Notice Board 2017
The notice board is one of the principal modes of communication for those interested in VC32 moths. I am keen to keep this resource active throughout the year and will be happy to post interesting sightings or issues. In general, at the time of recording I would like to hear of moths that are UK BAP species, new to the county, localised or rare. Additionally any exceptional or interesting captures, i.e. very high numbers, species seen out of season and unusual extremes of variation or melanism etc. will be welcome.
All other records can be submitted at the end of the season for inclusion in the central database.
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 Moth Recorder Mark Hammond 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.
2017 Records and Notices:
14th October 2017
To celebrate National Moth Night, a number of light traps were operated in Grafton Park Wood (SP97), with kind permission from Boughton Estates. The weather for once was good to us, and 15 light traps were duly lit at dusk (most remaining until dawn). 33 species were recorded in total, which was not too bad for the time of year. Highlights included the always stunning Merveille du Jour Griposia aprilina and a single Tawny Pinion Lithophane semibrunnea. Star of the night has to go to the Nationally Scarce Epinotia maculana. A number of these were seen near to the Aspens adjacent to the central car park - this being only the 2nd VC32 record (first 1996, David Manning). Full catch list here.
13th October 2017
The latest edition of E-Moth from the Butterfly Conservation Moths Count team is available here. Interesrting to note (especially with reference to the posting immediately below this one!) the news item regarding the general spread in the UK of Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis
Another record of Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis, this time taken by Phil Horsnail in his Oundle garden trap (TL08). 5th VC32 record, and confirming the ongoing spread of the species through the county.
9th October 2017
Convolvulus Hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli has been seen by Jo Roden, found at rest on the garden gate at Great Addington (SP97)
22nd September 2016
A 4th VC32 record of Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis taken by Nick Smith in his Nassington garden (TL09). This is the first record in the North-east of the county indicating continued range expansion.
20th September 2016
3rd VC32 record of Cypress Pug Eupithecia phoeniceata taken by Andy Harding in his garden light trap at Old Stratford (SP74). This is the second year on the trot that Andy has taken the moth at this location.
7th September 2017
A single leaf mine of Chrysoesthia sexguttella was reported by David Manning and John Showers at Castle Ashby (SP85). This is only the 6th VC32 record.
2nd September 2017
Bob Gill reports a single Mullein Wave Scopula marginepunctata in his Northampton garden (SP76). This is the first report of the species since 2006, which was also of an individual captured within Northampton. Given that the larvae feed on low plants including Yarrow and Mugwort, it is surprising that there are not more recent records and from other areas of the Vice County.
Retrospective record - 29th July 2017
Phil Horsnail took a single Acleris shepherdana in his Oundle garden light trap (TL08). This is the 1st VC32 record. It seems to be recorded in neighbouring Vice Counties
29th August 2017
Migrant update from last few days:
Further Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigerato recorded by Andy Harding at Old Stratford (SP74), Hugh Matthews in Little Billing (SP86), Phil Horsnail - Oundle (TL08) and Nick Smith at Nassington (TL09
Phil also reports a number of Small Mottled Willow Spodoptera exigua at Oundle (TL08) during the last few days.
28th August 2017
Phil Horsnail has taken a single Epinotia caprana in his Oundle light trap (TL08). This is the 4th VC32 record.
25th August 2017
Another New VC32 record: Tim Pridmore has recorded a single Metalampra italica at Farthinghoe Reserve (SP54). The moth has a distinctly southern, but patchy distribution, having only been newly recorded in the UK in 2003.
22nd August 2017
Some more migrant news: Hugh Matthews reports a further Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigerato at Little Billing (SP86)
21st August 2017
Some further migrant news: Phil Horsnail recoded two Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigerato in his Oundle garden light trap (TL08), and Pete Sharpe had a further singleton in Kingsthorpe (SP76).
Mark Hammond had one pink form of The Vestal Rhodometra sacraria in Thrapston (SP97).
Hugh Matthews reports a single Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella at Little Billing (SP86)
17th August 2017
Pete Sharpe has recorded singletons of The Gem Nycterosea obstipata and The Butterbur Hydraecia petasitis in his Kingsthorpe garden (SP76).
