2011 Gloucestershire Moth Report 2011 by Hfr990Q


									                                 Gloucestershire Moth Report 2011

Moth recording has continued to be a popular activity in Gloucestershire with many people
recording in their gardens and a smaller number recording away from home. Most recording is made
running light traps. There are far fewer records derived from day-time observation as might be
expected. Only a small percentage of records are larval and very few of those are carried through to
breeding out the perfect specimen. Digital photography now plays an important part in helping with
identification and also disseminating to a wider audience the extraordinarily beautiful forms that
exist in the moth world.

Despite all the activity that is taking place Gloucestershire is very much under-recorded being a large
county with extensive areas of woodland in the west and north, and very thinly populated rural
areas in the east. Parts of the Forest of Dean have never seen a moth trap and even where a regular
and well supported trapping programme has taken place such as at Lower Woods, the extensive
GWT Reserve near Wickwar, there is still much to discover. In the year under review several sessions
have been held in Woodchester Park south of Stroud, Breakheart Hill Quarry south of Dursley and
Dymock Wood near the M50 in the north of the county.

The chart below shows numbers of records made in the last five years. The apparent dip in numbers
in 2011 is, I hope, temporary. At the time of writing my report a year ago I had had 13542 records for
2010. The number stands now at 18764 and there may be more. I expect more 2011 records will
reach me in due course that will level the numbers.

                                                                             moths      Macros     Micros
                                                                   2007      8860        5953      2907
                                                                   2008      9723        6934      2789
                                                                   2009      14274      10201      4523
                                                                   2010      18764      12792      5972
                                                                   2011      16774      10847      5927

The weather in 2011

After a period of very cold weather the season got off to a remarkable start with a very warm April.
Conditions were so good that some species emerged up to four weeks earlier than normal. (Later in
the year this resulted in second and even third generation adults in species not normally producing

Unfortunately this early promise did not continue and the summer turned out to be average only.
Things brightened up in the autumn when a period of warm winds from a southerly direction
brought many migrants to our shores and the numbers reaching Gloucestershire were more than we
normally see.


                        Top 28 most widespread macro-moth species

Code       Taxon                         Vernacular                                Records
   2441    Autographa gamma              Silver Y                                    43
   1738    Epirrhoe alternata            Common Carpet                               42
   1727    Xanthorhoe montanata          Silver-ground Carpet                        42
   1776    Colostygia pectinataria       Green Carpet                                41
   2050    Eilema lurideola              Common Footman                              41
   1937    Peribatodes rhomboidaria      Willow Beauty                               41
   1906    Opisthograptis luteolata      Brimstone Moth                              41
   2089    Agrotis exclamationis         Heart and Dart                              41
   2102    Ochropleura plecta            Flame Shoulder                              41
   2107    Noctua pronuba                Large Yellow Underwing                      41
                                         Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow
    2111   Noctua janthe                 Underwing                                    41
    1724   Xanthorhoe spadicearia        Red Twin-spot Carpet                         41
    1742   Camptogramma bilineata        Yellow Shell                                 41
    2126   Xestia c-nigrum               Setaceous Hebrew Character                   41
    1991   Deilephila elpenor            Elephant Hawk-moth                           40
    1713   Idaea aversata                Riband Wave                                  40
    1994   Phalera bucephala             Buff-tip                                     39
    1702   Idaea biselata                Small Fan-footed Wave                        39
    2321   Apamea monoglypha             Dark Arches                                  39
    2306   Phlogophora meticulosa        Angle Shades                                 39
    2343   Mesapamea secalis             Common Rustic                                39
    2199   Mythimna pallens              Common Wainscot                              39
    2188   Orthosia incerta              Clouded Drab                                 39
    2477   Hypena proboscidalis          Snout                                        39
    2474   Rivula sericealis             Straw Dot                                    39
    2198   Mythimna impura               Smoky Wainscot                               39
    2318   Cosmia trapezina              Dun-bar                                      39
    2044   Eilema griseola               Dingy Footman                                39

