Friday 31 August 2018

Agriphila selasella clamp down!

Ok so more of a word of caution rather than a clamp down but I will be questioning Agriphila selasella records as some of you will already be aware. Something that looks like Agriphila tristella but has a white median line is not automatically Agriphila selasella - the differences are a bit more subtle than that!

In Goater's book he refers to a facial cone, which I never understood until I came across Chris Lewis' website here.

This is a nice example of a white-lined tristella that I caught last night.

I always thought that the cone was the furry bit above the palps, but in fact on my photo here it is more of pronounced jutting forehead above the eyes.

It is not clear on Paul's photo of a selasella from Margam a month ago, but what his photo does show is the nice even white median line, which on my photo you can just about make out gets narrower around the half way mark.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Bridgend garden last night

Overnight trapping with MV light produced 98 moths of 28 species, dominated by 45 Large Yellow Underwing. The highlights were our first ever Treble-bar (440th garden species) and a lovely Red Underwing, only the third record for us. Chinese Character was new for the year but there were also some nice Turnip and Small Square-spot.

Caterpillar query

I found these two in my garden in Pontycymer yesterday - I think the first is a buff ermine but no idea about the second. Apologies for the incomplete picture - the caterpillar was found on the floor beneath nettle/bramble/bracken and was about an inch long...

Saturday 25 August 2018

Geranium Bronze ???

Just taken this image in the garden. Looks remarkably like a Geranium Bronze ... can't think what else it could be.

Friday 24 August 2018

Dunraven 22W actinic. 9-12pm 21/8/18

             Wax moth. lifer.

             Dusky thorn

             Lesser spotted pinion (5)

             Hedya ochroleucana

             Ypsolopha nemorella, lifer.
             38 sp in all inc -  Large yellow underwing (37). Annulet (5),
             Silver Y (8), Dark sword grass (2) and Mecyna asinalis (3).

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Coleophora on birch

I've seen cases of a couple of interesting Coleophora species on birch during recent Marsh Fritillary web surveys. On Pengwern Common (Gower) last week there were numerous cases of Coleophora milvipennis on small birch trees near the western edge of the common. There seems to be just one previous county record, also from Swansea. The cases are strongly flattened compared with the commoner serratella, whose cases are much smaller at this time of year.

The next day, at WTSWW's Y Gweira reserve at Llantrisant Common, this rather nice case of Coleophora violacea was found on top a birch leaf. This is another species with very few county records, with recent sightings only in the Alun Valley (on bramble).

Monday 20 August 2018

Bactra lacteana

I noticed a small Bactra flying around over a 'sedge lawn' (basically overgrazed marshy grassland) at Tonyrefail last week, and wondered if it might be Bactra lacteana - a poorly-known species which breeds on sedges.
I've just dissected it and it is indeed B. lacteana (a male), which may be the 3rd county record. The previous two records were made by Chris Manley in recent years (too late for the book) and confirmed by dissection. Good to know it is in the east of the county too.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Llandaff - Garden - 18th August

It's been very poor trapping here in Llandaff, over the past few weeks. Nothing of note apart from Gold Spot, Garden Tigers, Ruby Tigers, Copper Underwings, Poplar and Eyed Hawk's.

I did have a couple of garden firsts, a Hummingbird Hawk Moth and a handful of Comma larvae on the young Sallows around the garden. Plenty of Holly Blues, Small and Large White's, Speckled Woods, one Meadow Brown, a single Peacock, but no Red Admirals or Tortoiseshell's

There was plenty of cloud cover last night but then came the drizzle and misty rain. A poor night again but there was an interesting moth on the outside which looks to be another first for the Garden,  a Calamotropha paludella. It does indeed have bright white hind wings. Also another first was a Peacock Moth.

Friday 17 August 2018

Gilfach (west), Maesteg SS8487

Stumbled upon a resting Phaulernis fulviguttella in an Angelica [foodplant] patch on a forestry track, not on Angelica but the nearest plant to it . Looking at the Moths of Glamorgan there's only been one previous record, that being 2002 @ Afon Argoed [MJW] which is 7kms away but on the same mountain ridge. Also new for the valley.

Sunday 12 August 2018

Aproaerema anthyllidella?

Sorting through the meagre GMS catch, yesterday, I found this tiny micro, dead in the drain funnel.

The only moth illustrated in Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, that seems to match it is Aproaerema anthyllidella and the description seems to match fairly well too.
Although a bit knocked about, the cillia are reasonably intact and in part, appear to show a thin, dark band or stripe.

The main larval food plant is given as Kidney Vetch and as far as I am aware, the nearest Kidney Vetch to my house is around three miles away, but there might be some closer that I am not aware of.

The two given confusion species, both of which are rarer; Eulamprotes immaculatella and Syncopacma albipalpella are not illustrated in the book, but viewing them on UK Leps, their outward appearance doesn't seem to match as well.

It is quite probable that I am barking up the wrong tree with this, so opinions welcome.

Friday 10 August 2018

Mirificarma lentiginosella

On a family visit to Cosmeston on 10th June I noticed some good stands of Dyer's Greenweed in the meadow adjacent to the kids' playground. Having done some targeted surveys for rare micro-moths on this plant in England the previous week, I couldn't resist a look for larvae. After a bit of searching I found a spinning with a larva which looked a good match for Mirificarma lentiginosella, but with no Welsh records of this moth since one in Pembrokeshire in 1875 it was necessary to try and rear it through to confirm the ID.

Although the larva fed up and pupated successfully, by early August no moth had hatched and I'd assumed the pupa had dried out in the hot weather. So I was delighted this morning to find a newly-emerged adult in the pot, confirming it as lentiginosella - exactly two months after I collected the larva.
There is quite a lot of greenweed at Lavernock Point and it will be worth some searches there...the icing on the cake wound be finding Agonopterix atomella, which has a couple of old Welsh records from Gwent.

Sunday 5 August 2018

Dunraven last night with Tate and Elisa Lloyd.

                      Lesser spotted pinion, 8 + one in Tate's trap.  Dunbar

                      Dark sword grass

                      Cochylis roseana.
                      51 species in all inc, Hoary footman, Annulet and Magpie moth.

Saturday 4 August 2018

2nd generation Dingy Skipper

I recorded a Dingy Skipper at Garnwen, Maesteg, this afternoon. Looking back over my records I have only seen this species between 16 May and 22 June in the valley. So this is my first 2nd/summer generation record. Is anyone else recording them in August, particularly inland ?

 Also had a Hummingbird Hawk-moth, which proved impossible to photograph properly, hence my poor attempt.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Bridgend garden last night

Despite some overnight rain here, we caught 45 moths of 23 species with MV light. The highlights were our first Purple Thorn for the garden (438th sp), Lychnis and Small Seraphim - all new for the year. This takes the year list to 201 and well on course to break our best total of 222 in 2006. There was also a lovely Canary-shouldered Thorn and a Dusky Thorn.