Thursday, 27 October 2016


Decided to trap last night as although the sky was going to be clear later, it seemed fairly overcast early on so worth setting up again.
At 10 there was another Red Sword grass, (1st was still in the fridge), also a December moth buzzing around my head which I caught.
This morning I found a Sprawler, plus another November moth and various other bits and bobs.
Trapping in a different part of of the village tonight.

More late footman pics...

I include below, almost as a postscript, a couple of photos of that very late footman which was caught at Pwll on Tuesday night. As - whatever species it is - this footman is quite out-of-season, I`ve checked `Atropos Flight Arrivals` but there is no mention anywhere of any current migrant footmen moths. I previously tentatively suggested a buff footman whilst Sam suggests a small four-spotted footman (see discussion in the `comments` of the previous blog), but I have n`t a clue at present!

                     Above: the Pwll footman - length from head to tail is between 16 and 17mm.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Not a bad night...

Last night (25/10) proved to be not a bad night for moth trapping, with 24 species recorded at my two garden traps at Pwll, Llanelli. There were three migrant species (silver y, rush veneer and diamond-back moth, all singles) but nothing particularly exciting in that department. However, I was surprised to have a buff footman in the trap and I initially speculated to myself whether it too might be migratory or just a bit `out-of-season` (or even something else).
Another cypress carpet was caught and it pleases me that I have, in season, several cypress-dependent species in my garden (or my neighbours` gardens) - cypress pug and the two micro-moths Argyresthia trifasciata and cupressella, as well as the long-resident Blair`s shoulder-knot of course.
FFY for me last night was a feathered thorn and the five yellow-line quakers in the traps were also a personal FFY, though I know that others have previously caught this moth.
My full list (excluding the three migrants mentioned in the first paragraph) was: red-green carpet, large wainscot, sallow, yellow-line quaker, red-line quaker, buff footman, November moth agg., snout, green brindled crescent, LYU, grey pine carpet, common marbled carpet, garden carpet, cypress carpet, angle shades, feathered thorn, black rustic, beaded chestnut, merveille du jour, chestnut and light brown apple moth.

           Above: cypress carpet showing the diagonally-streaked wings that makes it easy to identify.
                          Above: what I assume is a buff footman, though it is slightly smaller.
                                 Above:  a feathered thorn showing its `feathered` antennae.
                                    Above:  a well-marked chestnut to complement Steve`s dark chestnut.

Please do trap if the weather conditions are suitable - a lucky blighter may even catch a sprawler!

Red Sword-grass

This beautiful Red Sword-grass was in the trap this morning. I found one here two years ago, which was recorded and after that I was determined to get a moth trap. It took me another year but now here I am.
Also had a Feathered Thorn, a Black rustic, 2 M de J, 2 November moths, 3 Spruce Carpets and a Red line Quaker. So, well pleased with the night's work.

Cwmllwyd 25 October 2016

Tuesday night was predicted to be warmer and less windy than of late, so out went the MV trap, in the garden, this time. I was rather surprised to find 62 moths in the trap this morning, although a total of 41 of them were November Moth agg.! Nevertheless, Feathered Thorn x 6 were FFYs and there were also 6 x Green-brindled Crescent, 5 x Yellow-line Quaker, 3 x Red-line Quaker and a pretty Red-green Carpet.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Easy records on lime trees...

Some recent leaf-mining in and around Llanelli has shown Bucculatrix thoracella to be frequent on street lime trees, even in grotty urban situations. As far as I know, this moth is only (or at least is overwhelmingly) recorded in the south-east of our county but it must be elsewhere, so do try to check your local lime trees before leaf fall. It often occurs on epicormic growths (those twiggy growths on lime trunks).
I`ve also searched for Phyllonorycta plantani, but to no avail. However, George tells me that it occurs at Swansea (only c 12 mls away) and, as many of Llanelli`s London planes are pollards, with all the leafy growth far too high (even for a monkey like me), perhaps I`ll have some luck when the leaves are shed.

Above: part of a lime leaf, showing the small, hook-shaped mine of B. thoracella. It is in the bottom                                                       right-hand `quarter` of the leaf.

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Late Show

A bit windy and a bit cool last night, so very few moths were in the MV trap in the alder grove this morning. So there's absolutely no reason why it's now after 6 p.m. and I've only just started this post! And is it worth posting? Only seven moths of four species showed: November Moth agg. x 2, Green-brindled  Crescent, Flounced Chestnut x 3 and the one illustrated below:

Dark Chestnut ?

I think it's quite important to get this one right, for although the literature classes both this species and the Chestnut as common, the Carms data seems to suggest that the Chestnut is about 10 times more abundant than the Dark Chestnut in our county. The moth was very shiny, shiny - this is said to be an attribute of the species and not of the Chestnut. The termen seems to be ever so slightly incurved just before the apex, which may be diagnostic. I have a record for Dark Chestnut from 2010, but without any way of verifying this. Your comments would be much appreciated.