Moths in The Edible Garden

NB! The album and information at the bottom will be added to over the next couple of months (or more)
When I was a student in Edinburgh in the late 70s, I started in earnest to learn the names of birds, butterflies and wild plants. Then, when I moved to Norway I became interested in fungi, but really didn’t have the time to learn more than the common and edible species. In the 1990s, developing what has become known as The Edible Garden, essentially a Forest Garden or Food Forest with a huge diversity of edible plants, a kind of Food Forest Ethno-Botanical Garden. I noticed that, with the diversity of food plants in the garden, there were many pollinators attracted to the flowers of some of the plants, some attracted to one species, others to many different plants. Some uncommon in this area birds and butterflies started turning up in my garden like a) the goldfinch (stillits) attracted to the seed of greater burdock / borre (Arctium lappa) which I had planted as a vegetable and b) the peacock butterfly (dagpåfugløye) which had only once been observed in my county before and I registered this beautiful species many times between 2006-2010; one of its larval foodplants is stinging nettle, a species I had actively encouraged in the wild parts of the garden as food and for making fertilizer (nettle water) and another is hops (Humulus lupulus) which I had planted several plants of. I had also planted a couple of Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush /sommerfuglbusk) plants for the butterflies. Mum and Dad had a bush in their garden when I was growing up and they had a framed butterfly poster on the wall so that the butterflies that turned up could be identified. This and the I-SPY book about birds they bought us certainly tweeked my interest in the natural world. The peacocks loved the Buddleja as well as the hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) I had grown from seed collected from plants growing on the Itchen River in Hampshire (I had noticed how much butterflies loved this one) and which continued the season after the Buddleja was finished. I started wondering what other interesting insects were here. I had recorded a few moths that were attracted to the outside light, but I’d always wanted to know more of what was here that I wasn’t seeing. I therefore bought a Skinner Moth Trap and through the Corona crisis I’ve been systematically documenting moths that turn up in my garden (the moths are released afterwards). I’ve been absolutely stunned by the diversity that is here and to find out that a moth is here because I planted the larval food plant is particularly exciting. I’ll be gradually presenting the different species in this album as they turned up in the garden through the season starting in April. Below the album can be found a complete list of species and information about their larval food plants.
14th February 2021: A peculiarity of living so far north is that it is so light at night that moths are no longer attracted to light, so the period around mid-summer isn’t well documented.
19th February 2021: 19 of the first 25 species are new for my munipality, Malvik Kommune*  the others all have beween 1 to 3 records previously!

The intention here is to document that producing food CAN be done in a way that also nurtures the nature of the place. 

