Sunday 30 August 2015

Creigiau - 28 August - Small Waved Umber ?

The box on Friday attracted 82 moths of 27 species. Of these 5 were new for the year - Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Flounced Rustic (I think), Small Square-spot and Small Waved Umber. The latter is new for the garden and me, and although looking a little battered, I'm fairly confident with my ID. The Tortrix was also new for the garden.

 The box also held 5 species of caddisfly, of which I could only identify one - Limnephilus lunatus.

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Flounced Rustic ... I think

Small Waved Umber

Ideas Anyone?

Last night I ran my Skinner for five hours, at a site, close to the western portal of the Merthyr to Aberdare railway tunnel (disused) and despite temperatures remaining in the low double figures, had very little to show for it; just around 30 moths of 19 species, the highlight being four Black Arches. As I was knocking down, this tortrix appeared on the trap and as it looked distinctive enough, I photographed it. Today, I have puzzled over it and failed to identify it, but I have the feeling it may be a Zeiraphera; possibly isertana, though as Larch was close by, griseana couldn't be ruled out. Of course, it is entirely possible that I am barking up completely the wrong tree, so suggestions would be welcome, please.

Zeiraphera Sp?

During the session, I spent much of the time wandering about, searching for interesting things in the vegetation close by and on a bramble, I came across this larva of Peach Blossom.

Peach Blossom

While being photographed, at first, it took evasive action and dropped from the leaf, hanging from a safety line of silk, but ten minutes or so later, it had climbed back up onto the leaf.

Peach Blossom Hanging by a Thread

Saturday 29 August 2015

Our Bridgend Garden last night

As we opened the trap Raven and Redpoll flew overhead and Mike had two Tree Pipits over Laleston on his morning run. This made up for the attempt on world domination by Yellow Underwing moths which for want of a better word, "crammed" our trap! Of the 105 moths caught, 66 were Large and 10 Lesser Yellow Underwings. The highlight though was a nice Bryotropha senectella (think I've got the yellow on scales and palps right for id. here) - new for us. Also good to see were Nut-tree Tussock and Vine's Rustic. We also rescued a rather nice Marmalade Hoverfly and a tiny whitish/grey moth like insect (2mm at best long).
Bryotropha senectella

Nut-tree Tussock
Tiny moth like insect?
Marmalade Hoverfly

Gowerton and Nicholaston

Not quite as good as Tebenna micalis or Jersey Tiger but I did have a Convolvulus Hawk this morning, sitting on a daisy stem between the trap and the nicotiana plants grown from the Atropos free seeds. Also this morning at the opposite end of the size scale was Bucculatrix ulmella at 3mm forewing length as opposed to 50 for the Convolvulus.
Last week had Crocidosema plebejana, a female which is browner than the male, which is new for me and apparently only 4 previous records in VC41, none on Gower.
A rather wet night at Nicholaston produced around 60 species including 6 Clouded Magpie, Hedge Rustic, Southern Wainscot, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Epinotia tenerana and what is probably Gracillaria syringella though it looks a bit different from others I've seen.

Clouded Magpie
Epinotia tenerana

Hedge Rustic

Bucculatrix ulmella
Crocidosema plebejana
Southern Wainscot, showing pointed apex and 'coronet' on thorax.
Query: Gracillaria syringella?

Convolvulus Hawk-moth

Friday 28 August 2015

Jersey Tiger in Penarth

I've had a report of a Jersey Tiger from Penarth, feeding on a Buddleia. I'm sure it won't be long before this is a resident species if it isn't already.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Creigiau 25 August

put the box out on Tuesday night but had to bring it in just after midnight because it was in danger of being flooded and blown over as the wind strengthened and the rain was torrential! Still managed to attract 67 moths of 23 species.

One of these, Tebenna micalis (as posted yesterday) was new for the garden and me.

Tebenna micalis
 Three others were new for the year, but I'm not sure on two of them - a late first appearance of a Twenty-plume Moth (which refused to settle outside the pot), Apple Ermine (I think) and Copper Underwing agg.. I've looked closely at the latter and it appears to have dark palps with pale tips, but I can't see the extensive copper colouring on the underwing so I'm not sure on this hence the 'agg'

Apple Ermine query

Coper Underwing agg

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Tebenna micalis query

Put the trap out last night but driven in after a few hours by strong winds and heavy rain! This pretty little beastie was in the trap ..... could this be Tebenna micalis? The grid is 2mm.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

