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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Two short walks

I treated myself to two short mothing walks yesterday (8/7), the first to an area of wet ground, trees and scrub at Dafen (east of Llanelli in SN50) in the late afternoon, and an evening walk down to the saltmarsh and dunes at the North Dock Local Nature Reserve, Llanelli.
The main purpose of the Dafen walk was to see if I could record any micros to `up` the SN50 10km tally and 15+ species (including a few macros) were recorded, showing that moth recording need not be confined to night-time trapping. The best was Pammene aurana (new for me) of which Sam tells me that there are now 23 Carmarthenshire records - he also `pipped me at the post` by recording one elsewhere in SN50 last year!

                                                        Above: Pammene aurana.

In quite gloomy, pre-dusk conditions - which I thought might be good for moths - I visited the North Dock dunes in the evening, hoping (again) to find some interesting crambid or grass moths, but none were to be seen, perhaps because of the gusting wind at this coastal locality. Sweeping also brought little in the way of moths except for plenty of crescent plumes Marasmarcha lunaedactyla around rest-harrow clumps. In total, only three moth species were seen and no sign (thankfully) of the swarms of diamond-back moths previously noted at this site.

                                      Above: grey skies looking inland (N) at the North Dock.

I did, however, find some caterpillars in `nests` at the tips of mugwort shoots and I think that they are those of scarlet tigers.

 Above: thought to have been a scarlet tiger caterpillar, now considered to be that of a painted lady -                                                         see comments section below.


  1. Looks rather Painted Lady-like, though the foodplant may need checking up?

  2. There`s no record (in Porter) of painted lady eating mugwort Barry. However, I think that you ARE correct - the caterpillar looks like that of a painted lady rather than scarlet tiger.