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31 May 2020

30 May 2020 – Trap in the Old Quarry

The Quarry Garden in May

A pathway through the campions and grasses shows the location of the moth-trap.  I don’t always trap in the quarry garden but it does seem to produce more micro moths than when the trap is positioned on the grass near the borders.  The results from last night’s trap are below.

Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata)

The larva of this moth has a staple diet – bracken. As a result its habitat is moorland, heathland and woodland or anywhere where the foodplant grows.  Bracken can be unwelcome in the well-ordered garden as it spreads and is difficult to remove.  Spores (carried on the wind) and rhizomes (travelling under the soil) are its ways of dominating the landscape.  However, there is no bracken in the garden at Shandy Hall so that is not the reason for the appearance of the Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata). The closest bracken is near the village of Oldstead, a couple of miles away, so this visitor must be adventurous. ‘Petro’ (a rock); ‘phoreo’ (to bear) referring to the stone-colouring on the wings; ‘chlorosata’ meaning ‘pale’.  Chlorosata was named by Giovanni Scopoli (1723-1788).  He was given the name of ‘The Linnaeus of the Austrian Empire’ for his advances in matters scientific, including his expert knowledge on mercury poisoning, having trained as a doctor. 

Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata)

The Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata) can appear in one of two varieties.  This one is the mahogany-coloured version bearing a clearly visible, pale yellow coloured oval and kidney mark on the wings. The lighter coloured variety is more common in the gardens at Coxwold and can be seen by way of a contrast on the blog of 13 May 2017.  The scientific name consists of the name of an unrelated town in Asia Minor (Apamea) and a reference to the markings on the wings which look crenellated or ‘notched’ (crenata).

Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)

Not difficult to identify, the Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) has a clear, distinguishing feature – the proboscis or elephant’s trunk. The elephant’s trunk is a modified nose whereas the Snout has a modified mouth.  The ‘hypena’ is a reference to the Greek word for a moustache.  The Snout’s larvae feed on the leaves of the common nettle and the adult is a pollenater as it feeds on flowers. It rests by day beneath the nettle leaves.

Plum Tortrix (Hedya pruniana)

This was the only micro to be seen and as usual, being a ‘bird dropping’ moth, is not immediately identifiable – but I am pretty certain this is the Plum Tortrix (Hedya pruniana). The pattern of markings on the wings is exquisite when seen close to.  The caterpillar dines on wild cherry, wild plum and blackthorn and can be found all over the UK