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.