Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ethmia dodecea at Slade Wood, Gwent

In June, Jake and Mike recorded Ethmia dodecea at Slade Wood, near Rogiet, only the second record for this species in Gwent (and probably Wales), see their blog post here.

I was passing the site this afternoon so I called in to have a look for larvae on the foodplant Common Gromwell, which is abundant along the ride sides this year following ground disturbance due to timber extraction works.

The first plant I checked had larvae on it, and pretty much every plant I found had obvious feeding damage. Many of the plants were in a terrible state as the larvae had stripped all the green material from the leaves.

Ethmia dodecea larvae
Common Gromwell in a sorry state
I counted about 45 larvae before I gave up, but there must have been many hundreds, if not thousands, at the site. Amazing how such a scarce moth can become so abundant when the foodplant has a good year or two.

If anyone knows any other sites in South Wales with Common Gromwell it would be well worth checking them for larvae.


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