thank everyone who has subbmitted records to the county database. These will be uploaded to the National Moth Recording Scheme shortly (but all the data are safe and backed-up elsewhere already!). I have also updated the distribution maps on the species write-ups. These include phenology/flight charts as usual. A note of caution regarding these in that I use MapMate to creeate these, and for an unknown reason, it seems to pick-up on larval records too. It does also highlight a few "out of season" records which I need to track down and corroborate. This will take some time to accomplish. Lastly for now, I have updated the Guidelines for Record Submission page, which contains the 2019 version of the spreadsheet for those who wish to use it. Please download if it's of use.

28th February 2019
A single Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum was seen nectaring on February daphne (Daphne mezeron) in a Long Buckby garden (SP66). Difficult to know if this is a UK over-winter survivor, or primary migrant, as there have been many reports in the UK of migrant species in the past few days, probably as a result of the warm southerlies we have experienced.

27th February 2019
The extremely unseasonal heat has brought out many butterfly species, but also some day-flying moths. Orange Underwing Archiearis parthenias has been recorded at two different sites: a singleton at Yardley Chase (SP85) and two at Old Sulehay Quarry (TL09).

1st January 2019
An excellent start to the New Year with a single Mompha divisella recorded in Thrapston (SP97), with the moth being potted indoors against a window. This species has not been recorded since 1941, and was confirmed by dissection.