Recently I have had little reward for my mothing efforts. On one occasion I left my trap out all night and caught absolutely nothing despite the mild temperatures.
Red-green Carpet, Fareham Garden – 27 Oct 10
I did notice a colourful caterpillar climbing up the back wall of the house one evening though. After taking a few record shots in the fading light I forgot all about it, until I downloaded a few moth photographs a few days ago! I have since identified it as a Grey Dagger caterpillar. It is not possible to identify the adult Grey Dagger from the adult Dark Dagger without examination of the genitalia. Since I am not prepared to kill any specimen, I have had to record the three that I have caught this year as Grey Dagger ‘agg’. However, the caterpillar of each species is very different. Consequently, there is now no doubt that the Grey Dagger inhabits my local area.
Grey Dagger caterpillar, Fareham Garden – 20 Oct 10
Having read up on the Grey Dagger I suspect that the caterpillar was looking for a crevice to spin a silk cocoon in which to overwinter. I placed the caterpillar in a hawthorn hedge, that fortuitously is one of its food plants, that had piles of rotting wood underneath. So hopefully if it was looking for somewhere snug to spend the winter it would of been successful.
Grey Dagger agg, Fareham Garden – 31 Jul 10
Yesterday evening my eldest informed me that there was a moth on the outside of the bathroom window. It turned out to be a Common Marbled Carpet. Despite the recent lack of moths and my mounting electricity bill, it inspired me to stick with it so I once again setup my trap. I was rewarded with just one moth. However, it was a Green-brindled Crescent and a New For Garden, my first for sometime.
Green-brindled Crescent, Fareham Garden – 31 Oct 10
The only other macro species that I have caught in my trap recently has been Common Marbled Carpet. It is a species that has a variety of forms. Consequently, despite my intension to just take a record photograph of each species that I catch, I have ended up taking several for this particular species.
Common Marbled Carpet, Fareham Garden – 30 May 10
Common Marbled Carpet, Fareham Garden – 5 Jun 10
Common Marbled Carpet, Fareham Garden – 27 Oct 10
Common Marbled Carpet, Fareham Garden – 31 Oct 10
Tony T BSc (Hons) Geosci (Open)