Notice Board 2018
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 determinors.
2018 Records and Notices:
2nd August 2018
A 2nd county record of Dewick's Plusia Macdunnoughia confusa has been taken in a light trap in Collyweston Great Wood (TF00). The location of this capture is not too distant from the first county record in Wansford. Evidence of a local colony perhaps? Difficult to be sure of course, as moths seem to be moving about in this hot summer.
2nd August 2018
Amazingly, but not totally unexpectedly, a single Raspberry Clearwing Pennisetia hylaeiformis was recorded to a pheromone lure in Duston, Northampton (SP76). So this is yet another new VC32 record - the second new macro moth species added to the county list in one day! The moth has been recorded in neighbouring Bedfordshire, and thus I was hoping that it would be recorded this side of the border before too long. If you have the HYL lure, it is worth trying it near to established allotments where mature raspberry canes are grown.
2nd August 2018
Another new VC32 record: It is uncommon to add new macro species to the county list, but this is the second one for 2018. A single Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria was seen during daytime recording effort in Yardley Chase (SP85). It remained long enought for a photo to be taken, but was soon disturbed by a butterfly and flew off.
Retrospective report - 14th July 2018
Another new VC32 record: A single Pediasia contaminella was recorded in a garden light trap in Far Cotton, Northampton (SP75). I suspect this again my be over-looked in the county as the UK distribution indicates that VC32 is more or less surrounded by counties with the species on its list. The moth taken was the melanic form, ab. sticheli (depicted on species write-up).
31st July 2018
Another report of Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra in a light trap at Pitsford Reservoir (SP77). This is the third time the species has been seen in the county this year.
27th July 2018
A further record of Oak Processionary Thaumetopoea processionea was taken at light in Oundle (TL09). Thus the 4th VC32 record.
26th July 2018
Another three Oak Processionary Thaumetopoea processionea were recorded to light at Pitsford Reservoir (SP77), making this joint 2nd VC32 record for the species. Clearly "on the move" at the moment - six in one night for the county.
26th July 2018
An amazing three Oak Processionary Thaumetopoea processionea were recorded to light in an Eastfield garden, Peterborough (TF20). This is only the 2nd VC32 record, the first being in 1995 at Helpston (TF10). These recent records come after an apparent period of migration of this species, with numerous reports in East Anglia over the past couple of days.
25th July 2018
An impressive set of moths recorded to a garden light trap in Far Cotton, Northampton (SP75) including singletons of Scythris limbella (3rd VC32 record), the very attractive Chrysoclista linneella (6th VC32 record, but only 5th since 2000) and the equally appealing Oncocera semirubella (being the 4th VC32 record of all time, 2nd since 2000).
24th July 2018
Recorded to a garden light trap in Oundle (TL09): 2nd VC32 record in the same location of Scythris limbella and interestingly also the 3rd year on the trot for Dark Spectacle Abrostola triplasia. I have re-graded this species to "Scarce" as this does appear to be showing up more and more (now 11 records since 2000).
23rd July 2018
A single Birch Mocha Cyclophora albipunctata taken at light in one of the daily-run Pitsford Reservoir traps (SP77). Only the 4th post 2000 record for this moth - recorded a couple of times in 2017.
21st July 2018
A new VC32 record: A single Scythris limbella has been recorded to a garden light trap in Oundle (TL08). Current UK distribution maps indicate that the moth is recorded in neighbouring vice-counties, albeit apparently in low numbers.
18th July 2018
A very productive night at Prior's Hall, Corby (SP99) included eight Stathmopoda pedella, and many Wainscott species, including two Obscure Wainscot Leucania obsoleta. Moth of the night would have to go to Apodia bifractella - this being the 3rd VC32 record.
16th July 2018
The 3rd post-2000 VC32 record of the attractive Tortrix Gypsonoma minutana was taken in a light trap operated inn Fineshade Forest (SP99)
15th July 2018
The 2nd VC32 record of Apodia bifractella was taken in a garden light trap in Far Coton, Northampton (SP75). The moth may also be seen in the afternoon, flying around it's larval foodplants (Common Fleabane, Ploughman's Spikenard) so well worth looking out for.
