Sunday 31 May 2015

Eriocrania salopiella

I was up at Mountain View Ranch (top of Rhiwbina Hill, formerly part of Mountain View Golf Course) with the kids yesterday. It was generally a bit cold for insects but I did find quite a few Eriocrania mines on a birch tree, which proved to be E. salopiella. All the mines I checked had exactly the same form: they started about half way between the midrib and the edge of the leaf, formed a narrow gallery to the midrib and then doubled back, before forming a large blotch (see photo below).

Eriocrania salopiella mine on Birch
I opened one up to check the larva and it had the bulges on the first abdominal segment which are characteristic of this species. This seems to be only the second county record, but I think all the birch-feeding Eriocrania are very under-recorded as most of us don't usually look at leaf mines at this time of year (myself included).

And one for Dave - this female tiger cranefly Nephrotoma crocata was ovipositing into damp sand in a former golf bunker. It was too hyperactive for a better photo outside the tube.

Saturday 30 May 2015

Nantyffyllon this morning.

                             Several Argyresthia trifasciata flying around a garden
                             Juniper type tree. The 650th moth for my home KM square.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Margam railway sidings.

                         Found this bagworm? on a rusty rail truck today.
                         Any ideas anyone? I have kept it.

Coed Garnllwyd

Site visit to Coed Garnllwyd on tuesday produced a selection of moths disturbed or netted:

Little Thorn (2 or 3 on the wing)
Silver-ground carpet
Brown silver-line
Drinker - larva
Psychoides filicivora on the underside of a Male Fern
Micropterix calthella and aruncella

Parc Slip pugs

Here are the two faded pugs...

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Toadflax brocade caught in Gwent last night.

Nantyffyllon this morning.

                       Elachista argentella
                     Cydia nigricana
                     Dichrorampha acuminatana.
                     Also Aspilapterix tringipennella and Endothenia marginana.

Parc Slip

I ran a public moth morning here at Parc Slip today and thankfully there were a few showy species to keep everyone happy including Poplar hawkmoth, Cinnabar, Peppered, Buff-tip and some stunning fresh Green carpets. Not great numbers but quite good diversity with 26 or so species (including a couple of worn pugs which i'll upload later...), most of which were new for the year including Cream Wave, Pale Tussock, Sandy Carpet, Marbled Brown, Pale Prominent, Heart & Dart and C-B Brindle.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Broughton overnight 25May15 (Actinic 8v)

A nice haul of moths the highlights being Privet Hawkmoth, Cypress Carpet and Purple Bar.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Llangynwyd last night.

                                 Alder kitten
                                  May highflyer
                                 Broken barred carpet.
                                    95 moths of 30 species including Grey birch, Spectacle,
                                    White pinion spotted and Syndemis musculana.
                                    The Alder kitten was a valley first for me.

Friday 22 May 2015

Parc Slip

Set the trap here on wednesday night and it was still rather cold so 20 species wasn't too bad. A few firsts included Coxcomb prominent, silver-ground carpet, common carpet, common swift, treble lines and campion. There was also this pug - Common?

Nicholaston Wednesday 20th

Veronica and I ran 2 mv and 1 actinic traps until about 1am and recorded 49 species with some nice surprises. Best were probably 2 Little Thorn, Barred Hook-tip, Maiden's Blush, 2 Dwarf Pug, Blomer's Rivulet, 3 Clay Triple-lines, with commonest being 40 Pale Tussock and 25 Marbled Brown. Also 2 of what I think is a weakly marked form of White-spotted Pug. An Emperor laid eggs on an egg box (of course, where else?) inside one trap.

Nematopogon metaxella

Capua vulgana male

Ancylis mitterbacheriana

Barred Hook-tip

White-spotted Pug

Little Thorn
Maiden's Blush

Thursday 21 May 2015

Bridgend overnight 20May15 MV

A small catch overnight (12sp / 38 moths) was enlivened by a Scalloped Hazel (our first since 2004 and only the second for the garden), 10 Treble Lines and our first Large Yellow Underwing and Heart & Dart of the season.

 Then we noticed a tiny (c5mm) micro, which upon closer inspection appears to be Azalea Leaf Miner, a garden first for us (372nd).

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Caloptilia surprise

I finally plucked up the courage to dissect this large Caloptilia caught in the garden last July. The dark band in the cilia made me think it might be the very rare hemidactylella, rather than the common betulicola or elongella, both of which lack this dark band.

It turns out to be none of the above! It is in fact the summer form of C. falconipennella. I've caught this species before in the spring, but that form (which overwinters) looks very different.

Caloptilia falconipennella - overwintering form
This is the 4th VC41 record of this species, three of which are from my garden. I suspect they breed on the native Alders by the River Taff, but they might be coming from one of the Italian Alder street trees, of which there are a couple not too far away. Dave has found larval cones at Dare Valley, but I keep forgetting to look for them at the right time of year.


