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.  This post is a summary of the autumn moths in the garden that I caught between September and the beginning of December.

September

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 there was also a NFY (new for year) Maiden’s Blush and a micro-moth Epermenia falciformis (Large Lance-wing). There are just 3 previous records of the Lance-wing for the TG20 10 km square. And it was another new species for the TG20D tetrad.

autumn moths in the garden, Epermenia falciformis, Large Lance-wing, 11th September 2019, Norwich
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 this time the catch had a very definite autumn feel to it with Herald, Centre-barred Sallow, Angle Shades and Black Rustic all NFY.

autumn moths in the garden, Angle Shades, Phlogophora meticulosa, 11th September 2019, Norwich
Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) – 11th September 2019
autumn moths in the garden, Black Rustic, Aporophyla nigra, 11th September 2019, Norwich
Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra) – 11th September 2019

Again the standout moth was a wandering micro-moth; Oxyptilus distans (Breckland Plume). This was also new for  TG20D and there are only four prior TG20 records.  Another micro-moth species Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey) was NFY and expected around this date.

autumn moths in the garden, Oxyptilus distans, Breckland Plume, 12th September 2019, Norwich
Oxyptilus distans (Breckland Plume) – 12th September 2019
autumn moths in the garden, Eudonia angustea, Narrow-winged Grey, 12th September  2019, Norwich
Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey) – 12th September 2019

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

October

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

autumn moths in the garden, Brick, Agrochola circellaris, 19th October 2019, Norwich
Brick (Agrochola circellaris)- 19th October 2019

Other NFY moths that appeared over the weekend of 18th/19th October included Yellow-line Quaker and Satellite.   

autumn moths in the garden, Yellow-line Quaker, Agrochola macilenta, 19th October 2019, Norwich
Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) – 19th October 2019
autumn moths in the garden, Satellite, Eupsilia transversa, 19th October 2019, Norwich
Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) – 19th October 2019

Plus the always stunning Merveille du Jour!

autumn moths in the garden, Merveille du Jour, Griposia aprilina, 19th October 2019, Norwich
Merveille du Jour (Griposia aprilina) – 19th October 2019
November

November began with a near perfect night for moth-trapping. The traps contained 28 individual of 14 species including a late migrant Silver-Y. There was also 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.

autumn moths in the garden, Feathered Thorn, Colotois pennaria, 1st November 2019, Norwich
Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) – 1st Nov 2019
autumn moths in the garden, Blair's Shoulder Knot, Lithophane leautieri, 1st November 2019, Norwich
Blair’s Shoulder Knot (Lithophane leautieri) – 1st Nov 2019

A mild, and mercifully dry night, towards the end of the month persuaded me to switch on the trap.  I was rewarded with four furry chocolate December Moths (NFY).  In addition a beautifully marked Mottled Umber which was new to the garden.  A final trap in early December made the expected Winter Moth the last of teh autumn moths in the garden.  It was time to wind things up until the first mild nights in February.

autumn moths in the garden, December Moth, Poecilocampa populi, 23rd November 2019, Norwich
December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) – 23rd November 2019
autumn moths in the garden, Mottled Umber, Erannis defoliaria, 23rd November 2019, Norwich
Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria) – 23rd November 2019

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