Thursday, 30 August 2012

a couple more

See what you've started Barry? I've added in a couple more gardens, namely George (Llandaff North), Veronica (Cwm Ivy), Mark (Cwmbach) and Roger & Vicky Smith (Penylan Rothamsted Trap). The wacky jump in the Rothamsted trap was in 1989 & 1990 when they sent their micros to Ted Hancock, adding 200 species in just two years! Anyway, I should do some work now!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Lists over time...

Following Barry's post I did some quick stats on my own garden. I don't have 16 years of data but thought it would be interesting to see how the curve compared, and it is quite remarkable how closely they two correlate. I then thought I'd throw in a garden with a considerably longer series - Jakes.

Jake's list takes a few years to get going as it included the odd butterfly record a few years before he started regularly trapping. The diversity may be lower in the urban garden, but the trend looks pretty much the same to me. I'm more impressed that my garden is pretty much keeping pace with Barry's though, in spite of his proximity to Gower and the fact that I simply don't get migrants!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Holly Blue...on Ivy

Now is a good time to look for eggs and larvae of Holly Blue on Ivy flowers. I found two larvae (plus egg shells) and two unhatched eggs on Ivy growing on the back of our garden fence this evening.

The larvae are still small - the white eggs stand out better, and you can see feeding damage where the larvae have bored into flower buds. They seem to prefer flowers growing in semi-shaded positions.

They'll probably be more obvious in a couple of weeks when the larvae are bigger and the feeding damage more obvious.

Larva and egg case

Larva and egg case


Sunday, 26 August 2012


Phalonidia affinitana was new for the garden in an otherwise poor catch this morning. Our first Pearly Underwing of the year and 2 Udea ferrugalis were the only migrants.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

16 years of trapping at Pencaecrwn

Since recording moths & butterflies at our home address in August 1996, 16 years on we have almost reached the 700 species mark. Our results show that the first 300 species were recorded in the first two years, with another 100 added in year three. As expected a gradual tailing off then took place, but what is perhaps a little surprising is that even after 16 years we still continue to add new species, with an average of 9 new species in each of the last five years. Only a few of these are recent colonists, the majority being established residents, presumably wanderers following favourable weather from nearby habitats. If the predicted trend is right we should hopefully reach the 700 milestone this time next year...

Friday, 24 August 2012

Coed Pant Llywdd, Ruthin

23/08: 35 species in the wood & 6 spp. at St. Mary's GC lights - a night out on the anniversary of Mons! Highlights were Black Arches (10) New SS97, Brown China-mark, Bordered Beauty, Rosy Footman, White-spotted Pug, Triple-spotted Clay, Yellow-barred Brindle & Centre-barred Sallow. MCP & DRWG

Abercregan last night.

                            Agriphila latistria
                          Neglected rustic.
                          Also Autumnal rustic, The chestnut, Copper underwing
                          and Muslin footman amongst the 22 species total.     

More Pale Footmen

This is the one I had back in 2005 and published in the GMRG newsletter as the third county record for Hoary Footman, later withdrawn after I dissected it. I don't catch enough Scarce Footman (or indeed Hoary) to be able to ID them on gis, and I wouldn't be confident in determining them from a photo - I couldn't say for certain what mine was until I got up close and personal. But that is just me!
I seem to recall Colin Plant telling me that males of the two species can be determined without dissection as part of the genitalia obviously sticks out in one of the two species, but I can't remember the detail.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Pale Footman

Dave, here's one of the specimens I identified as Hoary last week from Nitten that I happened to take a record shot of in the trap. I also had Scarce in the same catch and to me they look totally different using the external characters given in the usual field guides. The silky appearance appears quite distinctive in addition to the lack of a costal stripe. I did check the underwing the first few times I encountered Hoaries locally, but haven't done since as they appear so distinct. I can't find reference elsewhere to pale Scarce Footman so would be interested if you have more info on a hoary form of this species. If you have a photo of your specimen I'd also be interested to see that too. Hope you agree this is Hoary, otherwise I'll have to pend this and previous records!

Nantyffyllon today.

