Monday 30 January 2012

Whitchurch Hospital

I'll start again - 27/01: Early Moth, Common Quaker & Dark Chestnut all attracted to lighted windows.

Friday 27 January 2012


First moth of 2012 - a single Early Moth on a window in Cyncoed. Nothing in Rhoose yet!

Wednesday 25 January 2012


Ran the garden actinic trap through the mild, damp night, resulting in a single Chestnut and an awful lot of small, black flies.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Hibernating Moths

Earlier today, Mike Hogan and I completed our annual survey of hibernating moths (almost exclusively Herald Moth) at three disused railway tunnels in the Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley.
Totals were alarmingly low compared to previous survey totals and the averages for those tunnels, with the total of just 5 Heralds at Pant tunnel being only 16% of the average for that tunnel; the total of 8 Heralds for Cefn Glas tunnel being 21% 0f the average and the total of 42 for the Merthyr tunnel, being 35% of the average.
The reason(s) for the drop in numbers of hibernating Heralds in these tunnels, this winter are unknown, but may be an indication that along with most other moth species in this part of the northern valleys area, they may have suffered a poor year.
My personal experience of 2011, whether trapping in my garden or out and about, locally, with my Skinner trap, the same picture emerged: numbers of species and individuals well down; almost to 2007/2008 levels. It is possible, of course, the mild winter weather may have more than a little to do with it, too.

First butterfly

A Red Admiral was roosting on a wall in Swansea yesterday, looking rather forlorn on a dull windy day.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Llandaff North - 5th species of the year

Ran the trap last night despite the rain and caught a single moth - Scrobipalpa costella. The second garden record, and I make this the earliest county record by about 3 months (Dave had one on 15th April 2007) . Probably lured out of hibernation by the mild weather.


Trapping on Tuesday evening before the rain produced a DARK CHESTNUT.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Monday 16 January 2012

Nantyffyllon today.

                                    I found these larval workings in Sallow trunks. i am hoping they
                                    are Lunar hornet moth holes. Will keep an eye on them in July.

Gwent and Glamorgan Recorders Fora

Apologies for the off topic nature of this post, but if anyone is interested in attending either the Gwent Recorders Forum on 4th Feb (details here) or the Glamorgan Recorders Forum on 18th Feb (details here) then please let the SEWBReC team know.

Friday 13 January 2012

Crimson Speckled at Horton

(c) C. Careless
Today I received 4 prints from Caroline Careless of Malvern , Worcs, who photographed this fine specimen on 14th October last year. Congratulations are in order for Caroline on this great record. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is envious of her very good fortune! Thanks also to Jon Baker for directing Caroline our way.
(c) C. Careless
Clydach, Swansea Valley.
THURSDAY evening, managed to trap for 3 hours - 2X Spring Usher and a Mottled Umber.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

A Moth for Winter

I ran my 22watt actinic trap in my Cwmbach garden, all night and although there were nothing but flies inside the trap, alongside it, on a garden tub, was a lone but welcome Winter Moth.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

2011 - Rhoose Point

Quick summary of 2011 for the garden trap:
  • Approx 270 species in total
  • 65 Trapping sessions during the year
  • Highlights for the year include Cochylis molliculana, Small Marbled, Ni Moth and Chalk Carpet amongst others
  • 9 species listed on the S42 list of species important for conservation of diversity in Wales (Sallow, Beaded Chestnut, Knot Grass, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Chalk Carpet, White Ermine, Buff Ermine Shoulder-striped Wainscot and Cinnabar)
  • A grand total of nearly 4,000 moths trapped, an average of 61 moths per session.
This is my first complete calendar year of trapping here so I won't list all the new species!

On the down-side I have only trapped one moth since the 19th Nov, a single Amblyptilia acanthadactyla. Am looking forward to spring!

Moth No 2

In my house, this evening, Tinea pellionella (Case-bearing Clothes Moth) flying about; my second species for 2012.

Correction to my previous post

Looking at all my records for Mottled Grey, it seems that despite what I said below and thought was correct, I haven't before recorded this species in January. My earliest previous record of Mottled Grey is 5th Feb 2010.

