Thursday, 23 April 2015

West Wickham April Moths

Lunar Marbled Brown.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Lunar Marbled Brown.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Last time we were able to put out the trap in April on West Wickham Common we only caught two moths, both Oak Beauties.  They are nice enough, but that was a meagre catch.  This year we had a second chance and it was a warm night .. there were nearly 100 moths, and ore than 40 of them were this species, the rather pretty Lunar Marbled Brown.  Here it is on measuring paper.

Lunar Marbled Brown.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Lunar Marbled Brown.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
The lines are at 5mm intervals.  It is of the family Notodontidae, which typically have those beautiful antennae and furry forelegs. 

We picked up one scarce specimen:

Dotted Chestnut, Conistra rubiginea.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Dotted Chestnut, Conistra rubiginea.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Not really rare, but nice to see.  It was quite lively and I was only just able to focus and shoot before it scuttled off the edge of the paper. 

This next one looks superficially like the Lunar Marbled Brown, but the antennae are tucked away and the legs are less furry.

Brindled Beauty, Lycia hirtaria.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Brindled Beauty, Lycia hirtaria.  In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
The Brindled Beauty is from the large family Geometridae.  We also had one representative of the Nolidae, an Oak Nycteoline, an unremarkable-looking moth except from the front:

Oak Nycteoline, Nycteola revayana.   In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Oak Nycteoline, Nycteola revayana.   In the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
When it looks rather menacing.  And there were some micromoths.  This green one is of the family Tortricidae:

Acleris literana.  Near the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Acleris literana.  Near the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
It is a little aged and worn.  It stood out on the paintwork, but among lichen it would have been invisible.  (Mothers would say "It is a Tortrix," and my rather convoluted phrasing is intended to give the full correct family name.)

And the last one, family Eriocraniidae (yes, two i's together) which can be seen flocking in oak woods in Spring.  The larva feeds as a leaf miner on oaks.

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella.  Near the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella.  Near the West Wickham Common light trap on 15 April 2015.
Those vivid purple dots only stand out like that in the camera's flash, but then they are a useful pointer to identification.  Lots of moths are about this size and shape.

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