2 June 2016

Diamond-back Moth influx: 1-2 June

The last few days have seen a huge influx of Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella into Britain, as well as further north in Europe. Large counts were made on the east and south coasts yesterday, including 790 in a small area at Filey, 383 in four traps at Portland Bill Bird Observatory (where only 4 were caught on 27 May) with millions were estimated to be present on the island, and 100 were counted around the observatory and the Moat at Dungeness. Counts of over a hundred were also made at some inland sites.

With the weather being cold for several weeks now, I've not bothered with the moth light. But despite the weather last night remaining cold with a moderate NE wind, I thought I'd fire up the Blacklight last night (1 June) and see if any Diamond-backs had made their way to this area of Surrey. Species diversity was unsurprisingly very low but I wasn't disappointed with the number of Diamond-backs!

Night totals:
48 Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella - by far the largest total I've recorded at home in one night.
1 Blackthorn Argent Argyresthia spinosella - first record for the garden.
1 Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis
1 Vine's Rustic Hoplodrina ambigua
2 Heart & Dart Agrotis exclamationis

Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, dark form, Worcester Park, 2 June 2016

Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, light form, Worcester Park, 2 June 2016

Blackthorn Argent Argyresthia spinosella, Worcester Park, 2 June 2016

Also, the pair of Magpies nesting in a Scot's Pine in a neighbour's front garden have successfully bred, with 5 fledged young and the 2 adults kicking about the back gardens from our living room this afternoon.

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