                            Cochylimorpha straminea
                           Prochoreutis myllerana.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Pale Footmen

I just wanted to put a post up relating to possible Hoary Footman records. I thought I had one in my garden a few years ago - looked just like a pale Scarce Footman, which was what I though Hoary looked like. However, on dissection it proved to be just a pale Scarce Footman.
Hoary has apparently become established in London, and it is highly likely that it is on the increase, but even so, please don't assume that because it is rolled up and pale that it is Hoary. Check the colour of the hindwings, and if in doubt send it to me for a more intimate look.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Llangynwyd 13th August (addition)

                          This Gelechia sororculella (802a) is only the second
                           modern Glam record. Many thanks to Dave Slade
                           for dissecting and ID ing it.

Nitten 18th-19th

Ypsolopha vittella
I never realised this was so scarce in Glamorgan - only one other modern record - same place in 2006. Some nice elms in the area, so presumably resident.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Werfa, Cwmbach

My plan to run my Skinner trap at Upper Tirfounder Fields was scuppered by flooding, so a plan B was hastily concocted and I trapped at Werfa colliery site instead. The 125w MV was run from 21:00 until 02:40.
The weather was mainly dry, cloudy and humid, with a minimum of 15 C, but a shower at 01:30 and a few spits and spots after that, urged the decision to start knocking the trap down something that took over an hour.
Given the almost ideal weather conditions, the number of species recorded (50) was a little disappointing and Noctuids in particular were few in number.
The highlights of the session were my first VC41 Blue Bordered Carpets (4), my second ever Double Kidney and thirteen Black Arches. The first two of the latter were two females that arrived together, shortly after the trap was started, the other eleven being males that arrived over the next two hours. Were they, I wonder, attracted by the females rather than the light? The other highlights for me were:
Apotomis betuletana
Zeiraphera isertana
Large Emerald
Devon Carpet
Bleached Pug
Lesser Swallow Prominent
Buff Footman
Dingy Footman

Blue Bordered Carpet (new SO00)

One or two of the other Blue Bordered Carpets were fresher than this one, but this was the only one I had the chance to photograph. I can't believe I've not had this species in Glamorgan before.

Black Arches (male)

Angle Shades feeding on honeydew
 While wandering about the site, with my camera, I came across this Angle Shades feeding on honeydew, on a Sallow.

Double Kidney

Egg on a String. Any ideas?

Also on Sallow, I came across a couple of these eggs on long tethers, I'm sure I've seen pictures of something similar to this before, but can't remember what or where. If anybody thinks they know what insect species is responsible, I'd be grateful.

Sitochroa palealis in Cardiff

Sitochroa palealis [Sulphur Pearl] This Pyralid moth was found by Clive Ellis today. It is a local species in UK overall, but extremely rare here in Wales, with 2-3 records. It is present along the Gloucestershire coast, so could be a migrant or there is a possibility of a small colony along the Cardiff/Newport coast. 

Nitten Field (SS423875)

x2 125w & 1x blended bulb produced 124 species last night as follows:
Cydia amplana

