Wednesday 24 December 2014

Parc slip today.

                              Mottled umber and 2 December moths on the café wall.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Creigiau last night

Weather looked reasonable so tried the trap last night. Lots of flies in there this morning ... and four December Moths.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Mompha bradleyi

I've recently dissected a specimen of this species which I found in a friend's garden in Cathays (ST1777) in May 2014. This appears to be the third county record, and interestingly they are all from adjacent squares in this very urban part of Cardiff. I've dissected a few Mompha divisella/bradleyi from my current garden and all have been divisella - and looked like it too, with a broad white basal streak. The Cathays specimen was darker with an interrupted basal streak (shame I don't have a photo), which made it look a bit different from typical divisella. So, if you catch an odd looking 'divisella' it'll be worth hanging onto it.


Having had a Winter Moth come to the kitchen window, yesterday evening, I decided that despite the rain and prospect of increasing winds, I would take advantage of the unusually mild night and run the garden trap.
Come the increasingly breezy morning, there was nothing but flies inside the trap, but sitting on one of the vanes was a December Moth; the second I've had this winter.
Studying the forecast for Friday evening and night, it looks likely that I'll record my fifth consecutive nil catch for the winter GMS, but you never know...

Thursday 11 December 2014

Plusia sp.

I think this might be Streaked Plusia. There is one British record back in 1995. Before you all get hot under the collar, Mike Powell brought it back from a recent trip to Africa. Dave if you want it for a specimen to set, give me a text. The NMW may want it for their collection since it is on the British list.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Creigiau 06 December

First Winter Moth of the year last night. Three in the box, along with a couple of Rusty-dot Pearl and a Light Brown Apple Moth.


Now is a good time of year to find the larvae (and indeed adults) of the two Psychoides species. Here is a photo of the portable cases made by the two species, in these cases both feeding on Hart's toungue Fern:
The first is from nr Dingestow in our neighbouring county, and shows the neat elliptical case made by Psychoides verhurella.

And this one if from my garden, showing the much messier, circular case made by Psychoided filicivora.
Feeding damage of one or other species can be found on most ferns that are fruiting and both are under-recorded, so worth looking out for.

Friday 5 December 2014

Parc slip.

                                     Scarce umber on the café wall today.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Creigiau 29 November

Forecast was good for last night so put the trap out to see what was about. Minimum temperature of 9C with very little wind but only three moths were attracted by the light - Light Brown Apple Moth, Rusty-dot Pearl and my first December Moth of the year.

Saturday 29 November 2014

Overnight in Bridgend 28Nov14

Our optimism in putting the MV trap out last night yielded a nice but worn Feathered Thorn, accompanied by 3 Light Brown Apple moth.

We also found a small micro indoors which with the help of another moth'er seems to be Garden Cosmet / Mompha subbistrigella, our 200th species for the year and our 369th species for the house / garden.

Mike, Emma & Holly Cram

Friday 28 November 2014

Anyone know what this is?

My industrious 9 year old daughter Holly has found this while rooting around in the bathroom. Given her previous track record with co-finding Welsh firsts, I thought I'd better check this one out. I'm sure I recognise it from the past somewhere (Blastobasis sp?), but can't work out what it is. Perhaps at best 5mm long - I took the liberty of putting the end of a ruler in the photo.

Mike Cram

Tuesday 25 November 2014


I've just seen the price of the forthcoming MBGBI volumes on the tortricidae:

Hoping they'll do paperback in the future!


Monday 24 November 2014

Grey Shoulder-knot?

Have just rescued this from an old cobweb hanging outside the patio doors. Looks like a Grey Shoulder-knot to me but I have never seen one before so would welcome a confirmation.



Creigiau 22 November

Also had 2 Rusty-dot Pearl in/on the trap on Saturday night, along with 2 Red-green Carpet and a Light Brown apple Moth. First moths for ages!

Sunday 23 November 2014


Still some migrant activity with 4 Rusty-dot Pearl (U. ferrugalis) on the windows this am.

Wednesday 19 November 2014


Still some moth activity including migrants, had Silver Y, Feathered Thorn, Common Plume (E. monodactyla) & Rusty-dot Pearl (U. ferrugalis) at Whitchurch Hosp. 16th & 18th Nov.
Also a Red Admiral 15th Nov. @ Lakeside.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

One from the summer

I never got chance to post this at the time, but way back on 28th May I found lots of large Coleophora cases, and associated leaf mines, on Wych Elm growing at Llandaff Weir, Cardiff. The cases appeared much too large for C. serratella and looked a good match for C. limosipennella - the ID was confirmed by John Langmaid from photos.