15th July 2018
The 2nd VC32 record of Metalampra italica was taken in a garden light trap in Brackley (SP53) raising the possibility that this species is more local than previously thought, and possibly even resident in the county. The only other record to date was taken at Farthinghoe last year (SP54), which is quite close to Brackley.
14th July 2018
Another New VC32 record: Monochroa palustrellus. The moth was taken at light at Sywell Country Park (SP86). Current UK distribution maps indicate that Northants is at the north-western edge of it's main known distribution, and is found in some of our neighbouring counties.
14th July 2018 & 16th July 2018
Two further records of Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae have been taken in a garden light trap in Cogenhoe (SP86), constituting not only the 5th and 6th VC32 records, but also start to suggest local breeding of this spreading species.
12th July 2018
The 4th VC32 record of Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae was taken in a garden light trap in Kingsthorpe, Northampton (SP76)
11th July 2018
A further single male Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra has been recorded, this time in a garden light trap in East Haddon (SP66).
10th July 2018
Another county first! A single Dewick's Plusia Macdunnoughia confusa has been taken in a light trap in Wansford (TL09). The species has been recorded with some regularity in neighbouring Bedfordshire (including repeatedly from the same site in one instance that I know about), along with a healthy spread of recent records in East Anglia. This all leads to the hope that this specimen is of more local origin, rather than a primary migrant from the Continent, and thus may become established here too. Hopefully time will tell...
6th July 2018
An interesting statistic: so far this year, a single garden moth trap in Cogenhoe (SP86) has been responsible for five Garden Tiger Arctia caja records. This number matches some annual county totals for the species. If anyone else is recording them either in numbers, or in a garden trap for the first time, do please let me know.
4th July 2018
Another unusual moth for Northamptonshire was recorded to light in Yardley Chase (SP85) - a single Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra. This is only the second time the species has been recorded since 2000 (previous 21.vii.2014, Easton Hornstocks), and 6th in total for all time. All individuals are assumed to be migrant/vagrant to the county.
2nd July 2018
A 4th VC32 record of Feathered Ranunculus Polymixis lichenea was recorded in a garden light trap in Wellingborough (SP86). Locally, this is likely to be a vagrant individual.
2nd July 2018
A single specimen of the "Nationally Scarce B" Agonopterix pallorella emerged as a result of rearing from a larva found on the top-shoots of Knapweed, taken on a flower-rich roadside verge near to Southey Wood. This is only the 3rd VC32 record, and the first since 1944.
30th June 2018
The group ran 15 moth traps on the field trip to Southwick Wood/Shire Hill (TL09). There were very few moth records from this site prior to this trip, but the group recorded over 150 species (and counting) on the night. Most notable were two The Festoon Apoda limacodes, (Nationally Notable) who's local stronghold remains the North-east of the county/Soke of Peterborough. Also seen was a single specimen of Aproaerema anthyllidella (locally scarce). A draft catch list can be found here.
28th June 2018
Another example of Assara terebrella was taken in a light trap in Horton Woods (SP85). This is the 5th VC32 record.
26th June 2018
A single specimen of the very appealing Pyralid Oncocera semirubella was taken in a light trap at Prior's Hall (SP99). This is the 4th VC32 record of this "Nationally Scarce B" species. Also seen were three Obscure Wainscot Leucania obsoleta and a number of The Concolorous Photedes extrema
25th June 2018
A 2nd VC32 record of Thiotricha subocellea was taken in a light trap at Ring Haw - the second time at this site in the last three years, which does suggest a resident population.
23rd June 2018
Another group field trip - this time to Fineshade (SP99) (it's been a while since we paid a visit!). The clear skies meant that the overnight temperatures did plummet somewhat, with minimums of around 4degC being recorded at dawn. This certainly had an effect on overall numbers of both species and individual moths. However, the target moth was recorded in reasonable numbers, with 27 The Concolorous Photedes extrema in the traps by morning. Also recorded were a couple of Pandemis cinnamomeana, which is only the second site in VC32 for this species. I suspect that given it is recorded in woodlands more or less at opposite ends of the county; this may be an overlooked species. Also seen was a singleton of the "Nationally Scarce B" Pseudosciaphila branderiana. A full catch list can be found here
Retrospectve record: 31st May 2018
The 3rd VC32 record (and 2nd for 2018) of Luquetia lobella was taken in a garden light trap in Kingsthorpe, Northampton (SP76).
