Wednesday 22 June 2016

Dusking at Pengam Moors

Ideal conditions for dusking last night (still, cloudy and mild) tempted me down to Pengam Moors (ST216766) to look for Netted Pug around the large stands of Bladder Campion.

I failed to see my target species but there was plenty of moth activity with 23 species recorded, the highlight being two male European Corn-borer Ostrinia nubilalis.

Ostrinia nubilalis

This migratory species is reported to be breeding in southern England in recent years, on waste ground with mugwort - just the habitat at Pengam. There are no reports of recent migratory examples on Atropos Flight Arrivals so I expect this species is now breeding in the area.

Other highlights were Yarrow Plume Gillmeria pallidactyla, White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, Broad-barred White, Sandy Carpet (common around White Campion),  lekking Ghosts, Eudonia pallida, Agapeta zoegana and Eucosma campoliliana.
Gillmeria pallidactyla on Bladder Campion


  1. Interesting stuff, George. What time do you reckon was the most productive period? (eg `between 10.00 and 11.00 or whatever). That`s very good news regarding residency for the European Corn-borer too. I hope that Brexit voters won`t put it off!

  2. Ian, it was quite when I arrived just before 10pm, then got busy at about 10:15pm as it got darker. I stayed until 10:45pm and there was a lot of stuff flying and nectaring on bramble and campions.

  3. Thanks George. I was reading that `dusking for pugs` article in Atropos yesterday and - remembering that you previously had said you`d give it a go - was wondering if you`d got around to try it yourself, which obviously you had. It`s a profitable way of recording it seems. I meant to give some local bilberry pugs a `go` by this method (at a known site) but, lazily, did n`t get around to it. So, well done George.

  4. There are several records of European Corn-borer from the Newport area, including photos from Richard Clarke, so I think it has been resident in SE Wales for a while. I have never seen one :-(