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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Saron School

I took the MV Robinson to Saron School (near Ammanford) last night and set it up in their grounds. They have a keen nature group that I have made links with. The forecast was good and I hoped the timer would work. I got there at about 7:45 this morning and, despite the efforts of a local blackbird, opened up the biggest catch of moths I have ever seen.

Over 25 EHM for starters! As the staff and cooks arrived they came over for a look and were amazed at the moths and were really interested.One cook rushed off to get her phone and spent ages taking photos.

It was hard to talk and ID and quite a few escaped but Mat Ridley thankfully arrived to help. I thought we would be talking to the nature group but on seeing the moths it was decided to get the whole school out class by class - over 200 pupils! They were all very keen, curious and loved holding the EHM. No squeamishness at all! They were amazed by the buff tips and some genuinely thought it was a twig!

After a good hour or so with the pupils Mat and I went through what was left of the trap and ID'd over 50 species (there could well have been more) minus the macros - I photographed as many as possible of the micros and here they are - help please if possible!


Highlights were the Eyed hawkmoth, Garden tiger - big wow factors! Also some interesting spp. that ID confirmation would be good.

Campion we think!?
Small seraphim?

Figure of Eighty


  1. Superb!! Well done Isabel & Mat. Inspiring stuff. Nice Figure of 80, Campion and Small Seraphim. Micros: Archips podana x2, Aliemma loeflingiana, Cydia splendana, Epiblema udmanniana, Archips xylosteana. Can you email me the main trap photo just for a quick look at Hi Res please.

  2. What a result! What a worthwhile excercise! Great for you two, great for the school and its pupils, great for the cooks, too! You should be very pleased and proud of yourselves.

  3. Isabel did all the work! (including getting there a lot earlier than me). I was just there to add the bearded, bespectacled naturalist stereotype to the proceedings, disentangle children from the grip of recalcitrant hawkmoths and practice my Welsh on the kids.

    It was also good to see a school with such a flourishing nature area with two ponds, a boardwalk etc. This has developed over the last 15-20 years with, if I remember rightly, some early input from Jim Davies of Carmarthenshire CC who some of you will remember.

  4. Yes, congratulations to all concerned, what an amazing trap you've got, it must have been an awesome experience to open it. Perhaps the local moths use the school as a meeting place, brings a whole new meaning to the idea of School Assembly!

  5. I was quite overwhelmed by the number of moths and then the number of pupils that came to see them. Their enthusiasm was great but exhausting. I was very grateful for Mat's help and ID skills. I have to say that it was a tonic to see many people (young and old) so full of interest and I'm keen to do it again. It made a nice change in my job, which is usually people complaining about widlife or conversely lack of wildlife and what the Council should be doing about it!