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Moths at Withymead – 18 July 2020

On Saturday 18 July, the annual mothing night was held, with kind permission of wardens Pete Morton and Jade van der Merve, at Withymead Nature Reserve, on the east bank of the Thames to the north of Goring. Norman Hall and Paul Black set up traps around the reserve and stayed overnight. Next morning, a number of members came to view the catch. The trappers arrived well before dusk and Pete showed them round the reserve. Norman set up two lights over sheets and a trap in the orchard, the section of the reserve between the bridleway and the railway line. When heavy rain set in at 01:30, he swapped one of the lights over sheets for a second trap. Paul set up his traps on the main part of the reserve. He had a light over a sheet and a trap on the boardwalk next to extensive reed beds, with the trap next to an area with abundant flowers of Yellow Loosestrife. His second trap was in adjoining area of woodland, next to a big oak, in an area with a ground cover of Red Currant. One of the target species here was the Spinach, a moth whose caterpillars feed on currant bushes and whose numbers are in serious decline, but regrettably, no Spinach moths put in an appearance. As darkness fell, one of the first moths to come to the woodland trap was an enormous female Drinker and dark red Ruby Tigers also put in an early appearance. Over in the orchard, Large Twin-spot Carpet was an early arrival on one of the sheets. Next morning, it started to get light before 5am. Light rain was still falling and the sheets and egg boxes were sodden, but the traps were unharmed.

In total, 141 species of moth were taken, comprising 108 macro-moths, 15 pyralid moths and 18 micro-moths. This was an impressive total, which perhaps might have been even higher without the overnight rain. One of the rarest moths of the night was a single specimen of the nationally scarce Striped Lychnis which was taken at one of Norman’s lights. In daylight next morning, a Striped Lychnis caterpillar was found feeding on the seed head of a Dark Mullein plant nearby. Another good find was the nationally scarce Dotted Fan-foot. Two specimens were taken by Paul at his reedbed lights. Other interesting wetland moths included Fen and Brown-veined Wainscot and Balsam Carpet. Caterpillars of the nationally scarce Waved Black feed on fungi on rotting trees, particularly in damp or boggy woodland. Norman took a particularly dark specimen, probably a female, of Small Scallop. One specimen of each species was potted up and kept back for inspection by members on Sunday morning. They were able to compare similar species, such as Common, Scarce, Buff, Dingy and Rosy Footman, and Early, Purple, Dusky, August and September Thorn. A particular favourite by-catch was a Great Diving Beetle Dytiscus marginalis, which walked rapidly away when released.

Pictures by Fiona Brown

Moths recorded at Withymead Nature Reserve on the night of 18-19 July 2020

Norman Hall: 2 sheets + 1 trap until 01.30 when still dry , 1 sheet + 2 traps overnight (when wet), orchard & railway side of lane, SU 601827, VC23

Paul Black: 1 sheet attented throughout, marsh & wood side of lane, SU600828, VC23. 1 trap wood, 1 trap marsh

141 species recorded: 18 microlepidoptera species, 15 pyralid moths, 108 macrolepidoptera species