20th Anniversary at Crymlyn Bog NNR, Swansea

On 19th August, it was exactly 20 years since myself and Martin J White, first ran my brand new, collapsible, aluminium Skinner trap at Crymlyn Bog NNR, Swansea. This was the 1st time that I had been moth trapping with a Mercury Vapour light. A couple of weeks previously we had camped on the Bonymaen side of Kilvey Hill in Swansea running a battery powered actinic trap. That probably isn't the best introduction to moth trapping (I can't remember a single moth we caught!), but I remember that night at Crymlyn Bog like it was yesterday. I had a key to the Visitor Centre as I was a Voluntary Warden there with good old CCW, so running a trap was easy. We recorded 95 species. The two I remember were a Peppered Moth and an Angle Shades! I'm sure we caught some much 'better' moths than this, but these really excited me because they were 'famous' moths! 
That night was the start of a really great partnership. I had the trap, generator and a car and Martin had the expertise. We trapped frequently for the next 3 years around Swansea, the Neath Valley and Gower, until I moved back to Newport at the end of 1998. 
A few weeks ago I realised that the 20th anniversary of the start of my moth trapping career was approaching and thought it would be great to go back to Crymlyn Bog with Martin to trap again. We went on the 18th, as the forecast was better than for the 19th. I  brought along 3 traps: a Skinner actinic, a Skinner MV and an MV on a microphone stand to place on a white sheet. I also brought along some 'sugar' in the hope of attracting an Old Lady or Red Underwing. We set the 3 traps up in a sort of Bermuda Triangle for moths with the microphone stand trap at the Visitor Centre, the actinic on the board-walk and the Skinner MV on the Old Dram Road, just past the Goat Moth Tree. I then remembered the sugar and painted it on gate posts and trees in between the Centre and the Goat Moth Tree.
One of the first moths to arrive at the microphone trap was a White-shouldered House Moth which we had probably disturbed from the Centre. It was soon joined by a Webb's Wainscot, proving that it wasn't just for micro moths! I had just been telling Martin how I had been trying to catch a Webb's Wainscot at Newport Wetlands for the past 15 years without success!

Webb's Wainscot

It was great to be running a trapping session again with Martin 17 years after we had last trapped together. The old team was back again and in top form, with Martin paying particular attention to the micro's. A Black Arches soon arrived and they kept arriving all night until we eventually had an impressive 12 of them dotted over the sheet.
The 'sugar' worked really well and about 20 minutes after dusk there were a Peach Blossom, 3 Copper Underwings, 3 Large Yellow Underwings and a Dark Arches feeding on the various posts and trees I had brushed it on. The only disappointment was that no Old Ladies deemed to turn up to the party.
We shut down the Skinner actinic, which we had placed near the end of the board-walk, at about 11pm as it was colder in this low-spot and we couldn't see any moths flying there then. We had just 5 moths of 4 species! A Brown China-mark, a Water Veneer, a Dingy Footman and 2 Agapeta hamana. With hind-sight it would have been better to have put this trap near the pond and under the shelter of some trees.
The Skinner MV had shut itself down when the generator had run out of petrol at  about 11.15pm, but there were still 16 species in there when we checked it at about 11.30pm. They were: Knot-grass, Small Rufous, Rosy Footman, Dingy Footman (5), Riband Wave, Sallow Kitten (2), Lime-speck Pug, Calamotropha paludella, Drinker (6), Yellow Tail, Common Carpet, Elephant Hawkmoth, Crescent, Six-striped Rustic, Haworth's Minor and a Garden Tiger (which was outside the trap and was lucky that I didn't tread on it). The Haworth's Minor got us quite excited because its not in the index of "The Moths of Glamorgan"! It is in the text however, with just 11 records.

Haworth's Minor

We finally shut down the Microphone Stand Trap at 1 o'clock and we had recorded 53 species, including 4 micro's that Martin took home to confirm their identi. High-lights were: a Rosy Footman, Green Arches, The Crescent (3), Triple-spotted Pug, Buff Footman (4), The Campion, Beautiful China-mark, Rosy Minor, Swallow Prominent, Peacock (2), Gold Spot and, just as we were packing up, a Poplar Hawkmoth. Six or more large bats had been feasting on the moths above the trap for most of the night, so I'm sure they had caught all the really rare ones!
It had been a great night with good company at one of my favourite sites.
Thanks Martin for getting me into moth trapping all those years ago, something which has given me so much pleasure for the past 20 years.
Thanks to Jamie Bevan, Senior Reserve Manager, NRW, for Crymlyn Bog NNR, for permission to trap and for giving me the keys to the Visitor Centre and car park.

Bridgend overnight (MV)

A cool night and an catch of 93 moths of 19 common species, dominated by 47 Large Yellow Underwings. The only thing worth noting anywhere near out of the ordinary was our first Udea lutealis of the year (first since 2013) and was our 173rd species for the year / 60th micro.

Monday 24 August 2015

Parc Slip

An addition to the catch on Saturday - this female ringed china-mark (I think) was sitting on the wall of the office. New to the site species list if that is what it is.

Sunday 23 August 2015

Another Leaf-miner in our garden

Well, our ten year old daughter has done it again. What enthusiasm. Following up her discovery of a tiny Firethorn Leaf-miner a few days ago, Holly has trumped it with what looks like a Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner! Two garden lifers in a week. The future of mothing is bright!
Mike Cram

Saturday 22 August 2015

Creigiau last night

Persevered last night despite the rain and was rewarded with 165 moths, although 74 of these were Large Yellow Underwing. Two new moths for the year - Acrobasis advenella and and a lovely little Chinese Character - which was also a new moth for me!

