Sunday 31 August 2014

Broughton last night

Pretty quiet, 26 moths / 11 species:- Agriphila tristella, Agriphila geniculea, Garden Pebble, Purple Bar, Yellow Shell, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Flame Shoulder, Lesser Yellow and Large Yellow Underwing, Flounced and Common Rustic.

Moth Larva at Caerau SS8694 today

First is Eyed Hawk-moth, the second I'm not sure about any ideas

Caloptilia at Parc slip today.

                          This one has me stumped, could it be a pale form of
                          C. stigmatella?

Sunday 24 August 2014

Overnight in Bridgend

After a week's family holiday in Norfolk we put the MV trap out last night. It was a cold night, so we only caught 27 moths of 14 species. We had 2 new species for the year, Agriphila selasella (first since 2007) and Rosy Rustic. Most of the catch was made up of Lesser, Large and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings. Two Tree Pipits flew over calling to add that autumnal flavour.

Our week in Weybourne, Norfolk was disappointing mothwise due to the weather. We left our traps behind otherwise luggage and perhaps one of the children would have had to be left behind! So we relied on our hosts trapping, which they did just once, but we did see some interesting moths among the 45 species, despite not seeing anything new for our life lists. The highlights were Swallow Prominent, Sand Dart, Least Yellow Underwing, Six-striped Rustic, Heath Rustic, Nutmeg, White Point, Southern Wainscot and Mouse moth.

Mike & Emma

Friday 22 August 2014

Common Gromwell

This may encourage / help any prospective larvae hunters...Whiteford perhaps looks the most promising?

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ethmia dodecea at Slade Wood, Gwent

In June, Jake and Mike recorded Ethmia dodecea at Slade Wood, near Rogiet, only the second record for this species in Gwent (and probably Wales), see their blog post here.

I was passing the site this afternoon so I called in to have a look for larvae on the foodplant Common Gromwell, which is abundant along the ride sides this year following ground disturbance due to timber extraction works.

The first plant I checked had larvae on it, and pretty much every plant I found had obvious feeding damage. Many of the plants were in a terrible state as the larvae had stripped all the green material from the leaves.

Ethmia dodecea larvae
Common Gromwell in a sorry state
I counted about 45 larvae before I gave up, but there must have been many hundreds, if not thousands, at the site. Amazing how such a scarce moth can become so abundant when the foodplant has a good year or two.

If anyone knows any other sites in South Wales with Common Gromwell it would be well worth checking them for larvae.


Parc Slip

Got down to 6 degrees last night so predictably not much in the trap this morning - less than 20 moths of 10 species with the best probably being a smart broad-bordered yellow underwing. There was also this tatty geometrid - is anyone able to identify it please??

Monday 18 August 2014

caterpillar on Shasta Daisy

Dead-heading the Shasta Daisies in the flower beds and noticed that a significant number of the flower heads held a caterpillar with it's head buried deep in the centre of the flower!

I'm not sure but the nearest match I've found is Yellow-barred Brindle - is this correct? I've never seen a caterpillar on a flower head before ... but these certainly seem to like the daisies.


Bee hives

I lifted the lid on an abandoned bee hive in Nitten, Mewslade yesterday to discover 100+ Lesser Wax Moth adults scurrying around, plus larvae. I've trapped in this field on numerous occasions about 50m from this hive and have never caught this species. Worth having a word with any hive owners if you know any.
Nitten is the western-most dot
Plenty butterflies flitting around out of the breeze including a couple of Clouded Yellows, plus two rather splendid female Adders under a sheet, one a particularly dark chocolate brown.

Parc Slip case-bearer

This little chap was walking around on one of our picnic benches last week - is it possible to identify it to species by any chance?
Coleophora sp.?

Saturday 16 August 2014

Werfa Again

Unable to keep away, I had to go back to Werfa colliery site, to see the Alder Moth larva and yes it was still there, but it gets about a bit, being on a different bunch of leaves, this time.

After admiring it for a while, I went on a general mooch around the site, camera in hand, looking for anything that caught my eye (a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours), though there didn't seem to be much about. Spotting what I thought was a Nettle Tap moth on a plant of Goldenrod (Solidago viguarea) I attempted to photograph it, but it was a reluctant subject, constantly scurrying around the opposite side if the stem to the one I was on, very much in the manner of plant bugs. Eventually I got this one, poor shot of it before it flew off, but looking at it at home, It looks more like an Apple Leaf Skeletoniser (Choreutis pariana), so I wouldn't mind a bit of advice on this one.

Is this Apple Leaf Skeletoniser? Advice please.

Having photographed that little puzzler, I was about to move on, when I realised there as also a macro larva on the same plant and taking a closer look, instantly recognised it as the Star-wort. I have previously only seen the adult once, in VC42 and last year a larva was found (not by me) in the VC42 half of Cwm Taf Fechan nature reserve, just north of Merthyr Tydfil. This is the first Star-wort larva I have seen and being in VC41, made it that much more rewarding, but if that wasn't enough, I then spotted a second Star-wort larva, lower down on the same plant, so two for the price of one.

