Saturday 31 May 2014

Cwmbach GMS and Cwm Taf Fechan

Despite a minimum in the garden of 8.60C, the GMS catch in my 22 watt actinic trap was 16 moths of 12 species, the highlight being Buff Tip.

I also ran my 125 watt Skinner trap in Cwm Taf Fechan last night, fro 21:45 until 02:45. Although overcast skies to start with, promised a good evening, the skies quickly cleared and the temperatures dropped to a minimum of 7.90C. Even so, the catch was a respectable 43 species. Highlights were a female Fox Moth, Green Silver-lines and five species of prominent.

Pale Tussock. Common, but such a lovely beast.

Three macros were added to the 10km square (SO01), these being Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Mottled Pug and Pale-shouldered Brocade.

As an extra treat, I also saw an adult and two newly fledged Tawny Owls in the trees above the trap.

Llangynwyd last night.

                                     Small seraphim.
                                     37 species including Epiblema cynosbatella, new
                                     for the valley.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Parc Slip

Very good trapping conditions at Parc Slip last night - minimum of 12.5 degrees claimed by thermometer and it was a lot warmer at 5 when I started checking the trap than it was by the time I'd finished. 139 moths of 61 species including 50 macro species. As you'd imagine, quite a few of those were firsts for the year including pebble hook-tip, blood-vein, alder kitten, light emerald, common lutestring, spectacle, small seraphim, oblique carpet, sandy carpet, coronet, clouded bordered brindle, riband wave, straw dot, may highflyer, sharp-angled peacock, setaceous hebrew character, ingrailed clay, heart & dart, common swift, purple bar and pale shouldered brocade. 

A couple of micros that I'd like help with please - firstly this tiny but attractive little moth - is it Phyllonorycter sp.?
And is this one Syndemis musculana? Seems less grey than the examples I've seen?
I thought I'd identified this as Opsibotys fuscalis but need confirmation having seen its restricted range in the new book:
Other micros caught included Nematopogon swammerdamella, Epiblemia cynosbatella, Incurvaria oehlmaniella, Celypha lacunana, Epinotia immundana, Elachista argentella and light brown apple moth. Non-moths caught: Nicrophorus littoralis, Cantharis decipiens and Denticollis linearis.

Epermenia aequidentellus???

 Sorry about the dreadful photos Dave, but does this look good for E aequidentellus?

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Llyn Fach

Had a walk up to Llyn Fach yesterday and found a few moths on the way. First thing that greeted us on the side of the forestry track was this pair of mating puss moths:
Plenty of Micropterix calthella and common heaths plus some green-veined whites and a cinnabar moth along with two which I'd like confirmation of please - couldn't get a good photo of this as it was very flighty. Is it a spruce carpet?
And is this Platyptilia gonodactyla? Plenty of colt's-foot around but not sure I managed to get a good enough photo?
Any help appreciated.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Cwm Taf Fechan NR

A wet morning spent at Cwm Taf Fechan nature reserve, just north of Merthyr Tydfil. The main purpose was birding, but I also had a quick look around the scrub on the calcareous grassland, at Gurnos quarry.
The first find was this attractive larva, found munching holes in the lower epidermis of a birch leaf. It was tiny (6-7mm long) and moved about by looping. Does anyone have any ideas where I should start looking for this one? Sorry about the quality. It wouldn't sit still for a second.

I next came across this long-horn. Which appears to be Adela (Cauchas) rufimitrella. The fact that it was on Cuckoo Flower was a big clue. This seems to be a new record for SO00.

On some of the small birch I found Coleophora cases, such as these. Am I right in thinking they are C. serratella?


