Friday, 16 February 2018

Bankesia conspurcatella

Back in 2004 I found a larval case at Radyr train station that I tentatively identified as the Psychid Bankesia conspurcatella. At the time it would have been new to Wales, and the various experts that I showed it to were not sufficiently familiar with the case to be able to confirm it without an adult male. In January and February 2005, I found winged males of this species in Gabalfa, adding some weight to my identification of the Radyr case, but it could still only really be considered an unconfirmed records. There have been no further records in Wales (to my knowledge) of this species.

Yesterday, on a SEWBReC outing to Forest farm I was able to spend a fair amount of time around searching the area around the original location and eventually found some cases that match that original 2004 case. All four cases were on or around the footbridge that crosses the Taff between the station and Forest Farm.

The literature suggests that they should be pupae at this time of year, with the adults emerging in the next few weeks - but my Gabalfa records suggest that the flight period is already over so I'm not confident that I'll get any adults from the cases I collected, but you never know. I am 99% certain that they are Bankesia, but it would be good to get that confirmation!

The cases are not very photogenic, but if anything does emerge I will post something here!

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