Sunday, 6 June 2010

Scalloped Hazel

When I do turn my moth trap on at this time of year I seem to catch an extraordinary number of Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata).
I have never quite worked out why this should be the case and although my garden (and those of my neighbours) contain the appropriate wide range of woody foodplants, I have never yet found the larvae.
In Butterflies and Moths of Yorkshire Stephen Sutton reports that "the larvae are sometimes conspicuous in privet hedges in city areas" but I live on a 1960's estate where privet is uncommon.
I must remember to try beating the garden hawthorn in late August and maybe also the birch, oak and conifers.
Jim Porter (Caterpillars of The British Isles) suggests that breeding stock can be obtained "from fertile female adults which often attend light traps in reasonable numbers." As there were twenty adults in my trap last night I might keep some for a few days and see if any lay eggs.

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