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Friday, 4 July 2014

Weather affects Moth Night(s)

I had planned last night to put out four traps - at home, Furnace Quarry and two in Stradey Woods (Llanelli). Thick, drenching drizzle at trap `put-out time` meant that only the first two were placed in position. The forecast originally stated heavy rain first thing this morning - this influenced my decision and it was actually dry this morning, and I now wish that I had put all four traps out. The overnight weather tonight is forecasted to be heavy rain (including, crucially, the evening when traps have to be set up...after walking through wet woodland to the trap sites), so it is likely that I`ll have to unfortunately abandon tonight. Saturday night looks a bit better, though with imperfect night-time weather.

Anyway, rather unspectacular catches last night, with mostly typical seasonal moths:
At the Pwll home trap, there were four round-winged muslins from nearby fen habitat, and about half-a-dozen of the plume moth Marasmarcha lunaedactyla, a mostly coastal species that feeds on restharrow. I`ve seen it commonly at dune grassland sites (where restharrow grows in some abundance) and the brisk south-westerly wind may have blown them to my garden MV trap.

                                         Above: round-winged muslin.
Above: the plume Marasmarcha lunaedactyla. The `lunae` refer to the whitish crescent marks at the split `fingers` (the `dactyla` part of the specific epiphet) on the wings.

At Furnace Quarry (a disused Pennant Sandstone quarry with much scrub, trees and nearby gardens etc), the `highlights` (not much really!) were: privet hawk-moth, scallop shell, mottled rustic and Brussels lace.

                          Above: Dipleurina lacustrata at the i/d correct please?

I hope that Moth Night won`t be a `damp squib`....I`ll probably blog re Saturday night`s catch on Sunday or, more likely, on  Monday. Good luck!

Postscript: Barry Stewart and Sam have both confirmed the i/d of a pug in the same catch as valerian pug -thanks both. Photo below:


  1. I had the micro in the last photo on our land yesterday in one of the hedgerows so interested in ID confirmation - for Ian's suggestion my book calls this one Eudonia lacustrata? Assume both are same species?

  2. Yes, Sally - they`re the same species. Dipleurina in the old books (eg Goater) and Jon Baker`s recommended guide to Carms spp (in Newsletter No 9).