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Thursday, 5 September 2013

No luck, again!

Seeing a very recent post on the always interesting Glamorgan moth blog site that showed a starwort caterpillar, I thought I`d try to refind this distinctive species in Carmarthenshire. I had failed yesterday at Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, so I tried today at the ridge just SW of Carmel village, a site where I`ve had it previously.
I was accompanied by Nigel Stringer who wanted to search golden-rod plants for a rare rust that has only been hitherto found at two UK sites (one in Ceredigion and the other in N Wales), so both of us were searching the quite numerous golden-rod plants for caterpillars and rust.
We found the rust, but not any starwort caterpillars and I suspect that we were a tad too late as, from memory, my previous records of the colourful starwort caterpillars were earlier, in mid-late August. The lovely pyralid Anania funebris also occurs at this same locality, flying in mid-summer.
The photo below shows the path that leads up to the`s here that I`ve had both Anania adults and starwort larvae in the past; other photos (of poor quality) show the foodplant- golden-rod, and the general good heathland habitat hereabouts.

En route home, we called at Pembrey Old Harbour, as the starwort caterpillar also feeds on sea aster (photo below) and indeed, Jon Baker has recorded this species (as an adult moth) at the immediately adjacent Pembrey Saltings. We did n`t bother to search for the caterpillar this afternoon, however.

May well trap tonight (in local Pwll woods), as I got hold of replacement actinic tubes quite cheaply at a local Llanelli electrical supplier this morning...if anyone is stuck regarding moth trap issues, I can recommend this supplier. Apologies for the lack of moth photos in this posting, but the information above may be of future use.

1 comment:

  1. Both the starwort and Anania funebris have also been recorded at/near Betws in the Aman Valley, the former species by Steve Lucas at his home trap, and the latter by Barry Stewart from a nearby mine site with golden-rod [perhaps the source too of Steve`s starwort].