Notice Board 2012

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 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.

2012 Records and Notices:

It would be most helpful if all 2012 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 2012 season records update.

A Sad Announcement.
We are saddened to say that Gearge Higgs died yesterday on 29th December after a short illness. Brenda and I have known George for many years and over that time have had the benefit of his company and advice along with others from the moth group. George was very knowledgeable about moths and the associated field work and had the additional advantage of being an excellent all round naturalist. He will be greatly missed by all of his mothing friends.
Brenda and John Ward.

Suffice to say that George was a mentor to many budding entomologists, including myself, and others such as Les Hill, now at Butterfly Conservation. I did some field work with him and Frances a few years ago - my most abiding memory is actually from a Northants Group outing to Wicken Fen in 2007 - possibly one of the last "big trips" he took part in. I hear that he had very fond memories of this event and mentioned it frequently in his latter years. I remember him handing me a pot in the car park just as dawn broke, containing a Silver Barred - a species we had discussed at dusk the previous evening. I was delighted as had not taken this species in my traps. Such a gentle and kindly man, always looking to assist and encourage people in the study.
Mark Hammond.

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 ( 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 or telephone 01929 400209.

11 October 2012. One White-point M. albipuncta taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith.

4 October 2012. One Convolvulus Hawk-moth A. convolvuli taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith.

20 September 2012. One Convolvulus Hawk-moth A. convolvuli taken in an East Haddon garden (SP66) by Richard Baylis.

29 August 2012. One White-point M. albipuncta taken in a Kettering garden (SP88) by John Ward. A new grid square record.

19 August 2012. Various group trap event results have now been posted - apologies for the delay. Results can be seen here.

27 July 2012. One Waved Black P. fuliginaria taken at an actinic light trap left overnight at Fermyn Woods (SP98) by Mark Hammond. The third county records for the species.

26 July 2012. One Waved Black P. fuliginaria taken at m.v. light at Ring Haw (TL09) by Ron Follows. The second county record being part of an 800 moth catch comprising of 107 macro moth species. Things are looking up.

5 July 2012. One Four-spotted T. luctuosa taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. As a further indication of the success of Nick's garden light traps he also reported the following captures on the same date in his email. Viz: - "For interest only, 32 Hawk moths, being 16 Privet, 6 Poplar, 4 Elephant, 3 Small Elephant, 3 Pine. Others of note being several each of Valerian Pug, Cream Bordered Green Pea, Concolorous, Mere Wainscot, Coronet and singles of Small White Wave (only 2nd site record), Satin Wave (uncommon here), Lilac Beauty (only 2nd site record)"

4 July 2012. One White Point M. albipuncta was taken in a garden light trap in Wellingborough (SP86) by Derek Larkin.

27 June 2012. One Cloaked Pug E. abietaria taken at m.v. light in Salcey Forest (SP75) by Pete Sharpe. An update of the 1988 record from this locality.

27 June 2012. Five Valerian Pug E. valerianata and one False Mocha C. porata were taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. Also included in the catch were several each of Ruddy Carpet C. rubidata, The Concolorous C. extrema,Mere Wainscot C. fluxa and The Festoon A. limacodes. As in previous seasons this garden continues to produce well above average results.

27 June 2012. Three Red-necked Footman A. rubricollis taken at m.v. light in Scotland Wood (SP77) by James Skinner.

26 June 2012. One The Concolorous C. extrema taken in a Corby garden (SP88) by Alistair Crowle. This is the second successive year that this moth has been taken at this locality.

10 June 2012. Two The Concolorous C. extrema taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith. This is the latest first date that this moth has been seen at Woodnewton over the six year period that the trap has been run, the earliest record being from mid-May.

28th May 2012. One female Netted Pug E. venosata taken at a garden m.v. light trap in Oundle (TL08) by Philip Horsnail. This is a new 10Km grid square record.

26 May 2012. One White Point M. albipuncta was taken in a garden actinic light trap in Little Billing, Northampton (SP86) by Hugh Matthews.

24 May 2012. One Toadflax Brocade C. lunula taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Peterborough (TL19) by Mike Weedon. This is the thrid year of this species being recorded at this site.

10 May 2012. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at m.v. light in a garden trap in Woodnewton (TLO9) by Nick Smith. This is a further indication of the spread of this species in Northamptonshire; it is a new grid square record and the most northern locality in which the moth has been seen to date.

22 March 2012. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken in an actinic light trap left overnight in Whistley Wood (SP64) by Terry Stokes, part of an 18 species, 264 moth catch that also included three three Blossom Underwing O. miniosa and three Lead-coloured Drab O. populeti. Nine Orange Underwing A parthenias were also seen flying around the birches in the wood on the same day.

23 February 2012. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at m.v. light in Geddington Chase (SP98) by J. Ward. This is the most northerly modern record of this spreading species in the county. The moth was a female and after photographing was returned to the Chase.

8 January 2012. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth M. stellatarum was observed flying in a barn at Barnwell (TL08) by Phil Horsnail. This is the earliest sighting of the moth that I have been able to trace and clearly it was attempting to overwinter in the barn. The previous earliest record that I hold was on 25th March 2006 when a moth was observed on the wing in Burton Latimer. At the time this was considered to be an overwintering species rather than a migrant. I have heard of a number of unseasonally early sightings due to the unusually mild winter weather. The most significant of which was a catch on 31st December by Terry Stokes in Bucknall Wood where 136 moths of six species were taken at light including twenty-four 24 Spring Ushers and two Pale Brindled Beautys.