52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth at the cabin at Cromwell Bottom on July 9th 2023. During a moth morning on the reserve Anthony Arak decided to deploy his newly bought pheromone lure for this species. Initially it was unsuccesful at the nearby woodland edge but after resiting it behind the visitor centre it wasn't too long before we had our first, fleeting glimpse. Then about half an hour later, it or another one turned up and this time stayed for a few minutes.
I couldn't get a clear shot of it to start with because of those filming it with their phones but I was more than okay with that as they took some really nice footage which did this moth way more justice than my distant photos. 

52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth, details above. It was generally too lively for my camera's autofocus but I was happy with one or two shots and there was great excitement just trying to photograph it.

52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth, details above. The moth was clearly intent on mating as it instinctively curled up its abdomen, the opened lid of the lure is arrowed.

52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth, at Hollin Hall, Hardcastle Crags on July 20th 2023. Another outing for the pheromone lure and after an hour or so the target species turned up.

52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth, details above. His claspers were extruded the whole time fully expecting to home in on a female.

52.003 Lunar Hornet Moth, details above. It was hyperactive and gave the photographers the runaround for most of the time, this was probably my best effort - it shows the "clearwings" nicely!

52.014 Six-belted Clearwing. It's June 23rd 2019 and Barry Nield, a trustee of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group, recently purchased several pheromone lures and traps mainly for clearwing species. Here he is hanging a trap up with a Large Red-belted Clearwing lure inside at woodland opposite the cafe area. The plastic capsule containing the pheromones sits inside the lid of the trap with the scent wafting out above the simple, lobster-pot type trap below.
The Six-belted Clearwing trap was situated on North Loop where there is plenty of its food plants - Bird's-foot Trefoil and Kidney Vetch.
An hour or so later we checked the trap and I noticed a clearwing buzzing around the lid. Not wishing to swipe the trap out of the bush (and risk losing the lure capsule) I tentatively netted it only to find it was only just inside the net. That, coupled with the breezy conditions quickly enable it to escape and disappear in to the ether never to be seen again.
As Six-belted are the only clearwings known to be attracted to the API lure I'm confident enough to record it as this species.

After this slightly underwhelming success I sat myself down and waited for another one to appear, camera, net and pot to hand. Unfortunately, an hour later, none were forthcoming so all we can do is to try again on a sunnier, calmer day. They fly throughout July so time is on our side...........

52.013 Currant Clearwing feeding hole, Skircoat Green allotments, Feb.19th 2014. Whilst pottering about on the plot I noticed a rather obvious hole in this twig of my Red Currant bush. I cut a good few inches of it either side of the hole and split it in half. Below you can see the results!

52.013 Currant Clearwing larva, Skircoat Green allotments, Feb.19th 2014. 

I transferred the above larva to a fresh piece of red currant stem which I had split in two and hollowed out the top 20mm or so to give it a safe place in which to feed. This method worked well because the next morning there was a small pile of ejected frass on the top of the stem and on the potting compost below.

52.013 Currant Clearwing pupa, Mar. 21st 2014. After the larva was transferred to another new stem I was surprised to see that it had soon spun chewed pith together to seal the openening at the top. Little did I know that inside it was preparing to pupate by silk-lining the chamber and plugging it at the bottom end also with chewed pith.
When I opened up the twig I reckon it must have pupated over a week ago so emergence may be in just a couple of weeks?

52.013 Currant Clearwing adult and empty pupal case, Apr. 5th 2014. Just a day late from my 2 weeks prediction the adult emerged safe and sound. A satisfying little project this one.

52.013 Currant Clearwing female, one of five at Skircoat Green allotments, June 18th 07. It occured annually here from 2007 onwards in very small numbers, in some years just one was noted. We took on the plot in 2006 and I made sure there were a few currant bushes around in the hope of attracting this species and lo and behold two years later I was getting one or two on my own patch.

52.013 Currant Clearwing male on red currant at Skircoat Green allotments, June 18th 07. Although honorary macros they are quite small moths an easily overlooked. The males have four yellow bands on the abdomen and the females three.

54.008 Six-spot Burnets nectaring on knapweed at Tag Loop on July 17th 06.

54.009 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet larvae and cocoon on Tag Loop, Cromwell Bottom on May 17th 2011. Vast armies of burnet moth larvae ascend any available vegetation at this time of year to spin their papery pupal cocoons.

54.009 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet  larva, details above. This one's in the process of spinning up prior to pupation. 

54.009 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet cocoons, details above. The larvae were so numerous there were often multiple cocoons per stem.

54.009 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet nectaring on Red Clover at Tag Loop, Cromwell Bottom on July 1st 05.

54.009 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet mating pair at North Loop, Cromwell Bottom, June 23rd 2019. It was refreshing to see hundreds of these recently emerged on this newly vegetated site after the almost total disappearance of burnets at nearby Tag Loop due to the cutting and removal of vegetation in the autumn.

48.001 Nettle-tap at Bankhouse wood, May 4th 2014. A field observation. 

48.001 Nettle Tap, Bankhouse wood, May 26th 2014. This one was nectaring on a buttercup and the amount of pollen grains on the antennae visually demonstrates how useful they are for pollinating plants.

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