Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Cwmllwyd 27 June 2016

124 moths of 38 species, including 14 FFYs (all common moths of summer) in the MV trap at the alder grove last night (Monday). Notable for its absence was Double Line - I've not seen one yet this year - slightly concerned. Photographic highlights included:

 Brussels Lace

 Very common, but beautifully marked Dipleurina lacustrata

Well behaved (and skilfully trained by yours truly) both forms of Coronet.

I wish that I had stayed in bed...

I put out the traps at both home and `away` last night but the results were disappointing and did not justify the 4.30am  rise. My `away` traps were at woodland sites at Stradey Woods, but most of the catch was of lesser numbers (and variety) of moths that I`d previously recorded. Tawny-barred angle, common lutestring, waved carpet (two sites) and scalloped hook-tip were the best of the mediocre away-from-home catch and double line the best in the garden trap. In the latter, plenty of lackeys, several tiny pinion-streaked snouts (that newcomers may think are micros) and the season`s first dingy footman (f.stramineola). I desperately need to get my energy levels up, `my act together`, await good mothing weather and trap some new habitat!

                                                        Above: scalloped hook-tip.
                                            Above: the melanic form of common lutestring.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Not moths

Apologies for the non-lepidopteran post but whilst on my Kidwelly walk last week I came across a few other inverts including these two which I have suggested identifications for. Can anyone confirm or deny please?
Urophora quadrifasciata?

Welsh chafer, Hoplia philanthus?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Quick post: not a lot at the allotments...

A rather hasty post - I had a couple of traps out at home last night (25/6, with some micros not yet looked at) and also two actinics at an allotment site at Llanelli. Unless one of the micros proves interesting, there is not a lot to report for both localities, though there was actually a moderate array of common seasonal moths.
Of some interest at the allotment site was a single small elephant hawk-moth, a poplar grey and the season`s first clay and lackeys.

                                 Above: the urban allotment trap site, at Bryntirion, Llanelli.
                                             Above: last night`s small elephant hawk-moth.
Above: when I saw this moth, I pursued it to see if it was a spinach (a now-rare moth which feeds on blackcurrant leaves as a caterpillar - a plant that is grown at the allotments), but unfortunately it was the superficially similar barred straw.

Llansteffan moths

A few queries on moth i/d if any one can help please. Caught this month. Got a few ideas but want confirmation, many thanks

Llansteffan moths

"Mel has a second Pea" A suggested title by a certain comedian.

I trapped on the 23rd and had this Shark which was a nice find, as well as a Privet and 2 Elephant Hawk-moths. Some of the moths I'm getting now are a bit worn looking.  But apart from the Pea nothing unusual.

Friday, 24 June 2016

At the beach...

I received a phone call this morning from Barry Stewart, asking if I`d like to come with him to help survey the Tywyn Point area (the northernmost tip of Cefn Sidan sands at the RAF Bombing Range) for the rare carabid beetle Eurynebria complanata, an `old friend` from my beetling days.
Barry was undertaking a survey on behalf of NRW and had previously surveyed other parts of Cefn Sidan as well as Laugharne-Pendine Sands (`MoD Pendine`) and Whiteford Burrows in NW Gower.
Alarmingly, Barry told me that this species - dubbed the `strandline beetle` is now confined to these three areas in the UK.
Obviously, I was keeping an eye open for moths too - but apart from the driftline not being optimum moth habitat, brief forays into adjacent terrestrial habitat were not productive, with a strong, gusty wind making use of sweeping techniques almost impossible. The only moth seen was a lost pyralid - Catopria pinella, looking incongruous in the marram grass. However, two sand darts were discovered lurking under plastic debris - the current collecting of such debris by well-meaning but misinformed volunteers is doing damage to a suite of specialised invertebrates, as well as hampering dune re-formation after erosion.
                                                Above: one of the two sand darts seen...
Above: ...and the other one. This heavily-marked individual made me consider that it may something else, but a quick, rushed check suggests it is a sand dart - correct me if I`m wrong please. Click on pics to enlarge.
                                                         Above: Barry hard at work!
Above: `forgive the beetle no 1`- Broscus cephalotes a frequently-found carabid under beach debris.
Above: `forgive the beetle no 2` - the soldier beetle look-alike - Nacerdes melaneura, whose larvae bore into maritime woody debris.
Above: I`m sure that you`ll forgive beetle no 3 - the object of our survey, the strandline beetle, Eurynebria complanata. This was just part of an aggregation of at least 72 individuals (representing a sizeable proprtion of the UK population) found under a plastic container at Tywyn Point. All our other counts were of much smaller numbers (typically 1-5) . This beetle is threatened at Pembrey Burrows at the eastern end of Cefn Sidan by illegal wood collection and over-zealous beach cleaning.
Finally, we had a very brief stop to look at a fen-grassland area near the Bombing Range entrance, but it seemed that the moths were sheltering deep in the vegetation, away from the strong wind. A silver hook was spotted, but the swaying twig upon which it perched was buffeted by the wind and off it flew before a photo could be taken. I recall having this moth nearby, 30 years ago in June 1986, on the very first Dyfed Invertebrate Group field meeting at this site.