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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Another query!....

I had precisely an hour to visit an area of diverse brownfield vegetation at Machynys, Llanelli this afternoon and sweeping netted me an array of micros to ponder.
The plume moth below was swept from a large area of tansy and it may be the tansy plume Gillmeria ochrodactyla. Checking the labial palps with a hand lens from the side and above, they certainly do not protrude beyond the facial tuft, which is a feature of the tansy plume. However, the tansy plume is supposed to have the hind legs `slightly banded` a feature that is not visible in the view from above, though from below, there is some evidence of that. Another possibility, of course, is the yarrow plume (yarrow also grows nearby). Which one is it, please?

                                    Above: side-view showing palps and facial tuft aligned.

I also caught a Syncopacma sp. and inspected it in the glass tube (black with a thin lemon cross-line) - only for it to escape as I put in the stopper! (previously my thumb was over the open end and I was in a rush). I additionally caught what I think is Dichrorampha petiverella* - and I did n`t lose that one (will photograph in due course - now added below). I was pleasantly surprised to see how many moths were caught by sweeping this flower-rich site - we must be in a peak period for catching various tortricids etc.
* the size, season and acuteness of the `crescent` makes me think that it is this species - see pic below:

The following tortricid is Pammene gallicana (shown below), kindly provisionally det. by George Tordoff and later confirmed by Dave Slade, a NCR for Carms.

Below - not a moth but the tiny robberfly Leptogaster cylindrica which is best obtained (like many micros) by sweeping species-rich grassland.


  1. Not sure, but the plume looks more like pallidactyla

  2. That`s what is confusing me - it generally LOOKS like yarrow plume (pale colour, apparent absence of leg banding etc) but the palp lengths suggest otherwise. I`ve got the specimen, so I will re-examine the latter feature.

  3. Agree with petiverella. The other one looks suspiciously like Pammene gallicana, which would be an impressive record!

  4. Thanks George - re P. gallicana, there`s plenty of wild carrot, hogweed etc (food-plants) where I caught it.

  5. I`ve just looked up photos and text re P. gallicana and it certainly looks like it; there`s one 1983 record in Glamorgan, on Gower. Also, looked up food-plants of D. petiverella - tansy and yarrow, both of which are v common at the dry, coastal brownfield site at Machynys.

  6. You'd better contact Sam - that Gower record might be the only one from South Wales.

  7. I`ve already emailed him - thanks.

  8. Excellent. I agree that looks like P. gallicana - sorry for recent lack of contact due to internet issues etc.