Archive for July, 2020

New Moths

July 26, 2020

The past week has seen three moths that I have not seen before here at home. Two were attracted to the light on the moth trap but didn’t make it inside:

Small Fan-footed Wave

Small Fan-footed Wave

Pebble Prominent

Pebble Prominent

The third was in the greenhouse and is only the second record for the vice-county – the first being last year.

Scallop Shell

Scallop Shell

Other Insects (Not Moths)

July 14, 2020

This well-marked bug came in with the moth trap. I am not sure if it was actually in it, but Stephen Moran who identified it for me says it may well have been.

Neolygus viridis

Neolygus viridis

Another one came in with some Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan Honeysuckle or Pheasant Berry) heading for a vase, but will have to wait for full determination:

Orthotylus sp.

Orthotylus sp.

When I was at Brae the other day it was quite windy so most moths I disturbed, and there were quite a few, took off like rockets into the distance. However, I did sweep a weevil off bracken, which turned out to be Otiorhynchus scaber, a largely Scottish species. “A nice find which fills in a bare patch on current maps.” according to Stephen Moran.

Otiorhynchus scaber

Otiorhynchus scaber

However, Richard Moore found it a number of times on Raasay. Many of his records will appear on NBN soon. I will post about this separately, fairly soon.

Plant News plus Fungi

July 14, 2020

The trouble with finding Hieracium silvaticoides (Wood Hawkweed) is that it casts into doubt earlier records in the vice-county for the very similar H. duriceps (Hard-headed Hawkweed). One of these records is from limestone rocks near Brae on Raasay in NG5541, so I went to collect specimens from that area. Time will tell what I found.

I was delighted to re-find Orthilia secunda (Serrated Wintergreen) at a site where I discovered it in 1996 but where it had not been recorded since. It is not exactly in a spot one passes by casually. Best to climb up the nearby waterfall and then up a steep slope – and there it is, about 20 rosettes of leaves but only one plant in flower/fruit:

Orthilia secunda

Orthilia secunda (Serrated Wintergreen)

Close by was this fungus on  Geum rivale (Water Avens)

Ramularia gei on Geum rivale

Ramularia gei on Geum rivale

and along the gorge the Ulmus glabra (Wych Elm) was covered in this:

More Moths

July 14, 2020

My most recent moth trap didn’t yield anything new, though there were some that were new for the year and that I always like to see, such as this Burnished Brass.

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

One evening I spotted several micro-moths flitting about on the “lawn”. They turn out to be Opostega salaciella (Sorrel Bent-wing) and indeed it was Rumex acetosa (Common Sorrel) that was attracting them.

Opostega salaciella

Opostega salaciella Sorrel Bent-wing

The large “eye-caps” are a distinguishing feature.

It has taken a while to sort out, but this micro from the Leac area of Raasay has been identified as Rhigognostis senilella (Rock-cress Smudge). The good news is that there is Arabis hirsuta (Hairy Rock-cress) nearby.

Rhigognostis senilella

Rhigognostis senilella (Rock-cress Smudge)

Near Sconser, whilst on a Hieracium hunt, I found Aphelia viburnana (Bilberry Tortrix):

Aphelia viburnana

Aphelia viburnana

Hawkweeds of Raasay

July 10, 2020

I collected thirty specimens of Hieracium from Raasay between 11th June and 1st July and sent them to David McCosh who found eight species:

  1. H. anglicum (English Hawkweed) 3 sites
  2. H. hebridense (Hebridean Hawkweed) 6 sites
  3. H. oxybeles (Pointed-leaved Hawkweed) 3 sites
  4. H. pollinarioides Calcareous Hawkweed) 1 site
  5. H. praesigne (Distinguished Hawkweed)) 1 site
  6. H. shoolbredii (Shoolbred’s Hawkweed) 8 sites
  7. H. silvaticoides (Wood Hawkweed) 2 sites
  8. H. triviale (Common Hawkweed, previously H. vulgatum) 6 sites

David says “H. silvaticoides is rare in Scotland, probably reflecting the rarity of limestone, but is quite common on limestone in the north of England”. These two records are the first for Raasay and indeed, for northwest Scotland. More work is planned for Hawkweeds this year – in fact, it has already started.

If you are a glutton for punishment you can see details and images of all these plants here.

Hieracium silvaticoides (Wood Hawkweed)

Hieracium silvaticoides (Wood Hawkweed)

 

Catch-up Time

July 7, 2020

So, where to start? I can report that Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) is now in flower on Raasay.

Epipactis atrorubens

Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine)

and that not far away, in the world of micro-moths, there was Apple Fruit Moth (Argyresthia conjugella), here living on Rowan rather than Apple.

Argyresthia conjugella

Argyresthia conjugella (Apple Fruit Moth)

whereas on Gorse (Ulex europaeus), the Grey Gorse Piercer (Cydia ulicetana) is to be found:

Cydia ulicetana

Cydia ulicetana (Grey Gorse Piercer)

Back home I spotted a Beautiful Carpet (Mesoleuca albicillata) in the garden:

Beautiful Carpet

Beautiful Carpet (Mesoleuca albicillata)

This is not frequent locally.

The Dark-green Fritillaries are now out in force and yesterday I saw my first Speckled Wood of the year.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Dark-green Fritillary

A sawfly that may be a Tenthredo sp. was very friendly, but I await expert guidance on its identity.

Tenthredo

Tenthredo sp. probably

A green Long-legged Fly turned out to be Dolichopus popularis, a widespread species but without a previous authenticated record from Raasay.

Dolichopus popularis

Dolichopus popularis

On Raasay, Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort) is only known from a single 1 km square, but in parts of that area it is quite abundant. It is unusual in having flowers in the top half of the spike and purple bulbils in the lower half, or bulbils only in mountain-top plants.

Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort)

Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort)