Tuesday 29 September 2015


I may be missing the obvious here, but I've been through three different moth guides & online but I cannot find anything that matches this moth. I was sent this by a work colleague taken at Whitchurch hospital recently. Any thoughts? The reniform & the black collar don't fit with anything seen.

Creigiau 26 September

Not very promising conditions but put the box out for GMS - temperature dropped to 3.5C ! Four moths in/on the box - Angle Shades, Dusky Thorn, Lesser Yellow Underwing and Light Emerald.

During the morning a moth emerged from its pupa. I found the caterpillar on the window back in May and it disappeared into the soil in June. Towards the end of July a pupa appeared on the surface of the soil and there it remained undisturbed until Sunday morning when a Large Ranunculus appeared. A pleasant surprise as, after all that time on the surface, I wasn't expecting anything to emerge.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Tachystola acroxantha in our Bridgend garden 25Sep15

Not the best photo in the world but this micro species was new for us in the garden a couple of nights ago.

Broughton last night 26Sep15

A quiet cool night with only seven moths of six species trapped. The highlight, our first Frosted Orange for the site, plus 1 Archer's Dart, 1 Green Carpet, 1 Garden Carpet, 1 Square-spot Rustic and 2 Silver Y. In and around the Broughton and Delvid Farm area today there were several Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter dragonflies and a few dozen Silver Y daytime.

Friday 25 September 2015

Parc Slip

Nothing special in the trap overnight - 27 moths of 13 species with the first frosted orange and pink-barred sallow always welcome. Psychoides filicivora was also in the trap here for the first time, though Paul has recorded the species on site before. Green carpet was the most abundant moth for the second week running.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Coleophora artemisicolella

While looking for the Toadflax Brocade larvae last Sunday I also spent a bit of time searching for larval cases of Coleophora artemisicolella on Mugwort. I was looking for the holes the larvae make in the seed heads (see photo on ukmoths) but couldn't find any of these. I did see a couple of suspicious looking seed heads which were browner than the others and attached to other seed heads at odd angles. I thought these might be the larval cases themselves so I took them home for closer inspection. By the next day frass had appeared in the container and one of the seed heads had moved, confirming it was indeed a larval case. Some of the feeding holes have since appeared too.

Coleophora artemisicolella larval case (top right)
Coleophora artemisicolella larval case (centre)
As far as I know there are just two previous South Wales records of this species, both from Carmarthenshire in 2005. Doubtless it is under-recorded as the cases are hard to spot - I just got lucky with the first one, which was sticking out at 90 degrees to the other seed heads on the plant. Worth looking for if you have any good stands of Mugwort locally.

Monday 21 September 2015

Some recent micros

Caloptilia betulicola, Gowerton

Caloptilia stigmatella, Crymlyn

Mompha locupletella, Gowerton

VC41 Fun

An idle half hour on the database. (My copy - others will differ)
Macros VC41 - Top 3 (records count only)

Our most common "Common" species
1. Large Yellow U/w 9602 recs.
2. Heart & Dart 6981 recs.
3. Brimstone 6768 recs.

Our most common "Local" species
1. Vine's Rustic 1129 recs.
2. Triple-spotted Clay 1114 recs
3. Coronet 1023 recs.

Our most common "Nb" species
1. Double Line 999 recs.
2. Devon Carpet 263 recs.
3. Blomer's Rivulet 197 recs.

Our most common "Na" species
1. Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth 83 recs.
2. Grass Eggar 43 recs.
3. Scarce Burnished Brass 37 recs.
[Note: all predominantly West Glam species]

Our most common "RDB" species
1. Silky Wave 52 recs.
2. Small Ranunculus 41 recs.
3. Dingy Mocha 6 recs.

Our most common "Migrant" species
1. Silver Y 6950 recs.
2. Dark Sword-grass 1193 recs.
3. Humming-bird Hawk-moth 551 recs.

DJS (SEWBReC) might have more records than shown above.
I'm sure someone might do the micros!

Sunday 20 September 2015

Creigiau - last night

Temperature dropped to 7C last night, so was pleased to find 21 moths of 15 species in/around the trap this morning. Two species were new for the year - a rather nice Large Ranunculus and a couple of Rosy Rustic. The box also contained a couple of Canary-shouldered Thorn and a Silver Y was seen feeding on one of the sedum plants.

