Monday, 7 October 2013

Many a migrant moth

I volunteered to help empty the moth traps at Durlston over the weekend as part of the Dorset Bird Fair. I'm glad that I did as with many thanks to Steve Whitehouse I managed to see a species which was high up on my wish list.
Steve had put out five traps around the Castle in addition to the two I had promised to sift through up at the Learning Centre. Whilst we were having a look through the second trap up at the Learning Centre news filtered through that Steve had caught not one, but two, Crimson Speckled - it's fair to say that I was quite excited and couldn't empty the trap quick enough. We hastily made our way down the hill and met up with Steve who still had two traps to empty and was looking somewhat exhausted. He produced one of the most stunning moths I'm likely to ever see from his cool bag and it was a glorious moment. OK, it's not quite the same as turning over that egg box and finding one in your own trap but sod it - I know that many a moth-er will be gripped by the photos below!

 Crimson Speckled - one of two on Saturday morning

I put out two of my traps Saturday night and William and I headed over there early Sunday morning. The 40w Actinic Skinner was pretty quiet but the 125w MV Robinson was heaving and I have to say that I felt a little overwhelmed by the numbers. Typically the best two moths were neither in the trap nor found by me! The Crimson Speckled pictured below was found by one of the BTO chaps just by their stand and the Bloxworth Snout was found in the gents by Luke from the RSPB (Lodmoor) - so many thanks to both of them.

Crimson Speckled - Sunday's individual

I won't list all the numbers as it's getting late and I want to get this post completed and get to bed! The probable highlight of Sunday's catch from me was two individuals of the pyralid pictured below - another scarce migrant.
Antigastra catalaunalis

Bloxworth Snout - another new moth for me

Eupoecilia angustana - rather a late record assuming I've got the id correct

Palpita vitrealis - at least ten were caught over the weekend 

 Uresiphita gilvata - another scarce migrant, sadly it wouldn't show the distinctive yellow hindwings.

I would have liked to photograph some more of the moths out of their pots, but as there were some people travelling to see them it would have been a bit selfish if they had taken flight! I also neglected to take a decent photo of the 10 Convolvulus Hawk Moth neatly lined up on the Saturday morning or the 6 found on Sunday morning!!


  1. Good stuff Marcus, that was a very good mothing weekend to say the least, there was a Crimson Speckled in Rolvenden last week only about 5 miles from the Sissinghurst!!

  2. Not jealous at all, not one bit.... OK, yes I am, quite a lot actually.

  3. Thanks chaps, I was indeed very happy with the haul. I'm hoping to trap again at Durlston in a couple of weeks time - fingers crossed for that Death's Head!!