Autumn Moths in the Garden

After returning from Georgia at the end of August opportunities to run a  trap in my West Norwich garden were limited by work, weekend trips away and the weather.  As expected numbers dwindled from mid-September onwards and diversity was never great.  However in keeping with the rest of the year I recorded a steady trickle of species that were new to the site.  For example the night of 3rd Sept yielded  137 moths of 22 species, 99 0f which were just five common species, but which included a NFY (new for year) Maiden’s Blush and a micro Epermenia falciformis (Large Lance-wing) a species for which there were just 3 previous records for TG20 and a new species for TG20D.

Epermenia falciformis (Large Lance-wing) – 3rd September 2019

A trip to Cornwall meant that I didn’t trap again in the garden until 11-12th September by which time the catch had a very definite autumn feel to it with Herald, Centre-barred Sallow, Angle Shades and Black Rustic all NFY.

Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) – 11th September 2019
Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra) – 11th September 2019

Again the standout moth was a wandering micro – Oxyptilus distans (Breckland Plume) again new to TG20D with only four prior TG20 records.  Another micro species Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey) although NFY was expected at this point in the year.

Oxyptilus distans (Breckland Plume) – 12th September 2019
Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey) – 12th September 2019

Moths were a bit thin through the rest of September notables included a NFY Barred Sallow and a couple of smart Box-tree Moths  on 21st and a rather battered new for garden Frosted Orange on 29th when Lunar Underwings peaked at 12.

I only ran four traps in October, but remarkably still managed to record two new moths for the garden; Mallow 5th and Brick 19th.

Brick (Agrochola circellaris)- 19th October 2019

Other NFY moths that appeared over the weekend of 18th/19th October included Yellow-line Quaker, Satellite, “November Moth” and the always stunning Merveille du Jour.

Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) – 19th October 2019
Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) – 19th October 2019
Merveille du Jour (Griposia aprilina) – 18th October 2019

November began with a near perfect night for mothing which delivered 28 individual of 14 species including a late migrant Silver-Y and a splash of late autumn colour in the form of three recently emerged Red-green Carpets.  Feathered Thorn and Acleris sparsana (Ashy Button) were both NFY.  But pride of place was went to the slim and unobtrusive Blair’s Shoulder Knot  which was a new species for me.

Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) – 1st Nov 2019
Blair’s Shoulder Knot (Lithophane leautieri) – 1st Nov 2019

And that was it until a mild and mercifully dry night towards the end of the month persuaded me to switch on a trap which rewarded me with four furry chocolate NFY December Moths and a beautifully marked Mottled Umber which was new to the garden.  One more trap in early December added the expected Winter Moth at which point it was time to wind things up until the first mild nights in February.

December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) – 23rd November 2019
Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria) – 23rd November 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *