Wednesday 19 September 2018

Goat Meadow moth trap - Sept 2018

It was the end of a long week, and I was still suffering from a CRTI (Crisp Related Throat Injury) due to a temporarily lodged Salt & Malt Vinegar McCoys. However, as one not inclined to moan, I soldiered on to join Jake Everitt of Sussex Moth Group for an evening moth survey. 

At around 7.30pm we set up a generator and light trap over at Goat Meadow, a herb-rich patch of grassland east of the woodlands. There are good reasons to monitor moths, as both the adults and caterpillars are important food sources for birds, predatory invertebrates, small mammals and bats. Moths are also indicators of local habitat conditions, as they are heavily dependent on a range of plants for their caterpillars and the adults which feed on nectar (making them effective night-time pollinators).

Evidence of chainsaw fairies out on site again

We had time for a site walk-over in the dusk, which was an opportunity to show Jake how the meadow has changed in the past year under management by Tom's conservation volunteers. Our groups have been working hard to reduce the amount of dominating willow scrub while opening up more of the valuable, species-rich grassland areas. 

The temperature dropped to around 14 degrees celsius, but otherwise the night was wind-less and peaceful; we were surrounded by nocturnal wildlife including feeding Pipistrelle bats and calling Tawny Owls

The Sallow Xanthia icteritia

Back at the light trap, and the moths were starting to gather in good numbers. Macro moths have some of the best (and most ridiculous) common names in natural history; many of those coming in were types of 'Sallow' moth. As we finally emptied the trap out at about 11pm, I collected a few up to photograph the next day...

The SallowXanthia icteritia

Barred SallowTiliacea aurago

Centre-barred SallowAtethmia centrago

And for the last one of the set.... I was too slow on the shutter :-(

Pink-barred Sallow - Xanthia togata 
(was 'ere)

Jake's highlight were the Oak Lutestrings which turned up towards the end.

Oak Lutestring - Cymatophorima diluta

Eudonia angustea (a type of micromoth)

Common Marbled Carpet  - Dysstroma truncata

Not only moths are attracted to the light, here is a selection of the evening's by-catch:

European Hornet - Vespa crabro

Great Blackclock - Pterostichus niger

Night-flying Dung Beetle - Aphodius rufipes

Green Shieldbug - Palomena prasina

Not a bad count in all for a September evening, and typically for this time of year Square-spot Rustic were in the greatest numbers.

Common Name
Scientific Name
Total Count
Aleimma loeflingiana
Aleimma loeflingiana
Epinotia ramella
Epinotia ramella
Epinotia cinereana
Epinotia cinereana
Eudonia angustea
Eudonia angustea
Oak Hook-tip
Drepana binaria
Oak Lutestring [sp]
Cymatophorima diluta
Common Marbled Carpet
Chloroclysta truncata
Willow Beauty
Peribatodes rhomboidaria
Light Emerald
Campaea margaritata
Large Yellow Underwing
Noctua pronuba
Lunar Yellow Underwing
Noctua orbona
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Noctua comes
Square-spot Rustic
Xestia xanthographa
Brindled Green
Dryobotodes eremita
Centre-barred Sallow
Atethmia centrago
Barred Sallow
Xanthia aurago
Pink-barred Sallow
Xanthia togata
The Sallow
Xanthia icteritia
Copper Underwing
Amphipyra pyramidea
Straw Dot
Rivula sericealis
The Snout
Hypena proboscidalis

No comments :

Post a Comment