This is the first confirmed record of this species in VC41. There was a 1930s record made by Cox at Taff's Well, but this was rejected by the GMRG committee as the case was on birch, whereas limosipennella feeds only on elm.
Coleophora limosipennella case

Colophora limosipennella leaf mines on Wych Elm
Coleophora limosipennella host elm tree, Llandaff Weir
The cases were abundant and the mines very obvious, so worth looking out for this species elsewhere in Glamorgan next year. They are considerably larger than the similar-looking serratella cases which can also be found on elm.

Friday 7 November 2014

Llandaff North last night

With warm (and very wet) southerlies returning last night, I stuck the trap out more in hope than expectation. There was a migrant in the trap this morning, but just a Rusty-dot Pearl. It had a crippled forewing and I don't think it could have flown very far, so probably a locally bred specimen (I reared through a larva of this species found on Sea Beat at Barry Island last year, so they definitely breed locally). The only other moths in the trap were White-shouldered House-moth and Light Brown Apple Moth.

Also a RDP on a shop window in Swansea today.

Death's-head Hawk at KNNR

The first record in VC41 since Sept. 2007 (Roath, Cardiff) and the 60th record overall for Glamorgan. The best (influx) years being: 1933 with 7 recs & 4 recs in 2003. Now all we need is the name of the finder!

Thursday 6 November 2014

Death's-Head Hawk

I see there was one at Kenfig yesterday - still worth trapping then...

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Phyllonorycter junoniella at Craig y Llyn

In early October, Barry Stewart, Sam Bosanquet and I came across some leaf mines on Cowberry while on a bryophyte excursion to Craig y Llyn (the NPT bit of the crag). I took a couple home and puzzled over them for a while, and initially misidentified them as Ectoedemia weaveri. Fortunately, John Langmaid wasn't convinced and eventually the mine was correctly identified as an early stage Phyllonorycter junoniella mine, the ID being helped by a dead larva extracted from one of the mines.

Phyllonorycter junoniella mine on Cowberry

The species is already on the VC41 list, but the only record is from way back in 1926 (F. Norton) and is from Welsh St Donat's on the Vale coast - a long long way from any Cowberry. Dave provided the following information about this early record:

"Norton's records come from Hallett's annotated fauna of Glamorgan, and it is possible that there may have been a specimen but it's not one that Jake & I looked for during the research stage.

That said, looking at the record in Hallett's list, it does look to say "Lithocolletis racoiniella Scott" - which we obviously misread as Lithocolletis vacciniella (Stainton). There is no name in Kloet and Hinks, and as far as I can tell the only Lithocolletis that Scott described is irradiella (now lautella). Indeed there is a mis-translation on tinternet that reads vacciniella as racciniella - but Hallett wasn't using ORS software to work out his species names, and it is unlike him to get spelling and authority wrong, so a real mystery."

So, not officially a first county record, but probably the first genuine record.

Monday 3 November 2014

Migrant reaches Llanishen shock...

Actually caught a decent migrant over the weekend, a Small Mottled Willow, only the second I've had in Llanishen.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Gowerton Saturday

Certainly can't compete with Paul but I did have a nice Vestal this morning; a migrant, judging by the colour. Also did see a second P vitrealis at Whitford yesterday morning.


Friday 31 October 2014

Crocidosema plebejana

Photo of the moth from Lavernock...

Crocidosema plebejana

Drysiog, Bryn. SS8292.

4 Diurnea lipsiella on the wing this afternoon.

Abercregan last night. SS8496.

                                  Spoladea recurvalis
                                  Red sword grass
                                 Diurnea lipsiella.
                                 Ran the trap from 8pm - 1am. It was breezy but a
                                 decent catch ensued. The Recurvalis was the first
                                 moth in at 8:30.
                                 Spoladea recurvalis        1        1st Glam record?
                                 Rusty dot pearl              11
                                 Feathered thorn              6
                                 November moth agg      4
                                 Silver Y                         1
                                 Spruce carpet                5
                                 Brick                            2
                                 Red sword grass           1
                                 Yellow spot tortrix       1
                                 Diurnea lipsiella           1         4th Glam record
                                 Blastobasis lacticolella  1.

Parc slip, thursday.

                              Another pic of the micro from Vaughn's post.
                              Calybites phasianipennella?
                              It was smaller in comparison to Calpotilia stigmatella.

Bridgend garden overnight 30Oct14 (MV)

A small but varied catch of 14 moths of 11 species.