17th August 2017 (and retrospecttive reports)
This year is seeing an expansion in the range of Toadflax Brocade Calophasia lunula, which previously has only been recorded in the Peterborough area:
17th August - Mark Hammond took a single adult in his garden light trap in Thrapston (SP97)
13th August - Nick Smith took an adult in his garden trap in Nassington (TL09)
29th July - adult seen in a Wellingborough garden (SP86). The sighting was noted on Twitter, which included photos of the adult as well as a larva, which was previously seen in the same garden this summer
14th August 2017
Bob Gill reports a single Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigerato to ight in his Northampton garden (SP76).
11th August 2017
New VC32 record: Martin Coles recorded a single Trifurcula immundella in his Northampton garden trap (SP75). Worth keeping an eye out for this species especially in garden light traps, as the larvae mine under thee bark of Broom.
Retrospective record - 17th June 2017
A couple of noteworthy records from Pete Sharpe, taken at light in Bucknel Wood (SP64): Singletons of Eidophasia messingiella (5th VC32 record) and Pammene albuginana (5th VC32 record)
5th August 2017
Barrie Galpin recorded a single Birch Mocha Cyclophora albipunctata in an actinic light trap in Fineshades (SP99). This is only the second post-2000 record of this species, the last being seen on 20th August 2008 at Collyweston Great Wood.
3rd August 2017
Two White-spotted Pinion Cosmia diffinis were recorded at light in Luddington-in-the-Brook (TL18) by Sharon Hearle
19th July 2017
2nd VC32 record: A single Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae recorded by Nick Smith in his Nassington garden (TL09)
13th July 2017
Per Facebook: Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii seen at Nether Heyford, supported by a photo:
Retrospective record - 24th May 2017
New VC32 record: Martin Coles recorded a single Argyresthis glabratella in his Northampton garden trap (SP75). Confirmed by gen det (M. Hammond). A second (also confirmed by gen det) was taken in the same location on 26th May.
Retrospective record - 23rd May 2017
Martin Coles recorded a single Cydia cosmophorana in his Northampton garden trap (SP75). 2nd VC32 record confirmed by M. Hammond
9th July 2017
Pete Sharpe has recorded a further two Kent Black Arches Meganola albula in his Kingsthorpe garden light trap (SP76). This is now strongly suggestive of local breeding.
5th July 2017
Dave Penney has recorded a single Eidophasia messingiella in his trap at Duncote (SP65). This is the 4th VC32 record - probably under-recorded in the county
6th July 2017
New VC32 record: Ron Follows took a single Olive Crescent Trisateles emortualis at Easton Hornstocks (TF00). This species has a very restricted southerly resident population, so it is possible that this specimen represents a migrant individual.
5th July 2017
Further Kingsthorpe news: Tim Pickering has recorded a single Duponchelia fovealis in his garden (SP76). This is the 2nd VC32 record, the only other being from Pete Sharpe's nearby garden in 2001. That said, it is difficult to discern the origin of this and the 2001 specimen, given that the moth is not known to be resident in the U. K. but rather is associated with the horticultural trade and its reliance on non-native plants such as Begonia, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Gerbera, etc (ref Slamka, "Pyraloidea of Europe, vol 3, 2013). Slamka also notes its inability to survive in colder climes away from its Mediterranean origin, other than inside greenhouses etc. but that it can become a serious pest under the correct conditions.
5th July 2017
Following on from his record of 4th July, Pete Sharpe has taken a second Kent Black Arches Meganola albula in his Kingsthorpe garden trap (SP76). To add to this, he also records a single Small Marbled Eublemma parva, which is the 4th VC32 record and follows on from a specimen he took in the garden in 2015. I note that the species has seen a recent influx of records from inland counties over the past few days (inc. Warwickshire, Bedfordshire). That's it, I'm moving to Kingsthorpe...
5th July 2017
A single Vitula biviella was recorded at light by Mark Hammond in his Thrapston garden (SP97). This is the 6th VC32 record and notable that it was taken at a site that is some distance from significant stands of the larval foodplant, Pine. Previous VC32 records are from Irchester Country Park and Sywell Reservoir, both sites having fairly substantial amounts of Pine.
4th July 2017
Worthy of note is that Andy Harding has taken a couple Garden Tiger Arctia caja in his Old Stratford garden light trap (SP74). I have seen reports on various social media sources of this species appearing at other inland sites recently. Wouldn't it be great to think that the species could see a revival to former glory!
4th July 2017
Pete Sharpe has recorded Kent Black Arches Meganola albula in his Kingsthorpe garden light trap (SP76). This is the 5th VC32 record, and follows-up from one taken at the same site in 2016.
