Monday, 16 November 2015

Scilly 2015 - Moths

Pinion-streaked Snout - St Marys
So I finally managed to get myself into a position to take the trap down to the Scillies, I have been threatening to do so for the past four or five years but I now have made a trap which is quite easy to travel with so I thought I would give it a bash. I managed to get the trap out for each of the nights I was on the Scillies which in total was 16-nights. What was also pretty decent was I also managed to get Ian and Jay into them and they have both since bought traps to use at home!

The total number of moths caught during the trip was 660 which is pretty decent in October by anyone's standards. We ended with 45 species too which was very respectable with some cracking moths included. Sadly we didn't manage to bag a Death's-head Hawk-moth for the lads but there is always next time! The top three species we caught were Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis) - 181, Lunar Underwing - 59 and Opogona omoscopa - 56.
Lunar Underwing
Opogona omoscopa
The beauty of trapping on islands like the Isles of Scilly means that they often are home to scarcities or rarities and they also usually have a couple of odd aberrations, a couple of which can be seen below. The Feather Ranunculus were common throughout the trip whereas the Lesser Yellow Underwings quickly tailed off towards the end of the trip. It was also nice to catch several decent local moths such as Mecyna asinalis and this pretty variant of Common Marbled Carpet.
Common Marbled Carpet
Feathered Ranunculus
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Mecyna asinalis
 Finally of course it would be rude not to be excited about some of the migrants on offer whilst in such a favourable location. Sadly we did not trap the biggie but I did have a look at in at log which was Radford's Flame Shoulder which would have been a cracking turn up in my trap...still always next year. Below are some of the migrant moths we caught over the sixteen day period some of which would have made my year at home but nearly all of them were caught in numbers which was mind-boggling!
Bloxworth Snout
Cypress Carpet
L-album Wainscot
Pearly Underwing
Radford's Flame Shoulder
Scarce Bordered Straw
Turnip Moth
 So all in all well worth taking the trap down and I will already planning next years trapping. I wonder whether our trapping location could be improved a little by getting the trap slightly higher...something to think about over the next year! I also have plans to try and do a bit more leaf-miner stuff next year which I know will please Ian and Jay...they didn't seem best pleased with the Stigmella lemniscella mines on Elm along the Lower Broom Platform! 

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