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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Thistle Ermine and Blackneck

I trapped again last night and got a reasonable haul, with Garden Grass Veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella), Heart and Dart and Dark Arches forming the majority of the catch. I was pleased to find a Blackneck.
Rather a handsome subtle moth I think.
I also found a large Ermine, as big as a macro, and sparsely spotted.

The wing pattern on the lower picture is identical to that in the book. The black spot on the neck looks like a wear mark.


Practice what you preach!

The moths just keep coming - about 10 minutes ago I was (again) watering some plants when I spotted a small, dark Pyrausta by some marjoram clumps, but I did n`t have a container! This was only an hour after me preaching to all to carry something into which to put that surprise moth.
Whatever, I went quickly to get a plastic pot and, luckily, the moth was still around and it was quite easy to catch.
It was Pyrausta aurata.

                                                         
I have n`t the time to post about last night`s catch, which included some good catches. I will do so later toady or tomorrow.
                                     

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Evening in the garden

Late yesterday evening (26/6), I went to garden to water some pot plants and Argolamprotes micella landed on my upper leg! Stupidly, I did not have a container in my pocket (ALWAYS carry a container!) so I tried, very carefully and slowly, walking back to the nearby kitchen (c 20 ft away) to fetch one. If someone could have seen my curious walking gait, they would have imagined I was doing a comedy sketch.
Unfortunately, a sudden gust of wind prompted the moth into flight and I lost it in the vegetation. Going around the garden (this time with a container) I could not relocate it or any others, though I did flush a good dozen diamond-back moths.
My garden traps were out last night and it was worthwhile, with at least one `goodie`.

Just perfect...

I`d told Adam (by email) that I was n`t going to trap last night (25/6) as I`d trapped the previous night. However, later yesterday evening, the conditions looked just perfect - really warm and windless, sullen and grey with black clouds in one direction...so, out went the two garden traps.
There was a decent haul this morning, though at this time of year one has to get up sometime between 4.00am and 5.00am to beat the birds. There was a distinct conifer theme to the contents, probably due to my proximity to extensive mixed woodland.
Dioryctia abietella, Rhyacionia pinicola and tawny-barred angles were the `conifer trio` and they may be new to this particular trap site, but there was also a nice mix of others too. They included, for example, sandy carpet, Eudonia lacustrata, rivulet, miller, clay and several heart and clubs.
Unwisely, I tried to photo some of the above in situ during the dawn gloom and the photos were very `muddy` indeed - in fact, awful. I should have instead potted up the specimens, though the Dioryctia was exceptionally flighty and I lost it even after a second chance to capture. I`ve posted photos of those two species from Pwll in the past and they are available via the use of the search facility on this blog.

Nothing migratory was caught, but later this week offers better chances.

Above: two colour forms of tawny-barred angle, the first being f. nigrofulvata and the second a rather worn normal type.

                             Above: Eudonia lacustrana. This and the next pic were taken later.
          Above: recent nights have seen fairly decent numbers of heart and clubs in my traps.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Pexicopia malvella

Readers may recall a couple of postings in 2017 and 2018 concerning my collection of larvae that were suspected to be Pexicopia malvella (`hollyhock seed moth`) from Malva at Burry Port harbour (2017) and from Althaea at Llangennech (2018).
Steve Palmer, the co-ordinator of the Gelichiid recording scheme has bred adults from the Llangennech larvae and these were indeed Pexicopia, thus absolutely confirming its presence in Carmarthenshire. It was also previously known from the north Gower saltmarshes in Glamorgan.
Thanks to Steve for all his much-appreciated efforts.

                                          Above: Pexicopia malvella. Photo: Steve Palmer.

A very quick trip to Pembrey...

I spent an hour at the north side of Pembrey Saltings this afternoon (25/6), revisiting the site as impending rain had driven me home last week. Today was n`t particularly successful - the chamomile shark caterpillars were (expectedly) re-found, there were many (35+) diamond-back moths with their erratic, zig-zag flights amongst the high tide vegetation and I spotted an oblique-striped.

                  Above: not the best pic - an oblique-striped lurking in the ground vegetation.
                Above: a mullein caterpillar on its namesake host plant, with its `offerings`!

Argyresthia dilectella

In the final stages of emptying and checking last night`s (24/6) traps, I noticed a tiny micro (body length: < 4mm) at the bottom. With great difficulty - I had to dampen the tip of my finger to place it into a small tube - it was `potted up`.
I believe that it is Argyresthia dilectella, a species that utilises junipers or cypresses, whether the former on natural habitats or both types planted in gardens and it has just one other Carmarthenshire record, from 2003. There are quite a few Glamorgan records.

Above: you`ll have to left-click on this one to see it! The mid-wing area has been worn by my `picking up process`, whereas the white head was very noticeable. For larval food-plants, my garden has several junipers and one cypress.