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Upper Thames moths blog

Updated county checklist for macro-moths

posted 19 Oct 2018, 04:17 by Martin Harvey   [ updated 19 Oct 2018, 10:37 ]

With the recent additions of Feathered Ranunculus and Southern Chestnut to the county list, bringing our total to 641 macro-moths recorded since records began, it is time for an updated checklist!

The macro-moth checklist is available from the Resources page or download direct from:

The most recent additions to the county list are:
  • 2015:
    • Gypsy Moth
    • Crescent Dart
  • 2016:
    • Dewick's Plusia
    • Oak Rustic
  • 2017:
    • Olive Crescent
  • 2018 (so far!):
    • Feathered Ranunculus
    • Southern Chestnut

Feathered Ranunculus photo by Marc Botham

Feathered Ranunculus Polymixis lichenea
photo by Marc Botham

Micro-moth verification guidelines

posted 11 May 2017, 04:18 by Martin Harvey

Just over a year ago, some extremely useful guidance on micro-moth verification was supplied by Butterfly Conservation for the National Moth Recording Scheme. The guidance was compiled by Dr John Langmaid, Stephen Palmer, Mark Parsons and Dr Mark Young, and shows which micro-moth species may be possible to identify in the field or from photos, and which will need specimens or dissection. It also gives guidance on identifying leaf-mines and larval cases.

I've slightly expanded this guidance, so that the abbreviations used in the original are replaced with stand-alone text, and some information is given about which species occur in Berkshire. This exists in two forms, a spreadsheet that has all the information and can be filtered and searched, plus a reduced PDF version that could beprinted out if you want a hard copy (but it's still 42 pages long!). It is possible that errors have crept in when transcribing the data, please let me know if you find any.

The documents can be downloaded from our Resources page, or direct from these links:
The original version as supplied by BC/NMRS is available here. I'm grateful to NMRS for permission to circulate the adapted versions.

Verification categories

Records for the National Moth Atlas

posted 8 Mar 2017, 14:26 by Martin Harvey   [ updated 8 Mar 2017, 14:28 ]

Apologies that I've not been able to give more feedback on this process, and apologies that I'm not as far advanced with it as I would like. But some progress has been made:
  • iRecord data: recently I've been focusing on checking through all the records with photos. Most of that is now done but there are a few left to go, after which I'll move on to the bulk of the records without photos.
  • MapMate data: I'm up to date with importing the sync files that I've been sent, but still some work to do on checking the records.
  • Spreadsheets and other data: not much to report at the moment, but a few spreadsheets have been uploaded into iRecord so they can be processed alongside the other records.
If you have records for moths in Berkshire that haven't yet been sent in for the atlas then there is still time, just about! I should be able to incorporate data for another week or two. The priority for the atlas is macro-moth records up until the end of 2016. See our Sending in records page.

Activity pages on iRecord

posted 7 Apr 2016, 05:18 by Martin Harvey   [ updated 7 Apr 2016, 05:20 ]

We now have three activity pages on iRecord, one that shows all records within that system, one that shows all records for 2016 (i.e. it gives us a cumulative 'score' for the year) and one that shows all records from the most recent two weeks (useful for checking what is flying at the moment, based on what others in the county are recording). There's more information here, or go straight to the relevant places with these links:

Activity 1: Berkshire Moths
This Activity displays all the moth records for Berkshire that are currently stored on iRecord.

Activity 2: Berkshire Moths - all records for 2016
This Activity displays all the records that have accumulated so far during 2016.

Activity 3: Berkshire Moths - latest records (from last two weeks)
This Activity shows all the records that people have made during the previous two weeks - useful for checking which species are being seen at the moment.

I think these activity pages are a fantastic way of keeping up to date with what's happening in the county, but they do of course only show the data that is being added to iRecord. There is still a substantial proportion of data that comes in to the county database via other routes such as MapMate and via spreadsheets - that data is being collated but is not (yet) being put onto iRecord. That may change in the future, we'll have to see. For now, iRecord can only offer a partial view of moth recording in the county, but it has the great advantage of updating 'live' every time a moth record is added. You can even see what, and who, is trending!

Pheromone lures for clearwing moths

posted 24 Mar 2016, 14:37 by Martin Harvey

On our Resources page you can now download a spreadsheet showing which pheromones attract which clearwing moths, along with the habitats, foodplants and times of year that you need to target when using the pheromones. Click here for the direct download. Pheromones and further information available from Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies.

Although the Hornet Moth has been recorded frequently in Berkshire (see Mark Calway's videos), the other clearwings are still very under-recorded. Give the pheromones a try if you can, and let us know how you get on.

Database reaches half a million!

posted 8 Jan 2016, 14:13 by Martin Harvey   [ updated 8 Jan 2016, 14:21 ]

I've just noticed that following some recent record imports the county moth database now contains over half a million records! Congratulations to all involved over many years.

Exactly which record counts as number 500,000 is a bit debateable because it all depends on how you count them, but my best estimate for the honour goes to ...
  • Large Yellow Underwing, recorded on 22 July 2015, by Martin Finch in Maidenhead

This is fitting, since Large Yellow Underwing is the species that we have most records for overall (with 11,666 records), and it would probably be a good bet if you wanted to speculate on which species will form our millionth record!

Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba, by Martin Harvey

Can you help digitise moth records?

posted 5 Jan 2016, 15:06 by Martin Harvey

One of the things we'd like to do in preparation for a county moth atlas is to incorporate more of the data that is missing from our database. In particular it would be really useful to have a summary of the records in Brian Baker's county moth book available, and you may be able to help by adding records to a simple spreadsheet! Click here to find out more, and see our targets and projects page for more information and ideas for helping us improve the county moth records.

Latest site reports available from Les Finch

posted 2 Jan 2016, 10:24 by Martin Harvey

Les Finch has recently supplied reports for 2015 from Snelsmore Common, Maidenhead Thicket and Woolley Firs. These are now available from our Bibliography page, along with some other new reports of Les's from previous years that I had fallen behind with uploading. Many thanks to Les for his hard work in producing these.

Targeting squares and species for the national atlas

posted 6 Dec 2015, 14:24 by Martin Harvey

I've started compiling some maps and information to help us target recording for the forthcoming national atlas (for which 2016 is the final year of recording).

Species list for Maiden Erlegh LNR

posted 13 Nov 2015, 01:54 by Martin Harvey

After some confusion on my part over the many site names that have been used for the Maiden Erlegh reserve/park/centre/MELNR, not to mention my inability to add two numbers and get a correct total, the revised species list is now available. I can reveal that the grand totals currently stand at:
  • 248 moth species, of which:
    • 185 are macro-moths
    • 63 are micro-moths

The full list can be found under the name "Maiden Erlegh LNR: combined species list" on our Resources page, or go here to download direct.

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