Moth List
1. Autumn Green Carpet / Lysirrmåler (Chloroclysta miata); registered from 7th-9th April and 12th September. Females overwinter; pupates in plant debris. Larval food plants: sallows (Salix), birches, alder, limes, wild roses, rowan and bilberry (selje, bjørk, or, lind, ville roser, rogn og blåbær); all of these can be found in my garden. NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
2. The Hebrew Character / Buemerket Seljefly (Orthosia gothica); 8th-23rd April. Overwinters in an underground coccoon with adult perfectly formed inside. Feeds on Salix flowers (Salix caprea grows in my garden). Larval food plants: a wide range of trees, bushes and herbaceous perennials including both meadowsweet (mjødurt) and stinging nettle (brennesle) which are both in the garden. NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
3. Common Quaker / Tverrlinjet Seljefly (Orthosia cerasi); April. Overwinters in an underground coccoon with adult perfectly formed inside. Feeds on Salix and Backthorn flowers. Larval food plants: oaks, Salix, birch, elms, hawthorn, sweet chestnut and hazel (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
4. The Chestnut / Variabelt Flatfly (Conistra vaccinii); 8th – 21st April/ 3rd-11th October.  Overwinters as adult. Feeds on Salix catkins and overripe berries. Larval food plants: oaks,  elms, blackthorn, birch, sweet chestnut and docks (Rumex) (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
5. Yellow Horned / Vårhalvspinner (Achlya flavicornis); 20th-21st April. Overwinters as a pupa in a coccoon among leaves on the ground.  Feeds on Salix catkins. Larval food plants: Birch (Betula spp.) (in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
6. Clouded Drab / Variabelt Seljefly (Orthosia incerta); 20th-22nd April. Overwinters in an underground coccoon with adult perfectly formed inside. Feeds on Salix catkins and blackthorn flowers (both in the garden). Larval food plants: Many broadleaved trees including oaks and Salix. NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
7. Early Tooth-striped / Bjørketungemåler (Trichopteryx carpinata); 20th April. Overwinters as a pupa, Feeds on Salix catkins. Larval food plants: Salix, birches, honeysuckle and alder (all found in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
8. Red Sword-grass / Svartkantkvistfly (Xylena vetusta); 20th April and 21st-28th August. Overwinters as adult under bark and between rocks. Feeds on Salix catkins in spring. Larval food plants: Many woody and herbaceous plants including bog myrtle (Myrica gale) which is in the garden, heathers, yellow iris, sedges and rushes. SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* (the last in 1955).
9. Red Chestnut / Fiolett Vårfly (Cerastis rubricosa); 20th April to 2nd May. Overwinters as pupa in a tough silk-lined cocoon. Larval food plants; Herbaceous and woody plants including bedstraws (Galium spp.), Salix spp. and bilberry (blåbær). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
10. The Rannoch Sprawler / Vårlurvefly (Brachionycha nubeculosa); 20th April. Overwinters as a pupa underground (perhaps for more than a year). Larval food plants: Mature birch (bjørk) trees (there are some nice old birch trees in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
11. Softly’s Shoulder-knot / Grått Kappefly (Lithophane consocia); 21st-22nd April. Overwinters as adult. Larval food plants: On alders / or (Alnus) especially Alnus incana (grey alder / gråor) (both single trees of Alnus rubra and Alnus viridis in the garden; Alnus incana is found wild just outside the garden and is a common tree). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
12. The Satellite / Bølgefly (Eupsilia transversa); 21st April to 2nd May; 30th September. Overwinters as adult. A variety of broad-leaved trees and shrubs including blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, field maple, sweet chestnut and elms (all of which are found in the garden). Notice the two small orange satellite dots around the large one, hence the English name. NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
13. Pine beauty / Furufly ( Panolis flammea); 22nd April. Overwinters as a pupa in a flimsy cocoon in leaf litter or beneath bark cracks. Larval food plants: Pinus spp. (one Norwegian pine, Pinus sylvestris in the garden, otherwise a common species in this area). Feeds especially on new shoots. NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
14. Scalloped Hazel / Tannmåler (Odontopera bidentata). 16th-22nd June. Overwinters as a pupa. Larval food plants: A wide range of woody plants including hazel, birch , hawthorn, blackthorn, oak, willows, barberry and even conifers (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
15. The Streamer / Fiolett Rosemåler (Anticlea derivata). 16th June. Overwinters as a pupa in a coccoon in loose earth. Larval food plants: Roses (Rosa spp.) (about 7 or 8 species in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
16. The Double-striped pug / knoppmåler (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata); 17th June; 8th-11th August. Overwinters in a pupa in plant debris. Larval food plants: flowers of many plants including holly, ivy, gorse, broom, heather, rowan, Clematis vitalba, Buddleja, Rosa spp., sea aster, Origanum vulgare (all apart from the first 4 are in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
17. Brimstone Moth / Sitronmåler (Opisthograptis luteolata); 21st June. Some overwinter as part grown larvae on foodplant, others as pupae in cocoons on the plant or in debris below the plant. Larval food plants: Blackthorn, hawthorn, plums, rowan and wayfaring tree (Viburnum) (all found in the garden); note that the second picture was taken in my living room on 21st January 2014, one of only two observations of this moth as an adult in winter in Norway. SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* (the other also recorded here).
18. Silverground carpet / Hvit Båndmåler (Xanthorhoe montanata); 21st June – 8th July. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: Herbaceous plants such as cleavers, hedge bedstraw and primrose (all in the garden). FOURTH RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* 
