Notice Board 2013


Site Images: We are keen to complete the species illustrations on the site, additionally some of the earlier photographs now look below par and could be improved. If anyone has photographs of the species that we have not yet pictured, or clear improvements, and does not mind us using them to fill some of our gaps will they please let the County Macro Moth Recorder John Ward know. Any photographs used will of course be acknowledged.

The up to date grid square coverage map is now available by clicking onto:
Request for Information/Records from the County Recorder

IDENTIFICATION AND NOTICE BOARD ENTRIES: Any member of the group is able to handle identification queries on moths at any of their stages and if in doubt will refer the matter on for a second opinion. At the outset the insect should be retained and a realistic photograph provided to confirm the identity. Due to the limitations sometimes imposed by photographic images of moths it is not always possible to identify difficult species from a photograph alone. Basically there is always a preference for a moth in the hand. Accordingly if there are still doubts the actual insect should then be seen by either Philip Horsnail, Mark Hammond, Pete Sharpe or John Ward who will act as determinators.

In general, at the time of recording we would like to hear of moths that are UK BAP species, new to the county, or are classified on the site as very local, scarce or rare for entry on the notice board. Additionally any exceptional or interesting captures, i.e. very high numbers, species seen months out of season and unusual extremes of variation or melanism etc. will be welcome. Any other records can wait until submission of the annual recorders list. To keep the project within reasonable bounds we will generally only enter the first recording from a locality on the notice board but would appreciate the actual numbers involved at the end of the season.


2013 Records and Notices:

It would be most helpful if all 2013 records could be sent to John Ward as soon as possible with any new species for each site highlighted please. Any records received after the end of January will be too late for the 2013 season records update. Thanks.

27 October 2013. One Blair's Mocha C. puppillaria recorded at m.v. light at Pitsford Water (SP77) by Mischa Furfaro. The second county record for this rare immigrant following the Peterborough record in 2006.

13 October 2013. We have been asked by "Buglife" to inform moth group members of a brownfield conference on the 31st of October in Lincolnshire on sites at Teesside and Scunthorpe. Details can be found on Buglife’s website at http://www.buglife.org.uk/news-&-events/events/brownfield-conference Bookings can be made by ringing Buglife on 01733 201210 or emailing Buglife  info@buglife.org.uk

2 October 2013. One L-album Wainscot M. l-album recorded at Pitsford Water (SP77) by Mischa Furfaro. The second county record and a new grid square for this moth.

11 September 2013. One Cypress Pug E. phoeniceata taken in an m.v. light trap in a Kingsthorpe garden (SP76) by Pete Sharpe. A new county record for this distinctive pug, undoubtedly a vagrant to Northamptonshire.

1 September 2013. One Dotted Rustic R. simulans taken in a garden m.v. light trap and also a rather worn White-point M. albipuncta taken in one of the actinic traps operated in the garden on the same night by Nick Smith at Woodnewton (TL09).

26 August 2013. One Bedstraw Hawk-moth H. gallii taken in an m.v. light trap in a Kingsthorpe garden (SP76) by Pete Sharpe.

10th August 2013. To celebtrate Moth Night, the group was granted entry into Ashton Wold. 11 lights were run in this recently under-worked, Elm-rich woodland, recording 78 species of macro moth. The results will be used towards the habitat management of the site. Sadly (and surprisingly) the target species, White-spotted Pinion C. diffinis, was not recorded. It's Elm-feeeding congener, Lesser Spotted Pinion Cosmia affinis was recorded by Phil on the edge of the wood. Similarly pleasing was the record of September Thorn Ennomos erosaria, which has been recorded less frequently in the last few years. The Nationally Notable species Mere Wainscot Chortodes fluxa and Square-spotted Clay Xestia rhomboidea were also pleasing additions to the catch list. Click here to see the trap results.

9th August 2013. One White-spotted Pinion C. diffinis taken in garden m.v. light traps by Nick Smith at Woodnewton (TL09).

