Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Bloxworth Snout


It's November and it's getting colder but the books tell me that there will still be some moths flying as long as the temperature stays above zero. I just haven't managed to work out which nights they will be flying on.

On Sunday, I had what I thought was quite a successful night for early November,  with twenty plus moths in the trap. Admittedly 7 of those where the Light Brown Apple Moths and 8 where Silver Ys but I also has three new moths in Black Rustic, Feathered Thorn and Scarce Umber.

Black Rustic - Aporophyla nigra  (It's a bit worn but thy all count)

Feathered Thorn - Colotois pennaria

Scarce Umber - Agriopis aurantiaria

Flushed with enthusiasm I put the trap out again last night. Having checked up on the moths still likely to be flying this late in the year, I was looking forward to finding a few more new species. Sadly it was not to be. All I found was a single Light Brown Apple Moth.

I really don't understand what makes a good mothing night. Comparing the nights of Sunday the 8th November and Tuesday the 10th, I have:-

                                    Sunday 8th             Tuesday 10th

Temp                             8-13°C                    10-13°C

Wind - gusting to          12-19Kmh                4-21Kmh

Humidity                       91%                         88%

Cloud cover                  18%                          19%

Pressure                       1019mb                    1025mb

Visibility                      Mist to Good              Good      

Moon                           51%                          29%

The only significant difference seems to be in the level of moon illumination. However, various sources suggest that, either less moths fly under a full moon illumination or UV lights are less effective during a full moon illumination. This is the reverse of what I am seeing.

The problem with this analysis is that I am only looking at my trap. It takes no account of the surrounding houses and street lights. Worst case, I could find that someone close by was running a Mercury Vapour lamp on Tuesday and had a catch of a few hundred. Still, its worth keeping a more detailed log of the weather on mothing nights and doing a bit more research.

The other moth of interest on Sunday night was my third Bloxworth Snout for the garden and my second of the weekend.

Bloxworth Snout - Hypena obsitalis
15th October 2020

Bloxworth Snout - Hypena obsitalis
8th November 2020

Bloxworth Snout - Hypena obsitalis
9th November 2020

Ten years ago it was a real rarity in Sussex. There are more sightings these days but unless 2020 has been an exceptional year, three inside three weeks suggests real beginners luck.

The Silver Ys were nice to see but would have been even nicer if one of them had been a different member of the Plusiinae subfamily.

Silver y - Autographa gamma

Other moths included a Double-striped Pug, and Olive-Tree Pearl.

Double-striped Pug - Gymnoscelis rufifasciata

I have run the trap a couple of times since my last moth blog back in September. New moths for the garden have included:-

Red-line Quaker - Agrochola lota

Clancy's Rustic - Platyperigea kadeni

Barred Sallow - Xanthia aurago

Orange Sallow - Xanthia citrago

White-point - Mythimna albipuncta

and other interesting specimens

Angle Shades - Phlogophora meticulosa

Barred Marble - Celypha striana

Pale Mottled Willow - Paradrina clavpalpis  (on Avocado)

Cypress Carpet - Thera cupressata

Olive-tree Pearl - Palpita vitrealis

The moth numbers may not be great at this time of year but the excitement of opening the trap, to check the catch, is still there. As is the disappointment when it turns out to be a single Light Brown Apple Tree Moth!

Light Brown Apple Tree Moth - Epiphyas postvittana

Roll on the next good mothing night, whenever that may be.

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