Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Juniper carpet

It's half term and the forecast last night was dry and warm, so we decided to put the moth trap out for one last time this year. There are still a few moths flying at this time of year, although most are long gone. You never know though, something interesting might just fly past our garden and be attracted to the light ...

We opened the trap this morning, lifting the lid and not paying much attention to the moth sat on top of it. We left it there and, full of anticipation, dived into the egg boxes inside. I have to say it was slightly disappointing as the only moth we found inside was a very worn little brown one. I'm not sure, but it could be a chestnut, which would be flying at this time of year.

We also caught a wonderful looking ichneumon wasp and something that looks like a cross between a crane fly and a mosquito, which I think is called a winter gnat. Both have really long legs and antennae and are interesting looking beasties.
Ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon wasp

Winter gnat
We packed away the egg boxes and put the top on the trap, then remembered the moth sat on the lid. I could tell from the shape of the wings it was from the 'carpet' family, so looked through the seven pages of 'carpets' in the field guide and decided it looked like a Juniper Carpet. It seems they're fairly scarce, so I checked with our county moth recorder. He agrees with the id, saying only 8 have been recorded in Bucks since 2000 (although that may be because most people stop using their moth traps in their gardens in October). Quite an exciting find!

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