Friday, 11 September 2015

Cwmbach/Cefnpennar (Moth Nights 2015)

I decided to have Moth Nights to myself this year and trap at an old favourite site: one I haven't trapped for several years. It is a long disused sandstone quarry, between Cefnpennar and Cwmbach and over the years I trapped there regularly, I had some good records. As everyone must know, the target for MN 2015 is migrants, but as there was little chance of getting any, I set a personal target of trapping Grey Chi.
The quarry is typical of these long abandoned valleys quarries in being well vegetated with, in this case, heather, bilberry, wood sage, Gorse, bracken and acid grassland. In past years, it was burned regularly, keeping the gorse in check, but now the site was looking pretty overgrown.
The forecast was for a dry night, with a minimum just in double figures, all of which was true, but the light easterly breeze promised, actually began at force 3-4 and increased to 4-5, with occasionally stronger gusts, undoubtedly reducing the catch.. I was Joined by Martin Bevan and his daughter and we ran the traps ( a 125 watt Skinner and a 6 watt Heath) from 20:10 to 23:55 and recorded 41 moths. of 18 species identified, plus 1 still to be identified and as expected, no migrants.

One of the early arrivals was the target species; a lovely Grey Chi, which turned out to be the only one of the evening.

Grey Chi
Anomalous was another moth I hoped to get and in fact, four were trapped, including this female which turned up in the Heath trap.

Anomalous (Female)
I feel reasonably confident that this is Agonopterix propinquella, but stand to be corrected.

Agonopterix propinquella?
The mystery moth of the evening was what I at first though was a Bryotropha, but now I am no longer convinced.

I always think Neglected Rustic, such a smart looking moth.

Neglected Rustic
This has to be the most beautifully coloured Autumnal Rustic I have seen and it is always nice to see Small Wainscot.

Autumnal Rustic
Small Wainscot
On vegetation near the trap, was this Broom Moth larva.

Broom Moth
This carabid beetle was found on my leg. Its wings and wing cases don't appear to have formed.

Unknown Carabid Beetle
It was great to trap at this site again, but a pity the session was marred by it being so windy.


  1. Looks more like the cases have been broken off? What a strange appearance!

  2. It seemed happy enough, Barry, despite its trauma.

  3. Is it ok, Mark, to use a couple of these pics (with credits) in the BC South Wales Autumn Newsletter?