Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Curlew Sandpipers

A big arrival of Curlew Sandpipers occurred mid to late August mainly along the east coast. There was a big rise in records and numbers on 24th August but how much has to do with this being a Saturday is difficult to determine. For Weston the peak was on the 3rd September when 4 were in Sand Bay

Curlew Sandpiper


Ringed Plover

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Myathropa florea

Despite being called a common species in the book I had my first record of the year for Myathropa florea. A rather nice hoverfly

Myathropa florea

Chevron and Centre-barred Sallow

Moth numbers are down at the moment but I did have Chevron which is my first capture of this species on 29th August and my third capture of Centre-barred Sallow

Centre-barred Sallow


Stigmella centifoliella

I picked some rose leaf mines for rearing yesterday and noticed one has already emerged by this morning but rather than the expected Stigmella anomalella I got Stigmella centifoliella.

Stigmella centifoliella

Stigmella centifoliella leaf mine

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Arctic Tern passage Saturday 24th August

Not noticed by many nationally I sea watched in 20mph NW winds off Sand Point and had two parties of Arctic Terns flying down channel post 4pm. Finding birds on the patch this day was a struggle but 4 Wigeon and a Garganey were new in at Weston STW. A Greenshank and 3 Wheatear were on the Banwell Estuary.

Friday, 23 August 2013

first trip of the year to Brean Down 23rd August

It's been a long time but finally made my first trip of the year to
Brean Down: 9 Wheatear, 1 Redstart and a Clouded Yellow.
Sand Point: 2 Wheatear
Sand Bay: 76 Ringed Plover, 120 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 8 Blackwit
Weston STW: 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 7 Teal

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mompha propinquella

Another new for the garden on night of 18th August this Mompha propinquella was also a new moth for me. They are similar to Mompha lacteella so care with ID is needed.

Mompha propinquella

Monday, 19 August 2013

Chrysotoxum elegans

A new hoverfly for me today when I discovered 2 Chrysotoxum elegans amongst Sea Aster Aster tripolium which is starting to come into flower in Sand Bay marsh.

Chrysotoxum elegans

Mediterranean Gull and Garganey

There was still a good wader count in Sand Bay this morning with 343 Ringed Plover, 214 Dunlin, 3 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 50+ Curlew and a Turnstone. Also on the beach was an adult winter Mediterranean Gull.
This evening at Weston STW a Garganey and 3 Gadwall were present.

Garganey Anas querquedula

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Maple Pug Eupithecia inturbata

This moth turned up at the garden trap this morning. I identified it as Maple Pug but found that Slender Pug looks very similar. The Gen Det showed it to be Maple Pug

Maple Pug Eupithecia inturbata (Gen Det)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Common Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha

Here's a shot of a Common Cockchafer that I took back in May. Probably my best shot of this species.

Common Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha

Botanising on the driveway

Here are some common plants I've found on my driveway this morning.

Ivy-leaved Toadflax

Petty Spurge


Gooseberry Sawfly Nematus ribesii

One of the Gooseberry Sawflies I've been rearing has emerged today and was very obliging throughout it's photo shoot.

Gooseberry Sawfly Nematus ribesii (reared)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Poplar Grey larva

Here is a larva of the Poplar Grey I found on a Poplar tree in Sand Bay on 3rd August. I've never seen the larva before so it took a little time to figure out what it was.

Poplar Grey larva

Necrodes littoralis

This large beetle was on my ground sheet last night. This carrion feeding species is said to be attracted to light so was a welcome addition to my year list.

Necrodes littoralis

Eulamprotes atrella

Last night I trapped 3 of these little micros. ID was a little tricky at first but once honed in it was a case of separating Eulamprotes atrella from Eulamprotes immaculatella. The main external difference between these two is the colour of the labial palpi. Eulamprotes atrella has pale palps with the lower edge darkened on segment 3. The moth is said to feed on St John's Wort of which there is only Pale St John's Wort on Sand Point.

Eulamprotes atrella

Friday, 2 August 2013

Hoary Footman Eilema caniola

After a report of 3 Hoary Footmen in Leicestershire I have been keeping an eye on all the footmen coming in to the light. On 31st July there were many Footmen coming to the light one or two of which looked suitable for Hoary Footman so I took the most suitable looking one home to determine. Straight away I could see that the uncus and the vinculum looked good and once the aedeagus was removed the cornuti left me with no doubt.
Hoary Footman Eilema caniola

Hoary Footman Eilema caniola

Hoary Footman Eilema caniola male genitalia

Monday, 29 July 2013

Pammene aurita

I've done it before and again with this moth, just got poor records shots thinking I've seen this one before. Determining it revealed the real identity, a new moth for me and consequently new for the garden Pammene aurita. Trapped on the 24th July 2012.

Pammene aurita (Gen Det)

Depressaria daucella

After seeing 200+ of the larvae a few weeks ago it wasn't a surprise that the adults were going to start appearing sooner or later although I thought it was still a bit early for them yet. 2-3 were caught on Friday 26th in Sand Bay.

Depressaria daucella male genitalia plate

Depressaria daucella

Depressaria daucella larva

Syncopacma taeniolella

There were several new moths caught on Friday that I have never seen before and one of these was Syncopacma taeniolella. This moth is similar to others but can be distinguished by a white costal spot on the underside of the hindwing, a feature shared by no others.

Syncopacma taeniolella underside of hindwing

Syncopacma taeniolella male genitailia plate

Syncopacma taeniolella

Machaerium maritimae

One of the diptera that came to the moth traps on friday 26th July was Machaerium maritimae. The biggest clue I found to the identification of this species is the antennae.