Orange Swift 1
Yponomeuta padella/malinellus 12
Spindle Ermine 1
Honeysuckle Moth 1
Ypsolopha scabrella 1
Ypsolopha vittella 1
Brown House Moth 3
White-shouldered House Moth 2
Agonopterix heracliana 2
Blastobasis adustella 70
Agapeta hamana 10
Eupoecilia angustana 4
Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix 6
Light Brown Apple Moth 5
Grey Tortrix 1
Acleris holmiana 1
Acleris laterana/comariana 30
Acleris aspersana 1
Garden Rose Tortrix 20
Bactra lancealana/lacteana 7
Epinotia nisella 2
Epiblema foenella 1
Cydia ulicetana 2
Cydia splendana 1
Cydia amplana 3
Agriphila selasella 1
Agriphila straminella 45
Agriphila tristella 23
Agriphila inquinatella 1
Scoparia subfusca 1
Eudonia mercurella 1
Brown China-mark 1
Ringed China-mark 6
Small China-mark 1
Garden Pebble 3
Pyrausta despicata 2
Phlyctaenia coronata 1
Rusty-dot Pearl 12
Rush Veneer 61
Mother of Pearl 12
Orthopygia glaucinalis 1
Endotricha flammealis 1
Trachycera advenella 6
Oak Eggar 1
Chinese Character 19
Small Fan-footed Wave 5
Single-dotted Wave 6
Flame Carpet 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet 3
Garden Carpet 1
Common Carpet 10
Small Phoenix 1
July Highflyer 1
Pretty Chalk Carpet 1
Rivulet 2
Sandy Carpet 1
Foxglove Pug 1
Narrow-winged Pug 1
V-Pug 1
Double-striped Pug 4
Yellow-barred Brindle 4
Magpie Moth 10
Brimstone Moth 14
Bordered Beauty 1
Early Thorn 1
Scalloped Oak 1
Willow Beauty 9
Brussels Lace 1
Common White Wave 1
Common Wave 1
Elephant Hawk-moth 1
Sallow Kitten 1
Coxcomb Prominent 2
Yellow-tail 24
Rosy Footman 10
Dingy Footman 23
Hoary Footman 11
Scarce Footman 3
Buff Ermine 1
Ruby Tiger 4
White-line Dart 6
Heart and Dart 1
Dark Sword-grass 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 2
Flame Shoulder 31
Large Yellow Underwing 180
Lesser Yellow Underwing 14
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 55
Least Yellow Underwing 3
True Lover's Knot 6
Setaceous Hebrew Character 2
Six-striped Rustic 1
Square-spot Rustic 1
Cabbage Moth 3
Bright-line Brown-eye 2
Lychnis 1
Smoky Wainscot 3
Dark Dagger / Grey Dagger 1
Knot Grass 2
Coronet 1
Copper Underwing 1
Straw Underwing 3
Angle Shades 11
Double Kidney 1
Dun-bar 2
Dark Arches 40
Cloaked Minor 1
Rosy Minor 2
Common Rustic agg. 160
Flounced Rustic 11
Ear Moth agg. 2
Rosy Rustic 10
Webb's Wainscot 1
Small Rufous 1
Uncertain 1
Rustic 1
Gold Spot 2
Silver Y 16
Dark Spectacle 1
Spectacle 1
Herald 1
Snout 2
Fan-foot 1
Total 1139
Forest Bug 1
Common Carder Bee 1
Nicrophorus investigator 10

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Rhoose Point last night

The wind did indeed drop off last night so the trap went out.  43 species only (the autumn decline seems to be setting in!) with highlights being Spilonota ocellana and Acleris laterana which were both new for the garden record.  Also a single Cochylis molliculana, the Rhoose Point speciality, which I haven't seen for a while.

Despite my optimism earlier in the day having seen a few Rush Veneer and Silver Y around the sea cliffs, the only migrants in the trap were 8 Silver Y which is an average number for the time of year.

Also a good showing from Straw Underwings (12) which are giving the Large Yellow Underwings a run for their money (14).

Cwmbach GMS

It was a balmy 14 C last night, so despite the patchy rain I recorded 29 species, including my first ever Double Kidney, which I completely failed to photograph. It is now a rare occasion when I can add a macro to my life list.
A Copper Underwing was a herald of things to come (I actually let out a groan of dismay when I saw it) and the best of the rest were:
Pyrausta aurata.
Marbled Beauty.
Carcina quercana.
Evergestis pallidata.
Dingy Footman.
I'm hoping to run my skinner at upper Tirfounder fields tonight, for the first time in years. The target will be the Olive, which I've had there before, so I hope an evening of fending off drunks will be worth it.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Rhoose this afternoon

Lots of Shaded Broad-bar on the wing around Rhoose this afternoon, and a few Rush Veneer and Silver Y, so I wonder if the recent weather front may have brought in some migrants?  Unless the wind dies down a bit I doubt it will be worth me putting the trap out though, but folk in more sheltered spots may have more luck!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jake's Nycteoline - It's Oak

Here is a better photo of Jake's Nycteoline on my trusty log. I have now dissected it, and it is in fact a female Oak Nycteoline.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Bute Park moths

42 species last night, the catch probably limited by having to trap in the walled nursery area where there's no vegetation outside the glasshouses.

Highlight was a possible Plain Wave which I'll dissect as I'm not certain, it would be new for ST17. Others included Old Lady (sorry Barry), Iron Prom, Pebble Prom, Water Veneer, Ypsolopha scabrella, Batia unitella and Diamond-back.

I've now dissected the Wave and it was just a small weakly marked Riband, ho hum...


56 species here with 3 Silver Ys the only migrants. No garden ticks today, with uncommon garden species represented by Double Kidney (9th garden record), Olive (4th g.r.), Narrow-winged Pug (4th g.r.) & White-line Dart (3rd g.r.).

