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7 May 2016

6 May 2016 – Quakers and a New Species

Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)

The night was chilly once again.  The owl, for all his feathers, sounded somewhat a-cold as he hooted from the granary roof and the idea that any moths would be out and about seemed optimistic.  When both traps were examined the following morning a grand total of 15 moths could be found hiding in the egg-boxes – the majority being in the trap set in the quarry which was probably a degree or two warmer than the large lawn.  

A Powdered Quaker (only the second recorded), four Common Quakers, a Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) (again rarely seen in Coxwold and previously not photographed), six Hebrew Characters, a Streamer, a Pale Pinion and a male Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica).  

Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)

The traps had been set for National Gardens Scheme on Friday evening opening and Dave Chesmore kindly turned up to inform and identify. I had misidentified the Small Quaker. Orthosia is an epithet for Artemis (the huntress) and cruda has the meaning ‘unripe’. Dave turned Artemisian and with his net swishing before him disappeared into the quarry. It was good fortune he did for he managed to capture a moth he had not seen before. The moth is pictured below.

(Phyllonorycter blancardella)

This moth is not uncommon and is a ‘leaf-digger’ (phyllonorycter) named after the Dutch lepidopterist, S. Blankaart.  It is very small indeed and does not appear in the ‘Field Guide to Micromoths’ and is very low down on the list of moths flying in Yorkshire at this time of year.  A new species on the first trap of 2016 makes the total 372.

NGS Identify and release evening