Sunday, 14 June 2015

A stag in the moth trap

With the euphoria of yesterday still very evident I headed to Manor Farm Country Park to check the moth trap. Duncan, the site ranger, had put it on last night, but as I hadn't run it at this location for over a year I was intrigued to see what was in it. It had been a mainly overcast night from midnight, which meant it was mild and therefore I was optimistic of a good haul. It turned out to be just that, with over 150 moths of 50 species trapped. However, it was not the moths that stole the limelight but a stunning male Stag Beetle, which had presumably been 'blinded by the light'!

I have seen Stag Beetles at Manor Farm Country Park before, but never in large numbers, and not for a few years so this beast was a real treat. It was an absolutely pristine individual with complete antlers and antennae, and was a pretty docile beast that posed beautifully.

Stag Beetle - Manor Farm Country Park
Stag Beetle - Manor Farm Country Park
Stag Beetle - Manor Farm Country Park
Stag Beetle - Manor Farm Country Park

The moths were pretty dull by comparison, even with single Pine and Lime Hawkmoths in the trap. A scattering of migrants were in the trap, including Rush Veneer, Silver Y and Small Mottled Willow along with a few woodland species; Brindled White-spot, Little Thorn, Bordered White and Crambus lathoniellus. The most abundant species was Scorched Wing with 27, followed by Orange Footman with 16. Treble Lines, White Ermine, Ingrailed Clay, Pale TussockHeart and Dart and Buff Tip were also well represented. 

Lime Hawkmoth - Manor Farm Country Park
Angle Shades - Manor Farm Country Park
Brindled White-spot - Manor Farm Country Park
Little Thorn - Manor Farm Country Park
Bordered White - Manor Farm Country Park
Crambus lathoniellus - Manor Farm Country Park
Peppered Moth - Manor Farm Country Park
Scoparia ambigualis - Manor Farm Country Park
Small Mottled Willow - Manor Farm Country Park

Other species recorded included Light Emerald, Willow Beauty, Green Silver-lines, Small Magpie, Large Yellow Underwing, Scalloped Hook-tip, Spectacle, Dark Spectacle, Peppered Moth, Common Wainscot, Light Brocade, Gold Triangle, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Buff Ermine, Clay Treble-lines and Chinese Character.

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