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Friday, 7 March 2014

The early trap catches the moth....

Whereas I`ve trapped at home before in early March, this was the first time that I tried an `away-from-home` trapping session so early with one of my battery-powered actinics. I also trapped at home (Tyrwaun, Pwll, Llanelli) with a mains-powered actinic. I trapped on the night of 5th March, in damp conditions.
My target moth for the non-domestic trap was small brindled beauty of which there is only one Rothamsted record from Rhandirmwyn (SN74) in the early 1970s. I failed to catch one, but other moths offered some compensation.
The trap was placed - after a slogging walk through mud and over/around several fallen trees- in the deep `cwm` of Cwm Mawr, on the NW flank of the Stradey Woods wooded complex, which itself is on the western outskirts of Llanelli. I had in mind a nice area (at SN483025) of surviving sessile oak woodland, with an understory of bilberry etc (a site which holds bilberry pug, incidentally).
I returned, in rain, early the next morning to inspect the catch and was pleased that the actinic light was still glowing strongly after 13 hrs use (6.00pm to almost 7.00am). In the trap, I had a 1st generation male engrailed (see photo, taken inside the trap); a pale brindled beauty; dotted border x4; March moth x2; chestnut x3; early grey x1; common quaker x 2; lots of what I believe is the micro Tortricodes alternella (x15) and three really well-marked satellites.

                                          Above: engrailed.
                                         Above: Tortricodes alternella
                                          Above and below: pink form of early grey (underside below)

At my home trap, there were good numbers of clouded drabs (x11), all of which were checked in case a lead-coloured drab was amongst them, but the antennae were all pectinate rather than feathery, so no luck. Some photos showing the variation in colour of these clouded drabs are given below, including a rather roseate one (last photo).

I had another satellite, but this time with an orange-coloured kidney mark. Photos are given below, with the Tyrwaun satellite followed by one of the three caught at Cwm Mawr.

There was also a March moth, chestnuts x4 and common quakers x3 in the home trap. One of the latter was very pale with a silky sheen (see below)....I presume it`s a common quaker? Any suggestions (or corrections) welcome, as we`re all rusty at the start of the season!

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