Wednesday 29 February 2012

Rhoose Point

Oak Beauty, Dark Chestnut and another Acleris last night amongst a few others.

The Acleris is the spitting image of a photo of A cristana prostriana (pg 43) in Chris Manley's book, but scale tufts while present are not particularly impressive. I see it can be confused with the more common A hastiana, so would be grateful if you could have a look at the photo Dave to see what you make of it please. Hopefully this photo is a bit better than the last one!

Senghenydd last night

Not a bad catch here either: x2 Dotted Borders, Twin-spotted Quaker and my first micro of 2012 - A. arenella.

Beware the early Brindled Beauty

John Williams of Penclawdd sent me this photo a few days ago, and it spark some considerable debate amongst the county recorders. Whilst on wing markings it does look superficially like Brindled Beauty, the abdomen is clearly reddish with dark bands - a key feature of Pale Brindled Beauty.

This discussion has raised a couple of other points. First is that Pale Brindled Beauty consistently has a pale patch at the base of the antennae which the other two species (Small Brindled & Brindled) do not have. Colin Plant has also noticed that the colour of the antennae of the three species is consistently different:

Small BB (hispidaria): Antennae obviously yellow.

Pale BB (pilosaria): Antennae grey.

BB (hirtaria): Antennae black - significantly darker than PBB even in melanics.

"The colour of all three is striking to the naked eye in good light."

The other thing to come out of the discussion is that these species are not necessarily as obvious as they first appear, and that early records of Brindled Beauty should be re-examined! So if any of you have photos of 'early' Brindled Beauty please let me know.


As with George, last night's haul was half decent. 3x Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Chestnut, Leek Moth & another little Acleris (notana/ferrugana).

Waunwyllt Wood

Last night, Mike Hogan and I decided to try our luck with sugar and wine ropes at Waunwyllt Wood, Gethin, Merthyr Tydfil. Sugar was applied to twenty fence posts and the wine ropes hung on branches at the upper edge of this oak hanger wood. The minimum temperature recorded was 6.20C and the weather was mainly overcast, with hill fog and an occasional clear spell. Although the sugar did attract a few moths, it was the wine ropes that were the real success. We recorded three species, they being: Twin-spotted Quaker = 3; The Satellite = 5; and The Chestnut = 12. The main period of activity seemed to be from around 18:25 to 20:30; most of the imbibers leaving fairly quickly after that. It was quite a pleasurable way of spending an evening mothing and without the drone of generators, we were able to appreciate the calls of Tawny Owls and that of a Curlew flying invisibly, high overhead.
I also ran my garden actinic, but got only two Chestnuts for my trouble.

Llandaff North 28th Feb

First half decent garden catch of the year last night, in almost ideal conditions (still, mild and cloudy): Dotted Border (new for garden), Common Quaker 2 (new for year), Hebrew Character and the plume A acanthadactyla.

Tuesday 28 February 2012


3 species over the last few nights: 25th - didn't put the trap out but a Mottled Grey came to lit window. 26th - a Chestnut at lit window and another one in the trap. 27th - an Oak Beauty on outside of trap.

Monday 27 February 2012


After a return of nuls points on what seemed a promising night last week, it was good to finally get the 2012 garden list off the mark this morning with 1 Agonpterix heracliana (underwing examined), 1 Tortricoides alternella, 2 Chestnuts and a Common Quaker.


Running my garden actinic trap, belatedly, for the winter Garden Moth Scheme, I had my best catch for ages, with ten moths of eight species. There was a mix of the newly emerged and overwintered, with Pale Brindled Beauty, Spring Usher (pictured), Dotted Border, Early Moth, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, The Satellite and The Chestnut. Happy days are here again!

Sunday 26 February 2012

Cwm Nant-y-gwyddel

Having a leisurely photographic session in one of my favourite bits of ancient woodland, I came across Tortricodes alternella, which is new for SN90, loitering around a Hornbeam sapling. Also on the wing were lots of the attractively marked Caddis, Philopotamus montanus.

Rhoose Point

Hebrew Character & Dotted Border again this morning, plus a Common Quaker. Does anyone have any thoughts on the micro below? It looks like an Acleris to me, but I can't pin down which one...

Saturday 25 February 2012


Tortricodes alternella at Llangynwyd and a male Brimstone butterfly on the wing near Kenfig pool north hide.

Rhoose Point

2 x Hebrew Characters, E monodactyla and a Dotted Border here last night, the first moths of 2012 for me.

Friday 24 February 2012

Abercregan last night

                                       Agonopterix heracliana/ciliella

Thursday 23 February 2012


Currently very mild (9.50 C), ideal for moths and my first Clouded Drab of the season has just flown into the house through an open window. Frustratingly, I am unable to run my trap, tonight.


Last night was the first time I've ran the trap since early Jan. Nowt in the trap this morning, which was disappointing given how mild a night it was, but did manage to get my first moth of the year - a Double-striped Pug on the back door.

Wednesday 22 February 2012


Just a single Hebrew Character in the trap, this morning. Still, its one I wouldn't have had if I hadn't decided, last minute,to run the trap.

Tuesday 21 February 2012


A Pale Brindled Beauty of the dark, monacharia form has just come to our kitchen window, so as the threat of heavy overnight rain has deminished, I've bunged the trap out.

Saturday 18 February 2012


At last! Three new season moths in the trap this morning: Pale Brindled Beauty, Common Quaker and Hebrew Character.

Friday 17 February 2012


                                       Tortricodes alternella.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Hungry Moth

Just a single Dark Chestnut in the trap, this morning. Nonetheless, it was a welcome sight after a long period of 'No catch' entries in my moth log. I released it onto the stem of my oak bonsai, next to a small finger dab of sugar and it immediately began feeding.

An old new county record

I've recently been going through some old specimens retained in 2007 just after I'd moved house, when I was in a state of chaos and stuck a few things in pots 'to look at later'. Much later as it turned out.

One pot had three identical micros found indoors in April 2007, which have been confirmed as Prays citri, a pest of citrus flowers and young fruit. We were bought a lemon plant as a house warming gift about a week before the moths turned up, which explains their origin.

Anyway, it's new for Glamorgan and possibly also Wales, though as it came in via a garden centre the exact location is a bit irrelevant.

Martin Honey has requested a specimen for the Natural History Museum as apparently they don't have one!

Sunday 12 February 2012


                                         Caught this Acleris ferrugana/notana on the wing today.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Moths of Glamorgan

For those that might be interested, the Moths of Glamorgan manuscript is now with the publishers - maybe it will actually be out this year!