Monday 30 May 2022

Moths, butterflies and other micros

White-barred Gold, Micropterix aruncella
I visited Kithurst meadow near Storrington on Saturday to photograph butterflies and moths. I was delighted to find some old friends in the micromoth category: Cocksfoot Moth, Common Marble, Common Nettle-tap, Hemp-agrimony Conch, Mint Moth, Twin-barred Knot-horn and White-barred Gold plus an aberrant orange Nettle-tap moth which I can find no reference for. Also an early instar Vapourer larva and a Yellow-barred Brindle. 
 I saw 10 butterflies species: Orange-tip, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Heath, Brown Argus, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Dingy Skipper, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood. One Small Heath flew into a spider's web and was quickly dealt with. This is the first time I have had a good view of a Small Heath's upper wings. 
  There were several Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetles and Cucumber Spiders on the vegetation.
Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni

Brown Argus, Aricia agestis

Cocksfoot Moth, Glyphipterix simpliciella

Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus

Common Marble, Celypha lacunana

 aberrant Common Nettle-tap, Anthophila fabriciana 

Common Nettle-tap normal form

Cucumber Green Spider, Araniella species

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle, Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Hemp-agrimony Conch, Cochylidia rupicola

Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata nectaring on Germander Speedwell
Small Blue, Cupido minimus

Small Blue

Small Heath in spider's web, Coenonympha pamphilus 

Twin-barred Knot-horn, Homoeosoma sinuella

Vapourer larva, early instar, Orgyia antiqua

Yellow-barred Brindle, Acasis viretata

Friday 27 May 2022

Corfu Moths

Cream-spot Tiger, Arctia villica

I visited Corfu in May for my third butterfly spotting trip with Dan Danahar's group. Dan initiated Corfu Butterfly Conservation a few years ago and plans to publish an atlas of Corfu Butterflies after 5 years of contributions by Corfiats and interested expats and visitors. A wonderful example of Citizen Science.

I have a particular interest in moths and photographed them in the field and at the lights around Hotel Apollon, Paleokastritsa where we stayed. Some moths were extremely difficult to identify as there are no formal guides to the moths of Corfu, so I decided to initiate one. This year's moths and those from the past 2 trips gave me enough to produce a Corfu Moth Identification with over 50 species. A Corfu resident, Peter Hardiman, backed the project and offered his photos to increase the usefulness of the guide. The latest edition can be downloaded here: Corfu Moth Identification Guide. This will be updated as others contribute new species.

Some of the moths I have photographed in Corfu:

Cream-spot Tiger, Arctia villica

Blair's Mocha, Cyclophora puppillaria

unidentified moth

Blair's Mocha, Cyclophora puppillaria

Grass Moth, Chrysocrambus craterella

Grass Moth, Chrysocrambus craterella

Omphalophana anatolica

Orange Footman, Eilema sororcula

Phaiogramma etruscaria

Phtheochroa duponchelana

Shoulder-striped Clover, Heliothis maritima (similar to H.viripla) 

Small Twitcher, Prochoreutis myllerana