Also on a birch, only a couple of feet high were these blotch mines. I think this is Incurvaria pectinea and if so this would be the first modern record of it in SO00.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Cwmbach GMS

With a mainly dry night and a minimum temperature of 9.90C, I had hoped for better, but my dismal garden catches continue with just nine moths of seven species:
Diamond-back Moth
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet
Common Marbled Carpet
Poplar Hawk-moth
Heart and Dart (3)
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Treble Lines

Thursday 22 May 2014

Llantrisant Common last night

A 3 hour session with the WTSWW at their Y Gweira reserve on Llantrisant Common on 21st May produced a good haul of 42 species (as usual, one MV and two 6W actinics were used). Highlights were two nice felines, Puss Moth and Alder Kitten, both of which seem to be the first records for ST08 since the 1857 records made by Evan John. Other highlights among the macro-moths were Square Spot, Oblique Carpet, Fox Moth, Coronet and Campion.

Only a few micro-moths were recorded but these included Elachista subalbidella and Phyllonorycter harrisella both new for ST08.


Anania funebris on the Graig

My dad and I visited Y Graig, Llantrisant yesterday to look for Anania at its best known Glamorgan site. There don't seem to have been any records from the site since 2008 and I was concerned that the reintroduction of grazing might have had a negative impact on them.

I needn't have worried, we counted 22 on the diagonal path which runs across the slope, from the small fenced quarry to the houses at the eastern end. There must have been many more away from the was really buzzing with them in places.

Thanks to Mike Powell for telling me where to look - last time I went (2012) I walked along the lower path instead and they don't seem to occur down there.

Also 4 Adela fibulella on Germander Speedwell, which is new for the hectad I think.


Wednesday 21 May 2014

Query - Cork moth - Bridgend garden

We think this is Nemapogon cloacella - Cork moth / found in our garden this evening.
Mike and Emma.

Monopis weaverella?

As per previous post, is this Monopis weaverella? Forgot we also had an alder moth this morning too.

Parc Slip

30 species caught at Parc Slip last night with plenty FFY: peppered moth, peach blossom, scorched wing, marbled brown, treble lines, small angle shades, campion, buff ermine, iron prominent and cream wave. Top scorers were treble lines (7) and poplar hawk (6). There were also a couple of micros: Ancylis badiana and what I believe is Monopis weaverella but I'll post a photo later for confirmation. I also had these two pugs which I need help with please:
Above: common pug?

Above: oak-tree pug?

Diplodoma laichartingella

Last Friday, I found this psychid case on a Holm Oak trunk in the main car park at Merthyr Mawr dunes. Dave is happy that this is Diplodoma - which appears from the description in MBGBI Vol 2 to be the only case which is made of coarse granular material (bits of insects, plant fragments etc) and triangular in cross section. If you click on the photo to enlarge the image you can see all sorts of debris is used to construct the case.

There are only two previous VC41 records, from Lavernock in 1919 and Sully in 1934 (both made by H.M. Hallett), so it is good to know we still have this species in the county.


Tuesday 20 May 2014

Parc Slip geometrid

Found this moth resting on the wall of the Visitor Centre this afternoon and struggled to id it for a while - is it yellow-barred brindle??

WCP from Kenfig Rivermouth to Margam Moors (Sunday 18/5/14)

An early Large Skipper (seen very well) on the south facing slope of Morfa Tip and a Mother Shipton here too. It was cracking day for butterflies and seeing 15 Dingy Skippers and 20+ Brown Argus was a real treat, mainly found near the Kenfig sidings. Walls and Small Blues in good numbers with Common Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Small White & Green-veined White all noted along the Wales Coast Path.

Monday 19 May 2014


Nice to get a decent haul at last with 85 moths of 45 species last night. There was nothing of special note, the most interesting beasts including Pseudargyrotoza conwagana 1, Twenty-plume Moth 1, Pebble Hook-tip 1, Figure of Eighty 1, Yellow-barred Brindle 2, Waved Umber 1, Eyed Hawk-moth 1, Poplar Hawk-moth 1, Elephant Hawk-moth 1, Ruby Tiger 1, Broad-barred White 1, Hebrew Character 1, Poplar Grey 1 & Alder Moth 1

Sunday 18 May 2014

Cwm Colhuw bat/moth event

WTSWW had a bat walk/moth trap event at Cwm Colhuw on friday night - successful in terms of participants but rather quiet on the bat and moth front. Brisk cool wind may have dissuaded them - 17 macro species with the most interesting being waved umber, common swift, least black arches, rustic shoulder-knot and broken-barred carpet. Thankfully there were a couple of crowd-pleasers with lots of brimstones, a couple of green carpets and a pale tussock.

