Wednesday 30 December 2015

Blast from the past

I've just come across these images and thought they might provide a little mid-winter entertainment!
GMRG Pyralid workshop 08-04-2000
GMRG trapping session at Crymlyn Burrows 09-06-2000
GMRG Silky Wave count at Horton 08-07-2000
GMRG indoor meeting 09-12-2000

Monday 28 December 2015

Horton & beyond

Given all the exciting migrants around, three traps left overnight at Horton returned rather disappointing totals as follows: Light Brown Apple Moth 1, Crocidosema plebejana 1, December Moth 9, Dark Chestnut 1, Angle Shades 1 & Small Mottled Willow 1.

Back in Gorseinon Chris Brewer informed me there were 2 Bordered Straw in his trap and at Cwm Ivy Veronica Shenston recorded December Moth 13, Winter Moth 3, Small Mottled Willow 3, Bordered Straw 2, Dark Sword-grass 1 & Rush Veneer 1.

The main prizes all seemed to have been in our neighbouring counties last night with Sam Bosanquet's Euchromius and Ian Morgan 2 Cornifrons, the latter new for Wales it seems!

Blastobasis lacticolella

With another mild night forecast, but dry for a change, I ran my 22w actinic garden trap all night. Although it proved to be a little on the breezy side, I was disappointed to find just a single moth inside, this morning. That said, the moth was Blastobasis lacticolella (decorella), which was only my third and the second for the garden. My previous records were for July and August, and looking on MapMate, there are records for as late as November, so I guess the prolonged spell of mild weather has encouraged them to extend the flight period.
Apologies for the poor photos.My macro lens is broken and the combination of a standard zoom lens with extension tube forces the front of the lens ridiculously close to the subject: too close for my ring flash to work properly.

Saturday 26 December 2015

The perils of December trapping

Buoyed by Ian Morgan's capture of Euchromius ocellea on Christmas day (see Carms moth blog), I set the trap this evening with renewed optimism ... that was until I looked out the window!
Oh well it's set now, so fingers crossed that in the morning the bulb's not blown...

Saturday 19 December 2015

17th December in Laleston

My daughter Holly found another moth on the wall of her school on Wednesday what looks like November moth agg and then after dropping her off, Emma found this Mottled Umber on the wall of a building in the village.

Friday 18 December 2015


Nothing in the trap this morning despite a minimum of 10.2 overnight and dryish, though still too windy I guess.
This Caloptilia azaleella was on a potted azalea I'd brought indoors recently.
Caloptila azaleella

Parc Slip

My colleague ran the trap at Parc Slip on wednesday night but all there was was one winter moth and these two:

Poor photos but the first one at least is well-marked but despite that I'm struggling to pin them down to species - i blame the lack of any moths to look at for a couple of months (possibly a slight exaggeration). Any pointers would be appreciated.


With the recent flurry of migrants on the south coast of England, I ran the garden tap for the first time in ages last night. The only moth in the trap was a lonely December Moth (just our 3rd garden record). The only other moths I've seen this month so far were all on the kitchen window, firstly a Northern Winter Moth on the 2nd (new for the garden!) and Winter Moth and Epiphyas on the 10th. With a forewing of 19mm, the Northern Winter Moth was convincingly big as well as pale.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Mild, But Still Winter.

As the weather is so unusually mild and as there was a reasonably dryish, not too windy night forecast, I decided to run the 22 Watt actinic garden trap. Although the temperatures were around 11 C late last night and again when I switched the trap off this morning, it dropped just into single figures sometime overnight, the minimum being a reasonable 9.70 C.
There was a little rain and the wind had really started picking up by dawn, but nevertheless, I had four moths of four species. On the outside of the trap was a fresh looking Red-green Carpet and a Mottled Umber, the latter a species I don't get all that regularly. In the trap was a December Moth and a Chestnut. All good solid winter species.

Monday 14 December 2015

First signs of Spring...

For those of you still running traps through the winter , the first Common Quaker for the 'season' has been reported by Steve Ormerod in Cardiff.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Larva Query

Looking through a batch of photos, taken in June 2010, I came across a few of this cracking larva. The images were untitled and after a bit of searching around, I think it is probably Light Knot-grass. Anyone have any better ideas?