Records for all migrant macromoths were as follows:

Silver Y (67), Humming-bird Hawk-moth (25), Vestal (12), Dark Sword-grass (10), Small Mottled
Willow (5), Small Marbled (3), Pearly Underwing (2), and singletons of Bordered Straw, Portland
Ribbon Wave, Rannoch Looper, Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Ni Moth, Delicate, Four-spotted Footman,
Gem, White-point, Flame Brocade and Clancy’s Rustic.
The last two have not been recorded in Gloucestershire before, but unfortunately they are
unconfirmed as there was no supporting evidence. The rather tattered Portland Ribbon Wave was
also a first for the county and appeared in the Mangotsfield, Bristol garden of Denise Whittle on 2nd
June followed four days later by only our second county record of a Rannoch Looper.

Notes on selected macro-moths other than migrants in alphabetical order by common name

Clouded Buff This handsome moth can be found in Cinderford Linear Park and in 2011 was found
away from Laymoor Quag for the first time.

Cream-spot Tiger (Local) All my few records for this species had been from the south and west of the
county so it was a great surprise when John Widgery found a larva on Cleeve Hill in the north of
VC33 on 22nd October 2011. This is the only record for VC33.

Double Line The sudden appearance of this moth in several places in 2010 was not a freak event as
there were four further scattered records in 2011.

Double Lobed Until 2011 all records of this moth had been east of the Severn. One was trapped at
Milkwall, Coleford by Susan Dewsbury on 22nd June and another here at St Briavels on 27th July.

Forester Moth (BAP species) The chance discovery of this moth in Cinderford Linear Park in 2008 has
led to several sightings there. A careful search in 2011 established that the moth is present
throughout the full length of the Park, a distance of approximately 3 km. Moseley Green some 4 km
further south has similar habitat and it is hoped to mount a search there in 2012. A new site was
discovered on the edge of the Cotswold Water Park by John Martin.

Hoary Footman (Notable Nb) Perhaps the most unexpected macro record in 2011 was the discovery
of a colony of this species in Breakheart Hill Quarry by Steve Chappell. On the night in question, 24th
July 2011, Steve had Hoary Footman (12) and Scarce Footman (7) and could readily separate the
species when comparing them together. The only other records are very old ones from the Bristol

Hornet Moth (Notable Nb.)The amazing reappearance of this moth in 2008 after a gap of 62 years
unseen has continued to provide records. There were seven in 2011 from four different people.

Large Wainscot I usually receive three or four records each year of this moth which is quite common.
I have included it in my list this year as I have had no fewer than 24 records in 2011.

Light Feathered Rustic (Notable Nb.) This species has only been reported from three places in recent
years. It is recorded regularly at Ringhill Farm on Haresfield Hill by Roger Pearce where he had up to
six on eight different dates in 2011.

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Notable Na.) Until 2011 we had one record post-1950 when a
larva was found in 1993 at a site north of Bisley. Matthew Oates has had two sightings at a site in the
Stroud valley which suggests that this elusive insect is still resident in the county.

Northern Drab (Local) Peter Hugo trapped one of these at Sherborne on 10th April 2011, the first
record for three years which seems to be the interval between records.
Pine Hawk-moth First recorded in the county in 2006 we now have five records with one in 2011
from Laycombe Ditch Wood south-east of Dursley. All are from the Cotswolds. It is curious that there
are no records (yet) from the Forest of Dean though my earlier remarks about how under-recorded
it is must be borne in mind.

Plumed Prominent (Notable Na) Recording of this rare moth, which flies in November, is now a
regular feature of the programme since Peter Hugo re-discovered it at Withington Woods in 2005. In
2011 recording was concentrated on the Chedworth Reserve where it was found last year. It was
found on four separate dates and along the length of this linear reserve. On 12th November thirty-
one individuals were recorded altogether.

Silver Cloud (Notable Na) This moth was regularly recorded in the Severn Vale, the national
stronghold, but seems to have declined with a handful of recent records only from the north of the

Small Argent & Sable Virtually the only recent records for this pretty little moth are from Cinderford
Linear Park at the south end where it was found again in 2011. There must be other sites as the
food-plant is not uncommon.