Monday 18 May 2015

Psychoides filicivora ?

Doing a bit of gardening yesterday and this little beast fell off one of my ferns. Remembering a post from Dave Slade at the end of last year, I think this must be Psychoides filicivora. Another new moth for me and my garden.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Micropterix envy...

Good work on the Micropterix Paul - having read your post i looked a bit more carefully at a photo i took (yesterday afternoon so after yours!) of Micropterix at Parc Slip. I'm probably being optimistic but the individual on the left doesn't appear to have the orange hairstyle of typical calthella but it's not very well marked either - just a calthella that's lost its hair??

Llangynwyd today. SS8787.

                              2 Micropterix mansuetella found today, one in the same bunch
                              of Bluebell as yesterday and another 20m away. Both were in
                              small isolated Bluebell clumps very close to Marsh Marigolds
                              on the edge of very damp ground. A close look at the Marigolds
                              only gave me M.calthella.

Bridgend overnight 16May15 (MV)

A small but varied catch overnight of 16 moths of 9 species. Our first trapping since 22/4.
Common Marbled Carpet, Brimstone, Poplar Hawkmoth, Flame Shoulder, Muslin moth (our first since 2007), Shuttle-shaped Dart, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Treble Lines and Hebrew Character.

Yesterday a walk to Broadlands and Craig-y-parcau produced a few butterflies, a male Orange Tip, 2 Peacock and a Speckled Wood.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Micropterix mansuetella, a county first?

                                   Micropterix mansuetella
                                 Micropterix mansuetella
                                 Micropterix calthella.
                                 Whilst photographing some Micropterix calthella
                                 in Llangynwyd today, I noticed this Micropterix
                                 mansuetella on Bluebell. Only the one was present
                                 and, on checking the Moths of Glamorgan, I could
                                 see the species was not listed. Unless there are any
                                 recent records, this could be a county first?  


Not an exciting moth night here in Gowerton but there was this (presumed) cricket nymph. Body only about 4mm but showed up very well against the dark piece of bark leaning beside the trap.

Friday 15 May 2015

Depressaria ultimella

Some of you might remember Howard posted a query about a mystery Depressaria recently, and in the comments I mentioned I'd trapped a specimen of this genus at Lanlay meadows in September 2014 which looked good for ultimella, but that I hadn't yet got around to dissecting it to confirm. Well, I've now dissected it and it is indeed ultimella (a female) - the first confirmed county record. There are two unconfirmed records from Gower, but Dave requested dissection to confirm its presence in the county.
Depressaria ultimella

It's not the best photo but the pale streaks in the disc are obvious, and it is a bit smaller than daucella. The larvae feed on Fool's Water-cress, which is almost certainly present at Lanlay Meadows, though I didn't specifically look for it.

The date was 20th September and the catch was otherwise extremely poor, with only 6 species in total, so I'm glad there was something to make the trip worthwhile.


Thursday 14 May 2015

Copper Underwing

I was surprised to see this Copper Underwing larva while admiring the flowers on our garden Wisteria yesterday evening.

In the last few years I've also found them on Elm and Norway Maple - clearly a moth which is unfussy about its choice of foodplant.

Wednesday 13 May 2015


lots of sea foam today
A Grass Eggar caterpillar was basking in one of my quadrats on the cliffs today. Adult moths noted included a couple of Silver Y and few each of Pyrausta cingulata, despicata & purpuralis/ostrinalis.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Cadoxton Ponds

I set the trap at the small nature reserve owned by Dow Corning last night and had some hopes of migrants given the wind but it turned out rather damper (and windier) than i was expecting and there was a suspicious lack of moths around the trap, possibly as a result of my not being able to get on site until 6. Nonetheless 12 species with a few new for the year including spectacle, peppered moth, setaceous hebrew character, small square-spot, marbled minor agg., iron prominent and common marbled carpet. A fresh herald was also nice. There was only a couple of micros which i've shown below - photos aren't quite of Chris's quality but i blame the wind...
Is this Elachista atricomella?
Not at all sure about this rather dingy specimen - my best guess was Scrobipalpa acuminatella but no real idea.
Any suggestions gratefully received...

Crymlyn Bog

Veronica Shenston and I went to Crymlyn last night where it was breezy but mild. Not big numbers of moths, 25 species including 3 Devon Carpet and a beautiful female Emperor last thing which kept diving back into the traps even after the lights were out.
Emperor female

Devon Carpet

Grey Birch

Monday 11 May 2015

Gowerton garden again

Warm with a southerly wind looked promising last night and, sure enough, there were two migrants in the trap. Silver Y was first for year and Bordered Straw, which I haven't seen since I left Dorset 8 years ago.
Silver Y

Bordered Straw