The photo was apparently taken just after one of my raven counts, so the habitat is moorland and is very close to a site, at which I have trapped adult Light Knot-grass a couple of times.

Thursday 3 December 2015

Phyllonorycter lantanella

There are still a few leaf mines to be found, with the mild weather leading to some trees keeping hold of their leaves for much longer than usual. The Wayfaring trees in the Alun Valley had lots of mines of Phyllonorycter lantanella on their leaves yesterday. They seem to particularly like the young bushes which are regenerating in the plots managed for High Brown Fritillary. Some leaves were coevered in mines - it's hard to say how many there are in the photo below, maybe seven?

Phyllonorycter lantanella
Given the abundance of Wayfaring tree at the site, including some large bushes, it seems surprising that Orange-tailed Clearwing hasn't been recorded there. Maybe some pheromone luring required.


I haven't seen much in the way of moths recently so it was a nice surprise to see not just a moth but one that I'd never seen before - a Satellite - in the leaf litter at Coed Garnllwyd. Apologies for the poor phone picture and thanks to Rob/Linda Nottage who saw it while we were on a well-earned lunch break from coppicing! It was quite a productive lunch break as we also turned up a green shieldbug in its attractive autumnal colours and a 10-spot ladybird which I think is also new for me.

Friday 27 November 2015

December moth in Laleston

Emma and Holly found this moth on a wall of a building this morning on the school run in Laleston.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Ectoedemia intimella

Last weekend I found an occupied mine of this species in a 'green island' on a fallen sallow leaf in a small wood in Llanishen. I've also been seeing plenty of green islands on the fallen oak leaves, though most of these now seem to be vacated which makes the ID more tricky. Most of the occupied ones have been E. subbimmaculella, but I've seen E. heringi too.

Ectoedemia intimella mine on sallow
Ectoedemia intimella larva on sallow

It's probably worth looking out for these green island Ectoedemia on fallen leaves for a bit longer...


Saturday 7 November 2015

Creigiau - 06 Nov

8 moths of 5 species in a very soggy box this morning. An interesting catch though ... 2 new for the year (Feathered Thorn (3) & Mottled Umber) and 2 Silver Y - isn't it a bit late in the year for these?

Friday 6 November 2015

Autumn Green Carpet

Not one I've seen too often, and a new one for the garden last night was Autumn Green Carpet. Also Cypress Carpet.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Creigiau last night - Merveille du Jour

Only 6 moths of 5 species last night ... but one of them, sat on the outside of the box, was Merveille du Jour. Never seen one before so this was special

Monday 2 November 2015

Bridgend 01Nov15 - garden (MV)

We caught six moths of 5 species last night, 2 Common Marbled Carpet, Brick, Beaded Chestnut, Feathered Thorn (197th for year) and an Angle Shades. Putting the trap out, we were accompanied by a Common Pipistrelle Bat, no doubt looking for his supper!

Saturday 31 October 2015

Phyllonocrycter query

Only 2 moths last night - a Red-green Carpet in the trap and, what I think is, a Phyllonocrycter messaniella on a nearby window. This would be a new moth for me so grateful for confirmation or correction.

The painful so-and-so wouldn't come out of the pot so I struggled to get a side view. Hopefully it will have settled down by the time I try again.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Coed y Bedw/Parc Slip

Could anyone attempt to identify this caterpillar found by a volunteer at Coed y Bedw please?
Ran the trap at PS last night too and had the biggest haul of caddisflies I've ever had. 17 moths of 10 species with 3 new for the year - dark chestnut, spruce carpet and red-line quaker.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Creigiau - Tuesday 27 October

Only 4 moths of 3 species in the mid-week trap last night, but two of them (Grey Shoulder-knot and Yellow-line Quaker) were new for the year.

Grey Shoulder-knot

Mompha divisella

Yellow-line Quaker

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Late Emerald

There was a nice fresh looking Light Emerald on a shop window in Swansea this morning. This seems to be the latest record on the county database. I had one in the garden trap last week too.

Monday 26 October 2015

Nul point in Bridgend

We did worse than Howard last night - our first ever total blank in 358 garden trappings over 11 years since 2004 - not a moth in sight despite checking all the surrounding garden vegetation! So here instead are a few from three nights ago!
Beaded Chestnut 22Oct15
amended - Brick 22Oct15
Green-brindled Crescent 22Oct15

The Brick (amended - thanks Benny) was pleasing garden year tick taking our year list to 196 - just hoping to crawl up to our 200 total of 2014.