Small Brindled Beauty Until two or three years ago this early species was not recorded every year.
Latterly there have been six or seven records a year which suggests an increase in the population.

The Streak This species flies in October and records in the last ten years have only been from Rick
Benson-Bunch near Newent, and from my garden here at St Briavels.

Waved Carpet (Notable Nb) This species appears to be restricted to the Wye Valley area and the
valley east of Stroud. I only have twelve records, going back to the 1950s. Guy Meredith found one
in Siccaridge Wood on 11th July 2011.

White-line Snout (Notable Nb) I was beginning to fear that we had lost this moth as the last records
had been in 2003. Happily, Guy Meredith trapped one at Lancaut on 26th July 2011.

Wood Tiger This was only recorded from two sites in 2011, Cleeve Hill and Ringhill Farm on
Haresfield Hill where a colony appears to have become recently established. It has a flight season of
several weeks in mid-summer. I hope the dearth of records is because the many sites that we have
have not been visited and not because it has declined.


The table on the next page shows the 20 most widespread micromoths defined by the
numbers of 10 km squares in which they have been recorded.
        Code      Taxon                          Vernacular                 Records
           1304   Agriphila straminella                                       42
            385   Anthophila fabriciana                                       40
           1405   Pleuroptya ruralis             Mother of Pearl              39
             67   Stigmella plagicolella                                      39
           1305   Agriphila tristella                                         39
           1293   Chrysoteuchia culmella         Garden Grass-veneer          39
           1076   Celypha lacunana                                            38
            303   Parornix anglicella                                         38
            937   Agapeta hamana                                              38
           1376   Eurrhypara hortulata           Small Magpie                 36
            342   Phyllonorycter coryli          Nut Leaf Blister Moth        36
           1398   Nomophila noctuella            Rush Veneer                  36
            464   Plutella xylostella            Diamond-back Moth            35
           1011   Pseudargyrotoza conwagana                                   35
           1338   Dipleurina lacustrata                                       35
           1392   Udea olivalis                                               35
            111   Stigmella microtheriella                                    35
           1344   Eudonia mercurella                                          35
            658   Carcina quercana                                            35
           1388   Udea lutealis                                               34

                                Migrant micromoths in 2011

As has been indicated earlier in this report, there were more migrants than usual in 2011.
Numbers of micromoth records were as follows:-

Diamond-back (21), Rusty-dot Pearl (17), Rush Veneer (6), Oxyptilus laetus (2), Tebenna
micalis (1) and Palpita vitrealis (1).

As will be seen in the table on the next page, O.laetus and T.micalis are new county records.

