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Saturday, 21 June 2014

A Chilly Night at Bynea

I fancied doing some `away from home` trapping last night (20/6), so I set out three actinics at Bynea. Bynea is a small village that has developed along the old A484 (itself based on an ancient routeway from the crossing point of the Llwchwr), and there are wetland, grazing level and saltmarsh habitats in the area. It lies in SS59, a square that was quite well-recorded by myself and (particularly) Barry Stewart, when we both lived literally within a stone`s-throw of each other at nearby Llwynhendy, in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
The ongoing fine weather had made me rather blase about checking the forecast, and last night was actually rather cold, which certainly depleted the numbers and variety caught (about 30 spp or so).

Above: saltmarsh and other habitat at the rear of the Huntsmans Chemical Works, Bynea. As well as saltmarsh habitat, there are areas of dry, species-rich grassland and brackish fen and reedbed closeby.

Above: reedbed around the pond at Glynea farm, Bynea. I`d trapped in this area back in the 1980s and recorded various wainscots etc associated with the reed and bulrush beds.

Amongst the noctuids caught was the one shown below. Whether it`s my tiredness or whatever, but I can`t come to a conclusion as to what it is. It`s the size of the nutmeg and dusky brocade illustration in the Townsend & Waring book....any help will be welcomed. Two views given below:

Amongst the other moths was a first generation snout (a FFY for me):
                                         Above: Pinnochio? - a snout.

....another FFY was this pyralid, a thistle ermine:

....whilst amongst the several dog`s tooth moths (that you would expect at a saltmarsh site) was this very well-marked individual, with a larger, central dark tooth on the forewings, that caused me confusion (see comments section below):

Several rivulets, a few lime-speck pugs and two oblique carpets were among the other moths:
                                         Above: oblique carpet.

The following pretty tortricid is - I believe (please confirm)- Eucosma campoliliana, a species that feeds on ragwort in dry situations:

...whilst the following micro eludes me at present - any suggestions please?
                                          Above: any offers? Click on pic to enlarge.

A migrant at last - a rusty-dot pearl:

This general area certainly has potential and I`ll probably return this season. Finally, other wildlife interest was provided by a dead water shrew, with its contrasting black and white pelage.


  1. I'm baffled by that grey micro, as its shape is more like a caddis. Is it definitely a moth? If so, the wing pattern is Cnephasia like, but the shape and wing position aren't

  2. I`ll take another photo (after checking it`s not a caddis!) tomorrow, Sam. Any views on the noctuid?

  3. The Dusky Brocade looks OK to me, but I'm not entirely convinced that the Pale-shouldered Brocade isn't a strongly-marked Dog's-tooth.

  4. I actually took it home as a well-marked individual to photograph as a dog`s tooth, but looking later at the photos on p206 in Chris Manley`s photographic guide (British Moths and Butterflies), it made me think it was pale-shouldered brocade. Obviously, as it was amongst certain dog`s tooth moths, on upper saltmarsh habitat, it suggests the latter species...but still it looks like the P-SB, with the large dark forewing `tooth` as shown in the book`s pic. Any further advice will be appreciated and I`ll be very happy to go with the consensus.

  5. Ian, I agree with Sam that it looks like Dog's-tooth and that the other is a Dusky Brocade. Cnephasia sp. for the micro! There seems to be some serious recording taking place in Carms this year with excellent results being produced - great to see the blog so active.

  6. The wing pattern of that micro does match Cnephasia well, but the tentiform resting posture and head/eye/antennae arrangement look very Caddis to me. Ian, it might be worth asking Dave Slade as he's been doing Caddis quite a lot recently and might be able to categorically rule them out.

  7. Thanks to both Barry and Sam re the `dodgy dog`s tooth` that was confusing me....I`ll modify the `main text` of the blog, so that no one is confused.
    Re the micro...I`ll try to take some extra pics (I`ve retained the moth) and will send to Dave slade shortly...thanks again re this sp too.