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Friday, 22 July 2016

Into the jungle

I carted the MV trap and the generator down to the wetland at Cwmllwyd last night, to a site I have prepared with pallets for the equipment to keep them out of mud and water. Jenny was fired up at 22:00 and I left the kit to work its magic, returning at 02:00 this morning to wind up proceedings. I don't think the generator will run all night on one tank of fuel. I suppose that I could refuel it at half time when trapping so close to home - I may try that sometime, although having to do this at 2 o'clock and then having to be there again at 4 in the morning is not a prospect that I relish.

The marshland here is very varied; much better ecologists then I have identified seven different NVC types in this heavily overgrown former rhos pasture. Here are some pics of a small part of the marsh:

 Standing on a pallet to avoid sinking into the mire.....the trap site looking SW, with meadowsweet and marsh valerian dominant

 Very wet willow woodland looking NW

 NE a fine stand of aspens on a bank leading to a hay meadow.

112 moths of 43 species were trapped, including (unsurprisingly) some associated strongly with damp conditions:

 Orthotelia sparganella


The macromoth (!) Marsh Oblique-barred. This species is rated Nationally Scarce B.

Apologies for the poor quality photos.

Footnote: at 07:00 this morning there was a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on red valerian outside the house!


  1. Interesting photos showing the `home habitat` Steve. Co-incidentally, I had a gothic too last night (a worn specimen) at the rich Machynys brownfield/damp grassland site. It`s a species that I see less than annually.
    I passed some lavender in the garden earlier and thought `would n`t it be nice to see a `hummer``, but did n`t. They DO like red valerian!
    Still going through that large hoard of micros from Tuesday night at Machynys...almost there! Had a few more there last night too.

  2. Marsh Oblique-barred is a very interesting moth Steve, there seems to be some doubt about what the food plant is. Perhaps some research is called for, if you can discover what the larvae look like, they must be very small!

  3. There was one Marsh O-b in the trap this morning, but several (at least half-a-dozen) flying about last night. I think the research project that you propose is a bit beyond me though, Chris!

  4. Me too Steve, but it's strange that, if reports are true that it can be abundant where it does occur (and your observations last night seem to support this), so little is known about its early stages.

  5. I often used to disturb Matsh Oblique-barred from wetlands like yours, Steve, during NVC surveys in west Wales. They are definitely a regular element of the wetland fauna. Silver Hook was less frequent but not uncommon. Orthotelia is a very notable inland record.

  6. Only previous record of O. sparganella at Cwmllwyd was on 21 July 2014. Silver Hook 2015 and 2016.