Recorders identified by initials on the table on the next page

Gordon Avery (GRA), Steve Chappell (SC), George Davis (GD), Matthew Hollands (MH), Robert
Homan (RH), Peter Hugo (PDJH), Neale Jordan-Mellersh (NJM), Guy Meredith (GHJM), Tony Perry
(TP), Alan Prior (AP), Roger Ward (RW), Mark Young et al (MY) and Pavlo Zaltowski (PZ).
                   Name             Stage             Site       Date       Recorder                     Comment
   20   Ectoedemia decentella       Adult   Bristol            02/07/2011   NJM        New to VC 34
   21   Ectoedemia sericopeza       Mine    Cheltenham         30/06/2011   RH         New to VC33 and Glos
   21   Ectoedemia sericopeza       Mine    Bristol            27/07/2011   RH         New to VC34
 107    Stigmella regiella          Mine    Lower Woods        19/09/2011   GHJM       New to VC34
 124    Tischeria dodonaea          Mine    Forest of Dean     05/11/2011   GHJM       Several records
 145    Nemophora minimella         Adult   Oakridge           14/08/2011   GHJM       Second record since 1953
 219    Nemapogon ruricolella       Adult   Dymock Wood        04/07/2011   GHJM       Confirmation of vague early record
 243    Tinea dubiella              Adult   Cheltenham         03/08/2011   GHJM       Confirmation of vague early record
 365    Phyllonorycter comparella   Mine    Twyning            26/09/2011   RH         New to VC33 and Glos
 386    Tebenna micalis             Adult   Slimbridge         26/08/2011   AP         New to VC34 and Glos
 512    Coleophora binderella       Adult   Lancaut NR         26/07/2011   GHJM       First confirmed county record
 588    Coleophora salicorniae      Case    Severn Beach       29/09/2011   GHJM       New to VC34 and Glos
 724    Metzneria lappella          Adult   Gloucester         02/06/2011   GRA        New to VC33
 729    Isophrictis striatella      Larva   Forest of Dean     13/10/2010   GHJM       New to VC34
 736    Monochroa lucidella         Adult   Forest of Dean     06/08/2011   GHJM       Notable Nb. First record for 10 years.
 755    Stenolechia gemmella        Adult   Breakheart         02/09/2011   SC         First record since 1962
 806    Gelechia nigra              Adult   Chedworth          09/09/2011   PDJH       Third county record
 832    Caryocolum blandella        Adult   Charlton Kings     03/06/2011   RW         New to VC33
 841    Sophronia semicostella      Adult   Dursley            25/06/2011   SC         Second record since 1919
 879    Batrachedra pinicolella     Adult   Dymock Wood        04/07/2011   GHJM       First record since 1955
 885    Mompha conturbatella        Adult   Forest of Dean     20/07/2011   GHJM       First record since 1991
 933    Phalonidia gilvicomana      Adult   Painswick Beacon   10/06/2011   PZ         First record since 1996
 956    Cochylidia implicitana      Adult   Thrupp             22/08/2011   PDJH       Third county record
                                                                                       New to VC33 followed by three more
964a    Cochylis molliculana        Adult   Charlton Kings     05/08/2011   RW         records in VC33
 974    Argyrotaenia ljungiana      Adult   Gloucester         14/07/2011   PZ         Second county record
1026    Exapate congelatella        Adult   Breakheart         22/12/2011   SC         First record since 1920
1050    Acleris boscana             Adult   Cambridge          21/03/2011   SC         New to VC34
1051    Acleris logiana             Adult   Eastcombe          11/11/2011   TP         Second county record
1101    Endothenia ustulana         Adult   Lower Woods        29/06/2011   GHJM       First record since 1998
1104    quadrimaculana              Adult   Ashleworth Ham     22/08/2011   MY         Second record since 1938
1123    Ancylis laetana             Adult   Lower Woods        03/05/2011   GHJM       First record since 1917
1146    Epinotia rubiginosana       Adult   Cambridge          01/07/2011   SC         First record for 10 years.
1147    Epinotia cruciana           Adult   Dymock Wood        04/07/2011   GHJM       First record since 1999
1228a   Pammene ignorata            Adult                                   GHJM       Now known from four sites in Glos
1275    Dichrorampha flavidorsana   Adult   Cheltenham         29/07/2011   GHJM       First record for 10 years
1336    Eudonia pallida             Adult                                              Rare until 2010, now 24 recent records
1373    Paratalanta pandalis        Adult   Beechknapp         21/05/2011   GHJM       Notable Na. First record since 1996
1403    Diasemiopsis ramburialis    Adult   Cheltenham         15/06/2002   RH         New to VC33 and Glos
1408    Palpita vitrealis           Adult   Eastcombe          11/11/2011   TP         Rare migrant
1461    Assara terebrella           Adult   Parkend            27/08/2011   GD         Third record since 1936
1492    Oxyptilus laetus            Adult   Cheltenham         30/06/2011   MH         New to VC33 and Glos
1492    Oxyptilus laetus            Adult   Forest of Dean     02/07/2011   GHJM       New to VC34
1520    Hellinsia osteodactylus     Larva   Breakheart         10/09/2011   GHJM       First record since 1975
Comments on some micro moths

21 Ectoedemia sericopeza. The mine is in the winged samara of Acer platanoides and is not
immediately obvious. Having found what to look for Robert then made these two records in both
our vice-counties.

