Friday, 28 April 2017

New for Carmarthenshire?

I decided today (28/4) to have a break from the never-ending list of `jobs to do` and, after an easy morning, went at midday to Pontnewydd, not far from Kidwelly in the Lower Gwendraeth Valley. It was cold, with a brisk NW wind and I was glad that I`d brought a warm scarf and hat! Needless to say, day-flying moths (and other insects) were not exactly common; indeed, even the ever-busy bumblebees were torpid and resting and the abundant marsh marigolds were completely devoid of the usually frequent Micropterix calthella.
It was an opportunity instead for `close searching` of tree trunks and foliage for resting moths or looking for leaf mines and it was with the latter in mind that I decided to go to and search a quite extensive area of reed sweet-grass Glyceria maxima about 10 minutes` walk downstream.
I quickly found pupae on the leaves of this plant and upon checking `UK Leaf Mines` when I arrived home, it was pleasing that they exactly fitted those of Elachista poae.
See: http://www.leafmines.co.uk/html/Lepidoptera/E.poae5.htm
There is an old 1920s record from E Glamorgan but apparently none from our county. I suspect it also will occur at other Glyceria maxima stands such as nearby Ffrwd Fen (also in the Lower Gwendraeth, near Pembrey), at WWT Penclacwydd and, further afield, at Bishop`s Pond, Abergwili. It might also be worth looking for it in Glamorgan to update the old record.

Above and below: two different pupal cases of E. poae. The linear brown streaks are due to rust infection. The pupae are to be found a few inches from the tip of the leaf and today they were easily located. I also found some old leaf mines.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great find Ian. I guess Sam might want to see it reared to adulthood to confirm the ID, but that shouldn't prove too difficult from the pupal stage.

    Definitely one for us to look out for elsewhere - I must check the Glyceria maxima at Glamorgan Canal in Whitchurch, just up the road from me...

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