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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Marsh Fritillaries rocket in Carms

Marsh Fritillaries have had an exceptional year in Carms, with no less than 71 fields found to be occupied in 2018 for first time for at least 25 years. Particularly strong showings of new fields with larval webs among the various metapopulations were: 16 new fields in Mynydd Mawr (outside of current SPG area); 12 new fields within Mynydd Mawr SPG area; 7 new fields around Harford; 4 new fields in Amman valley and single new fields in Alltwallis, Brechfa, Crwbin, Mid Tywi and Trapp. 

This puts Carmarthenshire firmly on the stronghold status amongst Welsh counties with 106 one km OS grid squares occupied since 2005, with Glamorgan next with 71. Most of the sites were almost certainly "colonisations" into fields with known habitat but found not to be occupied in previous visits.

Other highlights witnessed by our growing band of volunteers included a timed count of 554 Marsh Frits in 90mins walk across 8 fields in Harford back in June. Rob Parry found a massive 189 larval webs, before running out of time,
in a field near Cwmgors which usually only supports between 1 and 20 webs.

We also realised that with no rain to wash away larval webbing, the webs are easily visible throughout July as well as the usual times of August & September. 

In our travels, we also turned up a Forester moth at a smallholding in Harford. 

We obviously hope that much of this "spread" in 2018 will carry over into next year and beyond. We ran out of days to get to every field with known habitat, so we hope to get out again in a targeted way in 2019. 


  1. Excellent news; very well done to all involved and many thanks to you, Richard, for the heads up.

  2. Fabulous news! And must be extra satisfying for you and the other Stalwart Marsh Friliariers who have contributed so much locally. Great work 👍

  3. Google predictive has helped me invent a new word it appears, but i can do better than that with 'Frittilariers'

    1. Fritillariers we are then soon to morph into "Hairstreakers" which used to cause "issues" with Carms Council computers!