Sunday, 23 July 2017

Tywi dusking

Yesterday evening (22/7), I paid an hour`s visit to Morfa-uchaf, a small area of sandy grassland and saltmarsh on the Tywi estuary, just north of Ferryside. It is a site known to Sam and, a few years back, I recall him finding a scarce moss here - Bryum warneum (I think).
I had been hoping to check stands of sea purslane for Coleophora (but that plant was almost absent) and also to `keep an eye out` for any late rosy waves (none were seen). There is a different saltmarsh plant assemblage here - basically a more rushy one, with an absence (or almost so) of many species found previously at North Dock and Pembrey.
There are stands of alder, admixed with occasional Salix fragilis and S. viminalis, the latter two willows having established themselves from stem fragments washed downstream by the Tywi - `natural cuttings`, as it were.

       Above: looking seawards, with Llansteffan on the right-hand side. Click on pic to enlarge.

About ten or so moth species were noted, with the quite distinctive `grass-moth` Agriphia latistria perhaps being the most interesting, though some saltmarsh Bactra may prove to be robustana. A rush veneer was flushed from dry grassland and Eucosma campoliliana was netted at ragwort (its host plant). A single Argyresthia goedartella was spotted on an alder leaf. Indeed, checking of leaves proved quite profitable (see below) and Oxycera trilineata (a soldier-fly) was also discovered by that activity.

                                                              Above: rush veneer.
Above: also on alder was this Coleophora case. Several species occur on this tree, but I don`t know if this case is identifiable.
Above: more spectacular and easier to identify is this gall, caused by a fungal plant pathogen - Taphria alni.
                           Above: I`m not sure if this mine is that of Chrysoethia sexguttella.
Above: returning home, I could n`t resist taking this photo looking out across Carmarthen Bay to west Gower. Note the sinister sea-serpent form of Worm`s Head at its western termination and also the broad expanse of the Lower Gwendraeth in the middle of the photo, with Pembrey Forest seawards of it. These coastal grazing levels are perhaps one of the best surviving areas of that particular habitat in Wales. Again, click on pic to enlarge.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

In the old ewe's paddock

At Cwmllwyd this evening, beaten from sallow: Gelechia sororculella.

A poor night...

I left out an MV trap in the garden last night (21/7), as I was hoping for something brought in on the southerly winds, but the catch was very poor both in terms of variety and numbers.
The `best` moth (of an undistinguished lot) was - as with Steve - attracted to my window, mine being a bordered beauty:

Late, or early?

On the Kitchen window last night: I'm guessing late season as it's in fine condition - Devon Carpet.

Flight periods said to be mid May to June and then early August until mid September. Two seen at Cwmllwyd in the last couple of days.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Micros out of the fridge - Pammene regiana

I caught this attractive micro with the Double-lobed that I`d posted previously, but it was a jumpy specimen and impossible to photograph it until it had stopped moving.
My apologies for the out of focus head, but I just couldn't get it all into the focal plane!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Two nights` worth of trapping...

I had the traps out in the garden both last night (Tues, 18/7) and on Monday night (17/7), with four additional traps also out on Monday - one in a suburban garden in west Llanelli and three in mixed woodland nearby. However, the latter effort was n`t really worth the effort in terms of results.
Some common migrants were around, mostly in the home traps, with numbers of silver y`s reaching 9 last night (Tues) with 3 dark sword-grasses; also singles of diamond-back and rush veneer (as trap captures). Incidentally, I noticed good numbers of the regularly immigrant hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri yesterday evening whilst `dusking` at Machynys, Llanelli, as well as two more diamond-backs, all perhaps brought in on the strong south-easterly winds. Large yellow underwings totaled 42 in my two garden traps last night and they made the usual nuisance of themselves by disturbing other moths, causing them to become rather worn. Large numbers of small water boatmen filled my actinic (but not the MV) and, before I forget, this year has seen huge numbers of one of the smaller caddis flies in my traps.
As for other moths, four-spotted footmen were in my garden traps as well as in the other suburban actinic (and in one of the woodland traps); a slender brindle turned up in one of the garden traps (I have a `record shot` poor pic of a worn moth - blame the LYUs!); black arches and dun-bars were FFYs in several of the traps. Six Freyer`s pugs were in one of the woodland actinics located near some cypresses.
The proximity of my garden to wetland areas resulted in the usual good numbers of ringed China-marks, some water veneers and a massive wetland pyralid of which more below.

Above: this female Donacaula forficalis matched the scale line given in Chris Manley`s book for Schoenobius gigantella, but the concavity of the termen (back end of the wings) suggests the former species - unfortunately!
        Above: ringed China-marks are regular and often quite numerous in my garden traps.
                Above: this white-line dart probably came from the adjacent coastal grasslands.
Above: my first female four-spotted footman of the year; I`ve had males in the trap on several occasions.
Above: new (I think) for my garden was this Eudemis profundana, a moth associated with oak. Strangely, I did n`t record it in my woodland traps on the same night!
Above: again in my garden, Zeiraphera ratzburgiana, associated with spruce and other conifers.
Above: I`ve mentioned a hoverfly species already and here`s another one but, this time, caught within my garden actinic. It`s the effective bumble-bee mimic hoverfly Volucella bombylans.

A Right Royal Occasion on Monday Might

It must have been, there were so many Footmen around.  I clocked a total of 31 Dingy, 5 Rosy and 2 Buff.  They were needed, too, in order to cater for the large population of moths - not quite as many as Steve's impressive total, but 310 individuals of 76 species is a remarkable turn-out at Maenol.  The most notable for me was the first record of Clay Triple-lines:

FFYs included Iron Prominent, Dun-bar, True Lover's Knot, Antler Moth, Red Twin-spot Carpet, and Magpie Moth:

           True Lover's Knot                                  Iron Prominent

and amongst the micros, Carcina quercana, Agonopterix nervosa and Pyrausta purpuralis:

          Agonopterix nervosa                            Carcina quercana

I didn't have the energy to set a trap last night, but I left the porch light on and was rewarded by another flock of Footmen (these Royal occasions do drag on), together with 2 Engrailed, 2 Yellow-barred Brindle, and a very small greenish pug:

Is it a Green Pug, or possibly a Sloe Pug, or is its condition not good enough to be sure?

Finally, on the ground under the porch light I found this hind-wing:

It looks very distinctive, but I don't recognise it.  Perhaps someone might though?