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Friday, 12 December 2014

Broom broom

Not only was that little Johnny's favourite phrase (he's moved on a bit now he's 3), it's also something I rather like.  I found the most amazing concentration of Broom today whilst bryo recording in N Central Carms: east of the Waunfawr forestry at SN407343.  There were 10s of Broom bushes, which would be well worth beating for notable moths (Broom-tip or The Streak would be nice) in season, plus some great-looking heathland.  Maybe the adjacent farm would be amenable to some trapping by Sally or Chris.

Anyway, I had a look for mines and actually found some!  Broom often looks so manky it's hard to be sure what is a mine and what isn't but the egg at the start of the dark-looking Trifurcula immundella mine is a good giveaway.  This is only the 2nd Carms record, following an imago on Mynydd Ystaflau-carn this summer.

Much more obvious were abundant spinnings, with white silk binding thin twigs together.  I opened one and photographed the yellowish-brown larva.  It seems to be Agonopterix assimilella, which has 3 previous Carms records: Rhandirmwyn, Nantgwyn and Black Scar.  As well as looking similar to pics of larvae on-line, most other Broom micros are not larvae in December.

Nice to do some mothing for once!


  1. Quite inspiring, Sam. I shall now go and check the last relict broom plant on the edge of my hillside field, Cae Banadl (now, sadly, somewhat inappropriately named, having been denuded of broom by previous occupants), but without any realistic possibility of success.

  2. I will check our brooms here ....

  3. Yes, inspiring indeed and sufficient to awake IKM from `deep moth hibernation`. I`ve had previous cursory looks at broom for larvae etc but, as Sam notes,` bite marks` or other physical damage can cause confusion. Broom certainly has `good` moths and is worth targeting (in season) by light trapping, as well as checking for larvae. I`ve previously trapped (once, in late October) on that extensive area of broom above the coastal path above Wharley Point, Llansteffan, but failed to catch my target - the streak moth.
    Yes...`broom...broom`, I may well have a quick drive to look at some local broom this afternoon. If I find anything, I`ll post.