Sunday 30 June 2013

Cwmbach GMS 28/06/2013 (belated post)

Bit of a hectic weekend, so not much chance to post. The garden trap, run for the GMS on the 28th attracted 33 species, quite a few of which didn't count for the GMS. Amongst the catch was this lovely Mottled Beauty f. conversaria, which I think really puts the beauty into the name.

Mottled Beauty f. conversaria

OOC - Ban-y-gor, Lancaut, Glos last night.

                              Scarce hook tip
                               Beautiful hook tip
                              A very good night between 10pm and 1:30am. 70+ species
                              including Lunar thorn, Brindled white spot, Clouded magpie,
                              Lime hawkmoth, Orange footman, Blomers rivulet, Fern,
                              Clay triple lines, Pretty chalk carpet, Satin lutestring and a
                              nice selection of micros at last.

Grapholita tenebrosana

Found this little moth fluttering around my trap last night, new for ST17 I think:

Grapholita tenebrosana

New for the year were Grey Arches, Small Angle Shades and Fan-foot. Also notable were my highest ever garden counts of Bright-line Brown-eye (13) and Flame (6).

Saturday 29 June 2013

Nitten 28-29th

92 species last night from two traps in the Nitten Field, Mewslade, with Heart and Dart by far the commonest species with a total of 89. Despite a good tally, surprisingly few species of special note, the highlights being Eucosma campoliliana 2, Platyptilia gonodactyla 1, Grass Emerald 1, Wood Carpet 2, Rivulet 1, Grass Rivulet 3, Sharp-angled Peacock 1, Scorched Wing 1, Yellow Belle 1, Small Elephant Hawk-moth 2, Least Black Arches 1 (quite late), Alder Moth 1, Coronet 2 & Brown Rustic 1. The only migrants were Diamond-back Moth 4, Dark Sword-grass 2 & Silver Y 4. During a walk through the field the following morning I came across this conopid fly Sicus ferrugineus, a bumblebee parasite.
Sicus ferrugineus

Somerset. PP, MCP and DRWG.

                                 Chimney sweeper
                              Wood tiger
                              Stathmopoda pedella. This one was at Keynsham.
                              The others were at a great site on Shapwick heath,
                              other highlights there were Marsh pug, Small yellow
                              underwing, Small pearl bordered fritilliary and Green

GMS Llandaff North

A surprisingly good catch last night despite pretty average weather (13.5 C minimum, and windy at first). 37 species was my highest tally for the year, with Bordered White new for the garden, also Dingy Shears, Light Arches (2), Small China-mark and this nice stack of hawks:

Bordered White

Thursday 27 June 2013

Parc Cwm Darran

Spent a couple of hours in the sunshine at Parc Cwm Darran Wednesday afternoon, the Parc seems to be at it's best right now, my intention was to see if the Marbled White were on the wing, little too early yet, but reports from Somerset say they are now appearing.

Excellent numbers of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary to be seen, at least a dozen in the upper meadows, also a few Dingy Skipper and a pleasing couple of Dark Green Fritillary which are more likely to be seen on the Groesfaen area of the Parc.

I was interested to find larvae of Emperor Moth (3rd Instar) feeding openly on Meadowsweet, at least 25 were counted. This is the first time I've seen them at this stage of their development, usually I find them in their highly impressive final stages.

I think we should all be rather concerned about Cinnabar, the ridiculous destruction/removal of the larval foodplant (Ragwort) in many areas has prevented the pleasure of what was a common summer sight, we're now far less likely to see them, where I once saw them in many dozens, I'm now more likely to see the odd few. I was more than pleased to seen a couple on my ramble, what super moths they are, one of the few that will stop most people in their tracks, and more often than not they ask...'what butterfly is that !!!''s a real people awareness moth.

Healthy numbers of day-flyers about; Burnet Companion 20+, SilverY 9, Brown Silver-line 5no.