Toadflax Brocade - breeding in Glamorgan

There have been four adult records of Toadflax Brocade in garden light traps in South Wales this year: two in Cardiff and two at St Brides (Gwent). It therefore seemed highly probable that this species was breeding locally rather than these being just wanderers from southern England.

I've been keeping an eye on toadflax plants around Llandaff and Llandaff North for the striking larvae of this species, but without any success. This morning I took a trip down to Cardiff Docks, which always seems a likely area for new arrivals to establish themselves. After a bit of searching I found two larvae on Purple Toadflax at Tremorfa Industrial Estate (ST210757) and a further solitary larva on Common Toadflax on the verge just outside the entrance to Cardiff Port (ST208751).

Toadflax Brocade larva on Purple Toadflax
The delightful habitat which Toadflax Brocade likes to call home: two larvae on Purple Toadflax growing along the fenceline
It will be interesting to see how widely this species spreads in South Wales in the coming years. Small Ranunculus breeds in the same area but its foodplant, Prickly Lettuce, is much less widespread than the toadflaxes, which are frequent on road verges as well as in gardens. Despite recolonising the county in 2004, Small Ranunculus hasn't spread much beyond the confines of urban and industrial parts of Cardiff, with just a few records from the Vale coast as far west as Rhoose. Toadflax Brocade may well be different...but only time will tell.

Large Ranunculus last night

We had a quiet moth session last night in our Bridgend garden (MV trap), 43 moths of 14 species, including this cracking Large Ranunculus (one of two) and also a nice Mompha divisella (agg).

Friday 18 September 2015

Banwen Pond

Barry Stewart kindly invited me along to trap on Wednesday evening.
Some interesting larvae from beating/sweeping.

Brimstone on hawthorn

Brussels Lace on hawthorn

Brussels Lace on hawthorn
Mystery, on hawthorn

Abia sericea, sawfly on Devilsbit Scabious

Thursday 17 September 2015

Parc Slip

Trapped at Parc Slip on tuesday night - not a great number of species as expected with temperatures down to about 9 - 40 moths of 18 species in total. A few nice autumnal species including the first rosy rustic of the year and only my second ever autumnal rustic here. Most common moth was green carpet with 9 and also good to see a few fresh light emeralds
4 species of micro including light brown apple moth, Epinotia ramella and the following which I would like a bit of help with please.

Monday 14 September 2015

Bridgend garden 12th Sep15

45 moths of 12 species were recorded on the night of 12th, the highlight was only our second record of Red Underwing. We also caught a day flying Vapourer on 13th - only our third record for the garden. This takes us to 182 species for the year (120 macro / 62 micro).

Holly also spotted a lovely well marked caddisfly species which we are pretty sure is Halesus radiatus.

Saturday 12 September 2015

NMN Thursday

Martin White and I ran traps at Crymlyn Bog NNR for National Moth Night on Thursday until 11.30
A respectable total of 54 species, with plenty of micros in spite of being coolish.
Best for me was Nemapogon clematella netted flying at dusk. 4th VC41 adult record. The larvae build noticeable external feeding tunnels on dead wood, often hazel but alder might be more likely in this location.
Also Blastobasis rebeli, 2nd VC41 record, the first being from the same place in 2010.
Possible Bactra lacteana, retained for confirmation. (Smaller at 6mm than B lancealana and with apical streak) Apparently no confirmed records for VC41, according to MapMate
One mystery, 10mm long, also retained for ID. Any thoughts?

Nemapogon clematella

Agonopterix umbellana

Blastobasis rebeli

Epermenia falciformis

Possible Bactra lacteana
Query. 10mm long

Bulrush Wainscot

Friday 11 September 2015

NMN at Abercregan last night.

                         Black rustic
                         Spilonota ocellana/laricella.
                         35 species with no migrants. Highlights were Anomalous,
                         Neglected rustic, Dark marbled carpet, Golden-rod pug,
                         Pinion streaked snout, Agonopterix umbellana and late
                         singles of Drinker and Sallow kitten.

NMN @ Bridgend last night

78 moths of 12 species again dominated by 40 Large and 11 Lesser Yellow Underwings. Other moths caught were 7 Light Brown Apple moth, 1 Garden Carpet, 3 Common Marbled Carpet, 2 Brimstone, 2 Light Emerald, 1 Double-striped Pug, 1 Dusky Thorn, 1 Copper Underwing, 7 Square-spot Rustic and 2 Silver Y.

