Sunday 30 June 2019

Creigiau Tuesday 25 June

Some micros from the garden moth box on Tuesday night. my tentative IDs are as follows, but I'm not really sure about any of them so would appreciate assistance before I put them on SEWBReCORD.
Bryotropha sp
Ephestia unicolorella
Endothenia sp (2 images)
Phycitodes sp (2 images)
Wax Moth (2 images)

Hot in Horton

Two traps left overnight in a garden by Horton Cliff produced a very good haul yesterday morning, with ~944 individuals of 126 species, the more interesting including: Plutella xylostella 20, Argyresthia cupressella 1, Argolamprotes micella 3, Lozotaeniodes formosana 1, Delplanqueia dilutella 2, Anerastia lotella 1, Udea ferrugalis 1, Mecyna asinalis 2, Privet Hawk-moth 8, Silky Wave 1, Mullein Wave 2, Small Blood-vein 1, Fern 3, Pretty Chalk Carpet 1, Haworth's Pug 3, Shaded Pug 1, Grass Emerald 6, Reddish Light Arches 2, Shore Wainscot 5, L-album Wainscot 3, Devonshire Wainscot 1, Sand Dart 2 & Crescent Dart 1. With a count 217, Dark Arches was the commonest species, followed by 180 Heart & Darts and 50 Large Yellow ‘Underpants’. 

Later in the day we called in to see Veronica in Cwm Ivy; she had also recorded a bumper catch which including a Vestal she had potted up. She also observed a Hummingbird Hawk in her garden a couple of days previously and I saw one in the middle of Merthyr on the 26th. On the 27th we had two species at home, Argyresthia cupressella and Scarlet Tiger, taking our Gorseinon urban garden list onto 756.

Friday 21 June 2019

Moths on Dyer's Greenweed

There are quite a few rare micro-moths on Dyer's Greenweed (there's even a Butterfly Conservation factsheet devoted to them, see here).  One of the reasons the moths are rare is that greenweed is a much declined plant of old pastures. Another reason is that management of remaining stands of the plant is often inappropriate for the moths, for example heavy grazing or mowing in late spring or early summer would remove any micro-moth larvae that would be feeding on the plants at the time.

Last year I found a larva of Mirificarma lentiginosella on greenweed on a chance visit to Cosmeston Lakes CP (see blog post here). I followed this up with a survey for Butterfly Conservation at Lavernock Point Nature Reserve last week, and was delighted to find not only quite a few M. lentiginosella larvae, but also four larvae of the rarer Agonopterix atomella. The latter species was only known from around 10 UK sites, with no Welsh records since the 1970s (those were in Gwent, where I failed to find it on surveys in 2014-2015).
Agonopterix atomella larva
Greenweed plants where Agonopterix atomella found
Mirificarma lentiginosella larva
Encouraged by this I thought it was worth a more extensive search at Cosmeston, and a visit yesterday resulted in a couple of M. lentiginosella and, more excitingly, seven larvae of A. atomella. These were spread over a wide area, in three different fields.

So we now know of two Welsh sites for these scarce moths, both in Glamorgan and separated by only a mile or two. The moths might be out there somewhere else, but there aren't many sites with good stands of the foodplant.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Port Eynon Pug

Visiting for a week from Bucks and trapping in my mum's garden.

This pug came on Saturday night, and as I'm useless at most pugs, someone has suggested Maple Pug (albeit a bit early). I would appreciate the thoughts of those who know better the status locally. I see from the excellent glamorganmoths website (I wish we had similar in Bucks!) that there is a record from Gower in June 2018 so that makes me think it can be early!

Dave Morris
Port Eynon

Sunday 9 June 2019

Creigiau 06 June

Found this tortrix in Friday night's moth box. I think it could be Cnephasia asseclana, which would be a new moth for me. Grateful for confirmation/correction.

(Don't know why, but I seem unable to reply or comment on this blog at the moment. So apologies to Stephen - I have tried several times to respond to his comment on my 'longhorn' on 22 May)