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Friday, 14 August 2015

The Night of the Yellow Underwings....

I put out an actinic and a MV in my Pwll garden on Wednesday night (12/8) and trapping conditions were pretty well perfect, except that the wind was n`t from a southerly direction. The night was dominated by huge numbers of large yellow underwings (`guesstimate` of  70+) and lesser broad-bordered yellow underwings (c 30+), with these species physically filling some egg cartons so much that they were quite heavy to lift up! Black arches were also in relative quantity with 15 counted.
I am sure that the movement caused by all the restless yellow underwings actually disturbed a lot of other moths and prevented them from settling but, nevertheless, at least 65+ species were recorded, with a toadflax pug probably being the best among the macro-moths. This species occurs along the Llanelli coast and some urban/brownfield areas, where its small and colourful caterpillars can be found feeding on common toadflax. Other macros included four-dotted footmen, southern wainscots, tawny-barred angle, white-line dart, marbled greens, scarce footmen, least yellow underwing, Chinese character, lime-speck pug, cloaked minor, double kidney and Brussels lace. Again, the only migratory representatives were some silver y`s and singles of  rush veneer and dark sword-grass.

                                                             Above: toadflax pug.
Various easily-overlooked micros were also in the trap including those shown below. As always, please confirm or correct my identifications. Some in my previous posting are also awaiting comment - it is appreciated.

Above: a poor `record shot` of Ypsolopha scabrella. It escaped as I carefully tapped it out of this container seconds later.
                                            Above: Pammene aurita (?), a sycamore-feeder.
Above: I believe that this is the gelechiid Anascampsis populella (a willow/aspen/poplar feeder).

                                                  Above: Mompha sp. (DS).
                                               Above: a Phyllonorycter - tristrigella?

Conditions look favourable for moth trapping again tonight (Friday) - give it a go!


  1. Not Prays fraxinella. Looks like Mompha propinquella or lacteella.The Phyllonorycter looks right.

  2. Pammene aurita looks good as I had one at Coch yr Barlys on Wed night.

  3. Thanks Dave. I`ve altered the caption.

  4. Incidentally, I now realise why my comments have sometimes been appearing twice - I`ve been `double-clicking`, rather than a single click.

  5. Yellow Underwing problem ? You're not alone, Ian, the last two occasions when I've put a large trap out they've been a real problem. Yesterday morning my count was 102, and that was by no means exhaustive. As you say, such numbers of restless creatures disturbs other species in the trap and also causes damage to smaller, more delicate species. Incidentally I've also had unusually large numbers of Dingy Footmen, this species seems to be doing extraordinarily well this year. They have a particular liking for my new actinic porch light.

  6. I'm prepared to chip in so we can buy Ian a bullworker, that way he'll be much better prepared for those egg cartons full of yellow underwings ;-)

  7. Hey,` less of the bull`, Barry or I`ll sabotage your traps - expect an explosion when you switch on tonight! You`ll get blown back to vc44, where you really belong.

    Have I got the other moths in my blog correctly i/d please, or am I off target?

  8. I too have had lots of Dingy Footman in the porch - with the same light!