Tuesday, 8 December 2015

7th December

An unexpectedly productive morning for lepidoptera here at Chepstow given the time of year and the unsettled weather lately.
Encountered 3 more Scarlet Tiger caterpillars and even 4 moths.
The caterpillars were about the town along with single sightings of Light Brown Apple Moth, Winter Moth and an Angle Shades.

The best of the lot was at home when I captured Mompha divisella (Neat Cosmet) indoors.
Classified a Nationally 'Scarce A' moth, I seem to have seen it regularly over the last 3 years, however this year I have recorded it on 6 separate occasions in the months of March, April, May and now for the 1st time in December.
Not entirely sure why this moth has become more common here unless its breeding well, I'm making more of an effort to record micros, or maybe the food plant is more abundant.


  1. As with many micros the status is often more a reflection of recording effort than true scarcity. Mompha divisella breeds in my garden and is therefore the commonest of the Mompha's that I see.

  2. I've had Momphid ID info for at least 13 years (MBGBI 4 and various photocopies before that) and used to find Mompha propinquella, M lacteella, M subbistrigella, M epilobiella etc regularly but very rarely M divisella, whereas in the last 5 years it has been much the most frequent species. I think there has been a genuine change, although that's not scientifically based! Only M raschkiella and M locupletella seem to remain consistently commonplace.

  3. Upon further readings investigations, I see that 14 out of the 15 species of momphidae are associated with the willowherb plant.
    Broad leaved willowherb for example is widespread throughout the United Kingdom, so given that as a starting point, should not most of this family of micro moths be present at quite a few locations. As Dave says it could simply be down to continual observational requirements.
    What I mean by that is the likes of Dave and myself obviously reside on our respective sites at home so I'm thinking that we will have a much greater chance of finding individuals than an occasional trip in the field, unless of course you target an area over the course of year perhaps.