Search This Blog

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Moths....and more moths!

I had intended to put out some `away from home` actinics out on Friday night (30/5) but, after a long day in the field in NW Carms, I `copped out` and just set up two at home (one MV and one actinic). It was a good night weather-wise for trapping and the next morning I`d wished that I had placed my traps at the planned Llannon bog sites. The previous night (Thurs 29/5) I`d trapped at a site near Pontyberem, just in SN41, in order to boost the numbers of species recorded in that 10km square - a good range of common species were recorded.
However, back at the home trap at Tyrwaun, Pwll, there was a bumper crop of c 40 spp awaiting me at the home traps on Saturday morning, with some species in good numbers eg 5x alders, 4x scorched wings and several FFYs. Amongst the latter was blood vein, large yellow underwings (yes, they`re back!), buff arches, gold spot, lobster, and peach blossom.

                                          Above: alder moth.
               Above: elephant hawk-moth on flower buds of the exotic Callistemon (bottle-brush)
                                          Above: buff arches, one of the FFYs.
Above: two colour forms of clouded-bordered brindle, with the left-hand moth starting to vibrate its wings!
                           Above: male buff ermine (with hardly any spots) and male white ermine.
                                         Above: the `Belle of the Ball` - peach blossom.

Amongst the wide range of seasonal `home regulars` was an obscure wainscot, a species that is confined to coastal areas in our county. Back in c 1988, I was lucky to catch one as new to Carmarthenshire, when I lived in Llwynhendy, SE of Llanelli.

                  Above: an obscure wainscot (a wetland species) on inappropriate background.
                                     Above: another view - a nice moth to have in your garden!

The other interesting moth of that night was the pyralid Rhodophaea formosa, a 2nd vcr ( I had the first at the same site in 2009) and Sam had it earlier (2006) in vc35 Mons. I don`t think it has been recorded yet in Glamorgan, though it should be there in places where elms grow - if Barry Stewart reads this, I suggest the Loughor/Gowerton coastal fringe area as a good area to try, where there are tall elms, especially the Ulmus minor/procera type.

Above: Rhodophaea formosa. I`m afraid that this is as close I can get with my camera; click on photo to enlarge.

Finally, to illustrate the importance of beating the birds to your traps and to examine outside the traps, this is a photo of what was resting on an old seat where I`d placed a trap to raise it off the ground somewhat. Apologies for the blurred photo!

Above: lobster moth, elephant hawk-moth, grey/dark dagger, scorched wing, peach blossom, alder, peppered moth, small seraphim, swallow prominent and clouded border.


  1. A rather impressive catch Ian, I wish my garden was half as good for moths.

  2. I`m glad your garden is n`t that good for trapping George....that`s why you go out and explore new places and make really good records!
    My garden is on the coast with fen/reedbed/carr/rough grassland/hedgerows and woodland, plus urban wasteground, nearby. Nevertheless, you can`t beat the excitement of trapping in new places. I`m hoping to get out somewhere tonight.

  3. The formosa is very lovely - well done! I remember my excitement at catching them at Dingestow (VC35).

  4. Yes I'm belated catching up with my reading - looking forward to catching one one looking very promising for migrants this weekend so may have a trapping blitz...