3 August 2013. One Waved Black P. fuliginaria taken in garden m.v. light traps by Nick Smith at Woodnewton (TL09).

27 July 2013. One Sharp-angled Carpet E. unangulata taken in an Oundle garden light trap (TL08) by Phil Horsnail. A new grid square record.

25 July 2013. One Narrow-winged Pug E. nanata taken in garden m.v. light traps by Nick Smith at Woodnewton (TL09). A new grid square record.

23 July 2013. One Waved Black P. fuliginaria taken at m.v. light in a Lower Benefield garden (SP98) by Perdita Cawthorne.

23 July 2013. One Sharp-angled Carpet E. unangulata and one Yarrow Pug E. millefoliata taken in garden m.v. light traps by Nick Smith at Woodnewton (TL09). A new grid square record for Sharp-angled Carpet and the first time for nine years that it has been recorded in the vice county.

20 July 2013. One Garden Tiger A. caja recorded at m.v. light at Sywell Country Park (SP86) by Darren Seaman.

19 July 2013. Two Garden Tiger A. caja taken at Harrington Airfield (SP77) on the moth group trip.

17 July 2013. One Peacock Moth M. Notata taken at light in Irchester Country Park (SP96) by Derek Larkin. A new grid square record.

16 July 2013. One Rosy Footman M. miniata taken amongst a 154 macro moth catch at Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

16 July 2013. One Silky Wainscot C. maritimus taken in a Thrapson garden (SP97) by Mark Hammond.

15 July 2013. One Narrow-winged Pug E. nanata taken at a 60w actinic light trap in a Billing garden (SP86) by Hugh Matthews. A new grid square record for this heather feeding species.

11 July 2013. One Scarlet Tiger C. dominula seen in Hazelborough Forest (SP64) by Peter Masters. A further new grid square for this species.

9 July 2013. One Garden Tiger A. caja recorded at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. A new grid sqaure record.

8 July 2013. One Scarlet Tiger C. dominula seen in a garden in Upper Stowe (SP65) and identified by Paul Egerton. A new grid square record for this rare vagrant to the county. Subsequently, at least three were found to be present and a pair were in cop.

7 July 2013 One Garden Tiger A. caja recorded in a garden light trap in Wellingborough (SP86) by Derek Larkin.

6 July 2013. One Silky Wainscot C. maritimus taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith.

19 June 2013. Four Valerian Pug E. valerianata attracted to light and several seen on valerian in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith.

7 June 2013. One Garden Dart E. nigricans taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith.

1 June 2013. The annual Northants Wildlife Trust BioBlitz took place at Fawsley Estate. Despite eight traps being deployed, only seven species were taken (plus a couple of as yet unidentified pugs). This reflects the truly awful year for moths so far, a pattern that is sadly being reported from most parts of the UK. Click here to see the trap results.

31 May 2013. One Pinion-spotted Pug E. insigniata taken at a garden m.v. light trap in Old Stratford (SP74) by Andy Harding. The moth was resting on a nearby fence and is a new grid square record.

18 May 2013. One Toadflax Brocade C. lunula taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Peterborough (TF10) by Paul Waring. This is a new grid square record for the species.

15 April 2013. One Mottled Grey C. multistrigaria taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. A new grid square record for the species.

14 November 1997. Retrospective record. One White-lined Hawk-moth H. lineata found dead in a goods yard in Daventry (SP56) by Kenn. Williams. A new county record for VC32 and the second British record of the moth, the first being in 1897 at Bridlington, North Yorkshire. See Atropos number 48, page 86.

10 February 2013. We are aware that many local recorders dutifully submit records to John Ward each year for inclusion in the local and national databases. We are extremely grateful to all those recorders. We have created a brief summary of all the new 10Km grid square records for 2012 here. There are a few records yet to be received for 2012, and we will update this page as required when these arrive. It's reassuring to note that despite the relatively poor weather experienced during the main flight season of many species during 2012, that the group managed to achieve so many new 10Km grid square records.