19. Brown Rustic / Skyggefly (Charanyca ferruginea); 21st June to 11th July. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: a wide range of herbaceous plants including vetches, plantains, docks and bistort (all and a good range of these can be found in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
20. Mottled Beauty / Skogbarkmåler (Alcis repandata). 24th June to 21st August. Overwinters as a small larva on the food plant. Larval food plants: Many woody plants including blackthorn, hawthorn, oaks, birches, barberry, bilberry, bramble, honeysuckle, traveller’s joy (Clematis vitalba), juniper, Norway spruce. Also herbaceous plants such as St. John’s Wort, yarrow, wild Angelica and docks (first time registration in Malvik Kommune). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
21. Beautiful Golden Y / Fiolettbrunt metallfly (Autographa pulchrina). 24th June to 3rd September. Overwinters as a small larva among leaf litter. Larval food plants: Various herbaceous plants including nettles, hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), wood avens and honeysuckle (all can be found in the garden). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
22. Small Magpie / Nesleengmott (Anania hortulata); 24th June to 18th July. Larval food plants: Nettles and occasionally other members of the Lamiaceae such as white horehound (Marrubium vulgare), black horehound (Ballotta nigra), woundworts (Stachys) and mints (Mentha) in a rolled or spun leaf (all of these can be found in the garden). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
23. Dog’s Tooth / Brunt lundfly (Lacanobia suasa); 25th June. Overwinters as pupa underground. Larval food plants: Greater plantain (Plantago major) and goosefoots (Chenopodium). (both found in the garden). 
24. Common carpet / Grå mauremåler (Epirrhoe alternata); 26th June. Overwinters as a pupa in a cocoon on the ground. Larval food plants: Cleavers (Galium aparine) and other bedstraws (Galium spp.). (several in the garden). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* (the last in 1986).
25. Flame carpet / Svartrandet båndmåler (Xanthorhoe designata); 26th June to 19th July. Overwinters as a pupa. Larval food plants: crucifers (Brassicaceae). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
26. Map-winged swift / bregneroteter (Korscheltellus fusconebulosa); 27th June to 11th July. Overwinters twice as a larva and pupates underground. Larval food plants: on roots of bracken, red fescue and other broad-leaved herbs. (both common plants in this area) NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
27. Scalloped hook-tip / Fliksigdvinge (Falcaria lacertinaria); 27th June. Overwinters as a pupa in a cocoon in a folded leaf. Larval food plants: Birches (Betula spp.). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
28. Liten kongledvergmåler (Eupithecia analoga); 28th June. Overwinters as a pupa. Lives on galls produced by aphids. Larval food plants: Norway spruce (Picea abies). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
29. Riband wave / Vinkelengmåler (Idaea aversata); 27th June to 31st July. Overwinters as a small larva. Larval food plants: various herbaceous plants like bedstraws (Galium spp.), wood avens (Geum urbanum), primrose, dandelion and docks (Rumex spp.). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
30. The Spectacle / Grått neslefly (Abrostola tripartita); 30th June. Overwinters as pupa among plant debris or low down behind bark. Larval food plant: Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
31. Silver Y / Gammafly (Autographa gamma); 30th June to 11th October. A migratory moth which is very common here and a day flier visiting various garden plants, notably Buddleja and Monarda. Larval food plants: Wild and cultivated herbaceous plants including bedstraws (Galium), clovers (Trifolium) and Nettles (Urtica). Also on vegetables such as peas, cabbage and runner beans (but I haven’t experienced problems with it).
32. Garden pebble / Kålmott (Evergestis forficalis); 30th June to 15th July. Larval food plants: Various Brassicaceae including cabbages, horseradish, radishes and swede (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* in 2019 (Second record for Trøndelag county and furthest north record in Norway)
33. Purple clay / Rødfrynset teglfly (Diarsia brunnea); 1st to 14th July. Overwinters as a small larva. Larval food plants: Herbaceous plants in autumn including foxglove and figworts (Scrophularia spp.)  (both in the garden). In spring also on woody plants like bilberry, heather, Salix spp., bramble and birches (the last 3 in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
34. Double dart / Krattfly (Graphiphora augur); 5th July to 8th August. Overwinters as a small larva. Larval food plants: Salix spp., birches, blackthorn, hawthorn and herbs such as docks (Rumex) (all in the garden). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* (first seen here in 2019)
35. The Snout / Neslenebbfly (Hypena proboscidalis); 7th July to 21st August. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plant: Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica).
36. Shaded broad-bar / Brun bakkemåler (Scotopteryx chenopodiata); 7th-19th July. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: Clovers (Trifolium spp.) and vetches (Vicia spp.) (both in the garden)
37. Bordered Pug / Burotdvergmåler (Eupithecia succenturiata); 8th July. Overwinters as pupa in loose earth. Larval food plants: Mugwort, wormwood, southernwood and yarrow (all in the garden). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE.
38. Ingrailed clay / Skogteglfly (Diarsia mendica); 8th July. Overwinters as small larva close to the ground. Larval food plants: Herbaceous plants like primroses and violets (plenty in the garden); Woodly plants like bramble, heathers, bilberry, Salix, hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel (most of those in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
39. Rustic shoulder-knot / Åkerengfly (Apamea sordens). 9th-11th July. Overwinters as a larva close to the ground. Larval food plants: Grasses including cock’s foot, couch grass and cereal crops, initially on seeds and then on leaves. NEW SPECIES FOR TRØNDELAG COUNTY (see the map below) and the northernmost record in Scandinavia. It was recorded at 63 deg N in Sweden in 2017. 