My first VC41 Star-wort

I headed off out of Werfa, and followed a forest ride up the hillside above Cwmbach, checking any Goldenrod I came across and also any Angelica flowers. The Goldenrod proved fruitless, but on the Angelica flowers, I found this Phaulernis fulviguttella. I'm pretty certain it is that and not Pammene aurana, which is the small orange spotted moth I usually come across on Hogweed flowers.

Phaulernis fulviguttella, I think. Sorry about the poor photo.

Also on Angelica, I found two Ypsolopha parenthesella: one with the white on the wing and this one without.

Ypsolopha parenthesella

Friday 15 August 2014

Rhoose Point signing out

I turned my garden trap on for the last time (in Glamorgan anyway!) on Thursday night.  We'll be off to our new house in Anahilt, a village just south of Belfast next week.  Nice to see yet another Jersey Tiger, which brings the total this year to eight or nine, a pair of Canary-shouldered Thorn, and a number of Rusty-dot Pearl.

I daresay I will comment here again from time to time, but this will probably be the last post from me, unless we head back in this direction in the future!  I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has helped with my daft questions over the last few years, especially to Dave and George!  I have learned a lot, and I intend to put that to use across the water...


Me favourite moth!

Thursday 14 August 2014

Parc Slip

127 moths of 47 species in the trap last night. Nothing particularly special with only dusky brocade and  knot grass being new macros for the trap this year. A couple of rusty-dot pearls were the only migrants but there were a couple of other nicely marked micros including Epinotia trigonella, Lathronympha strigana, Pandemis corylana and Epermenia falciformis.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Always Hoped to See...

After years of lurking around Alders and having trapped the adults several times, I was thrilled, this afternoon, to find this Alder Moth larva, at Werfa, Abernant. It has taken years to see an Alder Moth larva, but worth it in the end.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Latticed Heath f. alboguttata

Photographed by Laura Palmer outside the NPT offices at Baglan last week - I've never seen this form before and I can't find any reference to it in the db - has anyone else seen this?

Monday 11 August 2014


A Hummingbird Hawk in central Swansea this lunchtime, nectaring on Buddleia.


Sunday 10 August 2014

Lanlay Meadows - Friday night

Mike Thornton and I had a good session at Lanlay Meadows, Peterston-super-Ely on Friday night. The sky cleared at dusk and the temperature dropped - a phenomenon which has happened pretty much every time I've trapped this site this year, but we still recorded a respectable 65 species (one MV and two 6W actinics, in just under 3 hours).

Highlights included a range of marsh and woodland species: Round-winged Muslin, Bulrush Wainscot, Bordered Beauty, Blue-bordered Carpet, Magpie Moth, Small Rufous, Black Arches, Gold Spot, Mompha locupletella (new ST07), Mompha propinquella and Evergestis pallidata.

Bulrush Wainscot

33 species were new for the site, taking the site list to 161 species (this without any trapping between the end of May and early August).


Not a moth, but...

Also noticed a Clouded Yellow patrolling the wild flowers on the building site that is Morriston Hospital on Thursday 7th. Only managed a phone photo which is just a yellow dot!

Gowerton. Saturday morning 9th Aug

Last night's trap had this Barred Rivulet which I have never seen before.
Also this possible Homoeosoma nebulella, which does just have the slight dark costal mark though it was on the small side at 9mm..

Peach Blossom
Can never resist a Peach Blossom which was sitting on the fence!
Barred Rivulet

Possible Homoeosoma nebulella. Comments?

Mompha lacteella

Stenoptila bipunctidactyla

Also had 3 species of Thorn; August, Canary-shoulder and Dusky though I failed to get them all to pose in a group photo!


Saturday 9 August 2014

Creigiau last night


I'm new to the Group and fairly new to the world of invertebrates, having started trapping moths in my garden in Creigiau just over a year ago.

Reasonable selection of moths so far this month, with the highlights being Garden pebble, Sharp-angled Peacock and Rusty-dot Pearl all of which are new to me. However, identification of this little beast is eluding me. There were two in the trap last night - could they possibly be Acrobasis advenella? I'm not convinced but it's the best I've found so far. The grid is 2mm.

Any help appreciated.


Friday 8 August 2014

Actinic debut in Bridgend

We gave our new little Actinic 8W / Heath combination a try in the garden last night. We'd only used it with a battery in our caravan on the Gower before.

Unsurprisingly a small catch 12 species / 30 individuals, the highlight was our first Copper Underwing of the year. Rusty Dot Pearl and Knot Grass were also nice to get, but most of the catch was Brimstone moth!

We've equalled last year's species total for the garden already at 170 species (128 macro).

Mike & Emma.

Abercregan last night.

