Thursday 28 February 2013

Moth News

Some rather depressing Moth news from Butterfly Conservation from their 'State of Britain's Larger Moths 2013' report. 

The authors of that report state that some 60 species have been lost to Great Britain during the last 100 years. Of these, we may have lost a further three: Bordered Gothic, Brighton Wainscot & Orange Upperwing since 2000. Three other species Barberry Carpet, Slender Scotch Burnet & Dark-bordered Beauty may be going the same way. 

Other species like The Spinach, The V Moth have decreased by 95%, with the Garden Tiger also in the category. Other threatened species suffering similar declines are Pale Eggar, Figure of Eight, Garden Dart & Grey Chi.

Many of the above are still present in VC41, although some have not been recorded for several years.

Glamorgan Stats: [per GMRG database]
Orange Upperwing last recorded in VC41 c1874
Pale Eggar c1960
Bordered Gothic 1996 (although the records suggest they were the race Hibernica from Ireland and could well have been immigrants rather than a resident population).
V Moth 2002
Figure of Eight 2002 (a species that seems confined to the SE in VC41)
Spinach 2010
Grey Chi 2011 (mainly a species from northern districts in VC41)
Garden Dart 2011
Garden Tiger 2012

For further info on these and other species please visit:

Sunday 24 February 2013

FSC biodiversity fellows

Thought it might be worth popping this link up;

If you sign up for the programme it looks like you can get subsidised access to various biological recording courses, some of which look quite interesting....!

Thursday 21 February 2013

Correction to Table

I don't know what I was thinking of when I worked out the species totals for the Winter GMS table, but the figures are as wrong as they could be. The correct figures are given below.

Year                  Species Total
2009-10                    12
2010-11                     8
2011-12                     7
2012-13                     5

Far more realistic figures I think you'll agree.

Winter GMS

I've been taking part in the Winter Garden Moth Scheme for four years and without a doubt, despite the weather being generally better this winter than the previous two, this has been the worst for moths. For those that don't take part, the Winter GMS takes place over 16 weeks (November to March) and the trap is run every week, preferably Fridays, regardless of the weather.

Year             Nil Catch       Species Total       Moths Total  
2009-10             9                      23                       32
2010-11            10                     31                       41
2011-12             9                      15                       28
2012-13            12                     12                       12

No doubt the previous two hard winters have more than a little to do with the low catches this winter.

Sunday 17 February 2013

First butterfly

A Comma was flying in the sunshine in the garden this morning - my first butterfly of the year. Also an Angle Shades caterpillar and a Green Shield-bug basking, a couple of honey bees and a drone fly (Eristalis tenax).

George (Llandaff North)

My Cwmbach Garden, Last Night

Having had no moths at all on Friday (GMS) night, which was the sixth blank GMS night in a row, I ran the trap again last night and got a single moth; this Pale Brindled Beauty as a result. It wasn't in or on the trap, but on a nearby oak barrel planter.

Pale Brindled Beauty (sorry about the cat hairs)

Sunday 10 February 2013

Dart ID.

                                  This photo was taken in Egypt in February 2010 and i think it is
                                  Gregson's Dart ( Agrotis spinifera). Any comments welcome.

Monday 4 February 2013

Dyffryn Gardens

A trip to Dyffryn on Saturday 2nd February produced a few records:

Ectoedemia septembrella mines on Hypericum bush
Phytomyza hellebori (fly) mines on Stinking Hellebore
Narycia duplicella larval case on oak trunk
The oak tree in question

The moths are new for ST07 I think. Phytomyza hellebori may or may not be new for Wales - it's hard to know for certain as there is no recording scheme for Agromyzid flies. It was first recorded in the UK in 2000 and had previously been thought to be restricted to south-east England.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Cwmbach, Today

While poking around in lower Crichton Wood, Cwmbach, this afternoon. I accidentally disturbed this Spring Usher, which flew a couple of metres, then settle on the leaf litter, below a bramble bush, allowing me to photograph it.

Spring Usher

Friday 1 February 2013

Caterpillars by torchlight

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Searching at Caswell Bay on Wednesday night, 30th Jan., on the cliffs where Devonshire Wainscot occurs produced these two. The white dorsal stripe looks much like Barry's Square-spot Rustic. The green one has distinctive black marks either side of the last abdominal segment. Both are about 25mm and I will try growing them on, but if anyone has id suggestions do say! Both on the fine grass shown.