3rd July 2017
Tim Pickering has reported a single L-album Wainscot Mythimna l-album in his Kingsthorpe garden (SP76). This is the 5th VC32 record.
3rd July 2017
A single Phalonidia manniana was taken at Sywell (SP86) by Darren Seaman. This species appears to be recorded more frequently in the county since it's first VC32 record in 2009.
2nd July 2017
Colin Graham reports finding nine Old Lady Mormo maura moths in a Grey Wagtail nestbox he was checking under a bridge near Southwick (TL09). The species is known to roost. (NB: suffice to say, no Wagtails were in residence...)
2nd July 2017
Mischa Cross recorded a single Waved Black Parascotia fuliginaria in one of the Pitsford traps (SP77). This is the 7th VC32 record, but of greater interest it is away from the previous spread of records located in the North-East of the county.
26th June 2017
Well, this one is quite an oddity... Ron Follows recorded a single Moon Moth - probably Actias Luna from light traps at Castor Hanglands. Moon Moth species are readily available from entomological suppliers and are easily reared on a number of locally available foodplants, so this might well be an accidental release. If anyone has lost one of their Moon Moths, I'd urge you to contact County Moth Recorder, Mark Hammond
26th June 2017
A single Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis was taken in a garden light trap in Kingsthorpe (SP76) by Tim Pickering. 3rd VC32 record
24th June 2017
A few nice records from the NBRC BioBlitz at Horton Woods (SP85), one Assara terebrella recorded by Peter Terry - 4th VC32 record, single Elegia similella - 2nd VC32 record (a single record previous record from 2006), Parachronistis albiceps and a single Scarlet Tiger Callimorpha dominula
22nd June 2017
New VC32 record: A single Balsam Carpet Xanthorhoe biriviata recorded by Tim Pickering in Kingsthorpe (SP76).
Pete Sharpe took a single Bordered Straw Heliothis peltigera in his Kingsthorpe garden (SP76) on 21st June, and Steve Woollard a single Convolvulus Hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli in his Islip garden light trap (SP97) on 24th June.
21st June 2017
Pete Sharpe reports a single Nemophora fasciella at Kingsthopre (SP76). This is the 3rd VC32 record.
21st June 2017
Phil Horsnail has recorded a single Striped Wainscot Mythimna pudorina in his garden trap in Oundle (TL08). The moth has always been a bit of a rarity in the county, with only sporadic records over the years. This is the first modern post-2000 record, with the previous taken in 1986 by John Ward, at Castor Hanglands.
21st June 2017
Two Box Moth Cydalima perspectalis were recorded at light by Richard Baylis at East Haddon (SP66). 2nd VC32 record
21st June 2017
Hot on the heals of his previous record, Chris Coles reports another Anania fuscalis, this time at Byfield Pool (SP55)
Scarlet Tiger - more!
Further records from Highcroft Meadow (SP87 - Simon Merrifield); Ravensthorpe (SP67 - Nick Roberts); Old Stratford (SP64 - Andy Harding); Kingsthorpe (SP76 - Pete Sharpe)
19th June 2017
The Concolorous Photedes extrema, Parachronistis albiceps, Elachista adscitella and Zeiraphera griseana (first modern post-2000 record) were all recorded by Mark Hammond in battery-operated traps left overnight in Fermyn Woods (SP98).
19th June 2017
Nephopterix angustella has been recorded at two locations: Kingsthorpe (SP76) by Pete Sharpe, and Thrapston (SP97) in garden light traps. This species seems widespread in other nearby counties but rarely encountered in VC32, these being 6th and 7th county records.
17th June 2017
A single Anania fuscalis has been reported in an actinic light trap at Boddington Meadow (Coronation Meadow, SP45) by Chris Colles. This is only the 2nd modern post-2000 record for the species in VC32, one having been noted at Ring Haw on 21.vi.2016 by Ron Follows. Prior to that, the most recent record dated back to 1954.
Just to summarise some more recent news: Scarlet Tiger Callimorpha dominula has been reported from three sites in Kettering in the past couple of days, two from members of the public (daytime sightings reported via e.g. Twitter and Facebook), and one from John Ward of a single moth in his garden MV trap (SP88), also one to light in Derek Larkin's Wellingborough garden (SP86), and another taken at light in Oundle by Phil Horsnail (TL08). I have also just received a report from Brain Laney that he took 17 in his garden light trap in Long Buckby (SP66)! It's worthy of note here to report that the moth has been recorded in considerable numbers in many places in the south of the country over the past few days, indicating that it is having a very good year. The furthest north I have seen noted is at Bradgate Park, just north of Leicester.
