Thursday, 22 March 2018

Creigiau 20 March

A mild evening so put the box out for an hour  - sky cleared at approx 20:30 and the temperature plummeted from 6C to just above freezing so I closed it down. Had 11 moths of 8 species so worth the effort ... the usual suspects including another Agonopterix heracliana/ciliella.

I'm sure I can see more than one line in the cilia on the hind wing. I also thought this for the one in the GMS box on Friday but they appear to be a bit clearer in these images .... maybe. Are they clear enough for me to say that this is A. ciliella ? (all images taken through the sides of a plastic petri dish)

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Creigiau - 17 March

Put the box out Friday night for GMS - still 9C at midnight but the minimum for the night dropped to 3.8C.
Best box of the year so far with 22 moths of 11 species, several of which were new for the year. Saw the (currently) regular Dotted Border, Hebrew Character,Oak Beauty & Pale Brindled Beauty and added to these were Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Early Grey, Small Quaker & Twin-spotted Quaker.
Also saw Agonopterix heracliana/ciliella and Mottled Grey.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Parc Slip

Despite the heavy rain, I had the most productive trap of the year so far at Parc Slip last night - 41 moths of 12 species with highlights being pine beauty (always nice to see), grey shoulder-knot and shoulder stripe. Other than that it was the usual spring fare of quakers, clouded drab, hebrew character, march moth, mottled umber and early grey. An Agonopterix heracliana/ciliella was the solitary micro.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Coed Garnllwyd

Rob and Linda Nottage and I found this pupal case (I presume) at Coed Garnllwyd near Llancarfan last week (and another on the same tree this week) - anyone have any ideas as to what might have emerged from it??

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Parc tir iarll, Llangynwyd 13/3/18

                              Oak beauty

                               Early grey

                              Clouded drab

                              Dotted border

                               Grey shoulder knot.
                               11 sp in all, with Common and Small quakers the most
                               numerous. 10 sp new for the site.

Bactra robustana

I recently dissected a Bactra which was trapped at Merthyr Mawr on 22/8/17. It looked a decent shout for B. robustana, a saltmarsh species, but I struggled to make sense of the genitalia preparation and so posted some photos on the Moth Dissection Facebook group. Raymond Watson quickly replied to say it was indeed robustana and gave a detailed summary of the clinching features.
This would appear to be the most easterly VC41 record though my MapMate probably isn't quite up to date.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Creigiau - 19 February

The forecast was for a warm-ish night, but the sky stayed clear and the temperature dropped to 4.9C from 8C at midnight.
Six moths in/around the trap - a couple of Chestnut that had seen better days, a couple of March Moth, Oak Beauty (3 weeks earlier than last year) and Pale Brindled Beauty.
March Moth

Oak Beauty

Pale Brindled Beauty

Monday, 19 February 2018

Bankesia II

And within a day of being brought inside, a female had emerged. Being female I'm still not 100% certain on the ID, but it is another step in the right direction!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Bankesia conspurcatella

Back in 2004 I found a larval case at Radyr train station that I tentatively identified as the Psychid Bankesia conspurcatella. At the time it would have been new to Wales, and the various experts that I showed it to were not sufficiently familiar with the case to be able to confirm it without an adult male. In January and February 2005, I found winged males of this species in Gabalfa, adding some weight to my identification of the Radyr case, but it could still only really be considered an unconfirmed records. There have been no further records in Wales (to my knowledge) of this species.

Yesterday, on a SEWBReC outing to Forest farm I was able to spend a fair amount of time around searching the area around the original location and eventually found some cases that match that original 2004 case. All four cases were on or around the footbridge that crosses the Taff between the station and Forest Farm.

The literature suggests that they should be pupae at this time of year, with the adults emerging in the next few weeks - but my Gabalfa records suggest that the flight period is already over so I'm not confident that I'll get any adults from the cases I collected, but you never know. I am 99% certain that they are Bankesia, but it would be good to get that confirmation!

The cases are not very photogenic, but if anything does emerge I will post something here!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Creigiau - Mottled Umber

Back in April last year I found a caterpillar in the garden which was identified as a final stage Mottled Umber. As it was final stage, I decided to keep it and see if I could rear it to adult. The little beastie pupated in early May and I placed it in my 'rearing box' hoping to see an adult moth in October/November. However, in late October the pupa which was in clear view disappeared, and although I searched through the soil in the box I could find no trace of it and assumed it lost.

Very surprised to find an adult moth on the inside wall of the box yesterday afternoon. It wasn't lost ... it was hiding. Really pleased that the little beastie survived and I released it into the garden last night.