Saturday 31 August 2013

Last week

Various sightings from the last week:
Sunday in my daughter's garden a well grown Eyed Hawkmoth caterpillar.
Monday by torch by Loughor Estuary on tansy were lots of Plutella xylostella, 4 Emmelina monodactyla, 1 (Saltern) Ear.
Tuesday at Caswell Bay lots of Mullein Wave including 10 on one rock beside the trap, 2 Treble-bar, several Annulet, Dichrorampha acuminatana and an (ordinary) Ear, see comparative photo.
Thursday at Cymmer Tip. Weather forecast was perfect but actually it rained until 2am so lots of midges and some rather damp moths, including 8 Annulet (all males), 10 Autumnal Rustic, 1 wet Heath Rustic, Hedge Rustic, Straw Underwing etc

Dichrorampha acuminatana

Mullein wave

Treble-bar, male


Eyed Hawkmoth caterpillar

Autumnal Rustic

Heath Rustic, rained on!

Ear & Saltern Ear possibles
Anomalous male

Friday 30 August 2013

What happened to...

Those of you who were paying attention yesterday, may have noticed a post announcing a new species to the county which has subsequently disappeared. No you didn't imagine it, I pulled it after it was pointed out that John's moth was not actually Pempelia formosa, but actually the rather commoner Phycita roborella. Yes, even I make mistakes! Thanks to George for spotting the mistake suffiently quickly for me to limit the embarrasment.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Dunraven this morning.

Lots of adult Cameraria ohridella flying around a Horse chestnut just past the gardens.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Bridgend garden

Last nights MV trapping produced a fuller trap with 38 species and more individuals than usual (approx 200). Visible bird migration overhead with Swallows and Tree Pipits, further evidence of moth migration evidenced by Dark Swordgrass. Other new moths for the year were Blood-vein and Waved Umber. Other interesting species were Peach Blossom, Small fan-footed Wave, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Sharp-angled Peacock, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Rosy Rustic and Straw Dot.

Monday 26 August 2013


Last night produced 34 species, including Blood-vein, Heath Rustic x2, Hedge Rustic, Rosy Rustic, Anomalous and Honeysuckle Moth.

Jersey Tiger at Lavernock

A Jersey Tiger found this morning at Lavernock Point by Mike Powell. This is the third VC41 Record & provisionally the 4th Welsh Record.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Bridgend garden 24th August

We recorded 27 species overnight:

1 Mompha species (one of divisella, bradleyi or jurassicella), Acleris forsskaleana, Twent-plumed moth, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Crambus perlella, Agriphila tristella, Garden Pebble, Rusty Dot Pearl, Red-Twin-spot Carpet (first since 2008), Garden Carpet, Common Carpet, Small Phoenix, Brimstone, August Thorn, Willow Beauty, The Engrailed, Poplar Hawkmoth, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Cabbage, Common Rustic agg, Flounced Rustic, Vine's Rustic (first since 2010), Silver Y and Spectacle.

Mike & Emma

Friday 23 August 2013

Bridgend garden 22nd August

We caught 32 species last night including 3 new for the garden, Chequered Fruit-tree tortrix, Swallow Prominent and a Wave species (Silky or Satin?) taking the garden list to 343 (249 macro). Diamond-backed moth was evidence of migration.

New for the year were Vapourer (last caught 2006), Copper Underwing, Rosy Rustic (2007) and Spectacle. We also caught what we think may be a Silky Wave, it certainly has the sheen and is tiny with the right posture, etc, so we'd welcome any opinions, as it is red data book species.
Flame Carpet (from a few nights ago)

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix

Possible Silky Wave

Pluck Lake, Swansea 22nd Aug

A busy couple of hours after the hot day, before the clear sky let it chill down quite quickly.
New for me was Agonopterix liturosa, as well as other nice ones such as Teleiopsis diffinis, Clavigesta purdeyi, 5 Epinotia trigonella, Agriphila latistria, the cinereana form (I think) of Epinotia nisella as well as 3 usual ones. Nice macros to see also were Olive, Crescent, Neglected Rustic, Satin Beauty and a second brood Tawny-barred Angle.
Agonopterix liturosa

Teleiopsis  diffinis

Epinotia nisella form cinereana

Clavigesta purdeyi


Thursday 22 August 2013


I had 3 species of migrant moth last night at Roath: Diamond-back, Dark Sword-grass & Silver Y. At Lavernock Point today: Clouded Yellow & Painted Lady, also Magpie Moth with another 2 Clouded Yellows at Cardiff Bay. Excellent numbers of 'whites' everywhere. Had a record catch of Yellow-barred Brindle this am with 4, eight records this year. Also catching a lot of Cypress Pugs too - good years for both maybe?