Retrospective note - 19 April 2017
Brian Laney noted feeding signs on Hart's Tongue Fern during a botanical survey at Ashby St Ledgers (SP56). These were retained and reared through by Pete Sharpe, confirming Psychoides verhuella.
27th April 2017
The latest edition of the Garden Moth Scheme newsletter is available here.
11th June 2017
Derek Larkin reports a single Ruddy Carpet Catarhoe rubidata to light in his Wellingborough garden light trap (SP86). Whilst not a rare species locally, this attractive moth is seldom encountered in the county.
10th June 2017
Darren Seaman took a single Cochylis molliculana to light at Sywell Reservoir NR (SP86). This is only the 4th VC32 record.
9th June 2017
Martin Coles recorded a single Gypsonoma oppressana to light in his Northampton garden (SP75).
8th June 2017
A single Oblique Carpet Orthonama vittata was recorded by Pete Sharpe to light at Kingsthorpe, Northampton (SP76). This is only the second post-2000 record for this species.
Pete Sharpe reports that Brian Laney discovered mines of Psychoides verhuella on Hart's Tongue Fern at Ashby St Ledger (SP57). This represents the 7th VC32 record.
3rd June 2017
Several individuals of the BAP species Grapholita pallifrontana were recorded at a privately owned dissused quarry site (SP97) around plants of Wild Liquorice by Mark Hammond.
2nd June 2017
A single example of Phyllocnistis saligna was taken at a garden MV light in Thrapston (SP97) by Mark Hammond.
26th May 2017
Singletons of Ancylis laetana, Incurvaria praelatella (3rd post-2000 VC32 record) and Devon Carpet Lampropteryx otregiata (4th VC32 record, and most northern to date) were taken at 6W & 20W Heath light traps left overnight in a private woodland site (SP98) by Mark Hammond, part of a 52 species catch.
24th May 2017
Two Grass Rivulet Perizoma albulata were recorded by Robert Smith in his Kettering garden light trap (SP88). Whilst not a rare moth, it has apparently declined in recent years and is an unusual record for a sub-urban garden. It is worth noting that John Ward has also recorded this species in his nearby Kettering garden (20.vi.2016).
24th May 2017
Singletons of Monopis imella (4th VC32 record), Strophedra weirana and Hysterophora maculosana were recorded by Mark Hammond at Grafton Park Wood (SP98) during a daytime walk
24th May 2017
Phil Horsnail had a productive night at Polebrook Airfield (TL08) with records of Ancylis laetana (7th VC32 record) and Epiblema grandaevana
18th May 2017
A number of tenanted mines of Eriocrania cicatricella (5th VC32 record) were noted by Mark Hammond on Birches at Ring Haw (TL09).
7th May 2017
A single Commophila aeneana was potted by John Showers and James Skinner at the West Lodge Rural Centre in Desborough (SP88).
7th May 2017
A single individual of Nemaxera betulinella was netted just before dusk by Mark Hammond in his Thrapston garden (SP97). This is the second VC32 record, the only other being in June 1918, noted by the Kettering & District Natural History Society.
27th April 2017
The latest edition of the Butterfly Conservation/Moths Count newsletter "E-moth" is available.
Brief Summary for 2016
Firstly, my apologies for the lateness of this brief report! I had hoped to put something more substantial together much earlier than this. So a brief run-down for 2016 as follows:
Total number of moth records received: 26,026
Total number of species recorded: 945
Most commonly recorded species: 7,362 Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba
Number of new species in 2016: 12 (listed below)
04.074 Ectoedemia sericopeza (Zeller, 1839)
15.026 Parornix fagivora (Frey, 1861)
22.003 Prays ruficeps (Heinemann, 1854)
35.045 Bryotropha basaltinella (Zeller, 1839)
35.103 Gelechia cuneatella, Douglas, 1852
38.029 Elachista luticomella, Zeller, 1839
49.023 Pandemis cinnamomeana (Treitschke, 1830)
49.067 Acleris abietana (Hübner, )
49.256 Epinotia cinereana (Haworth, 1811)
49.334 Cydia cosmophorana (Treitschke, 1835)
63.054 Cydalima perspectalis (Walker, 1859)
63.065 Scoparia ancipitella (La Harpe, 1855)
This all brings the county database to just over 451,000 records, dating back to 1841! I would therefore like to offer my sincere thanks to the many regular and increasing number of occasional contributors for getting the database to this point. Long may the interest continue.