Rhoose Point

Just finished going through the moths from last night.  A poor catch once again (in the low 30's), the wind picking up at about 11pm undoubtedly did not help.  However, I did get the second site record for Hoary Footman (I think someone mentioned this one is increasing its range?).  Also Scrobipalpa costella which is new for the garden, and a Mompha propinquella. 

Very few migrants here - just 4 Silver Y, which is the lowest total for a few weeks now.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Eastern Nycteoline ?

This moth fits exactly to Skinner Vol.3 plate 45, no.7.
It has the off white underwing and the upper wing markings are same. According to Skinner there have been 5 British recs to 2005, but I imagine there may be more. At present it is only a provisional ID.
Amazingly this moth was in the trap Sunday but it flew off before I could pot it, it landed back on the trap at c10.15 tonight - what luck.

Bute Park moth morning

Tonight I'll be setting 2-3 moth traps in the Nursery / Education Centre at Bute Park, ready for tomorrow's Friends of Bute Park Wildlife Day.

I'll be empting the traps between 10am and 11am tomorrow  (15th) if anyone fancies coming along - forecast looks good for tonight, though it looks like it'll be raining in the morning.

I think this will be the first trapping in Bute Park since 2003, so it'll be interesting to see what turns up, even if the rain puts a few people off...


Llangynwyd last night

                                     Black arches
                                     Blue bordered carpet
                                    Cydia splendana.
                                    A total of 46 species including Slender brindle,
                                    Canary shouldered thorn, Copper underwing,
                                    Small china mark and Willow ermine.


Pleased to find this Rosy Footman in the trap this morning - new species for me and for ST19.

Llandaff North last night

No Cydia amplana unsurprisingly, but did have second garden record of Calamotropha paludella (perhaps dispersing up the Taff from Cardiff Bay?). Also new for the year were Agriphila geniculea and Orange Swift.

Everything still in small numbers (apart from E postvittana), LYU numbers yet to take off...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Gorseinon & Burry Holms

Similar catch to yesterday, just 3 species less, but 22 additional to yesterday's list. This morning's highlight was a second generation female Small Argent & Sable, another new one for the garden list and SS59. Still yet to show its upperwing, but hopefully it will eventually pose a for a photo...
...eventually it did:

Last Friday we stayed over on Burry Holms and although we never took the moth traps we did spend 45mins inspecting Ragwort flowers between 1015-1100pm and saw the following recording 6 new species for SS39 (marked *) taking the total for the square up to 78:

*Six-spot Burnet 4
 Rusty-dot Pearl 1
 Meadow Brown 3
 Single-dotted Wave 15
 Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
*Tissue 2
 Lime-speck Pug 4
 Willow Beauty 1
 White-line Dart 25
 Flame Shoulder 2
 Large yellow Underwing 4
 Least Yellow Underwing 6
*Square-spot Rustic 2
*Smoky Wainscot 1
 Straw Underwing 12
 Dark Arches 1
*Cloaked Minor 50
 Common Rustic agg. 2
*Flounced Rustic 1
 Silver Y 12
The following morning Agdistis meridionalis was also recorded on the eastern part of the island, new for SS49.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


A good catch by 2012 standards with a total of 60 species, the highlight being Cydia amplana, which may or may not be new for Glamorgan and/or Wales?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Coed Cae Pica

Running the 20w actinic from 9.30pm - 1.00am last night produced 41 species (all macro).  Highlights included my first ever Phoenix. Also 3 species new for the site - Blue-bordered Carpet (x2), Pale Mottled Willow and Smoky Wainscot. Best of the rest - Black Arches, Satin Lutestring (x4), Gold Spot, Small Rufous, Grey/Dark Dagger, Large Emerald and my first Canary-shouldered Thorn of the year. Small Phoenix (x15) was the commonest species.

Parc Slip (Part 2)

Adding to Paul's post - we had a total of 96 species at Parc Slip last night, between two MV traps and an Actinic.

Highlights in addition to the species in Paul's photos were Double Kidney (4), Blue-bordered Carpet, Southern Wainscot, Least Yellow Underwing, Devon Carpet (4), Willow Ermine and the tortricids Epinotia cruciana (Willow Tortrix) and Phtheochroa inopiana. The latter two species aren't often recorded away from Gower/Swansea.

