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Friday, 17 April 2015

Things are Looking Up

I was going to give the traps a rest last evening but the conditions were so favourable - mild and still - that I changed my mind and put the MV out.  Unfortunately it rained at some point, the ground was wet when I ventured out at 5.30 this morning and some time was spent rescuing soggy moths on and around the trap.  However, it was made worthwhile by the sight of a Great Prominent on the wall nearby, a first for Maenol.

Other firsts for the year were Pebble Prominent, Chinese Character, and what I assume to be Lunar Marbled Brown, although it lacks the characteristic crescent-shaped mark in the white cross-band:

I note that Ian has posted a photo of this species in his latest blog, and I don't see the mark on his example either.  Is the absence of the lunar mark commonplace?
The only other notable arrival last night was a Tawny Pinion.  Hopefully there will be no dispute over this one, it's probably the tawniest example I've seen!

Following up on Ian's post regarding Acleris arenella, the Acleris sp. I'm seeing regularly here is somewhat similar in appearance but has two or three prominent white spots on the forewing.  Rightly or wrongly (but hopefully the former) I've been recording this species as A. heracliana.

Post Script to the Tawny Pinion report: Sam, if you see this, please would it be possible to provide some details of the previous County records and distribution for this moth?  

03/05/2011 Tawny Pinion 1 Maenol SN449382 Chris Handoll
04/10/2013 Tawny Pinion 1 Maenol SN449382 Chris Handoll
04/05/2014 Tawny Pinion 1 Maenol SN449382 Chris Handoll verified from photo on Blog
19/05/2014 Tawny Pinion 1 Maenol SN449382 Chris Handoll Actinic
28/04/2007 Tawny Pinion 1 Tyrwaun, Pwll SN469013 Ian Morgan NEW for VC44, photoed JSB
31/03/2009 Tawny Pinion 1 Troserch Farm SN549040 Colin Jones photo conf: JSB
24/10/2009 Tawny Pinion 1 Garn (Wild Cherry Wood) SN592161 Mat Ridley actinic
11/08/1975 Tawny Pinion 2 Gwenffrwd: RIS Site 139 SN749460 RIS Staff/Volunteer pended
00/00/1871 Tawny Pinion 1+ Laugharne SN3010 E Kaye pended


  1. There is a lunar mark on mine actually, as there is on yours too.
    I`m jealous, as always, of your great prominent catch Chris! Tawny pinion is another good catch.
    Also, you get `mentioned with honours` in the latest Atropos magazine - I`ve just noticed - well done!

  2. I stand corrected, Ian, I was looking for a distinct dark crescent within the white band (which is what I recall seeing in other examples here) whereas on both of our moths the crescent merges with the grey band bordering the white one.
    Thanks for your kind comment regarding the Atropos mention; sadly I can't claim that the Diasemia reticularis record involved any skill on my part, merely a slice of good fortune! My copy of Atropos arrived this morning and I haven't had chance to read it fully yet, but did note the amazing tale of the JerseyTiger Moths on p51.

  3. There's a bit of a Maenol theme in those records (see above), Chris.

  4. Thanks Sam and yes, obviously I was aware that the moth has occurred here several times before, but because the identification has not been altogether uncontroversial I feel more confident in the knowledge that it has been found elsewhere in the County, albeit not since 2009 it seems.