Bryngarw last night

Had a good night at Bryngarw, with just short of 30 species including Oak Hook-tip, Marbled Brown, Poplar Kitten.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Lanlay Meadows last night

Mike Thornton and I had a fairly productive 3 hour session last night, recording a total of 43 moth species (between 1 MV and 2 6W actinics). I was hoping for slightly more, but the temperature did drop to 8.5C by 12:30am.

Highlights among the macros included Scorched Wing (3), May Highflyer (8), Sharp-angled Peacock (2), Cream Wave (2), Chinese Character, Scorched Carpet and Grey Birch (2). The latter appears to be new for ST07.

Among the micros, Elachista subalbidella is new for ST07 and only about the 9th county record (plenty of Purple Moor-grass, the foodplant, at the site). We also caught this Agonopterix which I've been puzzling over - possibly a worn arenella though it keys out in MOGBI Vol 4 as subpropinquella. Any thoughts?
Agonopterix query
Elachista subalbidella
Other insects included around 7 species of Caddis (including a few still to ID) and this rather attractive, if nasty, horsefly.
Haematopota crassicornis
The caddisfly Plectrocnemia conspersa

Friday 16 May 2014

Mothing Tonight

I will be running my trap on the Taff trail, near Pontsticill, North of Merthyr Tyfil, this evening and if anyone is interested in joining me, you'd be welcome. I will be entering via the locked barrier (SO 0604 1055) at around 21:00 then it will be locked again before I drive down the trail to the trapping site. If you want to come along, email me before eight, at grizmoths at gmail dot com.

Bridgend overnight 15May14 (MV)

We trapped 16 species overnight in our garden:- Light Brown Apple moth, Twenty-plumed moth, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Small Phoenix, Garden Carpet, Brimstone, Pale Tussock, Heart & Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Bright-line Brown-eye, Angle Shades and Treble Lines. Also a very plain, worn looking individual - photo attached - any ideas? All we can think of is a small dark worn Dark Arches.

I also took a walk out to the Kenfig rivermouth this morning and noted 25+ Little Blue, 5+ Common Blue, 20+ Small Heath, 3 Orange Tip, 6+ Wall, 1 Peacock, 10+ Green-veined White and 3 Cinnabar Moth.

Moths and Mammals at Bryngarw

Tomorrow evening, Bridgend Council are running a 'Moths and Mammals' event at Bryngarw Country Park, and I'm doing the moths bit. If anyone else fancies coming along and running a trap or assisting with crowd control, then please feel free to come along! There are things going on from 6pm, but obviously the trapping won't start until 9pm or so.

Lanlay tonight

I'm going to be trapping at Lanlay Meadows with Mike Thornton tonight. If anyone else fancies it, meet by the track at ST079759 at 9pm.


Thursday 15 May 2014

Micropterix at Coed y Bedw

I've spent a bit of time in Coed y Bedw over the last couple of weeks and i was pleased to spot some non-calthella Micropterix while I was there. I believe this is M.tunbergella?
And this one is M. aureatella? Lots of the latter flitting around on bramble earlier in the week. Both beautiful little moths.

Parc Slip

Better catch at Parc Slip last night despite the big moon and cool temperature. Only 29 moths but they consisted of 20 different species with plenty new for the year: poplar hawkmoth (not at all posed below...), white ermine, brown silver-line, green carpet, common marbled carpet, silver-ground carpet, common white wave and cinnabar and a couple of cockchafers as a bonus.

Poplar Hawk-moth

On our Porthcawl garden gate this morning.

Wednesday 14 May 2014


22 species last night and things are picking up nicely here.  Yellow Belle, Waved Umber, Eudonia pallida, Poplar Hawk and Spectacle amongst the catch, but pride of place goes to the first of this years Cream-spot Tigers;

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Going, going ...

