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Moths at Hartslock – 4 September 2021

Conditions on the night of Saturday 4 September were ideal for the annual mothing night, which was held this year at BBOWT’s Hartslock Nature Reserve near Goring. It was a warm, still, overcast night, dry apart from a brief sharp shower at about 2am. The event was organised by Norman Hall, ably assisted by Paul Black. Norman ran his lights in the lower field, near the entrance to the reserve, while Paul’s lights were up in the top field. While Paul was setting up his moth traps, he spotted a Common Toad on the open hillside, on the path up the steep slope below his traps. Both Norman and Paul stayed at the reserve overnight. A few members came to see the traps in action on the Saturday evening, while others, including two 8-year old girls, came to inspect the catch next morning. Norman commented that he had met 4-year olds in the past who had competed to put moths into glass tubes, but that this was the first time that he had watched 8-year olds competing to carefully remove moths from the tubes and let them fly away unharmed.

An amazing total of 110 species were identified, of which 90 were macro-moths, 11 were pyralid moths and 9 were micro-moths. Paul commented that his Hartslock catch had more species in a single night than he had ever seen anywhere in the whole of September before. His catch included over 1000 individual moths. Highlight of the night was a Dark Crimson Underwing. This is a large and spectacular moth which was new to the reserve and new to all the moth-trappers present. Until about three years ago, the only nearby breeding colonies of this moth were in a few areas of mature oak woodland in Hampshire and Wiltshire. It was otherwise known as a very rare migrant. Since then, it has been reported in small but increasing numbers. Other spectacular new species included two big Clifden Nonpareils, with striking blue hindwings, and four Jersey Tigers, with black and white striped forewings and red hindwings. Less welcome newcomers were Oak Processionary Moth and Gypsy Moth, both of which are considered to be pest species. In addition to the five species mentioned above, a further five species were new for the reserve – Currant Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Dotted Rustic, Pinion-streaked Snout and Eudonia palida.

The Society’s previous moth-trapping events at Hartslock had always been in high summer, so there were a number of late summer and autumn species which we had not seen there before. These included Red Underwing, Old Lady, Autumnal Rustic, Feathered Gothic and Black Rustic. Eleven specimens of Chalk Carpet, a Nationally Scarce moth of chalk and limestone grassland which we have found previously at Hartslock, were trapped. Wood Carpet is another uncommon moth which we have found at Hartslock previously. It is difficult to separate from Common Carpet, but both species were present in the catch and it was possible to see them side-by-side and note the subtle differences. Several species had unusually high counts, including 24 Hedge Rustics and 71 White-points, a moth which was formerly considered to be a rare migrant but which is now breeding regularly in our area.

Pictures by Rob Stallard

Moths seen at Hartslock BBOWT Nature Reserve on 4-5 September 2021
Identifiers: Norman Hall and Paul Black
Location: SU61627954

