Friday 27 July 2018

Tying up loose ends from last Saturday

This came to light at last Saturday's moth night, it was in the trap at emptying time. It's a Mouse-ear Groundling (Caryocolum fraternella) - it's the first record we have for Calderdale and it's Yorkshire status is rare and local resident.

FOODPLANT: Common Mouse-ear and Stitchwort.

Thursday 26 July 2018

Spotted this solitary wasp at the Tag Loop pond today.

I think it is a Sand Tailed Digger Wasp - Cerceris arenaria   Can any experts out there comment as it could be added to our species list.

Alan Pullan

Monday 23 July 2018

Last Saturday's moths

Another cracking night with plenty of new species added to the 2018 list including some scarcities:

Brown-line Bright-eye
Southern Wainscot
Angle-striped Sallow
Small Rivulet + some I can't recall?
Also a few good micros and good numbers of Scalloped Hook-tips and Canary-shouldered Thorns

Scalloped Hook-tip - looks amazingly like a dead birch leaf at a glance. One of five.

Southern Wainscot - a reedbed specialist. This is a pretty fresh looking specimen still with a delicate pink flush. Fourth wainscot species of the year with surely more to come.

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing -(almost fell asleep typing that one) one of four species of yellow underwings on the night. The photo below shows the fantastically green head, thorax and underparts.

Pebble Hook-tip is a regular visitor at the moment.

Lesser Swallow Prominent is one of those species that you never tire of seeing. Nice to get a shot of it in it's natural resting position.

Meal Moth which as it's name suggests is a pest of stored cereals especially in warehouses. Someone will have to check in the cabin's bran flake boxes :-)

And finally one of my specialities, a micro - Cochylis atricapitana. One of six new species for me on the night.

The 2018 list now stands on at least 212 species. Where will it all end?

Thursday 19 July 2018

Moth Trapping Session - Sat. 21st July

There is a scheduled moth night this Saturday at the cabin/café. Turn up from around 8.30pm onwards, lights on at around 10.00pm.

A visit to Tag meadow this morning proved fruitful whilst looking over a Crack Willow tree. Two interesting larvae were found - this exotic looking Sallow Kitten (above) and early instar Poplar Hawknoth (below).

The Kitten was right at the top of my target species - it's the first I've seen of any of the Puss Moth/Kitten group :-)

If it's not parasitized the adult should emerge next month.

Monday 16 July 2018

Moth night photos

It was a pleasant night with a low of 15 degrees - five of us turned out all armed with pots and nets :-)
The moths showed up in force with many new species recorded for the reserve. The list stand at over 180 species for this year alone.

Scallop Shell is always a crowd pleaser - one of two

Two of these in the trap last thing were taken for ID - Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

This Small China-mark was near the top of my wants list. The larvae are semi-aquatic, feeding on duckweed (Lemna spp.). They build floating cases made from fragments of the foodplant. Perhaps there is a colony in the nearby wheel wash ponds?

It's always special to find new Pyralids so this fresh looking Acrobasis advenella was a nice surprise.

Scanning the contents of the trap in the pre-dawn gloom I found a couple of these with moth-like markings but they were tiny - c3mm. After a couple of photos I soon realised the hairy forewings were not mothly at all - a caddisfly species perhaps?

And finally one for all you leaf mining enthusiasts out there (?). I found a slightly more elongated mine on oak than usual on my last visit to North Loop on July 5th. I took it home to rear through and a couple of days ago this little star popped out - Phyllonorycter lautella, one of the less common oak feeding phyllos :-)

Thursday 12 July 2018

Moth Trapping Session This Saturday - 14th July

Hi all,

There will be a moth night this Saturday open to the public by the cabin/cafe. Arrive from around 9.00pm onwards.

I'll be there along with Barry and Andy Cockroft. Light switch on around 10.00pm.

The weather looks promising so hopefully we will continue our good run of form from last time.

Friday 6 July 2018

Work party at the pond-dipping ponds

Went along to "help" everyone stare at the pump that was filling the pond-dipping ponds yesterday morning - I took a few pics.
A dragonfly nymph, not sure if it was still occupied or which species it might be?

There were one or two Purple Hairstreaks knocking about but very flighty and didn't settle for long. Anyone know which damselfly this one is?

Another record shot but still satisfying.

This Smoky Wainscot was disturbed from the long grass.

The ponds are well worth a visit at the moment with many species of Dragonflies and Damselflies on the wing.

Monday 2 July 2018

Moth Night - June 30th

A good turn out with eight present for at least some of the time and the weather played ball with a warm, calm night - even the fullish moon didn't spoil things. It was a fantastic night with the usual moth numbers and diversity but this time we had the quality to back it up.

On emptying the trap at first light (yes, Barry and I did stay till then!) I found this Anania perlucidalis which could well be a first for Calderdale. It's a bit like Mother of Pearl but tiny in comparison. It has a preference for damp habitats and thistles.

Even better was this Acleris logiana - found by Barry - well done to him, a Calderdale first (spawny git). It's Yorkshire status is classed as "Very rare and very local resident" and I'm pretty sure it's the first recorded in Calderdale. The larvae feed within rolled birch leaves.

One of my favourites of the night was this pristine Large Fruit-tree Tortrix - one of three.

Not to be outdone the macros put in a good show with this White Satin complete with diagnostic black and white legs and the large antennae denotes a male.

A single Blackneck also turned up and is quite a scarce visitor to Calderdale.

Not reliably identifiable by visuals alone this minor species had to be "checked" under the microscope and turned out to be a male Marbled Minor - one of eleven new moth species for myself that night.

Other highlights were too many to include but Barry is keeping a log and I'm keeping an overall list of ALL Lepidoptera we record on the reserve in 2018. It stands at 135 so far.

Thanks to the dedicated CB Wildlife Group for the event and the excellent amenities - keep up the great work.