Retrospectve record: 1st June 2018
A belated record from the BioBlitz at Priors Hall (SP99) on 1st June: New county record of Coleophoridae amethystinella, determined by close examination of external features and genitalia.
16th June 2018
The group visited Bucknell Wood (SP64) to both celebrate Moth Night and contribute to the BC Woodland Wings project. 21 light traps were deployed which resulted in approximately 150 species being recorded. The catch included a new VC32 record of Swammerdamia compunctella. Also two Pandemis cinnamomeana - being the 2nd VC32 record, with Bucknell still the only known site in the county. A full catch list can be found here.
16th June 2018
A single larva of Small Eggar Eriogaster lanestris was photographed on Hawthorn by a member of public at Polebrook (TL08).
14th June 2018
A single Toadflax Brocade Calophasia lunula was recorded in a garden light trap in Wootton, Northampton (SP75). This record is the furthest west to date, adding weight to the assumed continued westward range expansion of this species.
9th June 2018
A stroll in rather dull conditions along the former railway line running from Thrapston to Stanwick Lakes yielded a single Dichrorampha sequana, at rest on a low-growing Bramble leaf beside the path. Rare in VC32. Given its diminutive size and that it prefers to fly in the afternoons and at dusk rather than attend light traps, this is likely to be another species which is under-recorded rather than truly "rare".
8th June 2018
A 2nd VC32 record of Luquetia lobella was recorded in a garden light trap at Duncote (SP65). First noted in 2009 in another garden moth trap, and possibly under-recorded as is known not to come well to light traps (nationally Local).
8th June 2018
A couple of locally scarce/rare moths recorded to light at Collyweston Great Wood: Incurvaria praelatella and Telechrysis tripuncta
6th June 2018
Seen at rest on a Hawthorn leaf along the northern access footpath to Castor Hanglands, a single Rhopobota stagnana. Last recorded in 1942, this is the 3rd VC32 record (and hence only modern record) for this Nationally Scarce moth.
6th June 2018
Despite the intermittent sunshine, three new sites have been discovered for the UK BAP Priority Species, Grapholita pallifrontana: in the region of Southey Wood and at Southorpe Meadow (TF10), with another along the old railway line at King's Cliffe (TL09). If you run into, or know of any patches of Wild Liquorice, it is well worth looking for this small but colourful moth, particularly on sunny days. They can often be seen doing a little "dance" on top of a leaf. Here is one not sitting on Wild Liquorice!
6th June 2018
A 3rd VC32 record of the Nationally Scarce Lampronia luzella was found in Grafton Park Wood during an evening of netting/dusking. Interestingly, the moth was actually found dead on top of a Bramble leaf, and thus proved extraordinarily easy to pot... This is the second time in two years that the moth has been recorded from the site. Also netted in the same session, another Nationally Scarce species, one Ancylis obtusana. This is the 4th VC32 record, and second time recorded at this site.
3rd June 2018
Well - you wait years and years, and then two show up almost at once! A 2nd VC32 record of Brachmia innornatella has been recorded in a garden in Hackleton (SP85).
2nd June 2018
A stunning aberation of White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda (ab. godarti) was taken in a garden light trap in Oundle (TL08):
1st June 2018
A very succesful BioBlitz was held at Prior's Hall, Corby (SP99). Results are still being collated, with moths still to identify/confirm, but included a new species for the county in Brachmia innornatella. This is a species of wetlands, so it is fantastic to know that this has survived the nearby recent housing development work. Other notable species include The Concolorous Photedes extrema, Commophila aeneana, Glyphipterix thrasonella and Epiblema grandaevana.
29th May 2018
A single True Lover's Knot Lycophotia porphyrea was taken in a garden light trap in Wellingborough (SP86). Most likely a vagrant specimen either from a nearby garden centre, or garden-planting of Heathers. Only the second post-2000 sighting in VC32.
26th May 2018
A single Dark Spectacle Abrostola triplasia has been recorded in Far Cotton, Northampton (SP75). This moth does crop-up in VC32 from time to time, but is still highly noteworthy.