Showing the new northernmost record of Apamea sordens in Norway (small green dot near the top of the map; from Artskart) 

40. Large yellow underwing / Hagebåndfly (Noctua pronuba); 9th July to 11th October. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: A wide range of herbaceous plants and grasses including docks (Rumex), cultivated Brassicas, marigold and foxglove (all in the garden). Very common species at the moth trap. SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE* (first seen here in 2019).
41. Small dotted buff / Sølvbunkefly (Photedes minima); 9th July. Overwinters as larva. Laval food plant: Tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) (a common species in this area). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
42. Light emerald / Løvskogmåler (Campaea margaritaria); 10th July. Overwinters as small larva. Larval food plants: Wide range of broadleaves trees and shrubs such as oaks, hawthorns, blackthorn, hazel, birch, elm, Salix, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
43. Pale-shouldered brocade / Busklundfly (Lacanobia thalassina); 1oth-11th July. Overwinters as a pupa in an underground coccoon. Laval food plants: Mainly woody plants such as oaks, hawthorns, apple, Salix, aspen, barberry and honeysuckle (all in the garden). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
44. Yellow Shell / Gullmåler (Camptogramma bilineata); 10th July to 21st August. Overwinters as larva on food plant. Larval food plants: Cleavers and bedstraws (Galium spp.), wormwood (Artemisia), docks and sorrel (Rumex), dandelion (Taraxacum) etc. (all in the garden)
45. Tawny marbled minor / Rettlinjet engfly (Oligia latruncula); 10th July to 15th August. Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: Grasses incluing cock’s foot (Dactylis glomerata). SECOND RECORD FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
46. Small rivulet / Dålundmåler (Perizoma alchemillata); 10th to 31st July. Overwinters as a pupa underground. Larval food plants: Common hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit) and hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
47. Pale mottled willow / husfly (Caradrina clavipalpis); 11th July. Overwinters as larva underground. Larval food plants: Grass seeds including cultivated cereals both growing and in storage. Also on seeds of plantains (Plantago) and garden pea (Pisum sativum). NEW SPECIES FOR MALVIK KOMMUNE*
48. Scarce brindle / Teglrødengfly (Apamea lateritia); 11th July.
Overwinters as a larva. Larval food plants: Roots of various grasses including sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovinia), tufted hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and wavy hair-grass (Avenella flexuosa) (two of the three common grasses in this area).

*Malvik Kommune is the municipality where I live and includes an area of 168 sq km (65 sq miles). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malvik 

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Sea Smoke

Sea smoke has formed over the fjord in the current cold spell. Locally, thanks to the warming affect of the fjord it didn’t go much below -15C in the night. It’s significantly colder on the other side of the fjord where it was about -20C this morning, cold air (below -30C currently inland) sinking along the major river valley (Stjørdalselven) into the fjord basin.
Sea smoke  forms when a light wind of very cold air mixes with a shallow layer of saturated warm air immediately above the warmer water. The warmer air is cooled beyond the dew point and can no longer hold as much water vapor, so the excess condenses out. The effect is similar to the “steam” produced over a hot bath or a hot drink, or even an exercising person (Wikipedia).
Thus, it’s confined to the water and we almost never have fog on land here. The smoke tends to form thickest on the other side of the fjord where it’s coldest.
The sea smoke was constantly changing this morning, witness these pictures and the video where the low lying smoke drifts quickly from land to fjord, whereas the waves that can be seen are coming from a different direction, probably driven by the sinking air (wind) coming out of the river valley in a different direction.

11th February: Still cold at -15C this morning (¨20C on the other side of the fjord and down to -40C inland). Two new videos added below (at the top):