4 Light Brown Apple moth, 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 Spruce Carpet, 1 November moth (agg) which escaped before better attempt at identification,1 Feathered Thorn, 1 Dotted Chestnut (to confirm),1 Black Rustic, 1 Green-brindled Crescent, 1 Yellow-line Quaker, 1 Red-line Quaker and 1 Silver Y.

Here are some photos below including the one which we think looks like Dotted Chestnut, a little worn and there are lots of wavy lines on it which confused us a bit. Any other opinions gratefully received
Dotted Chestnut?
Red-line Quaker
Yellow-line Quaker
Emma Cram

Lavernock last night

Made a last minute decision to trap at Lavernock last night, spurred on by all the interesting migrants turning up elsewhere (including Wales' first Scar Bank Gem - see the Monts Blog). In the event, the only migrants caught were common species: Rusty-dot Pearl (4), Diamondback (3), Rush Veneer and Silver Y.

The best moth was Crocidosema plebejana, which is only about the 6th VC record (all from Cardiff and the south-eastern Vale). This might have been a wanderer but could be resident down there on the coast (the larvae feed on Tree Mallow). Also new for ST16 was November Moth aggregate - I caught 13 and took a few males home for closer inspection (none of the species have been recorded in ST16 before).

Strange to be switched on before 6 and finished in time to get chips on the way home!


Thursday 30 October 2014

Parc Slip

18 species caught at Parc Slip last night with silver Y and rusty-dot pearl the only migrants. Other macros of interest were a dark chestnut (below - i think the wings are hooked enough?) which isn't on my list for the site, a couple of chestnuts and an angle shades.
More micros than I've had for a while included Carcina quercana, Blastobasis lacticolella, light brown apple moth, Caloptilia stigmatella and the two below:
Is it possible to id the above as one of Acleris notana or ferrugana from a photo?
Not sure about this little Gracillaridae(?) - only messing about with the photo showed up the markings but i still can't place it. Paul also took (hopefully better) photos of it so I'm not sure if he managed to i.d. it...

Gowerton 29 Oct 14

In spite of the warm night only 6 species in the garden, including  a very dark Diamond Back and one of the almost infinitely variable Acleris cristana.

Plutella xylostella enjoying some dilute maple syrup

Acleris cristana

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Tanji wood, Pontrhydyfen.

                           Caught this Diurnea lipsiella on the wing
                           yesterday afternoon.

Gowerton 28th Oct 14

14 species including another migrant new for the garden last night, Palpita vitrealis. Also another irresistible Merveille du Jour.

Palpita vitrealis

Merveille du Jour

Lavernock Point

MCP & myself did some ivy blossom around the point last night and had a few species: C. quercana [1], Rusty-dot Pearl [10], C.M. Carpet [3], Red-green Carpet [3], Feathered Thorn [1], Dark Sword-grass [1], Brick [1] & Angle Shades [2]. Lights at Cosmeston: November Moth agg. [1]. Trapping in Roath produced a Cypress Carpet [singles on 27th & 28th].

Sunday 26 October 2014

Creigiau last night

Only four moths attracted to the trap last night. All different and one of those was looking more than a little worse for wear.

However, a Mottled Umber was a first for me and a Green-brindled Crescent was a 'first for the year' so once again I can't complain.

Friday 24 October 2014

Parc Slip

Very disappointing catch in the trap yesterday morning with only 4 species (most interesting was blair's shoulder-knot) but far more to the security lights around the office this morning: feathered ranunculus (first record for the site, at least according to my records), red sword-grass, feathered thorn, small fan-footed wave, common marbled carpet, green-brindled crescent, RL quaker, lots of November agg. and Platyptilia gonodactyla.

Monday 20 October 2014

Saturday night in Creigiau

The weather looked good for Saturday night, 16C when I put the trap out and a minimum of 14C overnight. The catch comprised 16 moths of 7 species but two of these, Blair's Shoulder-knot and Feathered  Thorn, were 'first for the year'.

There was also a Diamond-back Moth but the colouring was much warmer than the one that paid a visit in June which had an almost white diamond pattern.


Sunday 19 October 2014

Migrant in Gowerton

At last, after several days of warm southerlies, a proper migrant, and one I have not seen before either. Uresiphita gilvata comes from southern Mediterranean and tropics Also Udea ferrugalis plus, over the last few days, Caloptilia azaleelle, Ypsolopha ustella, Carcina quercana, Clepsis consimilana and a lovely Merveille du Jour which I only seem to see about once a year.

Uresiphita gilvata

Caloptilia azaleella

Ypsolopha ustella

Merveille du Jour