Thursday 31 January 2013

Port Eynon caterpillar

The caterpillar we collected on 1st Jan has grown substantially and is 26mm long after moulting a few times. It's clear now that it is a Square-spot Rustic, so our tentative Mythimna id was clearly wrong and a reminder that attempts at identifying young larvae are likely to have a high degree error.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Rhoose Top 10 2011 & 2012

Here's my data for 2011 & 2012.  The most notable points I guess is the appearance of Silver Y at no 2 for 2012, and the fact that overall numbers of the commonest species appears not to have altered dramatically despite the poor conditions in 2012, except for H&D.  Curiously the total number of species trapped was also greater in 2012.  That could be explained by my identification skills becoming better (slowly!) though.  I also wonder if I may have been misrecording Uncertain/Rustics as Vine's Rustics in 2011?

Heart and Dart 361
Silver Y 173
Light Brown Apple Moth 135
Large Yellow Underwing 116
Garden Grass-veneer 83
Common Rustic agg. 73
Uncertain/Rustic agg. 68
Dark Arches 56
Hebrew Character 55

Heart and Dart 1345
Large Yellow Underwing 116
Dark Arches 98
Light Brown Apple Moth 85
Setaceous Hebrew Character 67
Vine's Rustic 66
Garden Grass-veneer 65
Marbled Minor agg. 57
Shuttle-shaped Dart54

Monday 21 January 2013

Llandaff North Top10

I had these stats to hand so it didn't take long to put together something similar. I've ranked them as far as 20 in each previous year.

It's actually a Top 12 as there was a three-way tie for 10th this year. Similar to Dave, the top 3 are quite consistent although the placings change, but beyond that it varies a lot year to year. The Llandaff North and Llanishen lists are quite similar, except I have a few geometrids (Willow Beauty, Riband Wave & Brimstone) in place of Dave's noctuids (Flame Shoulder, Dot & Dark Arches).

more Llanishen Stats

Following the other stats posted last week, I thought I'd take a quick look at my garden top 10 and see how it's changed over the past couple of years. I've only done from 2010 onwards so far (may go back further in due course). From this though, apart from the top two, there is very little consistency in my trap!

2012 2011 2010
1 2089 Heart and Dart 594 1 (1238) 1 (842)
2 2107 Large Yellow Underwing 208 2 (357) 2 (131)
3 998 Light Brown Apple Moth 185 - 4 (61)
4 2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing 91 5 (90) -
5 2102 Flame Shoulder 90 8 (70) 3 (123)
6 2321 Dark Arches 90 4 (148) 10 (43)
7 2155 Dot Moth 80 6 (79) 10 (43)
8 1764 Common Marbled Carpet 69 - 9 (45)
9 1293 Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) 65 3 (167) -
10 2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 64 - -

Saturday 19 January 2013

Winter GMS

Last night in Cwmbach. No moths, of course, but wouldn't it have been amazing if there had been one in there.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Llanishen 2012

Following George's stats I've taken a look at mine:
Year Species New species Trap nights Total moths Moths per night
2005 215 215 29 3365 116.0
2006 308 145 66 4600 69.7
2007 243 49 122 5739 47.0
2008 206 27 90 2766 30.7
2009 208 16 72 1821 25.3
2010 255 35 87 2816 32.4
2011 319 40 99 4697 47.4
2012 276 25 113 3672 32.5
As with George's data mine hides a switch from Skinner to Robinson, but mine was in 2012. This may have bolstered the figures slightly. The other thing that makes a direct comparison slightly tricky is that I trap more often during the winter now than I did back in the first few years, so the moths per night is bound to drop. So all this dataset really tells me is that the Robinson trap has made a difference!

Monday 14 January 2013

Hardy Moth

Despite it being only 1.20 C, currently, an Early Moth has just appeared at the kitchen window. That has brightened up my evening, somewhat.

Friday 11 January 2013

Llandaff North in 2012

Now that it's turned cold, it seems a good time to look back at last year...

This is the summary from my garden for 2007 to 2012:

New species
Trap nights
Total moths
Moths per night

Unsurprisingly, given the generally awful weather, 2012 wasn't a great year for moths, with the number of species and total number of moths being down on 2011 despite similar amounts of trapping. In fact, I only caught 3 more species than in 2010 when I did a lot less trapping. 2012 appears less bad when compared with 2007-2009, but I think this is partly due to switching from a Skinner to a Robinson trap in 2010 (the Robinson does seem to hold more moths).

A few species had a record year, including Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Common Emerald, Swallow-tailed, Cinnabar, Buff Ermine, Silver Y, Dot, Angle Shades, and of course Light Brown Apple Moth. Far more species did poorly, particularly badly hit were many of the noctuids, including Vine's Rustic, Straw Dot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Lesser BBYU, Flame Shoulder and Shuttle-shaped Dart.

Despite all the doom and gloom, 25 species were added to the garden list, 12 of them macros.

I'd be interested to hear how others got on. I'm sure we're all hoping for better moth weather in 2013...

Monday 7 January 2013

Last Night

With another mild evening forecast, last night and colder weather ahead, I decided to give my Skinner trap a rare mid winter airing. I trapped in the intermittent drizzle from 17:25 until 23:05, as a favourite site of mine, between Cwmbach and Abernant and had eleven moths of seven species, these being:

Acleris ferrugana/notana x 2
Red-green Carpet x 2
Spring Usher x 1
Mottled Umber x 1
Early Moth x 2
The Satellite x 1
The Chestnut x 2

Spring Usher
Red-green Carpet

Saturday 5 January 2013

Sugar Revisited

Taking another look, just now, at the bamboo cane with the dab of sugar solution, put there to feed the Spruce Carpet this morning, I found other hungry mouth parts taking advantage of it. There were a few woodlice, a couple of Strawberry Snails and four or five of these tiny springtails, which I think are Dicyrtomina ornata. My macro lens is struggling at this scale, but the beauty of these tiny things is evident.

Springtail. Dicyrtomina ornata?

Llandaff North last night

There were seven moths in my trap this morning: Light Brown Apple Moth (3), Acleris schalleriana (2), Brown House Moth and this Pale Brindled Beauty (new for garden). Considering I've never had more than one moth per night in January in previous years, this is an excellent start to 2013 - let's hope it continues!

Pale Brindled Beauty

Early or Late?

Running the 22w garden trap overnight, for the winter GMS, it was a relief to get my first moth of 2013. In fact I had two, the first being an Acleris ferrugana/notana, which escaped as I tried to pot it. The other moth was a Spruce Carpet, which was either late or early; I can't decide. Either way, it was a welcome visitor to the trap and was rewarded with a dab of sugar.

Spruce Carpet Taking Sugar

Thursday 3 January 2013

1st Jan 2013

Mythimna sp.
We kicked the year off looking for Devonshire Wainscot larvae tapping the grassy over hangs above the soft cliff at Port Eynon Point. The only larva we found was probably just a Smoky Wainscot, but Common or Devonshire are possible, so we'll rear it on to find out. In the same grassy overhangs we did find lots of Tawny Cockroach nymphs that were very active in the mild conditions.
Tawny Cockroach (Ectobius pallidus)
...devils to photograph, but the hind leg is sharp!