Moth news

Last night I put the Hastings Country Park NR moth trap out [for the first time since June 5, due to weather problems]. Although it rained torrentially just after dawn, the rudimentary rain guard saved the bulb and there were 14 species in the trap, again a very modest total for the time of year.  Commonest was the very common Heart and Dart with 9, most interesting a Dusky Brocade.

Yesterday I ran my Fairlight garden trap, and after a clear cool night caught 7 species, including a first for the garden, the micro moth Scoparia ambigularis, easily identified with the new guide and doubtless overlooked in the past.

Later, an inspection of our unmown front “lawn”/meadow revealed at least 25 cocoons of the Six Spot Burnet Moth, which bred there for the first time last year, with just a few cocoons seen . There were also a couple of nice plump caterpillars on grass stems, apparently getting ready to pupate within a cocoon.  These caterpillars will have hatched in late summer last year and fed in autumn before hibernating, reappearing  in the spring. The adults should emerge from the pupa/cocoon in about mid July-the photo here is of newly emerged ones on our front lawn on July 22 last year. They then lay eggs on the foodplant-Birds foot Trefoil which is increasing annually in the absence of mowing. and the process continues.It’s easy to see the cocoons and moths in Hastings Country Park NR just E of the radar tower.

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