Acrobasis advenella

Chinese Character

Parc Slip

I put the trap out last night despite forecast heavy rain. It wasn't raining when i got to the trap this morning though and i had a decent catch so glad i made the effort: 176 moths of 55 species with only 23 LYU which was a bonus...
Highlights were a chocolate-tip, dark spectacle (2nd ever here), firsts for the year of sallow kitten, chinese character, iron prominent, canary-shouldered thorn and square-spot rustic.
As far as micros go i had my first ever Ypsolopha dentella, my second ever Ypsolopha sequella and firsts for the year of Monopis weaverella and Agriphila latistria.


The forecast didn't look too bad for last night, so I chanced running the trap in the garden. In the end it was a mild if damp night without any significant rain. 425 individuals of 61 species were recorded, with 227 Large Yellow Underwings making up over half the catch. Nothing terribly exciting however, the only snippets of interest provided by singletons of Azalea Leaf Miner, Anacampsis populella, Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix, Agriphila geniculea, Rusty-dot Pearl, Rush Veneer, September Thorn, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Copper Underwing, Oak Nycteoline and 2 Vine's Rustics.

Friday 21 August 2015

Creigiau last week

Two quite small trapping sessions last week but the minimum temperature dropped below 10C on both occasions ( 8.5C on Friday and 9.5C on Tuesday ). Still managed to get two new moths, both for the garden and me, a Six-striped Rustic on Friday and a Scarce Footman on Tuesday.

Forecast warmer temperature but wet weather for tonight but will probably put the trap out for GMS.

Six-striped Rustic

Scarce Footman

Thursday 20 August 2015

Firethorn Leaf-miner in our Bridgend home

Our daughter Holly discovered this pretty little moth in our garden lounge, just inside the house today. She seems to have this knack of finding the tiny! It is right alongside our lovely big Pyracantha! This species has spread across UK apparently. We think it is Firethorn Leaf-miner / Phyllonorycter leucographella. not a very good photo sorry, but better than none at all.


Wednesday 19 August 2015

Merthyr mawr last night.

                    Clavigesta purdeyi
                    Epinotia trigonella.
                    I took a 22W actinic to an area of Creeping willow about 500m
                    further on from our traps on Saturday night, from 9pm-11:30pm.
                    It was breezier than Saturday and I saw no Portland moths. No
                    different macros were added from the Saturday session, but I had
                    4 different micros, the two pictured, Caloptilia stigmatella and
                    Ypsolopha parenthesella.


I know everyone is probably sick of Merthyr Mawr posts by now, but thought it worth posting this final one now that I've dissected the micros I took home last Saturday night. All four of the Cnephasia I took proved to be conspersana, which until now was only known from western Gower and a single from Maesteg, though it is doubtless under-recorded. It is classed as nationally scarce and is mainly coastal in distribution.

Cnephasia conspersana

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Our Bridgend garden last night

105 moths of 25 species last night, the highlight what we think is a slightly worn White-spotted Pug - a first for us (389th / 267th macro).

Also new for the year were Mother-of-pearl, Marbled Green and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. Over half of the catch was dominated by the Large and LBB Yellow Underwing. Year total now up to 171 species (114 macro).

Merthyr Mawr update

I've now got all the records in from Saturday night and we had an impressive total of 175 species (excluding a few tbc). Marc Botham dissected the ear moths which turned out to be 4 Saltern Ear and 4 Ear Moth. Below are a couple of Paul's photos from facebook.

Garden Tiger (Paul Parsons)
Eulamprotes wilkella (Paul Parsons)

One more from Whiteford

It seems likely that this is Bryotropha desertella which has been recorded in 2003 from Whiteford but  Steve Palmer at the Gelechid Recording Scheme has kindly offered to dissect for certainty.

 Possible Bryotropha desertella

Four-spotted Footman in Creigiau 07 August

Following Dave's recent posting, if my ID is correct, a male Four-spotted Footman paid a visit to the garden the weekend before last.

Pyrausta aurata

In the garden yesterday afternoon trying to get some pics of hoverflies when this little beauty paused briefly in the flower bed. A new moth for the garden and me.

Pyrausta aurata

Four Spotted footman in Dinas Powys

I've just heard that Hilary Perry caught a Four Spotted Footman in her garden last night. These may be regular in the west of the county but there are only half a dozen or so records from the East.

A few pics from Whiteford Saturday 15th August. The Portland search.

Some photos from the dunes plus a Tissue and Magpie kindly shown me by Veronica in her garden trap.
Celypha cespitana

Grass Eggar, male

Oblique Striped

Galium Carpet

A rather handsome dark Agriphila tristella

Pyrausta purpuralis