Notice Board 2024

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, very localised or rare, or which have not been recorded since 2000. 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 or Pete Sharpe who will act as determinors.


2024 Records and Notices:

8th May 2024
A new site for the species - First noted on the site on 3rd June, a further 15 Concolorous Photedes extrema were noted to light at Weldon Woodland Park on the outskirts of Corby (SP98) - with 13 in one trap!

8th May 2024
A 2nd VC32 record of Coleophora violacea was recorded to the Ni Moth lure, this time at Grafton Park Wood (SP98), left overnight in amongst a hedgerow containing mature Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Dog Rose.

2nd May 2024
Results from battery-powered moth traps were quite poor at Easton Hornstocks (TF00), despite the weather conditions seemingly being favourable, but the Ni Moth pheromone lure left out overnight produced a single Coleophora violacea. This is another new VC32 record. The species is apparently recorded in several neighbouring vice-counties and thus possibly over-looked until now. If you have this pheromone lure, it would be worth deploying it amongst e.g. Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Apple and Dog Rose, these being the (published) preferred foodplants of the larvae.

31st May 2024
Despite the cooling conditions and ultimately clear skies forcing a slightly early pack-up, the moth group visit to Swaddywell Pits (TF10) proved to be reasonably succesful. The session was well attended, with visitors from as far afield as St Albans and Scotland, and with over twenty moth traps deployed. The full catch list has yet to be derived but at time of writing 45 Concolorous Photedes extrema were recorded - an amazing total for a chilly night! Several micro-moths were potted for later examination in better light. One of these was one of the larger, bronze-winged Coleophoridae. Closer examination of the eye detail showed the difinitive orange-red eye and matching eyelashes, proving this to be the 2nd VC32 record of Coleophora amethystinella.

16th May 2024
A single Cydia illutana was taken to light at Pitsford Reservoir (SP77). This is the 4th VC32 record, all of which have emanated from this site, with the first being recorded in 2007.

11th May 2024
A VC32 first was noted to a garden light trap in Duston, Northampton (SP76) - notably a single Ethmia bipuntella. A moth that is generally found on chalky cliffs around the south-east of England, but known to "wander inland occasionally" (per Sterling & Parsons, 2023). Not known to have been recorded in neighbouring Vice-counties at the time of first capture. The VC32 record in Duston is possibly therefore due to a dispersal event rather than being a locally bred individual. (NB: a single Portland Ribbon Wave was recorded in Bedfordshire on the same night, which may support this hypothesis). Larvae feed on Viper's-buglos.

26th April 2024
At last, some news to report! A morning spent examining Greater Stitchwort at a couple of sites in the west of the county have yielded a couple of decent records. The larval cases of Coleophora solitariella were found on the foodplant at Everdon Stubbs and Ramsden Corner SSSI (both SP65). These records represent the all-time 7th and 8th VC32 records, but only 2nd and 3rd modern, post-2000 records, having been last recorded in 2015. The moth has principally been recorded in Yardley Chase by the same method, but also once in Ramsden Corner in September 1998. Also found at Ramdsen Corner on Greater Stitchwort was the first VC32 record of Coleophora lithargyrinella, where a single case was located near to feeding windows on the foodplant. This species has a scattered distribution across the UK, and is probably under-recorded, but is noted often to exist in fairly low density.

29th February 2024
For anyone interested, here is a link to the recording of Moth Recorders Meeting that took place at the BMI at the end of January this year: Moth Recorder Conference Video

16th February 2024
A very early record of Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda was noted in Staverton (SP56). The earliest I have on record is from 1920, with a recorded date of 22nd March, followed by 28th March 2014, so this is a good month ahead of those. I looked at trends over the past 40 years for this moth, and noted the average earliest recorded date for each 10-year period as follows:
1984 - 1993: 19th May
1994 - 2003: 8th May
2004 - 2013: 5th May
2014 - 2023: 19th April
Certainly, there have been several comments posted on social media of Spring moths putting in early appearances this year, so I'm sure that the trend noted above could well be mirrored by other species locally.

16th February 2024
Please find a link here to the annual VC32 Moth Summary for 2023. I hope it is an interesting read, and sufficiently covers the usual updates for our less-well recorded species, a summary of species that were added during the year and a few more items of interest too. I apologise if anything appears to have been missed!

30th January 2024
Reflecting the increased migrant activity along the south coast, reported on social media, a single Silver Y Autographa gamma has been taken in a garden light trap in Northampton (SP76).

1st January 2024
It's that time of year when (I copy and paste the message from last year!) and wish you all a Happy New Year. I'd like to thank all those who have already submitted their 2023 records. I have sorted through just about all of these. I'll be going into iRecord to perform verifications, etc soon. I will make my customary request for any outstanding moth records for 2023 please (or indeed any others you may have lurking from previous years) to be sent to Mark Hammond as soon as possible please, so that I can assimilate records, run the necessary checks, update species information on the website and write the report for the year.

Please also note that the Recorder Spreadsheet for 2024 is nearly ready - I will post this here shortly (and probably send by email to all the group too).