Posts Tagged ‘Moths’

Moth Trap

May 18, 2018

I put the trap in the polytunnel last night in an attempt to frustrate the robin who has noticed where I normally put it. By the time I got to it this morning it was quite warm in there so I don’t know how many moths had already disappeared, but most were not in the trap but on the walls of the polytunnel and pretty lively, creating something of a photographic challenge. One is still to be identified as it is still to be found lurking somewhere in the conservatory – perhaps at dusk?

I recorded 11, a twelfth being a bit too worn to be sure, including three Early Thorn and a Clouded Border:

Later: The thirteenth moth duly emerged and turned out to be a Brown Silver-line:


Brown Silver-line

Also, my annual two-banded longhorn beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum) turned up on the garage wall. Readers with long memories will remember that I see one of these every yar at almost exactly the same date. I mustn’t look around the garden too carefully lest I find a second and spoil my run….



May 8, 2018

The moth trap last night attracted at least 24 moths, I say “at least” because when I went to it this morning I saw a robin take one off the wall. My favourite of today’s selection is the Streamer:



I also had a Black Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus humator). I normally get Nicrophorus investigator, one of the ones with orange bands. NBN has no Raasay records for N. humator but Richard Moore reported it here “sporadically since 1999”. This one was a bit lively for a well-focused photo.


Nicrophorus humator


April 22, 2018

Yesterday I saw my first Staphylinus erythropterus of the year, a Rove Beetle that I see fairly frequently on Raasay and Skye.

Staphylinus erythropterus

Staphylinus erythropterus

Not much of a picture – it was very unobliging and disappeared into the moss.  However, it does show the yellowish area between the wing cases that distinguishes it from others of this genus.

Last night’s moth trap caught 29 moths including two Heralds and one Double-striped Pug.


April 15, 2018

The moth trap a few days ago attracted 28 moths including this micro that I have not had before:

Agonopterix ocellana

Agonopterix ocellana

which has been given the name Red-letter Flat-body. Names for micro-moths do not seem to have caught on – I think I can see why….

This spider is, I think, Tegenaria domestica , the Common House Spider – though with no records in VC104 on the NBN Atlas. Later: Hayley tells me that specimens are needed to confirm the species of Tegenaria so this one will have to remain as Tegenaria sp.

Spider 180407

Common House Spider

Thanks to Seth for both these identifications.

I have also been finding River Limpet (Ancylus fluviatilis) and Water Cricket (Velia caprai) when out and about having had these brought to my attention by Seth.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day

December 27, 2017

Before the snow came, late on Boxing Day, I spotted these. The moth and a spider that Hayley has confirmed as Segestria senoculata following Neil’s suggestion that it might be that, were on the outside of the garage.



Latest Publications

September 28, 2017

The note written by myself and Seth concerning his discovery of Mitella ovalis (Bishop’s-cap) at Uig has now been published in BSBI News. It is available via a link here. My contribution to the October Raasay Community Newsletter concerns violets and pansies and will be available from the same page next week. Later: Now available.

Meanwhile here is a Small Wainscot from last night’s trap:

Moth 6 Small Wainscot

Small Wainscot

Caol Rona

September 3, 2017

We walked to the north end of Raasay on Friday – about 4 miles from Arnish.  The weather was good – that was why we chose Friday – and we had encounters with Red Deer, Common Dolphins and a flypast by a fine Golden Eagle.

Some plant recording refreshed records from NG65; ideally more should be done before the Atlas 2020 cut-off in two years’ time.

Curiously, there were quite a lot of Chevron moths flying, though these are not noted daytime fliers.  Also a fine Knot Grass caterpillar:

Moth Trap

August 27, 2017

Last night’s moth trap yielded 33 moths, not counting the two that got away, including this little micro, Depressaria badiella (“Brown Flat-body“):

Moth 19d

Depressaria badiella

and a Pine Carpet for which there are very few Skye/Raasay records:

The pectinated antennae of the male distinguish it from the Grey Pine Carpet. Thank you for i.d. Nigel!

Insect News

August 21, 2017

Following up yesterday’s Heather Flies on Fladday, some joined me today in the garden while I cut the grass. My “lawn” contains a wide variety of plant species, but not heather.

Three beetles drowned themselves in the paddling pool a few weeks ago and it is now clear that they are Brown Chafers (Serica brunnea), recorded previously on Raasay by Richard Moore.

A few weeks ago Nancy spotted a Cinnabar Moth at Arduish on Raasay – there are previous Raasay records from  Holoman House and Dun Caan, but it is surprisingly rare locally.

Flies I have caught in the past three months and recently determined by Murdo included the blowfly Calliphora subalpina, one of the rarer ones, though I had it once before here, four years ago. Also, Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly) a hairy bumblebee mimic that I have had once before, and probably Panzeria laevigata, a rare tachanid that has been sent on to a tachanid expert.

Last night’s moth trap produced some pretty things such as

and this micro-moth was attracted enough to sit on the adjacent wall, if not to enter the moth trap:

Moth 11

Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey)

Moth Trap

July 23, 2017

Last night’s moth trap had some fine specimens:

Light Emerald

Light Emerald

Coxcomb Prominent

Coxcomb Prominent

and quite a few more.