The above is probably a Silver `Y`
But I cannot be sure of this one as I couldn`t get a better view however I am almost sure that it is the same as the mating pair at the top.
However I would like some confirmations please.
I expected Crystal to pick up on this question, but maybe she's stuck in a tide pool today (judging from one of her recent questions). Anyway...
1. Probably large yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba
Your examples are within its fairly wide range of variation.
2. Silver-Y, Autographa gamma
3. Perhaps broad-bordered yellow underwing, Noctua fimbriata;
but difficult without seeing the hind wings
(I'm not sure if what appears to be part of a dark band is in fact a shadow of some sort).
There are other possibilities, including large yellow underwing though (at least from this angle) it does not have quite the right look.
Let's see if we get any comments from Crystal as well...
Yes, that helps.
I think it is a large yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba.
As well as the undewing band being narrower than on broad-bordered yellow underwing,
I have found myself paying attention to the three tiny pale dots on the leading edge of the forewing, towards the tip. It seems that character is best associated with B. pronuba. Here's a specimen with different overall markings but still possessing those three dots (though one is less prominent) - http://ukmoths.org.uk/images/hires/LargeYellowUnderwingCH.jpg
I am pleased that they are apparently three separate species. Those large rings, ( pic 1) one looking like a bit like an eight, were what I tried to base my i.d. on but it doesn`t appear on number three.
My moth hunting has become a regular thing as dusk falls. Have found that there seems to be more around when the humidity is high especially just after a little rain. There must be tens of species in my ivy which is also full of spiders and green grasshopper looking insects which I haven`t yet managed to photograph. A single Mormo maura was vibrating its wings along the bottom edge and wondered if this was to help spreading a pheromone or is it akin to how other insects `warm up` their wing muscles.
I'm saying there are two species (1 & 3 being N. pronuba).
If your mothing becomes regular, you will indeed notice subtler things - as you have confirmed.
I used to be able to smell a good moth night (maybe ethylene), and I think that may have had something to do with humidity.
You might consider using 'sugar' as well as light. As well as attracting some other species, it will add variety when you're 'doing your rounds'. See - http://insects.about.com/od/entomologytools/a/Sugaring-For-Moths.htm. And see this for wine ropes - http://www.mothscount.org/uploads/Moth_Recorders_Handbook_Finding_Moths_Without_a_Trap_2011(2).pdf
I don't know about your last question: both seem likely. I'd think there's a reasonable chance some Googling might trun up research on the subject (but there's also a chance it might be inconclusive).
I've never seen a live Morma Maura; I'm a tad envious!
Many thanks for all your comments and especially the tips for attracting moths.
Some while back I planted about 5 honeysuckle bushes which have grown in a mediocre fashion with only a few bunches of flowers. My hope was to attract hawk moths because I have found two species as a lad of a privet hawk moth and a lime hawk moth and they left an indelible impression on me. However I`ve not seen a single hawk moth for yonks now.
Over time for various reasons I have accumulated lots of different types of sugars and I have plenty of yeast (from growing fruit flies as feed for baby false widows) so I will start mixing up a brew soon. Chemistry is one of my studies at the OU and I have always been quite good at it.
I was suprised about what you said about Mormo maura as they were hedge-hopping tonight and I`ve seen many around. It may be because my garden is built on an ancient stream and perhaps they have some sort of racial memory as I have heard they like watery places. There is also a large cemetary and a small stream alongside W.Brompton station which is just accross the way. Did you see my other bug posts tonight?
The only moth I saw that I was able to photograph was a Brimstone which I will put here for completeness sake. There were also some lacewings which I think are one of the most beautiful insects in th U.K.
Theres also a couple of other posts of mine in bugs.
Shame you've not had luck with the hawk moths. Honeysuckle should attract others anyway; one of my first moth photos (not digital) was of a silver-Y at honeysuckle. I suspect some species of Lonicera may prove more generally attractive than others. To get the hawk moths, you'd also have to have their larval foodplant nearby-ish.
I have a Stephanotis on my terrace, and its (white) flowers are visited by a convolvulus hawk moth a few evenings a week. It always comes at late dusk. Later the same species may turn up at my garden lights. When visiting the flowers it is a highly agile and refined flyer, but at the lights it is really rather clumsy; I'm sure there's an explanation for that but I don't know what it is.
Another flower that attracts moths is tobacco plant (Nicotiana); you might try that (and now I wonder if the light-coloured forms of the flower might be more attractive than the dark ones).
Good luck with the sugaring, and putting your chemistry to work.
Mormo maura and the ancient stream: interesting; yes, it makes you wonder.
It is funny how some species can be common for one person and rare for another. One of the commonest butterflies in my garden here in Cyprus is swallowtail!
Cemeteries can be quite good places for some wildlife, because of various factors, eg. grass not being cut too short, some large and old trees (complete ecosystems in themselves), gravestones add to the diversity (allowing lichen and moss to grow, those having their own ecosystems), even flowers placed by graves may help, soil relatively undisturbed for centuries.
I agree that (green) lacewings are beautiful.
Nice to see the brimstone moth; one of the species I saw regularly in Surrey.
If I may comment on that nicely-posed photo... A little editing can make a good deal of difference. Here's a version I made, having improved the lighting, cropped it (though now showing less of the ivy leaf, granted), and reduced in pixel dimensions (83 times smaller without significant loss of detail). Update: I mention the image size primarily with reference to posting on a forum - to make images load more quickly and take less space to store. Of course, the original should not be downsized like that.
Keep up the enthusiasm!
