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Monday, 25 January 2016

Southerly winds brought no prizes

I put out my Pwll garden MV on both Saturday and Sunday nights, hoping to catch something brought in on the warm (for January) southerly winds. Saturday night was rather windy and wet whereas last night (Sunday 24/1) was more benign - little or no rain and with a gentle southerly. There were no moths at all in Saturday`s trap, but with last night`s efforts there were six moths of six species - but no migrants.
The moths were: dotted border, chestnut, Epiphyas postvittana, Caloptilia stigmatella, Caloptilia elongella (? - see photo) and Ypsolopha ustella. Click on the photos to enlarge.

                                                            Above: dotted border.
             Above: I believe that this is one of the various colour forms of Ypsolopha ustella.

Above: is this Caloptilia elongella, an alder-feeding species? - I`m not sure. I would have also liked to have included a photo of a well-marked C. stigmatella that I additionally caught, but it flew off somewhere in my kitchen. Hopefully, the spiders` webs won`t have had it, and one of the kitchen light will re-attract it tonight, so that I can include a photo tomorrow.
....and here, below, it is - I obviously re-caught the moth!

                                                      Above: Caloptilia stigmatella.

Confirmations or corrections of the micros are welcome! Thanks.

February will be the peak month to record small brindled beauty, a species that has already been recorded (in January this year) by Stephen Ruttle on his farm south of Llandovery. It was also recorded there in 2015, on several `early year` occasions - the first time since a rather old Rothamsted record from Rhandirmwyn. It is a species of old oakwoods and really worth looking out for, if you can trap in such habitat during this late winter period. A photo of one of these NE Carmarthenshire moths is shown below.


  1. Nice catch.

    Agree with ustella and stigmatella. The other Caloptilia could be either elongella or betulicola, probably not possible to separate from a photo.

  2. Thanks Sam - following your advice I further checked the specimen. I still had the Caloptilia elongella/betulicola, which I `bumped off` in the freezer enabling me to check the colour of the underside of the forewing - which was dark grey-brown and the hind leg coxa/trochanter/femur were the same colour as the upper forewing (and not white). So, that makes it elongella.

  3. I don't think he's got it George. Lol

  4. I think that you`re right, `Molly Jones`! It`s not the first time I`ve done this mistake too...and I can`t blame tiredness at this time of year..AND I sent an email thanking Sam!!! least I got the moth right though! (in the end).

  5. Glad I'm not the only one to suffer from these Senior Moments!