Sunday, 9 March 2014

Moths and an Armadillo!

It's been a while since we had a reasonably mild night, but this week the temperatures started to pick up, and with the wind and rain of February starting to fade from the memory it was time to dust off the moth trap. The first session yielded modest returns, the first Common Quaker of the year was joined in the trap by a more unexpected micro, the rather attractively patterned Beautiful Plume.

104: Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
Beautiful Plume
105: Common Quaker
Common Quaker
The latter was a new species for more and not something I'd expected to see this early in the year, but the mild spring may well lead a lot of early risers. Another example of these was a the exotically named weevil Otiorhynchus armadillo. This chunky relative of the Vine Weevil is listed as a serious pest of horticulture and ornamental plants, and first turned up in my garden last year after I'd bought some wildflowers for the garden. This year it's turned up a month earlier, hopefully it won't cause too much damage!

103: Otiorhynchus armadillo
Otiorhynchus armadillo
The forecast was even better for last night, so I was looking forward to putting the trap out again. Before I did, there was another addition to be made to the list in the shape of the common nettle bug, found roaming the garden fence during half-time in the rather one-sided Ireland-Italy game.

106: Heterogaster urticae
Common Nettle Bug

That was it for the day, so it was up to the moths to keep the scoreboard moving - ideally at the same rate as Ireland! The evening started well, with the common spring species March Moth and Clouded Drab coming to light early on.

107: Clouded Drab

108: March Moth

That left me feeling optimistic for the morning, and the optimism proved to be justified as I had my best March year for a couple of years, with 26 moths of 8 species in and around the trap. Best of all was a single Yellow-horned on the fence, this is a common species down the road at the Lodge, but had never turned up in my garden until now. Other newbies for the year were Twin-spotted Quaker, Small Quaker, Early Grey, an unusually cooperative Double-striped Pug and a single of the common plume moth Emmelina monodactyla, lurking by the door handle. All in all a pretty good haul this early in the year, hopefully the start of another bumper year for mothing.

109: Yellow-horned
110: Early Grey
Early Grey
111: Twin-spotted Quaker
Twin-spotted Quaker
112: Small Quaker
Small Quaker
113: Double-striped Pug
Double-striped Pug
114: Emmelina monodactyla
Emmelina monodactyla
Total: 114 Species - see all the photos here

Lifelist 1293 Species New addition Beautiful Plume

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