Welcome to the recording blog for the Carmarthenshire Moth and Butterfly Group.
Could members please add any moth or butterfly records or any general items of interest by making a new post.
Although everyone can comment on a post you will have to be a member to add a new post.
Sunday 5th July
Quite a good haul of species in Llansteffan last night including two new species for me Ghost moth and Beautiful Carpet. One micro I am encountering regularly but am not sure of is ? Telechrysis tripunctata. Apologies for the poor focus on the Beautiful Carpet.
Although not in the same league as Jane who, with her capture of three excellent macro-moths achieved `triple glory` at Rhandirmwyn this week, I carried out some day-time searching over the last couple of days which also provided some records.
On Wednesday (1/7), I visited Frwd Fen, a reedbed/wetland reserve jointly owned by the Llanelli Naturalists and the Wildlife Trust near Pembrey. A Coleophora spotted on a bramble leaf looked decidedly different from the ubiquitous C. serratella that I often find. After a bit of online checking, it seemed that my Ffrwd Coleophora was not actually a bramble-associate and I suspected that it may have been blown off the surrounding sallow canopy above by recent strong winds. C. lusciniaepennella seemed to `fit the bill` and George Tordoff later kindly confirmed it as such. Photo below:
A few moths were on the wing or flushed - many five-spot burnets, some Glyphipterix thrasonella, a couple of shaded broad-bars and one or two others.
Above: I recently mentioned some common Mompha spp. leaf mines etc on willowherbs. Well, here is another common species - and one for Sally to find - this time on rosebay willowherb - M. raschkiella. Just check your local stands and it may well be there. Incidentally, in the 1st photo above (the one showing the rosebay en masse), you will note a tree in the middle distance. That is a true black poplar (rather than a hybrid or variety) that I planted back in about January 1994 - it`s now about 30ft high. I`d grown it, along with others, from some cuttings from Pysgodlyn in Mons (Gwent)....more on poplars later.
The best - actually very surprising - find at Ffrwd was non-lepidopteran. Whilst bent-over and stalking moths with my net, I flushed a bush-cricket. Although it looked rather too light a brown, I dismissed it as a wandering dark bush-cricket from the nearby hedgerow - but then I saw more. Catching one, I could see the distinctive bright apple-green underside: it was a bog bush-cricket, a very scarce species of lowland heaths and bogs and only known in Carmarthenshire from the raised bog at Cors Goch Llanllwch (W of Johnstown, Carmarthen) and also possibly Beacon Bog to its south-west. Photo below:
The next day (Thursday 2/7) saw me at a couple of sites in extreme south-east Carms. First of all I visited an area of rough ground immediately next to the sewage works at Llangennech, an area of a mixed weed community with much goosefoot, mayweeds etc. Both these plants have local or scarce moths associated with them but I found nothing of note, though silver ys (x3) and diamond-back moths (x5) were flushed. I could n`t linger, as the site is on an island which is cut off by high tides and the tide was coming in.
I mentioned poplars earlier. Last year, I discovered some mines of Phyllocnistis unipunctella on balsam poplars at Llanerch (Llanelli) and remembering one such tree at Bynea (outside `Dyfed Steels`) I had a look and was pleasantly encouraged to immediately find some mines.
Above: the `snail-trail` leaf mines of P. unipunctella which burrows just under the epidermis. I`m not sure if this species has been recorded in Ceredigion, but vc 46 mother`s will have a good lead as Arthur Chater, in his magnificent Flora of Ceredigion, gives full details (on p 430) of where Populus `Balsam Spire` grows in that county. It may also occur on other poplars.
I finally went to the nearby Morfa Berwig LNR and although there were several common moths to be seen, nothing noteworthy was recorded. The soldierfly Stratiomys singularior (and another soldierfly - Oxycera rara seen the previous day at Ffrwd), may be of interest to some.
I feel almost embarrassed to follow Jane's post describing her remarkable catch on Tuesday night, but I need some help so here goes. Nothing out of the ordinary turned up here, although it was nice to see the pine-feeding gelechid Exoteleia dodecella again:
One noctuid is giving me some id problems though, it's one of the Dart group I think:
The only Darts I've seen here regularly are H&D and Double Dart, although I have had Turnip Moth once, in 2015. Could this one be a small TM? If so it's not a male because the hindwings were dull grey-brown, not pearly white, and the antennae weren't feathered. Might it be a Heart and Club? Perhaps someone will be able to say one way or the other, I'd be grateful for any advice.
On 30th I put the Actinic out at the last minute, more in hope than expectation. Sure enough during the night the heavens opened and at 04.45 I staggered down to a soaked trap and what looked like a few of the usual suspects within. I potted a strange looking Riband Wave, put the trap under cover, secured it against the crafty robin and had a few more hours shuteye.
The first moth that greeted me after breakfast was a Beautiful Hook-tip, new for me and well named. After that it was the usual - Brimstone, Spectacle, Garden Tiger, Elephants, Rustics etc plus 3 Double Striped Pugs and a plain looking pug, very fresh but few markings which I duly potted.
Writing up notes and inspecting the fridge pots I came upon the earlier, rather battered 'Riband Wave', and on closer inspection it didn't have the nice kink in its 'wave', and was a bit small and plain looking. I sent a pic to Ian ' saying 'Could this possibly be Plain Wave?' Both Ian and Sam have now confirmed that it is indeed a Plain Wave. Very exciting as it is the first confirmed Carmarthenshire record.
And then there was the rather unexciting looking pug. I put that on the Facebook page 'Pugs in Flight Tonight' and almost immediately had a response saying Haworth's Pug, identified by size, pink blotch on the thorax and lack of discal spot.
So what I thought would be a bit of a waste of electricity turned out to be a bumper night of three new moths for me, one of which was new for the county.
Thanks to Sam and Ian, and to the FB Pug group, who are all always really helpful.