Message was edited by: MikeHardman - added update re image downsizing
I have been busy with my studying (end of term soon) but I have purchased some bits and pieces with a view to attracting some more moths to the garden. Being quite arthritic I envy you your location. The winters here are a real pain and stop me from venturing out. And you have `Swallowtails` amazing - never seen a live one. Are they a particular species where you are? The Red Admirals were about around six weeks ago one taking a great interest in my washing! Sadly it didn`t stay long enough. A common butterfly around the ivy is the Holly Blue and I raised one from a pupa. Never found any larvae though. In the cemetary a common visitor is `The Gatekeeper`. Stephanotis is quite common in gardens but I have not got one. Intend to buy some seeds as a plant is quite expensive. I read on one of the links that melon is a good attractant - bought one today so may try that. I have heard that The Wooly Bear (or Garden Tiger) is rare nowadays. Shame , there were so many around when I was younger. I think the Artic Tiger is truly an amazing beast!
Thanks for the links and happy hunting.
PS I normally do edit as it decreases the load time. Just forgot with the last pic.
I hope some interesting moths do the right thing and turn up to show their appreciation!
I haven't tried melon as an attractant; I may do that; thanks for the idea.
Note that Stephanotis is not hardy in the UK.
I wonder if there's some marjoram in the cemetary: I associate gatekeepers with the plant.
Even when I was a lad, I very rarely saw a garden tiger moth. Such things depend partly on where one happens to be. One gets a skewed impression of what's common and what's rare, or at least one tends to be slow to catch on to one's local flora and fauna being atypical in many ways. The British take bluebells for granted, methinks (they have a narrow distribution on a global scale).
The swallowtails here are a race of the same species as in the UK - Papilio machaon. I feel like I'm cheating! They are gorgeous, but tricky to photograph as they continually flutter their wings while feeding and don't stay at one flower for long. As with many buterflies, the males will chase females. But last year, I saw one brazen chap chase a swallow - he was actually tailing a swallow!
My Dad studied at the OU for many year. It was an honour to collect his degree at Milton Keynes (actually done by his grandson), but a great shame we had to do it posthumously. I hope your studies go well.
My granny used cider vinegar for her arthritis.
I look forward to seeing you post about other moths in due course,
All the best,
I've been pondering about Stephanotis, when I have time I'll send you a few photos of the plants which have a beautiful scent and are known colloquially as Jasmine. There are at least four maybe more bushes in Fulham and I know it is them because of the strong perfume the flowers have. Are they not Stephhanotis ? White five pointed flowers and oily looking ovate leaves. Some are several metres high.
Loved your story about the tailing swallowtail.
Thanks for the tip about cider vinegar.
Stephanotis not as written above.
'My' stephanotis is like this one
...which is definitely not hardy, even in Fulham (or I would be very surprised).
Also, it is a twining climber; it does not form bushes unless given a framework to scramble up.
And I wouldn't really call its leaves 'oily'.
I'm ruling out Gardenia and Viburnum...
I am leaning towards a jasmine or Trachelospermum, but one that fits your description: that's tricky...
The common jasmines don't have ovate leaves (eg. J. officinale); neither do trachelospermums.
Jasminum azoricum is hardy to -6C, but would be unusual in cultivation.
Maybe you can post some photos at some time?
I found four bushes - the fith and largest accross the way from me had been pulled down for some reason. It was at least eight feet tall maybe more.
The specimens are of similar types but vary in the shape of the leaves (some narrower and some not so)
all the flowers are not so full with not so broad petals as your in your first link. Here are two examples. They all smell of Jasmine. There is another with different leaves but I didn`t photograph it as I couldn`t get a close-up of the flowers. It`s leaves were less shiney and more veined but the flowers I could see were similar. Will do it another time.
Another newcomer to Fulham is the bat. I live in a basement near a lampost and as I came down the steps one flew out between the railings. At first I thought it was a hawk moth but it was probably too big. About 4X6 cms approx in size. No chance of photographing that I thought. Don`t know where they are nesting. This was at around 9pm UK.time.I`ve seen them in the garden but rarely. As silent as the wind.
What species do you think it could be?
The plant is Trachelospermum jasminoides
The bat is ... I wouldn't like to say. But I could guess at pipistrelle, since they are small and common
Nice to have them about; a sign of a healthy food chain (even in Fulham).
I've had one interested in my moth lights in the garden this evening. it may be the one I flushed (literally) from the edge of my fly screen when washing it the other day. The fly screen has an aluminium frame with a narrow slit around the edge (so it can slide on its rail). I could hardly believe a bat could squeeze through that! It came out soaked and looking very sorry for itself, and shivvering. I helped it out of the bath, quickly photographed it and took it outside - where I was very happy to see it take to the air. It flew around and soon found refuge in the top of my sunshade.
Update: I've just noticed this!
"There are a number of interesting parks in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough, including the park known as Wormwood Scrubs. The prison is located to the west end of the park. The Scrubs themselves have been a duelling ground, a location for the Olympic Marathon, and a site of National importance, as home to the Common Pipistrelle Bat."
Thanks Mike - mystery solved. I`ve just noticed the update. One place nearby is Holland Park where the bats and other creatures come down to drink at dusk at the pond in Zen-Style garden. I`ve never been to do this but as my `alma mater` is nearby I might take a trip before the weather gets colder.The last time I walked across `The Scrubs` it was mid-winter and like a quagmire - I twisted my ankle!
Nice story about the bat and a bit of a coincidence. I have an infra-red camera with capture software so I might train it on my basement garden. Maybe I`ll catch a picture of a bat. The pipistrelle seems a bit large for what I saw on the wing at 3 to 4 cms. Perhaps it was a moth visiting my fuschias.Of course it could be a confused wren - we have a nest in the garden.