Just a heads-up to anyone who may have been harbouring a secret desire to buy a Honda EX7 generator, but keep putting it off. Now may be the time to raid the piggy bank and look down the back of the sofa, because it has been discontinued and is now out of stock on many of the sites that were still offering it, just last Friday. This 700 watt model is ideal for running one or two 125 Watt MV traps and is around £300 cheaper that its more powerful sibling, the EU10i.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Llandaff North last night

Last night was one of those rare occasions when GMS Friday falls on the best weather night of the week. The wind dropped at dusk for the first time in days and it remained mild and cloudy, if a little wet. As a consequence I had my best catch of the year with 32 moths of 14 species (which is still not great for early May, admittedly). The only moth of note was this slightly tatty Waved Umber - I do quite well for these and this is my 9th garden record (since 2007). I also caught 4 species of Caddis (see here).


Friday 9 May 2014

Cwm Colhuw id queries

Had a quick trip down to Cwm Colhuw this morning and there was a bit of insect activity in the few relatively sheltered areas. Apart from Micropterix calthella, I saw this little chap - is it Esperia sulphurella?
Then there were a couple of small caterpillars - I'm not sure how identifiable these are in good photographs never mind these wind-affected afforts but any ideas would be appreciated! The closest I could get with this was hebrew character?
And I have no idea of this one...about 20mm long.

Thursday 8 May 2014

more Moth Night 2014

WTSWW have a few events planned for NMN too: George and I will be running an event at Coed y Bedw on the friday night, on top of that I'll be running a 'moth morning' at Parc Slip on the same day and the Trust has a bat/moth event at Swansea Canal in the evening.
The details will be up on WTSWW's event list in due course:

Parc Slip

We had a moth morning scheduled for this morning so put the trap out despite what was forecast and as expected we had a very poor catch of 9 moths of 7 species with only a smart Muslin Moth being new for the year. Still better than this time last year though...

Moth Night 2014

Moth Night 2014 takes place between 3rd and 5th July, and this year has a woodland theme.

To tie in with this, we have two events planned so far:
4th July, Allt y Rhiw, Blackmill.
Being run by Emma Douglas and Nick Sharp the meeting point is the lay-by on the right hand side of the road just before you enter Blackmill from the south (SS932863). Further details will be available nearer the time, but this is a wonderful upland oak wood with a rich bilberry understorey - perfect for Beautiful Snout!

5th July, Bryngarw Country Park, Brynmenyn.
The second event, (just up the road from Blackmill) coincides with SEWBReC's 10th anniversary celebration 'Picnic Blitz'. Full details of the day are here:

Both of these events take place in SS98, one of our target squares for Butterfly Conservation's Altas project, so the more the merrier, but please let us know if you are thinking of coming along to either event, either via SEWBReC or Emma at the Coity Wallia Commons Project (

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Agonopterix at Broughton

I found this nice little Agonopterix sp on the coastpath along Broughton burrows on the weekend. I'm leaning towards ocellana, but I would appreciate any advice / opinions.


Tuesday 6 May 2014

caterpillar fest weekend

Query ?

Broughton Bay dunes/coastal walk.
top = query, very fluffy and fats moving, couldn't get decent photo
2nd =  Lackey, plenty of these
3rd down = thought Buff Tip but obviously not ???
last = query.

also plenty of Drinker moth caterpillars.

Monday 5 May 2014

Another Chocolate-tip

Just so I didn't feel left out, there was a Chocolate-tip in my trap on Saturday night.

Sunday 4 May 2014

GMRG MofG evening

An open invite to anyone wishing to attend a small function at the Penarth Suite, St. David's Hotel, Havannah St. Cardiff Bay on Weds 19.30 to 21.00. 

Friday 2 May 2014

Hailey Park Meadow

A brief search at lunchtime today produced the following:

Coleophora discordella case on Bird's-foot Trefoil
Coleophora lusciniaepennella case on (Goat?) Willow
Mottled Umber larva on Willow
Aspilapteryx tringipennella
Stigmella aurella
Think I'm right with the last one - it was on a willow leaf but there was some bramble very near by.

Abercregan last night.

                              This  Glaucous shears was the pick of a catch of 14
                              species last night.