Abercregan MV last night.

              Dioryctria abeitella
              Small argent and sable.
              37 sp on a muggy night - 17 degrees at midnight.
              Autumnal rustic, Neglected rustic and Phycitodes binavella
              were amongst the catch.

Agonopterix purpurea.

                  Two of these were in the trap at Kenfig reserve centre yesterday.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Bridgend garden - 20th August

We caught 28 species last night. The highlight was Plum Tortrix, new for site, our 340th species and 93rd micro species).

Also trapped / new for the year were Udea lutealis, Rusty Dot Pearl (last trapped 2006), Flame Carpet (last trapped 2007), Currant Pug, The Magpie, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Square-spot Rustic.

By far the most numerous species caught last night were flame Shoulder (19) and Brimstone (17)

Tuesday 20 August 2013

ID query

This looks very striking and quite like Adoxophyes orana in Sterling & Parsons, though unlikely, but otherwise I'm stuck! Any suggestions? Came to the garden light in Gowerton on 8th August.
Length approx 8mm

Saturday 17 August 2013

Portland update

Inspired by our visit to Newton and encouraged by reports from Lancashire I popped up to Formby Dunes last night and finally achieved a result for a 20-year quest. I set 3 traps and one Portland Moth at last appeared across the sand at midnight so I slept happy for a few hours. At 5am there were eight in that same trap and none in the other two just a few yards away!
Portland Moth

Portland Moth detail

Portland Moth habitat

Friday 16 August 2013

Llandaff North last night

A very muggy, wet night produced an excellent catch, by mid August standards, of 48 species. Highlights included Vapourer, Pebble Hook-tip, Swallow Prominent, Iron Prominent, Cypress Pug, Lychnis, Ypsolopha sequella, Small China-mark and Rusty-dot Pearl. Also of note was a record catch for my garden of LBBYU (31).

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Newton Burrows last night

Chris and I spent an interesting couple of hours searching flowers at Newton Burrows last night, recording around 35 moth species on Buddleia, Ragwort, Hemp Agrimony and Traveller's Joy.

We were hoping for (but not expecting!) Portland Moth, with the last county record coming from the Candleston area of the Merthyr Mawr dune system on 15th August 2002. Needless to say we failed on this front, but did record a few nice species, including White-line Dart, Archer's Dart, Small Waved Umber and around 15 Poplar Hawk larvae on a small group of young poplar trees.

Archer's Dart

Poplar Hawk larva
White-line Dart
Common Blues roosting

Garnwen moors, Maesteg, last night . PP+MH.

                  Black arches
                 Adaina microdactyla.
                 65 species in all, including Devon carpet 2, Dark marbled carpet 2,
                 Small rufous 2, Aghriphila latistria and a single Silver Y.

Prays fraxienlla vs Prays ruficeps

The discussion on these two taxa has continued elsewhere and according to John Langmaid, if the moth in question has the feint suggestion of 'fraxinella' markings, then it is Prays fraxinella. Prays ruficeps has completely dark forewings, with no suggestion of markings at all, and a rufous coloured head. Whilst a decent photograph should enable you to separate the two if you get a good dark individual then I would appreciate the specimen!

Monday 12 August 2013

National Moth night Friday 9th Aug

Kilvey Hill, Swansea
No tigers, no migrants on a patch of boggy heather but did see Small Chocolate-tip, Beautiful Yellow Underwing, Aristotelia ericinella, pale and dark forms of Dioryctria simplicella, several Scalloped Hook-tip including a female, Phyllonorycter hilarella and my first two Sallows of autumn.
Phyllonorycter hilarella

Aristotelia ericinella

Dioryctria simplicella

Scalloped Hook-tip female

Small Chocolate-tip

Beautiful Yellow Underwing

Sunday 11 August 2013

Seven Sisters

We had an excellent session at Seven Sisters last night, recording 96 species in three and a half hours (2 x MV, 1 x 15W Actinic). The conditions were as near to ideal as they could have been - the threatened rain held off but it stayed cloudy and still, and the temperature help up at 16C through the session.

Highlights were a few species provisionally new to SN80 (an under-recorded square apart from Jenny Colley's trapping at Resolven): Small Purple-barred, Gold Spangle, Sallow Kitten and Ringed China-mark. Other nice moths included Scallop Shell, Scalloped Hook-tip, Slender Brindle, Eucosma campoliliana and Evergestis pallidata.

We caught a couple of Sallows, which is always a mixed blessing - lovely moth but a sign of the passing of summer. Seemed a little strange to catch these on the same night as Clouded-bordered Brindle.