Epinotia cruciana

Phtheochroa inopiana

Acleris logiana

The pale Acleris that Adam caught back at the end of July has now been dissected and is in fact Acleris logiana, the first confirmed record for the county. There is a record in the database accredited to Norton from Hallett's Leps of Glamorgan, but at that time Acleris logiana was restricted to Scotland so this record was rejected by the GMRG records committee (ie Jake, Barry & myself). The Adam's picture can be viewed here.

Parc slip last night

                            Lesser cream wave
                           Ypsolopha scabrella
                           Calamotropha paludella.
                           About a dozen people attended, and it was good to meet
                           Vaughan and George (who i will leave the species totals too!)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cwmbach GMS

Dry, partially cloudy and a minimum temperature of 11.80 C, so a good night for moths, which was reflected in the catch of 45 species; by far the best catch so far this year.
There were a few firsts for this year, for the garden (and elsewhere for that matter), including in no particular order:

Ruby Tiger
Marbled Beauty
Small Rivulet
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Numonia advenella
Zelleria hepariella (dark form)

I had to run my GMS trap last night, rather than tonight as I'm off to Shropshire for the weekend. Sorry I couldn't join you at Parc Slip, George: You should have a cracking night.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Senghenydd last night

A warm (16C at midnight, 14C at dawn), still night produced an excellent catch of over 50 species, including 2 new species for me - Galium Carpet and Agapeta hamana. Others of note: Annulet (x2, 2nd garden record), Dingy Shell, Small Rufous, Large Emerald, Scarce Footman, Swallow Prominent and my first Ear Moth agg of the year.

Roath Central

Two new species for the garden this am: Small White Wave (New ST17) & Azalea Leaf Miner. The latter seems quite well established in Cardiff, so it was only a matter of time before I caught it. The former was a surprise, I didn't think this species would be new for the 10km sq. However looking at the distribution map for VC41 it is a very local species in Glamorgan. Also of note a Small Ranunculus (18th site rec.) & Endotricha flammealis (Rosy-flounced Tabby) 4th garden record, finally a Small Dusty Wave (166th garden rec.) - sorry to all those in the north, central & west Glamorgan who are still waiting for this species to venture out of its SE hinterland! Still very few migrants.

Maesteg last night.

                               Dichrorampha simpliciana
                             Clavigesta purdeyi ( new for the Llynfi valley).
                             28 species including Dot moth, Marbled beauty,
                             Water veneer and Large white plume.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Essex Skippers, Hailey Park

I've looked for Essex Skippers at Hailey Park, Llandaff North on a couple of occasions since Gareth Stamp recorded one there in 2010. Last year I tried in mid July but could only find Small Skippers. Today I had another look - the first 6 I checked were Small Skipper, but then I came across this Essex, which shows the dark underside of the antennal club nicely:

This is the upperside of the same butterfly (a male) - a bit grotty to say the least:

But I did also track down a fresher one (a female):

The final result was Small 7: Essex 2.

Cwmbach this Evening

Nice to see a Silver Y hovering and taking nectar from Agapanthus flowers in my garden, just now.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Moth trapping at Parc Slip

I'll be running a moth trap or two at Parc Slip Wildlife Trust reserve on Friday night (10th August).

Everyone welcome - meet at the reserve centre at 9pm. We'll be trapping in a marshy field at SS 8742 8402.

If you fancy coming along please reply to this post, or just turn up on the day.

Amazingly, the forecast looks good!


Monday, 6 August 2012

Overton Mere

Not many leps on the wing yesterday afternoon despite glorious conditions, the only spp of note being Teleiodes sequax, Rhopbota stagnana, Acleris aspersana and Annulet. A few Dolicharthria punctalis were seen in the same area last week.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Parc slip, Tondu today.

                              Endothenia marginana.
                              Batrachedra praeangusta.
                              Also a few Epinotia tenerana and 20+ Shaded broad bar.

Not Rhoose Point!

Wondered if you might like to see this butterfly I spotted in the butterfly house at Longleat a week or two ago. Probably the best example of a camoflaged animal I have ever seen.  The only reason I could tell it wasn't a dead leaf was the spindly legs sticking out!

Rhoose Point

 A bit better last night with 39 species. 

 I think this is Striped Wainscot which would be new for the garden.

Female Oak Eggar.  Two of these.

Dark Arches  f. aethiops.  The first of this form I have seen.  Curious to know if  anyone else gets them?