Thursday, 21 September 2017

Death's Head Hawks at Kenfig

You may recall that some Death's Head caterpillars were found in Nottage back in August and taken to Kenfig Reserve centre. They soon pupated, and are now emerging. Geoff Hobbs has told me that:
There somebody will be at Kenfig tomorrow (Friday 22nd ) during the day if anyone wants access to see the moths until around 5pm. If they want access over the weekend they should call the reserve centre 01656 743386 in advance to speak to the reserve manager. Following this we will allow the moths to emerge and leave and we are not encouraging access
Best wishes, Dave

Caterpillar identification help

We'd be grateful if anyone can help trying to identify this one. Photo probably not good enough, but we think possibly Pug sp, on Potentilla flowers in our garden. Cheers, Mike

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Parc Slip

Mild night last night - good numbers of bats circling before entering their office roost this morning. 50-odd moths of 20 species in the trap - an improvement on last week!
Highlights were our 5th ever autumnal rustic and 5th ever Pandemis cinnamomeana (a male). Also nice were fresh frosted orange (most numerous species with 8), fresh pink-barred sallow and a copper underwing. Non-moth interest was provided by a sexton beetle that keyed out as Nicrophorus interruptus.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bridgend last night

Just 50 moths of 12 species last night. The catch was dominated by Large and Lesser Yellow Underwing and Square-spot Rustic, the highlight was our first Dusky Thorn of the Year (176th). We also caught a caddisfly which we think is Stenophylax permistus. Later on I found a new species of moth for the garden in Apple Leaf Skeletoniser (419th), considering we live right next to an apple tree not surprising, but it is weird that we haven't had one in the last 14 years living here!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dotted Border Wave

Back in 1979, Tony White found what he thought was a Dotted Border Wave in Neath town centre. 25 years later myself, Barry and Jake took the decision to remove the species from the county list as without a specimen or photograph there was not enough evidence to support the species' presence in the county, and the fact that it had not been spotted during the 'golden years' of mothing in the county the record had to be treated with suspicion.

In March, I received a batch of data from Ian Wallace, formerly of Liverpool Museum from the cliff face Malaise traps that they operated on the Gower cliffs in 2004. These were the traps that added L-album Wainscot to the county list. What I did not spot until a couple of weeks ago was that this data set also contained a record of Dotted Border Wave. As Malaise traps are not particularly kind to moths, these are invariably dissected and Ian has confirmed that a female was taken at Fall Bay. He has not been able to send me a photograph of the slide as yet but will do so in due course.

In addition, Paul Brown of the Natural History Museum included it in a list from Bishopston - no precise date, but at some point since 2004. Whilst Paul is not a Lepidopterist by trade he knows enough about moths for the record to be respected.

Next year we will have to make a concerted effort to re-find this species on Gower. We have sites to look at and I'm sure we can galvanise enough interest to have a good crack at it.

And where does this leave Tony's 1979 record? Well, I think that the two recent records gives us enough evidence to reconsider it, which would be a nice gift to Tony as he prepares to leave Glamorgan.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Palm Moth 'near' Cardiff

For those of you on twitter, it appears that a Palm Moth (Paysandisia archon) has been found 'near' Cardiff - presumably near a garden centre. I'm hoping more details will be forwarded in due course of what is presumably the first Welsh record, regardless of which part of Cardiff (and therefore which VC) it is from!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Red Underwing

I finally added Red Underwing to the Llandaff North garden list on Friday night, when I ran the trap only because it was GMS night (the weather wasn't very promising). As is typical for this species it was on a wall rather than in the trap - actually right up under the eaves of the house, so this shot is heavily cropped.