10 February 2013. As promised I have put together a short paper highlighting the Trends in Abundance of a few Selected Species, using VC32 moth data submitted by local recorders. This is by no means a detailed scientific thesis, but more for general interest. It is stimulated by the recent publication of The State of Britain's Larger Moths, 2013, by Butterfly Conservation. The data used in this artical is based on records from January 2000 to December 2012 and hopefully displays not only some trends in annual abundance, but also begins to show a picture of annual fluctuations, some of which can be quite dramatic.

04 February 2013. If the news item below has spurned your interest in being part of a targeted, nation-wide data gathering exercise, why not give consideration to participating in The Garden Moth Scheme, operated by Dave Grundy. The scheme asks participants to operate moth traps on one night a week during the main season, and returning records for a selected list of species. The scheme runs alongside but independantly of the National Macro Moth Recording Scheme, but has been operating for a number of years now and is starting to produce some interesting data. Of course, the more data that is received, the more robust the outcomes! Locally the scheme is administered by Roger Freestone. I know that one or two local recorders already participate, but there's always room for more, but please don't forget to submit records to the County Macro Moth Recorder John Ward too.

04 February 2013. As I'm sure has not escaped your attention, given the seemingly global coverage in the media and press, Butterfly Conservation has just published a significant report on the current state of larger moths in the UK. Based on data gathered from the Rothamsted Insect Survey moth traps over the past 40 years, The State of Britain's Larger Moths, 2013 is now available to view on-line or to download. We will hopefully be able to bring you a mini version looking at some trends in abundance of some of our local moths soon, based purely on the data that local recorders have kindly provided - watch this space.

28 January 2013 – National Moth Recorders' Meeting report. This proved to be a very interesting conference, and quite well attended despite the overnight heavy snowfall! Here's a quick run-down of what was discussed.

As indicated in the recent Moths Count leaflet, the number of records in the National Moth Recording Scheme has now exceeded 15 million! The next deadline for receipt of data into the scheme is 31st March, so rest assured that the VC32 data will be submitted well before that. ZoŽ Randall also mentioned the proposed on-line data recording package. This is nearing completion and will be available soon. It is free to use, and is based on web capture of records. The recorder can pin-point on a satellite map where the record has been made and enter details for it. This appears to be a viable alternative to other recording packages and allows you to download your records at any stage. These records will go to County Recorders for verification, presumably at the end of the season, and will not go direct into the NMRS database without this consultation phase. BC will also be publishing an update to their State of Britain's Larger Moths – due on 1st February. This will be available on the web.

There followed a number of talks focussing on various species, the Somerset Recording Group, and a short talk on the work that the RSPB does for habitat conservation, habitat improvement and subsequent species monitoring. A very interesting talk about Ghost Moth and Gold Swift outlined their courtship and lekking habits, and looked in detail at certain anatomical features found on the adult males to enhance the spread of pheromones (which are produced by males in these species, to attract females). There was an update to the current position on Pine-tree Lappet. The Forestry Commission was initially very concerned at the presence of this species, but it has not become a pest in Scotland – and it appears that the climate is not conducive to this happening (i.e. it's just too cool and wet!). The fact that it is found in many European countries and is quite happily tolerated is testament to this finding. The species is still being monitored closely though. Lastly there was a talk highlighting a couple of montane burnet species, and the causes of changes to distribution patterns. Studies revealed that one species (Scotch Burnet) was most likely affected by climate change, and the other (a European species) by changes in grazing regime since the Second World War.

19 January 2013. The latest copy of E-Moth, the Moths Count Newsletter is now available.

National Moth Recorders' Meeting
The third National Moth Recorders' Meeting is on January 26th 2013 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, central Birmingham. The programme for the day has been drawn up and the line up features both amateur moth recorders and academic researchers. The programme for the day is available on the Moths Count website (www.mothscount.org). This year there is a £5 (per person) registration fee for attendees. This includes morning and afternoon tea/coffee and a buffet lunch all subsidised from Butterfly Conservation budgets. It has been necessary to impose a charge this year as we no longer have Heritage Lottery Funding to cover holding such an event. Advanced booking is essential, to book your place please contact info@butterfly-conservation.org or telephone 01929 400209.