Small Purple-barred
George Tordoff, Richard Smith & Mike Thornton

Kenfig dunes.

                   A couple of Oblique striped on the wing today. Also a few
                   Shaded broad bar and Silver Y.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Rare migrant.

From the Camarthen moth blog, very nice!    -


52 species in the garden, but no tigers other than a single Ruby. Highlights were Twin-spot Wainscot (2nd garden record) and Black Arches a new species for the garden.

Friday 9 August 2013

Lavernock Battery

With rain not forecast to arrive until midnight, I decided at the last minute to head down to Lavernock to kick off Moth Night 2013. I thought this was as good a place as any to try for Jersey Tiger, one of the target species of MN, and ran my trap almost right on the cliff top by the old gun emplacements.

In the event it started raining as soon as I switched on at 21:30, and continued in pulses all evening. I gave up after 2 hours by which time I'd recorded 59 species. No Jersey Tigers (surprise!) but a few other good records, the best of which were Maple Pug and Trachycera marmorea new for ST16. Other highlights were Barred Rivulet (2), Dark Umber and Mecyna asinalis. The only tigers to turn up were 5 Ruby Tigers.
Barred Rivulet
Ruby Tiger

Trachycera marmorea

Llanbethery NMN

A NMN trip to Llanbethery on a rather damp night, however 75 species were recorded. No real surprises but some nice moths: Dark Umber [1], Magpie Moth [7], Dusky Thorn [1], Brussell's Lace [1], Black Arches [12] and migrants Silver Y and a Vestal. MCP & DRWG.

Another touch of the exotic

Just to complement George's find in Cardiff, there was a Palpita vitrealis in my trap this morning.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Rhoose Point

Here are a couple new for the garden from earlier this week:
Ypsolopha scabrella.
Looking at Clifton and Wheeler's handy little guide to the bird-dropping mimics, I think this is Endothenia oblongana.  Does anyone disagree with that?

Latest Atropos

Both Mike Powell & myself have Read Atropos [Summer 13 No.49 p18-26] on The British History of the Jersey Tiger. We see that the only 'unquestioned' record for Wales* is one at Newport VC35 12.viii.2011 [Roger James]. The author Colin Pratt, does give the Flat Holm record 30.viii.2008 [Wendy Murray], but it states that it is in the Bristol Channel, but no county attached. Colin may not be aware that Flat Holm is part of Glamorgan VC41. In fact it is officially part of the City of Cardiff being in the Parish of St. Mary's. We would therefore put it that the Flat Holm record is the first for Wales and that the Newport record is the first Welsh mainland record. With the 3rd [provisionally] being at Rhoose Point [VC41] on 2.ix.2012 [Adam Mantell]. MCP & DRWG.
* = There is a very dubious 1859 record mentioned in Colin's text.

Wednesday 7 August 2013


An interesting new moth for the garden today, and indeed provisionally for the Sq. [ST17]: Tacystola acroxantha. It seems DJS has had quite a few records for his garden. Migrants were Silver Y, Rush Veneer & Diamond-back. Other notable was a Svennson's Copper U/w. 

Lavernock LNR - 3rd Aug

Sorry forgot to post this at the time. 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Lavernock nature reserve by the gun emplacements on 3rd Aug around midday.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Moth Night 2013: Saturday night at Seven Sisters

I'm sure you're all aware that Moth Night 2013 is just a few days away...this year it runs from Thursday 8th - Saturday 10th August. For once the weather forecast looks reasonable, though the nights will probably be a bit cooler than of late.

I'll be trapping with Richard Smith on Saturday night at Seven Sisters (SN8208), in an area of FCW land (a failed plantation which supports marshy grassland). This will form part of a NPT Bioblitz event running on the Sunday but the moth trapping can double up as a Moth Night contribution.

If you'd like to come along please email me (gtordoff at butterflyconservationwales dot org dot uk), and I'll send more details. Feel free to bring traps - we should be able to drive pretty close to the trap sites.


Rhoose Point

Just 41 species in the trap this morning, but there has definately been a significant migrant influx.  27 Silver Y, 15 Dark Sword-grass, 3 Diamond-back moths and 3 Rusty-dot Pearl, which are the highest totals for Silver y and Dark Sword-Grass here.  No rare species though unfortunately!

Borkhausenia fuscescens

This was on the lid of the garden trap in Gowerton a few days ago. Just noticed that it seems confined to the Cardiff area, in George's trap, up till now.
Borkhausenia fuscescens 5mm

Monday 5 August 2013

Rhoose Point

Agonopterix purpurea from a few days ago, looks like the 6th County record.