AgassizTaxonVERNACULARNational StatusCount
15.089Cameraria ohridella Common0
16.002xYponomeuta padella agg.Apple Ermine agg 1
20.012Argyresthia goedartella Common8
28.014Crassa unitella Common2
32.015Agonopterix subpropinquella Common1
40.004Mompha propinquella Local1
49.004Ditula angustioranaRed-barred TortrixCommon8
49.025Pandemis cerasanaBarred Fruit-tree TortrixCommon1
49.062Acleris forsskaleana Common1
49.109Agapeta hamana Common8
49.110Agapeta zoegana Common2
49.139Cochylis atricapitana Common1
49.161Celypha striana Common2
49.265Eucosma cana Common1
49.306Rhyacionia pinicolana Common1
49.338Cydia pomonellaCodling MothCommon1
49.342Cydia fagiglandana Common1
49.376Pammene aurita Local2
50.002Zeuzera pyrinaLeopard MothCommon2
62.021Oncocera semirubella Notable B2
62.029Phycita roborella Common2
62.048Euzophera pinguis Common3
62.075Hypsopygia costalisGold TriangleCommon1
62.077Endotricha flammealis Common16
63.018Anania coronata Common1
63.025Anania hortulataSmall MagpieCommon1
63.038Pleuroptya ruralisMother of PearlCommon32
63.062Scoparia subfusca Common1
63.080Chrysoteuchia culmella Common8
63.088Crambus perlella Common1
63.089Agriphila tristella Common1
63.093Agriphila straminella Common4
63.099Catoptria pinella Common1
63.102Catoptria falsella Common1
65.001Falcaria lacertinariaScalloped Hook-tipCommon2
65.002Watsonalla binariaOak Hook-tipCommon1
65.005Drepana falcatariaPebble Hook-tipCommon4
65.007Cilix glaucataChinese CharacterCommon3
66.010Euthrix potatoriaDrinkerCommon15
69.003Laothoe populiPoplar Hawk-mothCommon6
69.016Deilephila elpenorElephant Hawk-mothCommon5
70.004Idaea rusticataLeast CarpetLocal21
70.011Idaea dimidiataSingle-dotted WaveCommon27
70.013Idaea biselataSmall Fan-footed WaveCommon11
70.015Idaea emarginataSmall ScallopLocal1
70.016Idaea aversataRiband WaveCommon9
70.029Timandra comaeBlood-veinCommon3
70.045Scotopteryx chenopodiataShaded Broad-barCommon1
70.050Xanthorhoe biriviataBalsam CarpetUncommon4
70.051xXanthorhoe spadicearia/ferrugataRed Twin-spot Carpet agg 5
70.055Xanthorhoe quadrifasiataLarge Twin-spot CarpetLocal24
70.059Camptogramma bilineataYellow ShellCommon1
70.061Epirrhoe alternataCommon CarpetCommon5
70.074Hydriomena furcataJuly HighflyerCommon3
70.089Eulithis prunataPhoenixCommon15
70.093Gandaritis pyraliataBarred StrawCommon1
70.126Horisme vitalbataSmall Waved UmberCommon1
70.141Gymnoscelis rufifasciataDouble-striped PugCommon6
70.148Eupithecia inturbataMaple PugLocal1
70.160Eupithecia tripunctariaWhite-spotted PugLocal3
70.173Eupithecia centaureataLime-speck PugCommon6
70.179Eupithecia absinthiataWormwood PugCommon1
70.199Pterapherapteryx sexalataSmall SeraphimLocal10
70.207Lomaspilis marginataClouded BorderCommon12
70.208Ligdia adustataScorched CarpetLocal5
70.226Opisthograptis luteolataBrimstone MothCommon5
70.227Epione repandariaBordered BeautyCommon5
70.233Ennomos quercinariaAugust ThornLocal3
70.235Ennomos fuscantariaDusky ThornCommon3
70.236Ennomos erosariaSeptember ThornCommon1
70.237Selenia dentariaEarly ThornCommon3
70.239Selenia tetralunariaPurple ThornCommon1
70.241Crocallis elinguariaScalloped OakCommon1
70.243Ourapteryx sambucariaSwallow-tailed MothCommon2
70.252Biston betulariaPeppered MothCommon4
70.258Peribatodes rhomboidariaWillow BeautyCommon1
70.265Alcis repandataMottled BeautyCommon1
70.278Cabera exanthemataCommon WaveCommon1
70.302Hemistola chrysoprasariaSmall EmeraldLocal1
71.013Notodonta ziczacPebble ProminentCommon6
71.020Pterostoma palpinaPale ProminentCommon2
71.022Ptilodon cucullinaMaple ProminentLocal1
71.025Phalera bucephalaBuff-tipCommon3
72.001Scoliopteryx libatrixHeraldCommon1
72.002Rivula sericealisStraw DotCommon1
72.003Hypena proboscidalisSnoutCommon2
72.010Lymantria monachaBlack ArchesLocal2
72.013Euproctis similisYellow-tailCommon3
72.017Orgyia antiquaVapourerCommon1
72.019Spilosoma luteaBuff ErmineCommon2
72.024Phragmatobia fuliginosaRuby TigerCommon27
72.031Tyria jacobaeaeCinnabarCommon0
72.035Miltochrista miniataRosy FootmanLocal12
72.037Thumatha senexRound-winged MuslinLocal15
72.043Eilema depressaBuff FootmanLocal13
72.044Eilema griseolaDingy FootmanCommon9
72.045Eilema lurideolaCommon FootmanCommon21
72.046Eilema complanaScarce FootmanLocal24
72.052Macrochilo cribrumalisDotted Fan-footNotable B2
72.066Parascotia fuliginariaWaved BlackNotable B1
72.069Laspeyria flexulaBeautiful Hook-tipLocal1
73.001Abrostola tripartitaSpectacleCommon3
73.012Diachrysia chrysitisBurnished BrassCommon1
73.015Autographa gammaSilver YImmigrant2
73.032Colocasia coryliNut-tree TussockCommon7
73.045Acronicta rumicisKnot GrassCommon2
73.046Subacronicta megacephalaPoplar GreyCommon1
73.047Craniophora ligustriCoronetLocal14
73.057Cucullia lychnitisStriped LychnisNotable A1
73.082Cryphia algaeTree-lichen BeautyImmigrant8
73.092Caradrina morpheusMottled RusticCommon1
73.096Hoplodrina octogenariaUncertainCommon13
73.097Hoplodrina blandaRusticCommon7
73.119Helotropha leucostigmaCrescentLocal2
73.120Eremobia ochroleucaDusky SallowCommon4
73.137Arenostola phragmitidisFen WainscotLocal2
73.141Archanara dissolutaBrown-veined WainscotLocal1
73.147Photedes minimaSmall Dotted BuffCommon1
73.162Apamea monoglyphaDark ArchesCommon14
73.168Lateroligia ophiogrammaDouble LobedCommon5
73.169xMesapamea secalis agg.Common Rustic agg 9
73.172Mesoligia furunculaCloaked MinorCommon1
73.173xOligia strigilis agg.Marbled Minor agg 7
73.216Cosmia trapezinaDun-barCommon9
73.255Anarta trifoliiNutmegCommon1
73.267Lacanobia oleraceaBright-line Brown-eyeCommon4
73.276Sideridis rivularisCampionCommon1
73.290Mythimna conigeraBrown-line Bright-eyeCommon2
73.293Mythimna impuraSmoky WainscotCommon6
73.298Mythimna ferragoClayCommon1
73.317Agrotis exclamationisHeart & DartCommon4
73.325Agrotis putaShuttle-shaped DartCommon5
73.328Axylia putrisFlameCommon3
73.329Ochropleura plectaFlame ShoulderCommon2
73.342Noctua pronubaLarge Yellow UnderwingCommon3
73.343Noctua fimbriataBroad-bordered Yellow UnderwingCommon4
73.345Noctua comesLesser Yellow UnderwingCommon2
73.348Noctua jantheLesser Broad-bordered Yellow UnderwingCommon4
73.359Xestia c-nigrumSetaceous Hebrew CharacterCommon1
73.361Xestia triangulumDouble-square SpotCommon18
74.002Meganola albulaKent Black ArchesNotable B1

List by Norman Hall and Paul Black