21st May 2018
Toadflax Brocade Calophasia lunula recorded in a garden light trap in Old Stratford (SP74). This is the furthest south and west that the species has yet been recorded in VC32.
21st May 2018
Two Capua vulgana and a single Micropterix tunbergella were recorded at Bedford Purlieus (TF00) - all netted in the afternoon around Beech trees at the north end of the wood. This is only the 3rd VC32 record for the former species, and 1st modern/post-2000 record. It appears to be common through much of the UK, so may be that it is simply under-recorded locally.
19th May 2018
A pleasant and reasonably succesful group outing to Fermyn Woods was enjoyed by all. Several traps were left overnight with a Moth Breakfast held at The Skylark Cafe at 9am on Sunday morning, for moths to be viewed by members of Beds & Northants Buttefly Conservation. Most numerous moth species by far seemed to be Orange Footman Eilema sororcula, which was once quitea rarerity in the county. Also noted after the morning clear-up were two Spuleria flavicaput, which is only the 5th VC32 record (and 2nd post-2000 record). Also, confirmed subsequently by genitalia dissection, two Strophedra nitidana (male) also taken - which is the first modern/post-2000 record. A full catch list can be found here, noting that there are still a couple of some micros yet to be identified.
19th May 2018
Due to changes in Data Protection, and the GDPR regulations that come into force on 25th May 2018, I have been advised that this statement be made public to all recorders who submit records for inclusion in the VC32 dataset, and hence further uploaded to the National Moth Recording scheme, as operated by Butterfly Conservation:
Please also note that if you do not wish to receive direct communications from the VC32 County Moth Recorder, please let me know in writing so that I can remove your details from any email groups etc.
If you have any queries, please drop me a line.
18th May 2018
The first Four-spotted Moth Tyta luctuosa was recorded on a regular transect along the railway line in Peterborough (Werrington, TF10). The moth was a freshly-emerged female. Numbers of the moth have declined at this site in recent years, so hopeful for a good year for the species! [Please note that this is a private site and requires permission from Network Rail to access].
5th May 2018
An excellent start to the Northants Group field trip season - two Scarce Prominent Odontosia carmelita recorded at light in Buttockspire (SP64), as part of a fifty-four species catch. The species was on the Butterfly Conservation "Woodland Wings" project list, so Caroline was very pleased with our results! A full catch list is available here. My thanks to Richard for organising this event.
3rd May 2018
Still low numbers of individual moths, but amongst the fifteen species recorded to battery-operated light traps in Grafton Park Wood (SP98) was a single Northern Drab Orthosia opima. The species has only been recorded from three other sites in the Vice-county since 2000.
30th April 2018
A single larva of Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii was reported by a member of public from Towcester (SP64), seen in their garden - supported by a photo:
23rd April 2017
The latest edition of the Butterfly Conservation/Moths Count newsletter "E-moth" is available for some bedtime reading. I can highly recommend the new micro moth book (which is an update of the original tome by L. T. Ford in 1949, later updated by A. M. Emmet) - not an identification book as such (no pictures), but a whealth of information on life-cycle, larval foodplants, UK distribution maps, etc.
6th April 2017
An early Humming-bird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum was seen trying to obtain nectar from the Primula in a Kingsthorpe garden (SP76). This isn't the earliest date on record for the species, but the moth does appear to be recorded earlier in the season in recent years than it was say fifteen years ago.
6th April 2017
Some nice spring moths taken as part of a twenty species catch in a battery-operated actinic light trap left in Weekley Hall Woods (SP88): singletons of Blossom Underwing Orthosia miniosa, White-marked Cerastis leucographa, Dotted Chestnut Conistra rubiginea and Pale Pinion Lithophane socia. Encouraging signs that spring is springing!
5th April 2017
Taking advantage of a rare spell of early spring warmth and sunshine, two Light Orange Underwing Boudinoyiana notha seen flying around Aspens at Grafton Park Wood (SP98). There are no records in the database for this species since 2012, so it's good to see them in one of their established haunts.
6th March 2017
Linked here is a short review of the moths recorded during 2017. It is as accurate as I can make it given the records received so far - and I hope it is an interesting read and provides a good stimulus for the coming season. Suffice to say, if you do still have records from 2017 (or earlier) that you have yet to submit, it's never too late!