Bull Cliff, Barry (National Moth Nights 2015)

MCP & myself decided that since the object of this year's NMN was migrants, then a coastal site would be more appropriate. As it turned out we only had 2  species of migrant: Dark Sword-grass & Sliver Y.
We had 38 species with a couple to ID. The highlights were Spindle Knot-horn (Nephopteryx angustella) the 3rd VC41 record, Coastal Pearl (M. asinalis), Variable Smudge (Y. ustella) [4], Galium Carpet [3], Pretty Chalk Carpet, Yellow-barred Brindle & Centre-barred Sallow [2]. The surprise of the evening was when we were packing up and a Mouse Moth flew to the head torch light and then landed on my hand. This species has declined dramatically in VC41, so it was somewhat reassuring that it hasn't vanished altogether. 
The highlight from my garden this am was a Red Underwing + usual suspects. 
Both Mike & myself are always amused when NMN comes up with a September 'lets look for migrants' Night. Alright having a trap in SW Cornwall, Scilly, Portland, Dungeness or the East Coast but it is slim-pickings here in Wales. The only 'Passenger' Mike had last night was me!

Cwmbach/Cefnpennar (Moth Nights 2015)

I decided to have Moth Nights to myself this year and trap at an old favourite site: one I haven't trapped for several years. It is a long disused sandstone quarry, between Cefnpennar and Cwmbach and over the years I trapped there regularly, I had some good records. As everyone must know, the target for MN 2015 is migrants, but as there was little chance of getting any, I set a personal target of trapping Grey Chi.
The quarry is typical of these long abandoned valleys quarries in being well vegetated with, in this case, heather, bilberry, wood sage, Gorse, bracken and acid grassland. In past years, it was burned regularly, keeping the gorse in check, but now the site was looking pretty overgrown.
The forecast was for a dry night, with a minimum just in double figures, all of which was true, but the light easterly breeze promised, actually began at force 3-4 and increased to 4-5, with occasionally stronger gusts, undoubtedly reducing the catch.. I was Joined by Martin Bevan and his daughter and we ran the traps ( a 125 watt Skinner and a 6 watt Heath) from 20:10 to 23:55 and recorded 41 moths. of 18 species identified, plus 1 still to be identified and as expected, no migrants.

One of the early arrivals was the target species; a lovely Grey Chi, which turned out to be the only one of the evening.

Grey Chi
Anomalous was another moth I hoped to get and in fact, four were trapped, including this female which turned up in the Heath trap.

Anomalous (Female)
I feel reasonably confident that this is Agonopterix propinquella, but stand to be corrected.

Agonopterix propinquella?
The mystery moth of the evening was what I at first though was a Bryotropha, but now I am no longer convinced.

I always think Neglected Rustic, such a smart looking moth.

Neglected Rustic
This has to be the most beautifully coloured Autumnal Rustic I have seen and it is always nice to see Small Wainscot.

Autumnal Rustic
Small Wainscot
On vegetation near the trap, was this Broom Moth larva.

Broom Moth
This carabid beetle was found on my leg. Its wings and wing cases don't appear to have formed.

Unknown Carabid Beetle
It was great to trap at this site again, but a pity the session was marred by it being so windy.

Moth night event - cancelled

Unfortunately due to the forecast heavy rain tonight George and I have decided to cancel the planned event at Cwm Colhuw.

Thursday 10 September 2015

Hummer in Cardiff

I finally saw a Hummingbird Hawk in my garden today. It's only taken 8 years. It spent about 5 minutes visiting wallflowers and verbena before zipping off. A fitting start to the migrant-themed Moth Night 2015.

Prochoreutis myllerana

I saw three of these cracking little moths on Fairwood Common yesterday, flying around in a boggy area with plenty of Lesser Skullcap (the larval foodplant).

Prochoreutis myllerana

Most of the VC41 records are from western Gower, Crymlyn Bog and Maesteg. This seems to be the first record for Fairwood Common.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

8th September, Llandaff

A rather chilly evening here in Llandaff, but saw a few autumnal moth posts appearing so fired up the old skinner trap. Nothing spectacular sadly, best of the catch and first for garden, The Crescent.