The remainder of the catch was hale and hearty, and I spent a pleasant couple of hours sorting through them. One of the commoner moths in the trap are a micro called Bird-cherry Ermine. These are little white moths covered in tiny black dots. However, there are several other species of Yponomeuta species, all of which have fewer dots, and all of which can only be identified with reference to their genitals. I had been looking out for them, and caught at least one.
|Yponomeuta sp (possibly padella)|
The only pug of the morning, a Double-striped Pug, had chosen to rest on the garden chair I wished to sit on. I shooed it off and got down to business. Clinging to the side of the trap was a large fat bodied moth of the type I suspect people mean when they say they hate moths. It was a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and was the first of two to turn up.
|Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing|
The last moth before I started going through the egg boxes an interesting looking one. I ruled out Sycamore and Knot Grass on size, and concluded it was my first Poplar Grey.
One of the first egg boxes contained arguably the best looking moth of the morning, an Iron Prominent. Certainly the first for the garden, but I think I may have been shown one at a moth-trapping event once.
Another candidate for moth of the day was Ruby Tiger, my first tiger moth for the garden. I actually found three in the trap by the end of the morning.
|Common Rustic ag|
|Common Rustic ag|
|Marbled Minor ag|
Another moth which caused me difficulty, but shouldn't have, was a fairly distinctive looking moth in one of the egg boxes. I casually noted it as "Wave sp" in my notebook and photographed it for later identification. The macro moths are split into several groups in the same way that birds might be waders or warblers. The two largest groups are the geometers (the ones that flatten themselves out at rest with wings outstretched), and the noctuids (the ones with wings like cloaks which scuttle about and flutter a lot). My error came when I decided it was clearly a member of the former group. After going through page after page of geometers I couldn't find its likeness. A quick flip through the rest of the book also came up with nothing, so I emailed a picture to John. He quickly responded "try looking at Oak Hook-tip". And there it was, nestling among a small group of other Hook-tips in a different section to the geometers. A very easy to identify moth !
One last macro year-tick was a Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. I can't help thinking that whoever invented the English moth names was deliberately trying to confuse inexperienced moth-ers like me.
|Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing|
I did photograph a very tiny moth which I think is from the group Elachistidae, and although it might be Elachista canapannella I am expecting to be told it is unidentifiable to species level on the basis of my photograph.