Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Apologies for late posting from our attempt to see Brown Hairstreaks in Llangeler back on 31st August. Does anyone know the beastie in photo - looks very much like one of the large horseflies.

You know it's Autumn.....

When these two are about!

 Frosted Orange and Rosy Rustic.

Only 49 moths of 18 species were trapped at Cwmllwyd last night (19 September), without too much excitement to report, although the next illustration shows the eighth of the species to be seen here this year - that is certainly a record for the site.

 Dark Sword-grass number 8.

 Many second generation species are smaller but more boldly marked than their earlier cousins. This is certainly true of:

Another moth of the autumn:

 Red-green Carpet.

I thought, briefly that I had found Agonopterix yeatiana - that would have been nice - but I think it must in fact be:

A. arenella.

So, not the most inspiring of nights, but good to see some diversity in the trap at last!

Quick note...

I was too tired and lacked time to put out any `away from home` traps last night (19/9), so it was just the garden trap. A rather poor mix, in low numbers, was present this morning, though the numbers (8) of silver y`s was high for recent moths. The second large ranunculus of the season was caught, but no sallows.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Re-started at last!

After quite a long period of hardly any trapping, I put out my traps both in the garden and in local woodland last night (18/9). It turned out cooler than anticipated (tonight, Tuesday, looks a better option) and this was reflected by the fairly low numbers of moths, though there is - as others have said - now an autumnal feel to the `moth-mix` with sallow, frosted orange etc.
A surprise in one of the two traps set out in Stradey Woods was a hornet (the wasp, not the moth!). Paul Sperinck made a daytime record of this giant wasp last year and very close-by at Cwmbach hamlet (which is located along the main road which goes through the woods), and it seems to be an increasing and spreading species in Carmarthenshire.

                               Above: this hornet turned up in one of my woodland actinics.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

First Sallows of Autum 2017 at Llandysul

Well, Autumn has arrived, and the weather this last week has been torrential, with local flooding here at Llandysul on the Carmarthenshire/Ceredigionshire border. Haven't trapped for some time, and when I did, early September week, all that was to be had were mostly LYU's, Brimstones and Square-spot Rustics. Also spotted on the wall was a Pretty Chalk Carpet and a few Green Carpets (sec gen).

I used the corner light Friday 15th Sept, and had 1 x Snout, 1 x Sallow, 1 x Pink barred-sallow, 1 x Spruce Carpet (sec gen,) 1 x Common Garden Carpet (sec gen), and one of the Thorns, which unfortunately, was too high up on wall to identify.

Tonight, Saturday 17th Sept, again with corner light looks to be either 2 Willow Beauty or a 3rd gen Engrailed has arrived?

                                                               Sallow - Cirrhia icteritia

                                                                                                                   Sallow - Cirrhia icteritia  

                                                      Pink-barred Sallow  -  Xanthia togata

                                                     Pink-barred Sallow  -  Xanthia togata

Happy trapping, leaf mining, larvae hunting and whatever else. Stay safe, dry and enjoy mothing and butterflies everyone.

It`s leaf mine season again...

I`ve hardly trapped for much of August and the early part of September, mostly for `weather reasons` and my daytime recording has been severely curtailed through lack of time.
As it was the first anniversary of last year`s leaf mining course at Cilgerran, I thought that I`d better restart, so off I went to Stradey Woods (on the western outskirts of Llanelli) for a little leaf mining and a general `look out`.
On some hybrid limes I found leaf mines of Bucculatrix thoracella (a known site where I`ve had leaf mines and adults before) but, today, I also found a larva in its distinctive striated cocoon (photo below).
Above: the B. thoracella larva in its cocoon. I`ve moved it slighty for a better photo - it was previously attached to the leaf by a silken thread.

I also found rolled down leaf margins on some lime leaves but all, except one (which had a small amount of silk), looked old and empty and I was wondering about the possibility of Roeslerstamia erxlebella. I`ll have to find some larvae!
A nearby wild service tree Sorbus torminalis (originally planted) had Phyllonorycter leucographella (silvery mine on upperside) but no Stigmella spp.

I also found a grey dagger caterpillar on elm. Dark and grey dagger moths cannot be reliably separated as adults unless genitalia dets are carried out, but their caterpillars can easily be i/d to species.
Below is a rather blurry photo - apologies!

This week coming is our main week in Carmarthenshire, looking for evidence of Marsh Fritillary at various sites around Brynamman, Cross Hands, Harford, Llanfynydd, Harford and Pumsaint. If you're interested in joining us on mostly species rich marshy grassland sites, then we'll be at our reserve in Cross Hands on Monday 18th (just turn at co-op car park (far end) for 10.00 o'clock). We'll try to get to some other sites from Wednesday onwards, so please contact me on <> or 0797 781 1404, if you are interested. Don't forget Meadows Group on Saturday!