AgassizTaxonEnglish NameCount
03.001Triodia sylvinaOrange Swift10
16.002xYponomeuta padella agg.Apple Ermine agg4
17.005Ypsolopha scabrella 1
41.002Blastobasis adustella 1
49.024Pandemis corylanaChequered Fruit-tree Tortrix4
49.025Pandemis cerasanaBarred Fruit-tree Tortrix1
49.013Archips podanaLarge Fruit-tree Tortrix1
49.039Epiphyas postvittanaLight Brown Apple Moth4
49.077Acleris varieganaGarden Rose Tortrix1
49.166Celypha lacunana 1
63.089Agriphila tristella 8
63.095Agriphila geniculea 1
63.062Scoparia subfusca 1
63.075Eudonia pallida 1
63.007Pyrausta purpuralis 4
63.038Pleuroptya ruralisMother of Pearl8
62.075Hypsopygia costalisGold Triangle1
62.001Aphomia sociellaBee Moth1
62.021Oncocera semirubella 4
62.032Nephopterix angustella 4
62.048Euzophera pinguis 1
65.002Watsonalla binariaOak Hook-tip6
65.003Watsonalla cultrariaBarred Hook-tip1
65.007Cilix glaucataChinese Character1
65.008Thyatira batisPeach Blossom1
70.036Cyclophora punctariaMaiden’s Blush5
70.029Timandra comaeBlood-vein1
70.049Xanthorhoe fluctuataGarden Carpet3
70.043Scotopteryx bipunctariaChalk Carpet11
70.061Epirrhoe alternataCommon Carpet9
70.062Epirrhoe rivataWood Carpet2
70.059Camptogramma bilineataYellow Shell4
70.087Cosmorhoe ocellataPurple Bar18
70.094Ecliptopera silaceataSmall Phoenix1
70.097Dysstroma truncataCommon Marbled Carpet2
70.100Colostygia pectinatariaGreen Carpet12
70.128Melanthia procellataPretty Chalk Carpet12
70.173Eupithecia centaureataLime-speck Pug8
70.182Eupithecia assimilataCurrant Pug1
70.187Eupithecia icterataTawny Speckled Pug1
70.141Gymnoscelis rufifasciataDouble-striped Pug8
70.192Aplocera plagiataTreble-bar1
70.193Aplocera efformataLesser Treble-bar2
70.200Acasis viretataYellow-barred Brindle6
70.208Ligdia adustataScorched Carpet2
70.212Macaria alternataSharp-angled Peacock1
70.214Macaria liturataTawny-barred Angle1
70.218Chiasmia clathrataLatticed Heath2
70.226Opisthograptis luteolataBrimstone Moth54
70.233Ennomos quercinariaAugust Thorn1
70.235Ennomos fuscantariaDusky Thorn8
70.236Ennomos erosariaSeptember Thorn6
70.258Peribatodes rhomboidariaWillow Beauty7
70.283Campaea margaritariaLight Emerald9
71.018Pheosia gnomaLesser Swallow Prominent1
71.017Pheosia tremulaSwallow Prominent1
71.021Ptilodon capucinaCoxcomb Prominent2
71.001Thaumetopoea processioneaOak Processionary1
72.011Lymantria disparGypsy Moth1
72.035Miltochrista miniataRosy Footman1
72.044Eilema griseolaDingy Footman10
72.047Eilema caniolaHoary Footman2
72.046Eilema complanaScarce Footman1
72.043Eilema depressaBuff Footman26
72.024Phragmatobia fuliginosaRuby Tiger2
72.030Euplagia quadripunctariaJersey Tiger4
73.319Agrotis segetumTurnip Moth2
73.327Agrotis ipsilonDark Sword-grass1
73.325Agrotis putaShuttle-shaped Dart2
73.329Ochropleura plectaFlame Shoulder7
73.339Rhyacia simulansDotted Rustic1
73.342Noctua pronubaLarge Yellow Underwing70
73.345Noctua comesLesser Yellow Underwing34
73.343Noctua fimbriataBroad-bordered Yellow Underwing5
73.348Noctua jantheLesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing6
73.365Eugnorisma glareosaAutumnal Rustic12
73.334Diarsia rubiSmall Square-spot21
73.359Xestia c-nigrumSetaceous Hebrew Character283
73.358Xestia sexstrigataSix-striped Rustic2
73.357Xestia xanthographaSquare-spot Rustic77
73.255Anarta trifoliiThe Nutmeg1
73.274Mamestra brassicaeCabbage Moth3
73.267Lacanobia oleraceaBright-line Brown-eye1
73.252Tholera cespitisHedge Rustic24
73.253Tholera decimalisFeathered Gothic9
73.297Mythimna albipunctaWhite-point71
73.291Mythimna pallensCommon Wainscot189
73.233Aporophyla nigraBlack Rustic1
73.219Atethmia centragoCentre-barred Sallow41
73.038xAcronicta psi/tridensGrey/Dark Dagger agg1
73.045Acronicta rumicisKnot Grass1
73.082Cryphia algaeTree-lichen Beauty3
73.062xAmphipyra pyramidea agg.Copper Underwing agg14
73.064Amphipyra tragopoginisMouse Moth3
73.107Mormo mauraOld Lady1
73.109Thalpophila maturaStraw Underwing26
73.113Phlogophora meticulosaAngle-shades15
73.169xMesapamea secalis agg.Common Rustic agg1
73.131Luperina testaceaFlounced Rustic24
73.099Hoplodrina ambiguaVine’s Rustic13
73.012Diachrysia chrysitisBurnished Brass16
73.015Autographa gammaSilver Y2
73.002Abrostola triplasiaDark Spectacle1
73.001Abrostola tripartitaThe Spectacle2
72.076Catocala fraxiniClifden Nonpareil2
72.078Catocala nuptaRed Underwing1
72.081Catocala sponsaDark Crimson Underwing1
72.002Rivula sericealisStraw Dot9
72.003Hypena proboscidalisThe Snout23
72.061Schrankia costaestrigalisPinion-streaked Snout2

List by Norman Hall