Machaerium maritimae

Golden-rod Pug

On Friday 26th July we caught 4 Golden-rod Pugs in Sand Bay which roughly coincides with the date of last years worn specimen from Brean Down of 22nd July 2012.

Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata

Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata male genitalia

Pediasia contaminella

It's been established that there is a small population of Pediasia contaminella in Sand Bay a new species for the area. Last night I determined one for the first time.

Pediasia contaminella

Pediasia contaminella

Phycitodes binaevella

I determined a pyralid last night that came out as Phycitodes binaevella. I found that there were two main points from the male genitalia pointing to this species: The cornuti in the aedeagus and the shape of the valva. I also determined P.saxicola recently which is shown for comparison.

Phycitodes binaevella

Phycitodes binaevella male genitalia plate

Phycitodes saxicola

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Vestal Rhodometra sacraria

After last years poor turnout of migrants in my trap it was somewhat of a surprise to break the 18 month run of bad luck with a Vestal whilst walking the dog this afternoon.

The Vestal Rhodometra sacraria

Friday, 26 July 2013

Gasteruption jaculator

Sometimes you meet an impressive looking insect and hope you can put a name to it. This was so with this Gasteruption jaculator. Despite being a wasp I thought it was distinctive enough to be able to ID. The female uses Solitary Bee and Wasp larvae as the host.

Gasteruption jaculator

Haematopota crassicornis and pluvialis

I've had several cleg flies buzzing round me in Sand Bay recently so I've been netting them for my own safety and with a view to separating into H.crassicornis and H.pluvialis. Getting the information to separate these two isn't easy but I've found out that pluvialis has an anterior notch on the basal antennal segment which is not present in crassicornis. H.grandis can be told from the two by a long thin basal antennal segment.
I netted 9 flies; 8 where H.crassicornis and 1 was H.pluvialis. The photo below shows the difference in the antennae. This is correct to the best of my knowledge and will amend if any more information comes to light to the contrary.

Comparison of antennae of crassicornis and pluvialis

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Garden Dart Euxoa nigricans

Here's a moth that has been giving people some ID problems. I caught one around the same time in 2011 and that was identified as "having some similarities to nigricans". I've never seen Garden Dart so this would be a new moth for me. Classed nationally as a common moth this species has seldom been recorded since 2000 in VC5 and VC6.

Presumed Garden Dart Euxoa nigricans

Monday, 22 July 2013

Eyed Hawk-moth larva

The first Eyed Hawk-moth of the year happened to be a female in the garden trap. She laid several eggs so I decided to rear a couple. At first they were eating a leaf every 3 days and now it 4 leaves a day.

Eyed Hawk-moth larva

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Brown Scallop Philereme vetulata

A worn knackered geometrid dropped on the sheet last night whilst trapping, at first I couldn't figure it out. In the morning under daylight the moth I thought looked a bit like Brown Scallop but that I thought was because of the worn state. Determining it tonight proved that it was indeed this species.

Brown Scallop Philereme vetulata

Brown Scallop male genitalia

Nicrophorus vespillo

This beetle was attracted to my MV light last night. I saw this or a similar species at Berrow just over a week ago. One of the distinguishing features of Nicrophorus vespillo is the curved hind tibiae.
Edit: A little bit more information on this species. The red top to the antennae and yellow side hairs along with the curved hind tibiae are all features of Nicrophorus vespillo.

Nicrophorus vespillo

Biselachista scirpi

I swept this moth from the marsh on friday. It looks good for Biselachista scirpi. The moth is said to be found around Sea Club-rush which is present in the bay.

Biselachista scirpi

Biselachista scirpi male genitalia

Friday, 19 July 2013

Weston Woods moth trap results 18th July

For a change I trapped in Weston woods last night recording the following:

  1. Peach Blossom
  2. Buff Arches
  3. Common Emerald
  4. Clay Triple-lines
  5. Riband Wave
  6. Silver-ground Carpet
  7. Common Marbled Carpet
  8. July Highflyer
  9. Small Fan-footed Wave
  10. Pretty Chalk Carpet
  11. Haworth's Pug
  12. Blomer's Rivulet
  13. Clouded Magpie
  14. Swallow-tailed Moth
  15. Peppered Moth
  16. Willow Beauty
  17. Mottled Beauty
  18. Engrailed
  19. Clouded Silver
  20. Light Emerald
  21. Lobster
  22. Rosy Footman
  23. Heart and Dart
  24. Heart and Club
  25. Dark Sword-grass
  26. Flame Shoulder
  27. Lesser Yellow Underwing
  28. Dagger sp
  29. Poplar Grey
  30. Marbled Beauty
  31. Dark Arches
  32. Grey Arches
  33. Purple Clay
  34. Slender Brindle
  35. Double Square-spot
  36. Rustic
  37. Green Silver-lines
  38. Beautiful Hook-tip
  39. Snout
  40. Fan-foot
  41. Teleiodes luculella
  42. Gracillaria syringella
  43. Green Oak Tortrix
  44. Cryptoblabes bistriga
  45. Eudonia lacustrata
  46. Zeiraphera isertana
  47. Pammene fasciana
  48. Lathronympha strigana
  49. Pseudargyrotoza conwagana

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Coleophora adjunctella

A coleophora caught in Sand Bay on the 14th has been determined at the moment as a male C.adjunctella a feeder of Juncus geradii found in saltmarshes recorded as present in Sand Bay.

Coleophora adjunctella male genitalia

Coleophora adjunctella