Tuesday, 29 September 2015

September Caterpillars - some ID help needed

Here are some caterpillars that I've found this September.  Some I think I've identified correctly, but I would appreciate a second opinion and there are 2 queries which are probably not possible from the photos...

Oak Eggar
Buff Ermine
Dark Dagger
White Ermine
Ruby Tiger
Unknown 1 - on Red Campion
Unknown 2 - Looper (top view)
Unknown 2 - Looper (side view)

Monday, 28 September 2015

Caterpillar id help required

Whilst carrying out surveys for Marsh fritillary larval webs, Em Foot and her Wildlife Trust volunteers have seen a number of these caterpillars. Their identity has stumped us and someone has suggested that they could be Sawfly larvae. They are 35 to 40 mm long and have been observed feeding on Scabious.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Brick and Rivulet

Four moths in the the trap this frosty morning. A Purple Bar, a Green Carpet and these two. 
I see in my notebook that I had a Brick on the kitchen window on exactly the same date in 1988. 
I have only recorded one Rivulet before and that was in 1988 too. I don't recall it being as shiny and new as this one. Tony tells me that is is the latest county record to date, but that the distribution of records indicates only one generation in the county and not two as appear in the more southern counties.

Flounced Chestnut Distribution Map


Another good catch together with an Anomalous from your Arboretum!  I have produced the Distribution Map for the Flounced Chestnut and Tony has produced a graph showing potential signs of a recovery for this moth.


Flounced chestnut

Betty Loyn recorded six macro species in woodland near Bont Goch, including an Anomolous and this Flounced chestnut.
Flounced chestnut were recorded in low numbers up to 1988 but then there were very few records until 2010 when there was 1 record at Cwmere, which is not far from Betty's woodland. Since then the number of records has increased with 9 in 2013 and 4 last year. Hopefully they will maintain an upward trend.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Some autumnal moths

Another chilly night at Ynys-hir but we managed to record 12 species of macro moths including some autumnal species which we had not seen so far this year. There were 19 Red-green carpets (all wonderfully fresh and brightly coloured), 17 Common marbled carpet, 4 Green carpet (all very faded and not at all green), 3 Pink-barred sallow, Sallow, Snout, Pale pinion, Brindled green, Black rustic, Canary-shouldered thorn, Spruce carpet, and Frosted orange.
Brindled green

Pale pinion

Red-green carpet

Spruce carpet
Another first for us was 3 Hornets which were very placid in the cold air.
Tony & Ina

Friday, 25 September 2015

Brown-spot Pinion Distribution Map


Another good catch!  As Tony said, there are not many around here.  We can't give you a new green cross as you created the last one!


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Garden moth trap 23rd September

43 moths of 12 species from trapping last night which included 8 Silver Ys and this Brown-spot Pinion:
Brown-spot Pinion

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Coleophora species on Lime

I found this Coleophora species on Small-leaved Lime at Nanteos today.  I am unable to identify it further from the Leaf Miner website.  Any suggestions?


Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Mite Concerned

We caught this Square-spot Rustic a few days after National Moth Night and noticed this red blob on the left fore-wing.  Initially I thought that we had caught one of their marked moths.  However, on subsequent photographic enlargement it became clear that this moth was playing host to a red mite.   This is a first for us though there is some published literature re mites on Noctuids.


Leaf Miners

It's that time of year and after attending a very useful introductory course with Dave Grundy at Cilgerran earlier this month on leaf mines I have been on the lookout for them.  A walk along the Rheidol on the Glanyrafon Estate this week produced these two examples - the first tenanted and the second vacated.


Epermenia chaerophyllella on Hogweed

Lyonetia clerkella on Cherry

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Cloth of Gold

I was very pleased to see this in the egg box today as I've only ever caught a few and the first was in northern France when we camped near to the Field of the Cloth of Gold.  So for me its never been a Frosted Orange but a Cloth of Gold.

Not much else however as the temp dropped below 7C.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

New toy: the wonder battery

Fed up with lugging a 17amp battery into Coed Y Bont and waiting at least 12 hours for it to recharge I've invested in a lithium iron battery.
Charges in 45 minutes, guaranteed for 3 years, greener than other batteries as no component is toxic unless you eat it presumably, 80% lighter weight  and will power your golf trolley around 18 holes for 2000 hours!  I reckon with lightweight trap use this will last me a long time plus it replaces a 27amp lead acid battery so will last more than one night even in winter with a 15w lamp.
All the technical details about lithium batteries are in Wikipedia plus the supplier: Alpha batteries has a comprehensive website.
Cost?  Cheaper than a posh frock (not that I'm in danger of buying one of those), or lunch for 2 at Ynys Hir Hall (not that I've been invited yet) or 2 fills of diesel in the VW.  I just heard Evan hit the floor….
If I don't catch some moths with it tomorrow then you'll hear me hit the floor.

Twin-spot Carpet Distribution Map


Having seen your interesting record of the Twin-spot Carpet recently we were able to identify one in our kitchen this morning - an escapee from our trap the day before.  This was also a first for us.  We thought you might like to see the map of its distribution in VC46.


Monday, 14 September 2015


Another warm night and no moon produced 24 macro species from two traps.  The high spot for us was our very first Anomalous (m) but we also had, like others, a good selection of autumnal moths- Autumnal Rustic, Centre-barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and this attractive variation of the Sallow.

Carolyn & Evan



Sunday, 13 September 2015

Migrants on Moth-night-3

Last night we trapped at Plaswern, a beautiful spot about a mile inland from, and overlooking the sea at Aberporth. The weather was not great but we recorded 23 species in all with 4 migrant species and 2 possible migrants: Dark sword-grass, Silver Y, Rush veneer, and Diamond back. Turnip moth and Angle shades may be migrants.
Angle shades

Dark sword-grass

Rush veneer

Silver Y

Turnip moth
Tony & Ina

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Frosted Orange

Another National Moth Night, and another first this year. They do seem to have a fine sense of occasion.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Garden moth trap 10th September

139 moths of 35 species.  New for the garden were Mompha locupletella, Lathronympha strigana and a Black-banded.  The only migrants were 6 Silver Y.

Mompha locupletella
Lathronympha strigana

Striped Twinspot Carpet

Caught in Coed Y Bont Wed night.  Cool and starry night but there were a  few moths in the trap including this one I haven't seen before.

Autumnal moths

August Thorn and Pink-barred Sallow

The first warmish night after several cold ones at Llawrcwrt. It was a happy chance that these two, first of year, sightings, turned up to be recorded for National Moth Night,

National Moth Night - one

Not much in the way of migrants at Wallog last night just Silver Y and Rusty-dot Pearl.
However, we did find another Black Banded, if we had the time and the energy to search the whole of the coast where there is Thrift around I am willing to bet we would find lots more.  Is this just them having a good year? The next couple of years should prove the point one way or the other.
Most abundant was the ubiquitous Flounced Rustic, a couple of late ones - Magpie and Rosy Minor, 19 Brimstone Moths - mostly scattered amongst the grass, Feathered Gothic, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Purple Bar, Garden carpet and Autumnal Rustic plus others.

Ina & Tony