An ideal night for nocturnal insects last night with lots of species on the wing. Highlights being three new species recorded for the roof terrace waved umber, least black arches and pale shouldered brocade. Other new species for the year included mottled pug, pine beauty, garden pebble, nutmeg, spectacle and heart and dart. As Alan stated in his fairlight moths post there was a lot of brindled pug on the wing with 16 in and around the trap. The presence of least black arches in both our traps is also interesting.
It wasn’t only moths providing the interest as two cockchafer were also present in the trap as well as many species of flies, true bugs, caddis-flies, lacewings, and other beetles.
The common cockchafer, also called may-bug and billy witch, is a common beetle that is frequent at moth traps and any other artificial light. Sometimes dozens can be seen flying around street lights. They can be a pest as the adults eat oak leaves and can be known to defoliate an entire oak tree. The species was nearly eradicated in Europe due to control with pesticides but thankfully this impressive insect is currently quite common, and doesn’t occur in the huge population sizes it once used to reach when it was a problem.