Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Mynydd Llangyndeyrn - daytime mothing.


Mynydd Llangyndeyrn has been previously mentioned on this blog, it is a high ridge on the northern side of the Gwendraeth Fawr valley, between Crwbin (which itself means `ridge`) and with the village of Pontyberem in the valley below.

Above: looking NE along the ridge top of Mynydd Llangyndeyrn - Mynydd Du & Bannau Sir Gar in the far distance.
                          Above: looking SW towards Mynydd Penbre and Carmarthen Bay.

About twenty years ago, Neil Matthew recorded the forester at this site and I was certainly keeping vigilant in the hope of seeing this day-flying moth, especially after Vaughn`s sighting at Salem a few days ago.
I flushed one only,  in a block of limestone grassland just west of Clos yr ynn, where common sorrel Rumex acetosa grew with some frequency. At first, for a second or so, I `d thought it was one of the common blues that were around, but the very bright iridescent blue-green and the strange, almost pulsatory flight made me quickly realise that it was a forester.

                                         Above: forester at Mynydd Llangyndeyrn.
Above: forester habitat just W of Clos yr ynn - note brownish plants of sorrel (click on photo to enlarge).
On the first two general photos of this blog, the related sheep`s sorrel Rumex acetosella can also be seen - again as brownish-red plants - on the rocky heath areas.

Another interesting moth found on the limestone area of Mynydd Llangyndeyrn (the bulk of the ridge being acidic Millstone Grit quartzite) was Britain`s smallest longhorn - Adela fibulella which can be found on germander speedwell flowers. I`ve had it on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn before and so has Sam Bosanquet.
                                        Above: Adela fibulella. Click to enlarge.

Other moths seen include a mother shipton and a nice banded form of a mottled beauty.
                      Above: mother shipton...note the old hag`s face! and, (below) mottled beauty:
Other lepidoptera noted include common blues, small heaths, large skippers (FFY) and a dingy skipper; also a lead/July belle (photo to be checked later). A vocal cuckoo, and many tree pipits in the `ffridd` habitat all added to the interest. Daytime mothing can be worthwhile!


I also visited the limestone pavement area of Carreg Eidon (the `bullock`s rock`) and was rather dismayed to see that it has not been managed appropriately (Mynydd Llangyndeyrn is SSSI), and with serious scrub invasion. Latterly, the ex-CCW have done an excellent job with the main commonland area of the site, but the pavement area is in really poor condition and requires scrub removal and grazing.                                    

Above: one of the few remaining open areas on the limestone pavement - home to scarce invertebrates such as the snail Helicella itala and the woodlouse Armadillidium pulchellum.

                                        Above: a few feet away - invasion by scrub.


3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you managed to find a forester Ian (and take a good photo too)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done on the Forester Ian. That looks like some of the habitat in which I've seen them in Merioneth. I've heard it said they look a bit like lacewings in flight.

    I saw 5 fibulella on one speedwell plant at Pembrey today (two mating pairs and a single)...will blog later about my exploits.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, they were reminiscent of those larger lacewings when flying, or the `staccato` flight you see with those larger grasshoppers etc around the Med.
    I`ve been thinking further about its habitat - from memory, all my earlier records (1980s etc) were from sites with the more robust common sorrel rather than the smaller sheep`s sorrel. It really ought to survive in Glamorgan...more `feet on ground` is required there (as in Carms).

    ReplyDelete