Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Nearly 700

This is how the trap looked at 8 this morn. Looks like trouble to me ... There were nearly 700 moths in and around the trap, so OK 435 of them were Magpie Moth but all the same that's a lot of moths. Next most common was Dark Arches with 89.

My assistant liked this one.

Garden Tiger

I'm struggling with brown Noctuids. Small Square Spot, Square Spot Rustic and Ingrailed Clay are causing me difficulty. The hardest ones are the dull, worn or just indistinct ones, I'm ascribing most of these to Small Square Spot but I'm not feeling ultra confident. Some Ingrailed Clay seem clear, when they have black rectangles in the wing, but those without are very similar to Square Spot Rustic to my eye. I think the brighter, fresher, slightly broader looking ones that are a rich brown are Square Spot Rustic. When sorting through a lot of moths in the trap these are the ones that cause me the most difficulty.

Square Spot Rustic

Small Square Spot I think

Ingrailed Clay

Dotted Clay

At least Dotted Clay has a consistent feature, the two black spots at the tip of the fore-wing.

I think this one is Small Square Spot but I could easily be wrong ....

This one is Ingrailed Clay I hope.

and both of these are Small Square Spot perhaps (Blogger is insisting on putting some of these pix in on their side etc and I can't seem to correct it for the moment...

Other new ones for the garden today were Antler Moth, Small Dotted Buff, Common White Wave and Common Marbled Carpet

Small Dotted Buff

Common Marbled Carpet

Unknown identified as Bright-line Brown-eye

A few birds have been seen over the last few days, Red-backed Shrikes and Little Stint so no trapping tonight, I need to get out and about.


Nick Carter said...

Small brown noctuids are the phylloscs of the moth world and completely "do my head in" just when I think I've got them cracked I mess up and my confidence drains away faster than money from the bank. For what its worth I think your unknown might be a worn Bright-line Brown Eye, seen a couple recently at Flam (although yours does look worn)

Alastair said...

I'd thought the same, Phyllosc-wise; but harder ... Mmmm I'd wondered that also but it was very dark and didn't look worn, maybe a melanistic one, although isn't the 'eye' too near the tip of the wing?

Nick Carter said...

For what its worth (and at my level of knowledge I'd say not much!), here's my take on your noctuids, from the top down...

Top photo - don't know (good start eh?)
Next down, I agree Small Square Spot
Next Agree Ingrailed Clay
Next Agree Dotted Clay
Next Disagree, I think Orkney ssp Ingrailed Clay
Next Disagree, think Small Square Spot
Bottom - no idea!

I have been told by people more experienced than me that the single dot on each forewing of Ingrailed Clay is a useful feature for that species but this also shows on Small Square Spot (but only on those two species??). Ingrailed Clay tends to show a darker area towards the outer end of the leading edge of the forewing, kinda in the same general area as the dots on a Large Yellow Underwing.

Lets hope there's someone with more knowledge than me checking this blog and that they can put me right!

Nick Carter said...

Re the poss BLBE, I think the eyes are OK position wise, but in addition to this I was also looking at the two teeth like white marks on the outer cross line, but then again there is Dog's Tooth of course but would the "eye" be so bright??

Nick Carter said...

Not much discussion on here! Have shown your blog to a couple of Flam moth-ers and they tend to favour your initial IDs.. They do agree the unknown is BLBE though so i have saved some face :)

Alastair said...

Sorry I've been pondering. Thanks for showing the pix to other folk. I've just got Skinner out and had a trawl through the web. In the end for those two I think I'm right. I may send the pix to Sydney (county recorder) to get his view. Yes, I now agree with BLBE, took me a while but after a bit more research I agree there' not much else that can be.

Thanks for your help, sorry it's taken me so long to reply but I keep catching more of the beggars!!

I'll post some more mysteries in a few minutes.

Will try and ring in a minute, wanted to chat about these ids before posting ideally.

Stewart said...

Alastair, your top photo is Ingrailed Clay. As Nick states, you can see the dot on the forewing a feature I havent seen in Square Spot Rustic...

Alastair said...

Thanks, fair bit of debate apparently over these moths as Nick showed the pix to the Flamborough crew. Varied opinions some like yourself going for Ingrailed Clay. Up here Small Square Spot does appear to have that dot on the forewing, at least in fresher specimens. One of the problems is that some species look a bit different in Orkney than they do elsewhere, very handy not ...

I'm going to send these pix to the county recorder and see what he says, I'll keep you informed.