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Monday, 8 June 2015

Catching up with the moth blog: part 1.

Fatigue (after last Thursday night`s  (4/6) trapping efforts) and just `too much to do` has delayed my reporting of recent finds and captures. This first blog relates to some `daytime mothing` - carefully searching, sweeping and beating, primarily for micro-moths, at three localities near Llanelli, last Thursday afternoon.
Stradey Woods (NW of Llanelli) - here the best find were adults of Bucculatrix thoracella, beaten off the dense epicormic growths on hybrid limes. They are really tiny, and reminiscent of juvenile homopterans - they half float/half fly when disturbed. I`d already had this micro as leaf-mines last September 2014 (conf. SDSB) on some urban limes at Penallt, Llanelli, but it was nice to see the adult - see the photo below (with most of these photos, please click on them to enlarge). Try sweeping your local limes now!

                                                  Above: Bucculatrix thoracella.

Afterwards, I visited an area of flood alleviation woodland at the edge of an out-of-town commercial/office development near Gors, Dafen. Among various lepidoptera, found in quite rich wet grassland, the tiny (again!) Glyphipterix forsterella was a pleasing, new moth for me. Note the silvery dot in the black apical (`tail-end`) spot. It was found over an area of sedges. Sweeping also yielded two caterpillars - one of which had me `stumped` until I chanced upon a photo in Sterling & Parsons (see page 174) - it was the strikingly-marked larva of Helcystogramma rufescens. I also found the attractive caterpillar of a Timothy tortrix Aphelia paleana, both instances where the caterpillars are more colourful than the adults.

                                                    Above: Glyphipterix forsterella.
                                                  Above: the Helcystogramma caterpillar.
                                                Above: Timothy tortrix caterpillar.

The third locality visited was the small area of dunes and saltmarsh at the North Dock, Llanelli, where the `star find` was a shaded pug, a very local species that was first recorded at Pembrey Burrows by Barry Stewart back in 1995, with subsequent sightings there and in Pembrey Forest by Jon Baker; it has also been recorded at Pwll. Jon also kindly confirmed the det. for me.

                                Above: `Pugs are not always pug`: the attractive shaded pug.

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