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.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Port Eynon

A week's visit to my parents in Port Eynon means an outing for the trap.

The catch hasn't been that varied, mainly Yellow Underwings and Setaceous Hebrew Characters, but Tuesday night's was spiced up with Cypress Pug (not had here before), Archer's Dart (don't get in VC24) and Magpie (one at home this year).

This morning I have been greeted by Shore Wainscot (not something on my home county list!), Yellow Belle (which is a lifer for me) and Mullein Wave.

Overflying Ravens and Choughs are also not that common for me at home!

Dave Morris (ex-Bucks)

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Nothing earth shattering, we were hoping for some migrants, alas 62 moths of 12 species, dominated by usual Yellow Underwing species, Setaceous Hebrew Characters and Square spot Rustics. The highlight though a rather nice Magpie and a few Light Emerald.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


A Scarce Bordered Straw this am (8th garden & first since influx of 2006). First time I've had B&F2400 & B&F2403 in same year in my garden. Last few nights highlights inc. Mouse Moth, Rosy Rustic & good numbers of Old Lady. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Caswell Bay 1st September

Still hoping one day to see the Cliff Plume Agdistis meridionalis so I put a 15w actinic on the cliff, in spite of being clear with a 3/4 moon. It was calm though only 8 degrees in the morning. There were 42 moths of  18 species but no plumes. Best for me was a late (and worn) Aethes francillana, a coastal species,  along with 3 Mullein Wave.
49.124 Aethes francillana

70.023 Mullein Wave

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Just 23 species last night, the most numerous unsurprisingly being LYU with a total of 92. A single Scarce Bordered Straw was the only non-routine fare.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Late Little thorn.

                            A second generation or migrant? It was potted at Parc
                            slip yesterday by Vaughn. Not sure if it was in the light
                            trap or not.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Creigiau - Monday night (28 August)

Couldn't do the weekend so put the box out for GMS last night. Total catch was lower than expected at 96, with 34 species recorded. Three were new for the year, assuming my IDs are correct - Feathered Gothic, Small square-spot and Square-spot Rustic. The first images show my second Dioryctria sp in as many weeks - could this be D. abietella ?

Parc Slip etc.

Fairly cool when I trapped last week so only 72 moths of less than 40 species. Highlights were only my 3rd ever six-striped rustic, flounced rustic, purple bar and a smart female broad-bordered yellow underwing. There was also this micro. Is it Scrobipalpa costella??
Also, a fresh red underwing on the wall of the Visitor Centre and a hummingbird hawkmoth attracting interest in the centre of Bridgend on Saturday...

Monday, 28 August 2017


The traps been collecting dust this year, but it had an outing in the garden last night and this morning held 375 individuals of 43 spp.. Nothing remarkable with interest provided by Setaceous Hebrew Character (the most abundant sp. with 134 counted), 2 Ringed China-marks and singletons of Agriphila geniculea, Epermenia falciformis (new for the garden), Palpita vitrealis (2 Silver Y the only other migrants), Poplar Hawk-moth (a little on the late side), Small Rufous & Small Wainscot.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Prior's Meadow 22nd Aug

A warmish night but very windy and a bit damp.
Nice to see a female Black Arches, which posed by a male for me, and a beautiful Blood Vein on the ground near the trap. I had one Strophedra weirana which I also had last year on this site but one puzzle.
I thought initially this would be Aphelia paleana but the palps look much too long in the photo; there is a pale form of the female Sparganothis lipperiana which does have long palps but these don't look quite that long! Forewing length 12mm
Any ideas gratefully received. I have retained it for now.

Blood Vein

Black Arches, male left, female right

Query? Aphelia paleana 12mm long

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Bird's-foot Trefoil mines

At Church Village yesterday I noticed a few Trifurcula leaf mines during Marsh Fritillary larval web surveys. They are similar to those I found at Lanlay Meadows last year, which I concluded were the work of T. cryptella rather than the rarer T. eurema (which isn't know from Wales). Yesterday's mines were on Greater rather than Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, which suggests cryptella.


Toadflax Brocade this am, my 3rd record this year. Migrants were singles of Silver Y & Diamond-back Moth. LYU increased to 15. Note: I haven't trapped a Small Ranunculus for 2017, first blank year since 2011.

Creigiau - last night

Like Paul, my moth trap was inundated with flying ants last night - had to pour them out this morning! Still managed 42 species, which included my first ever Hypsopygia costalis

Pinion-streaked Snout and Rosy Rustic made first appearances of the year, as did Mompha propinquella

As usual, I have a few micros that I need help with. the first I think is Bactra lancealana and the next, I think, could be Bryotropha affinis. I have no idea with the last two, they look different but could be the same ...

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Llandaff North last night

Conditions last night were near perfect and the garden trap was fairly well stuffed with moths this morning. The number of species (47) was much lower than in the June heatwave but pretty good for late August. Notable high counts included 53 Large Yellow Underwing, 16 Willow Beauty and a ridiculous 60 Argyresthia goedartella. There was only one species of real note: Epermenia falciformis new for the garden. It was also nice to catch my first Old Lady of the season, as well as a Cypress Pug and a couple of Turnip Moths.

Epermenia falciformis

Nantyffyllon actinic last night.

                         Female Black arches

                        Old lady

                        Knot grass, form salicis.
                        51 species on a muggy night. The trap was inundated with flying
                        ants and tiny beetles at first, a proper nuisance. But my best autumn
                        catch by a long way at this site. None of the usual Anomalous and
                        Neglected rustic I normally get at this time of year but a huge fem
                        Black arches (WL 31mm), Flounced rustic, Small rufous, Yellow
                        barred brindle, Dingy shell and Scrobipalpa costella were nice.

Sunday, 20 August 2017


A new moth for the garden & me - Treble-bar. I've taken 'over & under' shots to make sure, so pretty confident on this one.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Broughton, Gower 12Aug17

On the night of the peak Perseids meteor shower, we trapped 44 moths of 29 species. We recorded a new moth for the site (218th) in Agonopterix nervosa and some superb Oak Eggars (sp) and Grass Eggars. Also new for the year there were Rusty Dot Pearl, Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix, Agonopterix purpurea, Agriphila tristella, Lime-speck Pug, The Fern, Magpie, Poplar Hawkmoth and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. We also caught another Sharp-angled Peacock as well as 2 Common Burying Beetles and 5 Black Sexton Beetles.


Then on 13th in daytime saw me locate this monster whilst looking for Butterflies at Twlc Point - a massive species of parasitic fly - Tachina grossa!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Baglan bay yesterday.

                         Several Eucosma triploliana tapped from the
                         saltmarsh vegetation.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Trifurcula immundella at Nantyffyllon today.

                                Double figures tapped from Broom this evening. Nice to
                                finally find this micro after a few years searching.