365 Phyllonorycter comparella. This species has been spreading in Worcestershire having been
thought extinct until recently. Tony Simpson, the Worcestershire recorder, told Robert Homan
where he might find the mines. Having found it in several places in Worcestershire Robert finally was
successful in Gloucestershire.

386 Anthophila fabriciana seems to have suffered a population crash. Commonly known as the
Nettle Tap this species could be found virtually anywhere that there are nettles (see table of
widespread micromoths). In 2011 there were only two records, likewise in 2010, whereas in 2009
there were 47 records and I have 402 altogether.

386 Tebenna micalis. This migrant was found on a very wet trapping evening at WWT Slimbridge.

588 Coleophora salicorniae This species requires careful searching of glasswort, a saltmarsh species,
on which the case can be found. Several visits were made to suitable habitat before this record was
made by Guy Meredith.

964a Cochylis molliculana This relatively recent addition to the British list has spread rapidly and
from our first records in South Gloucestershire in 2009 and 2010 it has appeared in Cheltenham and
Gloucester with five records altogether in 2011.

974 Argyrotaenia ljungiana. This species is given as common on heaths and moors. Our first record
was bred out from a nectarine in Cheltenham and the second appeared in the middle of Gloucester,
where up to three have been seen. We are fairly confident about the identifications so it would
seem that this species has changed its habits.

1228a Pammene ignorata The first record was in 2006 when Guy Meredith found this species at
Lower Woods. It was then only the second record for Britain. Being similar to other Pammene sp
dissection is required. It has now been found in several places in Gloucestershire and also elsewhere
in the country.

1492 Oxyptilus laetus This is a rare migrant and the few records are mostly from southern counties.
There was a small influx this year and it so happened that we had one record from each vice-county.


I am grateful to the following for supplying two or more records.

David Anderson, Gordon Avery, Juliet Bailey, Phil Barden, Simon Barker, Rick Benson-Bunch, Mike
Boyes, Michael Bradley, Chris Britton, Jon Brock, Geoff Butler, Graham Champken, Steve Chappell,
Peter Cranswick, Ken Cservenka, George Davis, Tim Davis, Susan and David Dewsbury, Alastair
Driver, Jeremy Doe, Peter Fitchett, Derek Foster, Dave Grundy, Michael Harper, Ken Heron, Robert
Homan, Peter Hugo, Neale Jordan-Mellersh, David Iliff, Mary Anne Jones, Andrew Lodge, John
Martin, Jacquie Matthews, Mike McCrea, Guy Meredith, Joan Oakley, Matthew Oates, Steve Owen,
Mark Parsons, Roger Pearce, David Perkins, Tony Perry, Vic Polley, David Priddis, Alan Prior, Hilary
and Hugh Purkess, Joanna Rutherford, Philip Sansum, David Shenton, Bob Smith, Chris Tracey, Colin
Twissell, Roger Ward, Roger Wasley, Bob Wills, Denise Whittle, John Widgery, Paul Wilkins, Ruth
Wollen, Robert Woods, Beryl Woollett, Mark Young and Pavlo Zaltowski.

The following deserve special mention for extensive recording away from their homes.

Steve Chappell, Peter Cranswick, Robert Homan, Peter Hugo, Guy Meredith and Roger Pearce.

In addition to a prodigious amount of recording, with dissections as necessary, Guy Meredith has
refined the mapping programme at
http://www.gloucestershire-butterflies.org.uk/Guys_maps/mothmap.html so that it now offers even
more information about the distribution of Gloucestershire Moths. This has had over 2500 ‘hits’ so
far and is an up to date reference resource. Thank you, Guy!

Instead of arranging some photographs in an Appendix as last year I have made up two PDF files one
with some macromoth photographs and the other with photos of micros.

These will be attached separately to the email carrying this report.

Roger Gaunt, St Briavels, 5th February 2012.

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