Posts Tagged ‘Scarce Footman’

Masses of moths & moth-ers on T’Moors

July 18, 2015

It wasn’t perfect weather for mothing , but the date had been set and nothing short of a deluge was going to stop an evening spent on the periphery of Thorne Moors trying to add new data to our ever burgeoning catalogue.

Despite being a cool star-lit night reasonable numbers of moths visited a series of lights across Thorne Moors. Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Despite being a cool star-lit night reasonable numbers of moths visited a series of lights across Thorne Moors.
Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Interesting species recorded included Beautiful Hook-tip (72.069) Laspeyria flexula, described as a mainly southern species in the literature and first recorded from Thorne Moors in 2012.

Other species recorded included Round-winged Muslin (72.037) and Four-dotted Footman (72.038), both described in the literature as ‘local’ species and uncommon.

Cybosia mesomella Four-dotted Footman (72.038) At least four specimens to Actinic trap. Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Cybosia mesomella Four-dotted Footman (72.038)
At least four specimens to Actinic trap.
Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Four Ghost Moths, one male in the company of three females all of clearly differing dimensions.

Hepialus humuli Ghost Moth (3.005), one of three females in the company of a single male at MV light. Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Hepialus humuli Ghost Moth (3.005), one of three females in the company of a single male at MV light.
Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

A Garden Tiger was a nice moth and to some extent unexpected, but a welcome emergence from one of the Actinic traps as they were emptied around 1am.

Arctia caja Garden Tiger (72.026) Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Arctia caja Garden Tiger (72.026)
Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Supporting cast included Brimstone, Blackneck, Scarce Footman, Elephant and Poplar Hawkmoths, Large Emerald, Miller, Coxcomb Prominent, Peppered Moth, Lackey & Drinker amongst others.

Opisthographis luteolata Brimstone Moth (70.226). Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

Opisthographis luteolata Brimstone Moth (70.226).
Image: Simon & Karen Spavin

There was relative quiet, background hum of the generator excepted but the amount of light pollution was really apparent, this despite a distant tree line and hedgerow.

Two other records of interest for the evening were Barn Owl as we arrived on site and a Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus violaceus) sauntering around the sheet of one of the MV lights.  There were of course the usual hordes of mosquitoes but not in the usual vast swathes and of no consequence with an enjoyable evening amongst fellow mothing enthusiasts.

 

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Campaign updates & not so Scarce Footmen

July 8, 2014

CAMPAIGN UPDATES:

Syngenta’s attempt to undermine the EU pesticides ban has caused public uproar in the past few days. When the pesticide company applied to the Government for the go-ahead to use banned chemicals on UK crops, a number of organisations stepped in and called upon the public to help.  FOE and others report that ….

Thousands of us emailed the Bees Minister over the weekend and, as a result of this and the work of brilliant bee-loving allies such as Buglife, we think Syngenta and the Government have truly been feeling the pressure. [On 4 July] we found out that Syngenta have withdrawn their application.

This is fantastic news for our bees. It means the most bee-harming pesticides will not be used in the UK this year.

Syngenta say they’ll try again next year – but we’ll be ready for them.

 

Should LEGO advertise for Shell, a multinational seeking to exploit the Arctic?

There is currently a Greenpeace campaign to persuade Shell to reconsider its plans for exploitation of the Arctic for oil.  They have also raised the issue of advertising through ‘Lego’ toys, so are asking people to sign a petition to Lego to persuade them to reconsider helping Shell present itself as a family friendly and caring company.

 

‘MOOR’ GROUSING ….

Another ‘plug’ to those who might still be undecided and considering whether or not to sign Dr Mark Avery‘s epetition Ban driven grouse shooting.  Currently standing at 7.018 – can we get it to the 10,000 by the ‘inglorious’ 12th August?  Updates and background information can be found on his excellent blog Standing up for Nature.   

 

I’ve recently been reading Tony Juniper‘s What has nature ever done for us?   I think I’d suggest that it needs to be compulsory reading for all 1450 residents of the Westminster village.  Perhaps Kirsty Young should make it a compulsory companion when she interviews politicians and similar professions on R4’s Desert Island Discs?

 

NATURE NOTES:

The changeable weather recently has curtailed a little, my endeavours to boost my ‘backyard’ moth list …. but a recent addition to the list is shown below alongside its more common cousin.

Easy when they're side by side.  Eilema complana (top) and E. lurideola (bottom).

Easy when they’re side by side. Eilema complana (top) and E. lurideola (bottom).

The Scarce Footman has, in my view a completely different ‘jizz’ to that of the more frequently encountered Common Footman.  It was a pleasant find, there were two amidst more plentiful cousins and whilst not as ‘rare’ as it’s name suggests it is not a particularly common species yet …. although, according to Harry Beaumont (YNU Lepidoptera Recorder for ‘Micros’) Scarce Footman has turned up frequently during the past few years, with the records slowly making it onto the Yorkshire Moths website.  After VC61, VC63 holds the second largest number of unique sites and individuals.

 


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