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Thread started 21 Sep 2017 (Thursday) 07:44
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Moth ID help (Yellow Underwing?)

 
Overread
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Sep 21, 2017 07:44 |  #1

A couple of photos from the trap, not a good night and only caught three moths in the trap so a quieter night; but then again its not the best nor warmest of weather and it is getting into mid September.

I'd greatly appreciate any help in moth ID/photography critique/any tips/pointers

I believe this to be a Large Yellow Underwing (Nocuta pronuba) based on the overall wing shape and markings. It doesn't seem to have enough markings, esp on the lower ends of the wing to make it a lesser nor a lunar variant. However I could well be mistaken.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4344/37193674252_04c1097802_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4436/36513625434_aea9baec60_b.jpg

Taken with Canon 7D and Sigma 70mm macro
Both taken at f13, ISO 100, 1/200sec (my 7D can sync faster, but its already flashing a warning light when using the wireless canon setup as its an older body).

Lighting was one flash either side with softbox, the one on the right having a larger box. I did aim for generally even lighting rather than being more creative with it, though wanted a little shadowing going on.

Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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SteB
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Sep 23, 2017 13:40 |  #2

It looks a bit short for a Large Yellow underwing. The main difficulty with ID is that this specimen is a bit worn. A more experienced trapper may be able to ID it. For ID there are good groups on Twitter and Facebook. One tip on moth trapping I've learned is that precise placement of the trap and weather conditions make a huge difference to how much you catch. Firstly you need your trap in a sheltered spot, sheltered from any cooling breeze. The best sort of night is overcast, mild and with the least wind possible. Clear nights when the temperature drops, or when it is windy or there's persistent rain are the worst. Sorry if you already knew any of this.




  
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Overread
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Sep 23, 2017 14:23 as a reply to  @ SteB's post |  #3

Thanks SteB - yeah its a worn moth which makes it harder, plus I'm fast learning how many moths can have such a range of colourations and shades within a species that two that appear totally different can be the very same species.

I didn't actually think of shelter as a factor, though yes a windless cloudy warm night is certainly going to better for getting moths out and about. I've actually had my trap in shelter somewhat, but mostly by accident of where I've placed it or on one night where it might have rained on it.

Out of interest have you found any patterns with how you place your eggboxes as to how it improves the catch rate? I've only got a heath-trap so retention is less good than the Robinson, but I do wonder if there's an ideal way to place the eggboxes so that the moths are encouraged into the trap and remain inside.

At present I tend to put them in at random and have a rough gap around the middle under the light (kind of like a funnel so they can enter into the body of the box itself). I also have 6 slot boxes that I've kept the egg holding parts whole and use them; I've not broken them down into smaller units.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
My flickr (external link)

  
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SteB
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Sep 25, 2017 03:32 as a reply to  @ Overread's post |  #4

I'm not sure about whether arranging the egg boxes makes much difference - none of the trappers I've been out with have mentioned this as a big factor. Also I'm not familiar with the heath trap, aside from seeing illustrations of it from suppliers etc. The only 2 moth traps I'm familiar with are the Skinner and the Robinson traps. I've only been getting into moths this last couple of years. I don't currently have a moth trap, but I've been going out with some experienced moth trappers. Essentially I'm a volunteer on a big National Nature Reserve (Fenns and Whixall Moss NNR) and I've done a couple of Dave Grundy's moth courses on the NNR. He's one of the top moth trappers.
http://www.dgcountrysi​de.co.uk …p5?title=Traini​ng_Courses (external link)

In other words, I'm certainly no expert, but I've picked up lots of good tips. Dave Grundy on the course I did last year was saying that careful placement of moth traps makes a massive difference to how much he catches. He often runs a lot of traps at a time (6 if I remember rightly) and he was saying that if you have 2 traps nearby, one in an exposed place, and the other in a sheltered spot, that you'll get loads in the trap in the sheltered spot, and hardly any in the trap in the exposed part.

Do you stay out with the trap? Apparently, from the experts midnight is around peak time. So you don't have to stay up all night, but it gives you an idea of how much is around your trap. In other words you should be able to work out whether the problem is retention, or just not that many moths coming to the trap.

I think it's a good idea to either go on courses or go out with experienced moth trappers. This is particular helpful with worn moths. Because they have lots of experience they can usually tell you right away what a worn moth is, even though it doesn't look like anything like the illustrations in the guides. Necessarily the illustrations in the guides are all of perfect specimens, and once they are worn much of their wing patterns etc, are missing.

The Field Studies Council is the best places for courses, and they have a centre at Flatford Mill, which I believe is on your side of the country. Here's a link to their 2017 Brochure (note my photo on the cover and other photos inside) to give you an idea of the courses they do. Please note that there's a new brochure for 2018 coming out soon, so this is just an idea of what courses they do where, and for actual courses you'll need the new brochure.
http://view.digipage.n​et …natural-history-brochure/ (external link)




  
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Lester ­ Wareham
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Sep 30, 2017 11:54 |  #5

Nice looking moth. Moth ID I find hard, just too many of them.


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Moth ID help (Yellow Underwing?)
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