Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Day flying moths on Devil's Bit Scabious

During the last two weeks, I've been working on habitat surveys centred on the 15 recent Marsh Fritillary populations within 5kms of Brechfa forest. Although as an incidental activity I've found larval webs on new sites near Capel Isaac and Figyn Common, and confirmed known sites in Brechfa and Salem, an unexpected bonus today in pony fields near Abergorlech was a fresh pyrausta moth settled on Succisa flowerhead. I think it is either purpuralis or possibly aurata, but just a nice sighting. At 3 sites near Brechfa today, there were also Silver-washed Fritillaries flying.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Maenol's Vestal

I've been wondering whether the Vestal might get as far as me, and sure enough one visited the MV trap last night.


Otherwise there was nothing else of much note, Feathered Gothic, Ear sp., Dusky Thorn, Oblique Carpet and Centre-barred Sallow being the pick of the rest.  Two mini-micros are still under review, proving a serious photographic challenge, and another large Scoparid (fw 11mm) is making me think Eudonia truncicolella again:


Also providing a puzzle is a micro (tortricid)  from Saturday night, predominantly grey/white but with a triangular darker patch centre back and darker areas along the costal fold:


Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Carn Cennen in daylight.

I have still to find an easier access to my favoured mountain trap site at the top of the Cennen ravine on Mynydd Du, but I keep trying! Today's sortie was a fairly level traverse from a rough track that goes over the mountain: I had about a mile of wet heather and bog to negotiate - it was tough going and I don't fancy carrying a generator and trap across it. Got caught in a bit of rain, but the view down the Cennen (in daylight, for a change!) was worth it.


Among the grass moths seen en route were some Catoptria margaritella.  Also seen were a few Common Carpets and several Silver Ys. I netted a couple of Eana osseana as well.

 Two pictures of one individual,

along with this one, which I think is the same species.

This limestone rock seems to have lichen along the bottom edge: is this Rhizocarpon geographicum and what has happened to the greater mass of it?

A good haul at Cnwc

The MV at Cnwc did pretty well last night, with 51 spp of Macro and 21 spp of Micro, including 40 each of Brimstone and Large YU.  Highlight was Orthopygia (Hypsopygia) glaucinalis new for Cnwc; this was recorded new for Carms last year, with a couple of records.  I was also pleased to get in on the Vestal influx, with a pink-striped individual.


Various other macros were nice to see: 10 Peach Blossom, 2 Dark Marbled Carpet (with 4 Common Marbled), 1 Phoenix, 1 Bordered Beauty, 2 White-spotted Pug, 1 Devon Carpet, 1 Satin Beauty, 1 Small Rufous, 2 Hedge Rustic, 2 Feathered Gothic, 1 small Rosy Footman, 1 Common Footman, 1 Chinese Character.



 Among the Micros were 2 Ringed Chinamark, 1 Water Veneer, 1 Prays ruficeps, 1 Epinotia ramella, 1 Mompha raschkiella and 1 Dioryctria abietella.


All in all, a worthwhile night.

Honour restored...

Until this year, I`d had a monopoly on cream-bordered green peas in Carmarthenshire, but 2016 saw Mel Jones capture this lovely moth further west along the Carmarthenshire coast at or near Llansteffan. Indeed, Mel has caught it no less than three times this year, indicating a resident population there as is also justifiably presumed to be the case at Pwll-Burry Port.
I was beginning to think that I might not catch a cream-bordered green pea this year, but one last night (27/8) `saved the day` (or should that be `saved the night`!). I include a photo below, with a backdrop of the current Radio Times. Note the reddish termen (rear wing border) suggesting an individual of the NW France/SW England population rather than those in SE/E England.
It may be worth trying for this species on the NW Gower coast - putting the traps near stands of sallow Salix cinerea (the Cornish population is thought to be using that willow rather than the thin-leaved ones such as S. viminalis etc).

                         Above and below: last night`s cream-bordered green pea, caught at Pwll, Llanelli.


It was not a bad night, with a few other moths of mild interest among the numerous large yellow underwings, causing restless mayhem in the traps and disturbing other, more placed species.
There were 7 silver y`s, and singles of rusty-dot pearl and rush veneer to represent the migrants, a FFY frosted orange and a wax moth Galleria mellonella. Also a gold spot, some Chilo phragmitella, lime-speck pug, tawny-speckled pug, Vine`s rustic, yellow-barred brindles and a tawny-barred angle. Brimstone moths were in unusually large numbers (38).

Postscript: here`s a belated photo of the wax moth from last night:


...and a pair of wetland moths that turned up, Chilo phragmitella and brown china-mark. Ringed china-mark is far more regular and common with me.



Saturday, 27 August 2016

Can anyone help with this one?

I am struggling to identify this micro (narrowed  down to Tortricidae?). Thank you.





A walk on Pembrey Burrows

A species of wild mint growing round one of the ponds on Pembrey Burrows LNR had attracted large numbers of Meadow Browns as well as Common Blue and Small Tortoiseshell. However this Painted Lady was especially lovely.