July ends with Yorkshire moth rarity at Tophill Low as new monthly record set

Ptocheuusa paupella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The continued incredible July period of moth recording at Yorkshire Water’s Tophill Low NR in East Yorkshire turned up perhaps what will be one of the most unexpected moth species ever to appear in site history in the form of two Ptocheuusa paupella on July 30th. Discovered alongside O reservoir path on the Common Fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica, this is the third site in Yorkshire to record the species following three at Reighton, North Yorkshire in 2011 and at Spurn, East Yorkshire in 2016 (per communications). The 2011 record was the most northerly east coast record of the species which previously hadn’t been noted further north than East Anglia (per Yorkshire Moths).

Gypsonoma aceriana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Site rarities continued to appear with the identification of two Gypsonoma aceriana – the second and third site records occurring on July 3rd and 15th.

Two Ptycholomoides aeriferana included this one below on July 29th – the fifth site record, while a Cydia splendana on the same date was also the fifth site occurrence.

Ptycholomoides aeriferana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Cydia splendana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Some random numbers recorded during July included 1087 Uncertain Hoplodrina octogenaria, 755 Mother Of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis, 575 Dingy Footman Eilema griseola ,  256 Double Square-spot Xestia triangulum, and 196 Crescent Helotropha leucostigma to mention just a few species of the species recorded.

A total of 1037 Agriphila straminella were trapped, with countless more seen in the field, while its close relative Agriphila tristella numbered a mere 29 despite being on the wing for only six days fewer.

Agriphila straminella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Agriphila tristella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Forty Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa were collected – approximately 25% of the total number recorded all time since first documented on site in 1997. White Satin Leucoma salicis totalled 54 for the month, and single Acleris holmiana were recorded on the 15th and 31st taking the total number of individuals to 18 since it was first recorded in 1997.

Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

White Satin Leucoma salicis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Acleris holmiana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Antler Moth Cerapteryx graminis was noted on the 17th occasion since first seen in 2006 on the 15th, while a sign that the end of the summer is on the horizon was confirmed by the appearance of Rosy Rustic Hydraecia micacea on the 28th.

Antler Moth Cerapteryx graminis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Rosy Rustic Hydraecia micacea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The third and fourth Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon of the year were trapped on the 6th and 25th of the month – a scarce migrant visitor to Tophill, these take the tally to 25 since it was first recorded in 1996.

Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The month of July saw over 11,700 individual moths recorded of a minimum 306 species, the stunning Gold Spot Plusia festucae below the 300th species of the month on the 29th.

Gold Spot Plusia festucae Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

In the context of moth history at Tophill Low NR, July 2017 produced the highest ever monthly count of species in the 307 months since recording began proper in 1992 and this 31 day total also stands among the highest annual lists ever recorded on site!

The 2017 year list total also continues to tick over, with the number standing at a minimum of 422 (the second highest all-time annual total) as the campaign heads into August.

As ever for the latest site news, check out the Tophill Low NR twitter feed and web page.

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One response to “July ends with Yorkshire moth rarity at Tophill Low as new monthly record set

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