Sunday, 15 July 2018

Acleris forsskaleana

I noticed this land on a curtain in the front room last night and potted it. Another new species for Gors Road.
                                                                Acleris forsskaleana

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Not such a good idea...

Being of marked `Ebenezer Scrooge tendencies`, a couple of months ago I potted up a hart`s-tongue fern from the garden to save me buying a house plant. It seemed to function quite well in its new role but, recently, I noticed that its leaves were becoming slightly discoloured and yellowy.
I thought that it might be due to some sort of nutrient deficiency but the reverse (underside) of the fronds `gave the game away` - it was heavily infested by the micro-moth Psychoides filicivora.
I`d noticed a few adults of this species on the plant and on the adjacent window in the spring, when I`d first brought the plant indoors, but obviously they have since and laid eggs on my indoor fern. Here - free from predators - they are doing well (too well!) and I`d better take the plant outdoors or Psychoides filicivora may become a troublesome house moth here!

                                                      Above: the plant in situ indoors.

Above: the underside of a frond showing the eaten linear spore-producing sporangia (the pale ones) and the uneaten darker ones. Also visible are the clumped masses of sporangia in which the larvae have gathered and in which they hide. Carefully open these masses to see the larvae.
Search your local hart`s-tongue ferns, but be aware of the related P. verhuella. You will need to check the larva`s head - one species is very dark brown (verhuella), the other (filicivora) a much lighter brown. Just `google` the species` names on `UK Moths`for good photos.

Digitivalva pulicaria

I think this is Digitivalva pulicaria a tiny micro, not much bigger than a Diamondback.
When I first started moth-trapping a few years ago, I was disappointed when I saw a Pebble Hooktip in the trap whch flew off before I could pot it. This morning I at last had another, albeit rather battered.
I also had another White-line Dart, Elephant Hawkmoth and six Buff Ermine amongst others. The Common/Lesser Common Rustic season has well and truly started with four of these unidentifiable noctuids.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Maenol Hosts Butterfles, too

This Red Admirable allowed me to watch it wake up this morning:




The MV on Wednesday night attracted a host of moths, with Uncertain/Rustic, Dark Arches, Heart & Dart, Common Rustic (agg), Straw Dot, Elephant Hawk Moth and Clouded Border making up a high proportion of the catch.  Large YU are not yet as numerous, and the more familiar Carpet Moths (Garden, Common & Silver Ground) were notable for their absence.  However, Red Twin-spot was a FFY, as were several micros including the Pyralid Gold Triangle.   I may add others to the blog later for completeness - if I get around to it!


Agriphila selasella rather than A.tristella, I believe....


...and I've got these two Ermines down as, respectively, Yponomeuta evonymella and E.padella:


Confirmation and/or contrary views would be welcome!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Handsome macros in Burry Port

I don't see many Garden Tigers and always feel a surge of excitement when I see the distinctive markings and bright colours.
Scalloped Oak is not common in my garden, maybe 2 or 3 a year, but last night I had six!
There were also some firsts - Nut Tree Tussock

You wait years and three come along at once.
I also found my first Dark Spectacle - handsome markings.












And my first, beautiful, Black Arches

Silver-washed fritillary in Cothi Valley



Plenty of Silver-washed fritillary along the Cothi valley. Seemed to be there when the sun was shinning and disappear into the tree-tops when a cloud came over. At least 9 in various places between Ynys-wen bridge and Nant-y ffin.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Moths in Pots....

I had the garden traps out again last night (10/7) and there was no shortage of moths. With the macros I had 7 four-spotted footmen (4 males and 3 females) and the first of the dun-bars, green arches, double kidneys and plenty of black arches and yellow-tails. Several silver ys were present and I`ve seen quite a few more by day in the garden. Again, I caught a marsh oblique-barred and I read that others are also recording this moth this summer - the hot weather must be encouraging it to wander/disperse.
Some `potted moth photos` below - I have n`t had the chance to take better shots.

                                        Above: Borkhausenia fuscescens - feeds in leaf litter.
   Above: Batrachedra praeangusta. This slender moth is associated with poplars, willows and aspen.
 Above: Monochroa cytisella - associated with bracken. It may be the first time that I`ve personally had this moth. `Click on pic`to enlarge (to see the markings etc).
                                          Above: Parornix sp. - I`ll have to look further at this.
Above: I also caught one these recently - Schreckensteinia festaliella (when some may recall that I had one of my (in)famous `crossed wires` mistakes when naming the photo).

 Above: Thinking that it might be one of the minors, this moth had me `foxed`, but George kindly suggested that it might an unusual form of marbled beauty. Upon looking it up, there is a tawny form of that species - something that I`ve not seen before with all my previous individuals being the more usual glaucous grey types. Thanks George for solving the i/d mystery.
Postscript: Barry has since suggested (see `comments`) that it is a female small dotted buff, which seems to be the case.