Sunday 8 January 2012

My First for 2012

Having failed three times to attract anything to my garden moth trap, I finally had my first moth of the year while out walking. Floating in a small puddle, but still very much alive, was a Mottled Grey, so with the tip of my knife, I gently fished it out, then did my best to relieve it of as much excess water as possible and separate its soggy wings before sitting it on a nearby heather stem. This one was a bit ahead of the main flight season for this species, but I've had other Mottled Greys in January and February before this, usually floating in puddles after a windy night.

Llanishen 2012

The first moth in the trap this year was the same as the last of 2011 - Hebrew Character. Looking a little worn too!

Saturday 7 January 2012

Darren woods, Llangynwyd today.

                                     Spring usher. Also a Small tortoiseshell on the wing.

2011 Roath (central)

2011: 175 + 4 agg. species
96 traps set (17/03 to 9/11 - hols 30/05 - 7/06, 26/08-30/08 & 6/09-21/09)
New Macros
Orange Swift
Scalloped Hazel
L-album Wainscot
New Micros
1336 [Eudonia pallida]
1375 [European Corn-borer]
1417 [Meal Moth]
I'll have to do some homework on my garden, which goes back to 1993, for an inclusive list. The garden list is just over 500.

Thursday 5 January 2012


Following George's lead, here is my summary:

Year trap nights Species New Species
2005 29 215 215
2006 58 309 141
2007 126 244 46
2008 103 207 27
2009 77 209 16
2010 90 257 33
2011 108 317 40

So I agree with George - a good year, although a lot of effort went into this year!

Wednesday 4 January 2012


Very interesting table George which inspired me to do the same for our garden records here in Gorseinon. We moved in in 1996 and our first trapping session was on 3rd Aug. Excluding partial results from 1996, trapping effort averages out at 51 nights per year, with an average species tally of 301. Our maximum effort was in 2000 when we ran the trap (an 125w Robinson) 82 times, but our highest total was in 2006 when 389 species were trapped, a vintage year!

During 2011 we only managed to run the trap on 36 nights, but did add another 16 species to our total. I wonder what the total would have been if we'd made a bigger effort, it may have come close to 2006? So far our total for 2012 stands at 0, but I'm sure there will be more species to add to the garden list and hopefully a few surprises. I'll be dusting off the cobwebs when the wind drops for sure...

Year trap nights Species* New Species*
1996 20 196 196
1997 40 328 193
1998 42 236 26
1999 51 325 59
2000 82 363 41
2001 70 333 25
2002 74 298 23
2003 57 342 25
2004 50 281 16
2005 48 308 21
2006 62 389 41
2007 41 218 2
2008 45 277 14
2009 39 276 8
2010 24 226 3
2011 36 311 16
Average Average Total*
51 301 709
*spp agg., etc not filtered out, actual total around 680.

Crimson Speckled!

Jon Baker forwarded an email he received from Caroline Careless of Malvern who wrote 'Rather belatedly, I should like to report that I saw a Crimson speckled moth on Friday 14th. Oct. 2011 in the village of Horton, Nr Port Eynon, on the Gower Peninsula. I am no expert but realized this was something unusual and was able to take several photos and identify it on Google on my return home.' I have replied to her and asked if she will send us some photographs which I'll scan and post as soon as I receive them.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Llandaff North in 2011

Now that we're into a new year I thought it might be of interest to look back at 2011, so here's a summary of all the lepidoptera species for each year since I've been living in Llandaff North:

Year Trap nights Species New species
2007 62 185 185
2008 60 197 67
2009 78 225 59
2010 63 257 52
2011 108 302 68

So it looks like 2011 was pretty good, with by far my highest species total, and also the highest number of new species since 2007. Although I've done more trapping this year, this is partly offset by the fact I missed nearly all of June (and with it the best of the summer weather) while working away, as in 2009 and 2010.

21 of the new species were macro-moths, the best of these being Galium Carpet, Vestal, Maple Pug, Blomer's Rivulet, Sharp-angled Peacock, Orange Footman and Large Wainscot. Among the micros the highlights were two new for VC41: Caloptilia falconipennella and Parectopa ononidis.

Large Yellow Underwing was the commonest moth for the first time - it's usually either Heart & Dart or Light Brown Apple Moth.

I'd be interested to hear what others made of 2011...

Sunday 1 January 2012

Llangynwyd today.

                                         Caloptilia elongella.