Odonata seen Beautiful Demoiselle (m+f), Keeled Skimmer (2 imm Females), Broad-bodied Chaser (m). Large Red, Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies all in healthy numbers. I've felt that Parc Cwm Darran is a most likely future location for Red-eyed Damselfly it has two fine lakes/pools with the necessary floating flora, all you need is the time and patience to search!!! For those interested my website has recently been revised and updated, it can be found here

Cwmbach 26/06/2013

I ran the garden actinic trap last night and had 18 species, the highlights being: Map-winged Swift, Small Magpie, Heart and Club, Iron Prominent and the Knot-grass. Unfortunately, on opening the trap, I found lots of web and a large house spider, which had killed three of the moths in there. It must have blundered in there since last Friday, while the trap was stored in my shed. It put up a good fight, but with the aid of a whip and chair, I managed to evict it from its chosen egg box.

While gardening in the VC41 part of Hirwaun, today, I disturbed this Burnished Brass from the herbage.

Burnished Brass

Saturday 22 June 2013

Woodland at Amelia Farm, near Barry

Trapped on Friday night in mixed woodland at the Amelia Farm Trust just outside Barry.  Despite the breezy and cool conditions we caught 40 species in just over 2 hours up until just after midnight.  Quite a few nice moths in there too, the highlights were: Green Silver-lines, Double Line, Little Thorn, Coronet, Orange Footman, Marbled White-spot, Beautiful Golden Y, Ringed China-mark, Blood Vein, about 5 Scorched Wing, a green form of Yellow-barred Brindle and Small Yellow Wave.  I will add photos of the Orange Footman and another smaller Footman that I haven't been able to id tomorrow.

Orange Footman?

Mystery Footman
 Here are the two Footman (Footmen?) moths for a second opinion.  The top one is more Orange than it appears in the photo.  The bottom one doesn't seem to neatly fit any of the pics in W&T nor those on UK moths.  It is small for a Footman at 14mm long, and I am beginning to wonder if it might be a small, pale Orange Footman!

Parc Penallta

MCP & myself went to look for the Forester at Parc Penallta [21st], unfortunately we didn't see any, probably a week or so too early. They were present last year according to the warden. We did net a Chimney Sweeper and a Small Yellow U/w. Also two Dingy Skippers, Burnet Companion [40+] and Silver Y [5]
                                          Chimney Sweeper, one of two seen

                                              Habitat that the Forester likes at Parc Penallta

Cwmbach GMS 21st June

The garden trap run overnight for the GMS, resulted in 32 moths of 13 species. Common Swift, Map-winged Swift, Diamond-backed Moth (4), Small Phoenix, Common Marbled Carpet (8), Elephant Hawk-moth, Buff Ermine (2), Heart and Dart (6), Flame Shoulder (2), Large Yellow Underwing (2), The Miller, Pale Mottled Willow and The Spectacle (2).

Thursday 20 June 2013

All Night at Blaen-nant

Knowing the weather would prevent me from working today and with the likelihood of a dry, mild and humid night, I decided to run my Skinner trap at Blaen-nant, above Abernant, Aberdare. The site is a mixed plantation adjacent to open hillside.
The trap was run from 10:00 until 03:30 and the weather remained dry, with a light ENE breeze. The minimum temperature was 12 C and the average relative humidity was 82%.
A good catch, numbering seventy species made it worth while, the highlights, in no particular order, being: Incurvaria Oehlmanniella, Map-winged Swift (2), Dingy Shell (3), Small Yellow Wave (2), Scorched Wing (2), Garden Pebble, Eulia ministrana, Small Seraphim (2), Red-necked Footman (2), Smoky Wave (2), Poplar Hawk-moth (7), Double-line, Grass Rivulet, Beautiful Golden Y, Silver Y (3), Knot-grass and Light Knot-grass.

Red-necked Footman

The Knot-grass
Light Knot-grass

Part 2, with the ID query!

Something went wrong!
here are the 2 shots of the query, c 10mm, plus the carbonaria.

Peppered Moths, usual & carbonaria

This week, plus id query

Some very uninspiring brownfield habitat at Pluck  Lake see image including burnt-out shopping trolley, produced around 60 species on Monday evening including 3 Beautiful Snout, Ancylis uncella, Mompha lacteella, Cochylis hybridella (with the white head and thorax) plus this query. Any help much appreciated.
Had a better look around next day and found lots of bilberry under pines nearby, plus damp areas with cotton grass and flag iris. 
Also saw the carbonaria form of Peppered yesterday morning, appropriately on Bryn Tip ex coal mine, along with around 45 other species including several Map-winged Swift and clouds of midges!
Pluck Lake trap site
887 Mompha lacteella

965 Cochylis hybridella

1118 Ancylis uncella

Beautiful Snout


A hook-tip at last

Last night I finally caught my first ever hook-tip in the garden (if you exclude Beautiful Hook-tip which isn't really a hook-tip):

Pebble Hook-tip
Other highlights were Eyed Hawk (2nd garden record), Mottled Rustic and Argyresthia cupressella. Heart and Dart up to 39. The species count of 32 was slightly disappointing, considering it was the warmest night of the year, and was the same as on the previous night.