Saturday 24 October 2015

Creigiau last night

Ran the trap in the garden last night, but with a cloudy sky and minimum temperature of 11.5C I was expecting a lot more than the 8 moths of 6 species that were in/around the trap. Highlight was the first appearance of the year for Frosted Orange.

Monday 19 October 2015

Gower last night

Ran two traps for a few hours last night at Gelli-hir. 16 species.
Not huge variety but 50 Epirrita and 10 Merveille du Jour which I can never resist photographing!
I tried to get lots in one photo but they didn't want to sit still!
Merveille du Jour

Merveille du Jour party

Sunday 18 October 2015

Broughton 18Oct15

11 moths of 8 species but a lovely diversity (photos to follow) including 1 Large Wainscot, 1 Black Rustic, 1 Autumnal Rustic, 1 Beaded Chestnut, 3 Flounced Chestnut and a Sallow (8w actinic trap).


Friday 16 October 2015

Butterfly Conservation, South Wales Branch AGM

Just a quick plug for tomorrow's Branch AGM & Members day at Kenfig tomorrow. Non-members welcome! Starts at 10:30, and features our regular poster Vaughn talking about the Parc Slip moth trapping, Kevin Dupé on the Lepidoptera of the Newport Wetlands, Sue Smith and Peter Hugo from Gloucestershire branch on their Rough Bank reserve, Lindsey Rendle and Amanda Evans talking about Marsh Fritillary in Carmarthenshire, and the usual bits and pieces about what the Branch and the staff at BC Wales have been up to. All welcome, tea and coffee (and biscuits) provided, but you'll need to provide your own lunch.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Phyllonorycter tristrigella mines on Wych elm.

                   After only succeeding with hearing the Yellow browed warbler at
                   Kenfig yesterday, I decided to walk the east pool shore and head
                   back to the car park via the path from the north pool up to the main
                   road. There is a stand of Wych elm near the top of the path just
                   behind the bus shelter and a search for leaf mines produced this
                   one, which pretty much matches the photos on UKmoths and the
                   descriptions in the guides.

Monday 12 October 2015

Coed-y-bedw on Saturday

I left two 6W actinics at Coed-y-bedw on Saturday night, in fairly promising conditions (not exactly warm, but cloudy and still). The catch on Sunday morning was rather disappointing, with a good variety of craneflies and caddis but only 9 moth species (plus a crippled Yellow-line Quaker found in the herbage elsewhere on site). Almost all the moths were geometrids, with a fresh Green Carpet, a Spruce Carpet, and a Red-green Carpet among others. I caught 7 male Epirrita which proved on closer inspection to comprise 1 November Moth and 6 Pale November Moth. They were drab and I suspected they would all be November Moth, so I was glad I checked them.
My first Feathered Thorn of the year was among the catch
Caddis flies included both Halesus radiatus and H. digitatus,  but the highlight of the whole catch was this whopping great cranefly, Pedicia rivosa.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Nicholaston Woods. Friday 9th October

Not a great selection (only 12 species) down where the wood meets the marsh so perhaps a bit exposed to the east wind.
There were 10 Large Wainscot, though, so obviously just right for them! Also NFY for me were Red-green Carpet and Beaded Chestnut.
As it has been a bit quiet recently I photographed this little fly (forewing approx. 3mm) which seems to be quite common at the moment. Perhaps someone can put a name to it?
Red-green Carpet

Large Wainscot

Beaded Chestnut

Fly query

Saturday 10 October 2015

Creigiau last week

20 moths of 11 species on Tuesday night, including 2 new for the year - Green-brindled Crescent and Small Wainscot.
Green-brindled Crescent

Last night there were 18 moths of 16 species in/around the trap, including my first ever Sallow. 3 others - Beaded Chestnut, Blair's Shoulder-knot and Spruce Carpet - were new for the year. The Beaded Chestnut looks a bit faded so I would appreciate confirmation of this one please.
Beaded Chestnut ?

Blair's Shoulder-knot


Spruce Carpet