Saturday, 14 December 2013

Death's-head Hawk-moth in a Flitwick garden

A Death's-head Hawk-moth, Acherontia atropos, was found dead in a Flitwick garden on 3rd December 2013. It was collected from the finder and is now in the possession of the county macro-moth recorders, Andy & Melissa Banthorpe. We do not know how long it was there but when found it had several snail trails covering the wings.

This is the 24th county record and the first since ones in Sandy & Stotfold in 1996. A picture is below and thanks to the finder, Dave Simpson, for reporting it to us.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Rare/scarce moths from Totternhoe Quarry 6th July 2013

The Beds Moth Group / Wildlife Trust field meeting at Totternhoe Quarry on the evening of 6th July 2013 was very successful. 112 species seen and great to have over 50 lekking male Ghost moths - a county record!
The best finds are listed below followed by photos of some of them:-

550  Coleophora silenella – first county record – a case feeder on the seed of Bladder Campion. Identified by David Manning by dissection.
595  Elachista biatomella3rd county record – a leafminer of grasses. Identified by David Manning by dissection.
727a  Metzneria aprilella – 4th county record and first since 1998  - feeds on Greater Knapweed (prev records from Cockayne Hatley RIS trap in 1986, 89, 98)
732 Eulamprotes unicolorella – 2nd county record and first since 1983 – supposed to feed on St John’s Wort (prev record Cranfield in 1983). Identified by David Manning by dissection.
1240 Grapholita caecana – 2nd county record – feeds on Sanfoin (prev record swept at Totternhoe Qry in 2009)
1518 Hellinsia lienigianus – 3rd county record and first since 1999 – potted by Mike Harrison and id by Andy Whitney – feeds on Mugwort (prev records Luton airport & Cockayne Hatley RIS trap in 1999)
1843 Thyme Pug - 2nd county record and first since two collected at Sharpenhoe in 1948. This one was a female and was identified by dissection. This feeds on Wild Thyme.

Metzneria aprilella
Grapholita caecana
 Hellinsia lienigianus
 Thyme Pug

Monday, 2 December 2013

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

1409a Diaphania perspectalis - new "micro" moth to VC30

1409a Diaphania perspectalis - Luton 30th August 2013, first for Bedfordshire
With a wingspan close to 40mm this was larger than many macro-moths in the trap

From VC30 Micromoth recorder, David Manning: This is a species first recorded in UK in 2008. It is a pest of Buxus (Box) and is presumed to have arrived via the horticultural trade [from Asia]. Recorded to date in eight counties, the most northerly being Herts, Bucks and Glos.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Clouded Yellow

Not the best image, but the first I have captured of this species. This individual was on the site of the old Brogborough tip on Saturday 7th Sept.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Gold Spot

This photo really doesn't do this species any justice. They almost glow in the sunlight! One of the most striking moths in Britain.

Gold Spot- Upper Caldecote- 4th September 2013

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Wasp Spider at Broom GPs

This was found today by the sharp-eyed Ian Woiwood during a guided walk around the gravel pit complex at Broom. It's the first time I've seen this species.
Wasp Spider- Broom GPs- 18th August 2013

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sharp-angled Carpet

Sharp-angled Carpet?
Sharp-angled Carpet,  The Lodge, 22nd July 2013

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Variable Damselfly found on the R Ivel at South Mills by Ian Dawson


Some caterpillars are more impressive than the flying moths that come after. Here are two I discovered while exploring around MVCP on Saturday morning, captured on my phone.



Saturday, 13 July 2013

Purple Emperor

Purple Emperor at Chicksands Wood
Purple Emperor, Chicksands Wood, 13th July 2013.  A couple more here.

Dotted Rustic and Dark Arches

Dotted Rustic
Dotted Rustic, Biggleswade, 5th July 2013

Dark Arches f. aethiops
Dark Arches of the form f. aethiops, Biggleswade, 7th July 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Interesting Buff Ermine

Found this rather odd-looking Buff Ermine in our Lower Stondon moth-trap this morning, amongst the best lot of moths we've had so far this year in the garden.

Photo: Melissa Banthorpe

Sunday, 23 June 2013


In the brick pits this afternoon, June 23rd... Hairy Dragonfly
Nice to see one so well to capture the hairs

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Grizzled Skipper

Grizzled Skipper
Grizzled Skipper, Rookery South ClP, 2nd June 2013