Eyed Hawk

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Castle upon Alun

C-u-A: A few butterflies, notably a few Small White, a Green-veined White, Brimstone and a single Dark-green Fritillary. Nothing at Ogmore Down despite tapping around. Trapping at Roath last night produced 10 species, which included 5 BLBE otherwise rather dismal for mid June.

Rhoose Point

45 species in good trapping conditions last night. 3 Silver Y and a couple of Diamond-back moths representing the migrants.  For macros there were: 30 Heart and Darts, 5 Pale Tussock, and firsts for the year from Bee Moth and Willow Beauty.  Also nice to see a few that are common elsewhere but don't turn up here very often - Ingrailed Clay, Dusky Brocade and Cloud-bordered Brindle.

A good number of micros too, 12 in total including Argyresthia cupressella, Cochylis molliculana and the first Grass moth for the year which as usual was Chrysoteuchia culmella.

Netted on Monday afternoon in Nantyffyllon.

                          Putative Marsh pug, sending to Dave for confirmation.

Nantyffyllon last night.

                     Peppered moth (insularia form).
                     41 sp in total but only 3 micros. Swallow prominent, Campion,
                     Shears, Beautiful golden Y, Silver Y, True lovers knot, Latticed heath
                     and my first Green carpet and Double striped pugs of the season.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Nantyffyllon today.

                                   Any ideas please?
                                   Glyphipterix forsterella
                                  Coleophora deauratella.
                                  Also Grapholita compositella.


Satin Wave was a welcome addition to the garden list - a new macro is quite a rarity after so many years trapping at a site. In total 48 species logged though little else of special note, Meal Moth, Oak Hook-tip, Narrow-winged Pug and Lobster Moth the best of the rest.

Monday 17 June 2013

Nantyffyllon today.

                                   Psychoides verhuella.
                                  P. verhuella emerging
                                  Cauchas rufimitrella.
                                  A nice selection of micros seen in the sunshine this
                                  afternoon - Ancylis badiana, Micropterix aruncella,
                                  Nemophora degeerella (new for KM square),
                                  Aspilapterix tringipennella, Aethes cnicana and lots
                                  of Anthophilia fabricana. Also plenty of Burnet
                                  companion on the wing.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Calm after the storm

Last night was very humid and plenty of moths were flying when the wind dropped. I saw 53 species, including Phyllonorycter froelichiella (I think), new for me and, possibly, Scoparia basistrigalis though of course it may just be ambigualis. There was also a beautifully fresh Mompha locupletella which, as always, was too stunning to not photograph!
There were also 8 Blomer's Rivulets and two Waved Carpets.
Phyllonorycter  froelichiella

Mompha locupletella

Scoparia basistrigalis/ambigualis

Saturday 15 June 2013

Carcina quercana

I found around 20 of these larvae when I pruned our Viburnum tinus bush in mid May.

I put them in a pot and assumed they'd turn out to be Acleris schalleriana, as I've tapped the moth from the bush in the past, but the first adult emerged today and is Carcina quercana.

Carcina quercana
Many larvae are still feeding at present. This asynchronous development is probably typical in this species as the adults having a long flight season, from June to October.

Friday 14 June 2013

Allt y Rhiw Woods, Blackmill

As part of the Biodiversity Blitz organised by SEWBReC yesterday traps were run in this upland oakwood, with abundant bilberry on the floor.
A couple of bilberry specialists appeared, with the highlight undoubtedly this female Beautiful Snout in Dave's trap. Also, among others, good numbers of Little Thorn, singles of Map-winged Swift and Green Silver-lines, a couple of Lobster and clouds of Common Marbled Carpet in every conceivable colour form.
Beautiful Snout, female

Map-winged Swift, form gallicus

Little Thorn


Green Silver-lines

Ancient upland oak in Allt y Rhiw Woods