Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lasiocampidae...Eggars to Yellow Horned

Lasiocampidae (Linnaeus, 1758)

1637  Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus f.callunae  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Often encounted around the Walshaw Dean ,Whitholme ,Norland and Midgley moors it is the favoured prey of Hobby falco subbuteo in July.Empty cocoons can be found after controlled burning on the moors .
  Oak eggar (Lasiocampa quercus quercus) and the Northern
eggar (Lasiocampa quercus callunae) are just different subspecies of Lasiocampa
quercus. Their behaviour is very similar and  their catterpillars are barely
distinguishable from those of Oak eggar.
It seems the Northern eggar is only a more cold adapted variant of the species
with some constant colours and pattern but not marked enough to be considered as
a different species.

1638 Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi (Linnaeus, 1758)
Only one old record at Ogden 1946 and more recent records are of day flyers at Whiteholm drain on the  24th June 2007 and 2 here on 2010(BL).A female was found in a moth trap at Wyvern Terrace 2010 and laid eggs which were reared through and released back on the moors. A closer look in the correct habitat may find this species to be present in larger numbers , as it is not uncommon in Yorkshire

1640 The Drinker Euthrix potatoria (Linnaeus, 1758)
In Collinson there is reference to 1 old record but no details are provided..


1643 Emperor Moth Pavonia pavonia (Linnaeus, 1758)
Abundant on all heaths in the Halifax area (Porritt’s list 1883)
Collinson wrote ...
‘No comments on local species would be complete without a reference to what is surely one of the most beautiful of all moths. It has always been a feature of our surrounding moors but unhappily it is going through a period of severe decline. When we first came to this area my wife and I used to enjoy our annual visits to Norland Moors during July to look for the lovely larva of this species. It is bright apple-green with prominent yellow or pink warts. There is a much darker local form of larva also which I have not seen elsewhere. In those days several could be found on every visit but now many hours searching may produce none at all. The worry is that if the species becomes too reduced for adequate breeding, it will die out completely on our moors. This is undoubtedly one of the species which has declined because of smoke pollution on the heather. Also the constant burning of the moors does untold harm to this and other moorland species. The males of this species fly in bright sunshine during May and they are attracted great distances to a virgin female. Fortunately there are few collectors nowadays who would use this method (termed "Assembling") to obtain numbers of males, but one wonders whether they were always so careful. One old record, dated 1860 reads "1860 May. Took female to Greetland moor and caught 50 males." It is little wonder that the species has declined if this often happened.’
  Records in May 2005 came from Cold Edge Dams, Whiteholme, Norland Moor,Walshaw Dean , Upper Gorple and Midgley Moor. Pupa, Adults and cocoons can easily be found if you spend the time searching large areas of heather. A female was found with a batch of eggs at Langfield common 2009(BL) .


1 at light Cromwell Bottom on 25th August 2001. (PT,IK et al)
1 at light Withens Clough car park on the 7th August 2008( AC,BL,MH )
1 at light at Brookfoot  1st August 2009 (M&K Sharpe)
1 to light at Knott wood Hebden Bridge 2010(AC,BL)
1 at light  Cromwell Bottom 31st July 2010(AC,BL)

1646 Oak Hook-tip Drepana binaria (Hufnagel, 1767)
1 in Halifax 28th June 1986(Wba)
27 recorded at light and  between 8th  May to 15th  August at Park road Elland 1999 –2004 and 1 at light Cromwell Bottom 19th June 2000  (PT)
1 at light Hedge Top Lane 9th August 2003(AC)
1647 Barred Hook-tip Drepana cultraria (Fabricius, 1775) *
First recorded in Yorkshire in the early 1990’s and by 2009 the species had been recorded in all 5VC’s with  a very low density throughout. There are two Calderdale records to date .1 at Moor End Gardens, Pellon on 31st May 2004 (NCD) and 1 at Manor heath early August 2010(SJ)both with photos.

2 old records  from 1962 & 63 at light.
Recorded regularly at light between 3rd May and 22nd August.There are over 50 individuals recorded  between 1999 and 2009 througout the area..

Collinson wrote only 4 records of this scarce moth but it can be easily overlooked. No recent records.


1652 Peach Blossom Thyatira batis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Recorded at light between 4th May and the 19th August with 84 records of 108 individuals between 1999 and 2009.this species is recorded throughout the recording area.17 to light at Knot Wood Hebden Bridge 2010.
1653 Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides (Hufnagel, 1766)
Recorded at light from 4th May to 13th September with 185 records of 505 individuals between 1999 and 2009. This species is recorded throughout the recording area.

Recorded at light between the 19th May and 5th July, Hedge Top Lane, Northowram, Park Road Elland  , Wyvern terrace,Cromwell Bottom Brookfoot Brighouse and Hebden Bridge.

Figure of

This species is locally common in Yorkshire in wooded localities and is more attracted to sugar than light (HB). In Calderdale it was frist recorded in 1959 and taken in small numbers at light (BC).Recorded at Park road on the ,1st and 17th  July and 7th September 2001 and 2002.(PT)
8 recorded at light in Cunnery Wood Shibden Park July 2009 with one female laying many eggs (AC, WP)and in Knott wood Hebden Bridge in 2010.(BL)

1659 Yellow Horned Achlya flavicornis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Collinson wrote that this species was formerly confined to the western area of Calderdale but now widespread and appearing at light in small numbers throughout Calderdale.Recent records come from  Park Road Elland 2003 /4 , Hedge Top Lane 2005,.Hebden Bridge2008 ,Midgley 2009,Todmorden and Brighoue.Recrds fall between the 9th March and the 2nd April.On the 21st March 2010 an incredible 30 + were recorded at light at Knott Wood Hebden Bridge (BL).

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