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Monday, 14 September 2015

Moth Night(s) - not much, really....

I trapped at seven sites in the Llanelli area over the Moth Night period: the home trap/s at Pwll; a mains actinic set at both Denham Avenue and at Llanerch; mobile actinics at Penybedd Wood (Pembrey); Ffrwd Fen (at two sub-sites); Dafen (at two sub sites) and a coastal location just east of Burry Port. The main effort was on Thursday (10/9) and Saturday (12/9), though -in spite of what I planned - I did put the mains actinic out in a slightly sheltered location in the garden at Denham Avenue on the rain-soaked Saturday night, though it was n`t really worth it in terms of results.
I did actually catch some migrant moths, but not of the rare or spectacular type as with Chris Handoll`s success in the north of the county. My migrants were of the commoner variety - plenty of silver y`s, some rush veneers and rusty-dot pearls and dark sword-grass at two localities on the first of the Moth Nights.
                                                       Above: dark sword-grass.
                                                          Above: rusty-dot pearl.
Like others in Carmarthenshire and further afield, I had my first autumnal rustics of the season and several dark marbled carpets, otherwise it was rather a slightly restricted variety of common moths at most trapping sites, though useful permission from a friend to run a mains-fed (and stronger) actinic at a tree and hedgerow-rich garden at Llanerch (Llanelli) provided some useful autumn records for SN50.

My personal highlights included my first marsh oblique-barred in my garden trap which was probably wind-blown on the strong south-easterly from nearby fen and marsh habitat at Pwll Lagoon SSSI. I would have perhaps expected this species to have been more likely at Ffrwd Fen (Pembrey) where I left one actinic at the canal towpath and the other just within the reserve boundary by the western parking layby. I `scored` rather poorly on wetland moths (though an oblique carpet was nice) but this site has great potential. Given the `pug problems` that one or two of us had recently, it was good to catch an easy to identify species - tawny-speckled pug - at three localities (four east of Burry Port, one in my garden and another at a brownfield site at Dafen). At a close-by trapping sub-site under an area of tall white willows, I also caught a battered and worn red underwing (I wonder whether it was in such a condition because it tried to get into my trap or whether it was just like that anyway!). Pinion-streaked snouts were at several sites, red-green carpets at another couple and Vine`s rustic at one locality.
Above: tiny for a macro-moth - marsh oblique-barred, probably wind-blown from nearby marshland.
Above: another probably wind-blown moth but from drier habitat, the plantain-feeding pyralid Pyrausta despicata.
                            Above: an easy pug! - tawny speckled pug, caught at three sites.

Identification help please! Any thoughts regarding the two micros below will be appreciated - thanks in advance. I`ve retained these specimens.
Above: have I been staring too long at this tortricid? - is it Celypha cespitata or just the ubiquitous C. lacunana (or even something else!)...
Above: is this the `plum fruit moth` Grapholita funebrana? (my neighbours actually grow plums and other soft fruit).


  1. Well done for doing so much trapping, Ian, even if you didn't score big. I'm guessing you meant Red Green (or even Green) Carpet by your "autumn green carpet". The Celypha is just lacunana. The other one looks more interesting - I don't know if funebrana would still be on the wing.

  2. Yes, Sam - one of my infamous "crossed wires", mixing up similar (or even unrelated!) names. I`d better check my listings here at home, as I suspect that I`ve written another red-green carpet down as autumn green....will do it now, before I forget! Thanks again.
    According to Chris Manley`s book, funebrana is on the wing to October.

  3. Ian, your contribution in terms of numbers of moths and sites visited must be at least as valuable to the cause as the appearance of the odd migrant hawk moth. Pity about the one on the wall that you didn't see though. Perhaps you should ask your neighbour to alert you immediately, if not sooner, if he sees another one!

  4. Thanks Chris. I actually said to my neighbour `why did n`t you give me a shout?` but he replied, quite reasonably, that it was midnight and he was in his pyjamas and I was probably `in the land of nod` anyway. It`s one of those frustrating `not quite there, non-records` unfortunately.
    On another matter, I`ve changed my misnamed carpet (see above) in the main text.