31st March 2017
Two individuals of Agonopterix ciliella were netted after dusk by Mark Hammond at Fermyn Woods (SP98), on what was a truly balmy night for March - feeling more akin to a June evenin!. These are the first modern/post 2000 records of this species in VC32, being last recorded in 1994. A. ciliella is easily confused with its congener, A. heracliana and this probably reflects the paucity of records in the database. There has been some doubt raised recently over the robustness of using the hind-wing feature as being truly diagnostic, and so despite this feature being visible, both specimens were subject to genitalia dissection - both proved to be A. ciliella (males). It is interesting to note that Mark netted several Agonopterix around battery-operated 6W Heath traps in the half-hour after dusk, but that there were no Agonopterix in the Heath traps when examined at dawn the following day. This acts as a reminder to all of us not to rely purely on using light to record moths!
7th February 2017
The entomological world has sadly lost another of its big names. It is my unhappy duty to relay the passing of Bernard Skinner. Bernard was better known to the "older generation" of moth enthusiasts, and his guide book , the first edition of which was published in 1984, represented a massive leap forward in macro moth identification. Prior to this book, and in the pre-internet age, we relied upon editions of Richard South's two volumes. These were fine tomes, but Bernard's work took it to another level, with up-to-date text, identification guides and modern text. His third edition is still in everyday use and invaluable for seeing moth hindwings, which are rarely illustrated in other publications. He is also known for the collapsible trap design that is used by many, which of course bears his name!
5th February 2017
A 20minute look by Darren Seaman for Scots Pine cones at Sywell Country Park (SP86) produced one exit hole of Cydia conicolana. This is only the 3rd VC32 record, and is likely under-recorded in the county.
26th January 2017
I am saddened to report the loss of one of our local Lepidoptera stalwarts, Peter Tebbutt. I am indebted to his very good friend Alan Butler for the following words.
Pete was born on 9th June 1954 in Northampton and was a twin and one of four sibling boys and was a father to two twin boys. He lived in the same house in Northampton all his life. Early in 2015 he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer which proved to be inoperable. Throughout his illness he retained his characteristically wry sense of humour which kept him in good spirits until he sadly died at home on January 26th this year.
From a very early age he retained a deep interest in natural history and developed a specific interest in British butterflies in the the early 1980's.
Pete was also an active moth recorder for many years, but specialised in the study of abberations of butterflies. A good number of his very fine aberrations, many exhibited at the BENHS annual meetings in London, were bred by him and subsequently illustrated in the society journal. Amongst these notable aberrations was a halved gynandromorph of Lycaena dispar batavus this being one of only two known to exist and a halved gynandromorph of Lycaena phlaeas which was all the more notable being ab. caeruleo-punctata on one side and of typical appearance on the other.
Pete had a very keen eye for aberrations but sometimes struggled with some of the subtle colour forms. On occasions Pete would ask "is there something different about this specimen or is it me?" Pete was colour blind! Perhaps equally remarkable was the fact that during his early working life Pete worked as a painter and decorator and was also a self-employed sign-writer for many years! In more recent years Pete took a keen interest in the ornithoptera and charaxes butterflies and it wasn't long before his eye for detail and excellent memory ranked him amongst the most knowledgable specialists in the field today. The same could also be said with respect to the British butterflies. He was a member of the Amateur Entomological Society where he contributed articles to the Bulletin in earlier years. Until very recently he was also a member of the British Entolomological and Natural History Society and he attended all the annual exhibitions until just a few years ago. Pete was always kind and considerate and he developed and maintained an enormous number of close relationships with both amateur and professional lepidopterists all over the country and abroad (although he never travelled abroad and didn't possess a passport). He will be missed by the many people who got to know him so well.
Funeral will be held on Wednesday 22nd February. Contact Mark Hammond for further details.
11th January 2017
The latest edition of the Butterfly Conservation/Moths Count newsletter "E-moth" is available
5th August 2016
James Skinner has just discovered a single specimen of Bryotropha basaltinella amongst specimens for determination taken at Rushden Lakes. This is a new VC32 record.