Friday, 3 November 2017

Moths - Annual Review

I had the moth trap out last night, which was dry but not especially cold, and managed just the one moth, a December moth.   There are probably few, if any new species that I might emerge before the year end, so I don't think I will put the trap out again until next year.   Thus the species count for the year is a convenient 150; there may be a few mis- identifications, for example the rustics, and I have taken aggregates for the 3 species closely related to November moths, which need genitalia examination to correctly identify.  (A step too far!) 

December moth
The following plot shows the number of species first seen in a particular month:

Comparing the species list with my records for Skye, 500 miles or so further north with mild wet winters and cool wet summer, of the 150 species, I had seen 56 (37%)  before on Skye, and as might be expected the moths that emerge down south in spring are more likely to be on both lists than those which appear in summer as the weather warms up.    

The moth that turned up in more months than any other was Flame shoulder which appeared in 6 of the 9 months, though only in small numbers, whereas the highest number caught was the setaceous Hebrew character.
Flame shoulder

Setaceous hebrew character

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