                               Cedestis subfasciella?
                              Eulamprotes atrella.
                              A cool, clear night with only 25 species seen. Best of
                              the macros was a Slender brindle.


Is this a Nutmeg?

Parc Slip

Trapped at Parc Slip on wednesday night for a public moth morning on thursday. Clear, fairly cool conditions but still a decent catch of 194 individuals of 67 species including plenty of flashy species for the public to appreciate - gold spot, canary-shouldered, august and dusky thorns, peach blossom, chinese character and angle shades amongst others. Some other nice species included dark sword-grass, bulrush wainscot (my second record here), devon carpet and a range of prominents.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Llandaff North in the rain

I trapped on Tuesday night despite the deluge - it was warmer than the other nights this week, which have been clear and moonlit, and on wet nights like this I can stick my trap under the edge of the lean-to which adjoins the house. As there was no wind to blow the rain under the lean-to, the trap was bone dry in the morning.

Considering the conditions I thought 32 species was a reasonable total, with a few notable micro-moths in the catch: Bedellia somnulentella (a boom and bust species which last appeared in numbers in 2011), Coleophora lineolea (new for garden) and the bunny ears moth Ypsolopha sequella.
Ypsolopha sequella
Bedellia somnulentella
Coleophora lineolea

Coleophora lineolea seems to be almost restricted to the south-eastern corner of Glamorgan (map from my copy of the county database in MapMate - click to enlarge).

Autumn arrives in Bridgend

33 species overnight and a taste of autumn, with a heavy dew and a few migrants. Of the 92 individuals, 54 were outside the MV Trap.

The highlights for us were all new for the year: Rusy Dot Pearl, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Dusky Thorn, Least Yellow Underwing, Lychnis (first since 2010), Flounced Rustic and no doubt the first of many Setaceous Hebrew Character to come!

There was also a nice mixture of micro moths: Apple Leaf Miner, Carcina quercana, Light Brown Apple moth, Pseudogyrotozoa conwagana (please someone give it an English name!!!), Acleris forsskaleana, Ringed China-mark (male), Pyrausta aurata.

Think we'll give the 8w Actinic a go for its debut in the garden tonight :)

Mike & Emma

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Rudry in the rain

This Evergestis pallidata was new for the garden ,it started honking down with rain when i checked the trap and a Magpie moth flew off before i could capture for an image;  also new to the garden.

Bridgend garden Mon 04Aug14

Back to home mothing with our MV trap. Heavy rain curtailed trapping at 0430 and we only recorded 20 species (31 individuals). The highlight was a new moth for the year in Garden Pebble taking the tally for 2014 to 160. Other intersting individuals includedRosy Footman, Dingy Footman, LBBY Underwing, Silver Y and The Spectacle.

Mike & Emma.

Broughton Burrows (Gower) Sun 03Aug14

Some weekend mothing with our little 8w Actinic Heath trap. The highlights a new moth for us in Acrobasis suavella, also Barred Fruit-tree Trotrix, Gypsonoma dealbana, Diamond-backed moth, Agriphila straminella, Twenty-plumed moth, Common Plume, Purple Bar, Red Twin-spot Carpet, July Highflyer, Scarce Footman, Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Yellow-tail, Dingy Footman, Flounced Rustic, Small Wainscot and The Spectacle. So far in the past week we've recorded 48 species (34 macro) at the site.

Mike & Emma

Monday 4 August 2014


Maiden's Blush the best of 25 species trapped last night.This was the second one i have had in my Rudry garden this year.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Despite the Rain

A very wet night, but as with George, there was a reasonable GMS catch. n all I had 33 species, the highlights of which were three Slender Brindle (I've done well for these, this year), a single Hypsopygia (Orthopygia) glaucinalis and the smallest Dingy Shell I've ever seen.

Slender Brindle

Hypsopygia glaucinalis

GMS Week 23, Llandaff North

A small but select catch on a very wet night. Highlights were Dark Spectacle (new for the garden), Sharp-angled Peacock (2nd garden and ST17 record) and both Canary-shouldered and August Thorns. Also plenty of Straw Dots.

Dark Spectacle
Sharp-angled Peacock


Friday 1 August 2014


Highlights for the garden in July: Nettle-Tap (new), Marsh Grey [E. pallida], Oak Hook-tip (2nd rec.) Peach Blossom (new), Small Rivulet, Rivulet, Clouded Border (new), August Thorn, Black Arches (new) & Old Lady. Had good numbers of the Gothic this month. Also larvae of Small Ranunculus in Newport Road. Few migrants, just a couple of Silver Y & Diamond-back moths.

Parc Slip

Not as good as recently, probably due to the hideous weather yesterday and the showers overnight but still 70+ species. Nothing especially exciting with only southern wainscot, grass emerald, canary-shouldered thorn and Agriphila latistria new for the year at Parc Slip. Not many micros around but not sure about this one - Epinotia sp.?
Also the obligatory pug - white-spotted?