Sunday 30 June 2013

Help please

This is puzzling me.  I thought it was just faded as it had died in the box but on closer examination it has a dusting of fine black scales with a hint of some brown cross lines.  All the common waves I have caught show the brown cross lines clearly even though they are pale brown. This doesn't seem to have lost scales. Is there a clue in the one sided antennae?

Saturday 29 June 2013

Chimney sweepers

Not a scarce moth or as stunning as Blomer's but handsome nevertheless and a welcome sight in my garden.  Not a garden species but my garden hardly qualifies as a garden because there are large areas of wild grasses. These were found in a small patch which contains lots of  the foodplant pignut,so this female was even more welcome.  It has hosted a nesting chiffchaff and great news, is sprouting yellow rattle so well on its way to being a flower meadow!
Tregaron could do with some chimneys being swept,the air pollution is appalling on cold, still, winter days.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Blomer's Rivulet

Amongst c30 species in a trap in a friends woodland last night were two of these beautiful little moths. An Nb species.

Blomer's Rivulet

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Ynys Las dunes today

A breeze made photographing this lot a challenge but we couldn't resist the fabulous fresh livery of the zygaenidae.  Yellow shell is such a stunner but this one was not cooperative and the minor is looking faded and dull so early in their season yet was very actively nectaring the buttercups as though it was intending to live forever!  Interesting to see it in the daylight.
I did a bit of fly-trapping last night under some very old oaks up at Strata Florida: 6C cool,dank conditions so very few but 5 very fresh nut-tree tussocks  were amongst the catch. Not really worth the walk in late yesterday and 4.30am recall this morning! 

A Fresh Welsh Wave

On Monday night we had a poor catch due to low temperatures and a full moon with only six moths from 3 traps but we did have this beautiful fresh Welsh Wave:

...and from a garden in Aberystwyth this rather atypical Broken-barred Carpet:

Carolyn & Evan

Beautiful Yellow Underwing

We had a walk around the boardwalk on Cors Fochno yesterday afternoon in some welcome sunshine. There were good numbers of Large Heath butterflies very active over the heather. On the moth front we found Crambus Pascuella, Catoptria Margaritella, several Common Heath, and this Beautiful Yellow Underwing. Apologies for the poor quality photos but they were taken through a plastic box.

Monday 24 June 2013

nocturnal wonders....glow-worms

I am hoping to get a count of the glow-worms along the Cors Caron railway line this year. There are at least 2 areas with some numbers of them present in previous years so I will check tonight if they are on schedule or late like most things this year.   If present tonight they will need to be counted over the next 2/3 weeks I think.
If you would like to help out please let me know on 01974 299166
If you have any local to you I would also like to know so they can be put on the national database.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Micros id help

We would like some help to identify these two micros. The larger one is a Crambid but which one. It has a wing length of 10mm. We think it may be Eudonia truncicolella but the shape looks too narrow.
The smaller one has a wing length of 3mm and looks like an Elachistid. I apologise for the quality of the photo but I had to be quick for fear of losing it.



Dark arches

Thursday night was warm and misty which must have been what the moths were waiting for because the garden skinner produced 74 moths of 37 species. Nothing unusual but it was great to see a good number of our more common moths. We had the two extremes of Dark arches, the very dark one looks like the aethiops form.

Friday 21 June 2013

id help please

I know I shouldn't have left a red card beneath it , wing length (10mm).
I thought it a pale foxglove pug but it has quite a plain underwing and its only the camera that has picked up any warm tone in the crosslines otherwise to the naked eye it is very grey.  The markings are clear so I should have it sorted but I haven't because it looks so carpet like...well it does now it has expired in the pot. Caught  on 18th/19thJune in oak woodland.

Small Yellow Underwing Distribution Map

Peter M. has certainly made a good record with this moth. I have attached a map showing its distribution for VC46.  According to our County Recorder there have been 13 archival records from 1923 to 2000 and only one recent record in 2010 on the coastal path at Clarach.   As this is a day flying moth perhaps we have become too dependent on our light traps rather than walking the countryside looking for these elusive day fliers.  As Tony also mentioned in his comment they live in flower rich grassland, the larvae feeding on Mouse- ear seed capsules.

Don't forget to look back at comments for previous entries to follow any discussion!


Thursday 20 June 2013

not another micro

a more exciting moth than photo, this was flying near the old railway line in yesterday's sunshine at the ystrad meurig end of cors caron.
small yellow underwing

Gold spot and garden tiger

Two heath traps on Cors Fochno on Tuesday night caught only 16 species of macro moths. Most numerous were Broom moths, prettiest was a very fresh-looking Gold spot. Others were Eyed hawkmoth, Poplar grey, Dark/Grey dagger, Flame shoulder, Middle-barred minor, Fox moth, Dark arches, True lovers knot, Small square-spot, Pebble prominent, Four-dotted footman, Dusky brocade, Common pug, and Ruddy highflyer.
Gold spot
A walk around the boardwalk afterwards produced several Common heaths, a couple of Marbled white spots, a Garden tiger larva at the top of some Bog-myrtle which is not one of its normal food plants, and a Beautiful yellow underwing.

Marbled white spot (don't know what's in the web)

Garden tiger

Yellow-tail Caterpillar

We found this attractive Yellow-tail caterpillar in a prominent position on sallow in a hedge near Mynachty'r Graig at the start of our coastal walk yesterday.  They overwinter as a small larva but apparently at this time of year sit openly by day and are often conspicuous on hedges.
Carolyn & Evan.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

A long-established colony of Elachista argentella

On 27 May 1982 I noticed vast numbers of Elachista argentella, a pure white micromoth, on
the roadside bank outside the next door garden to my house in Penyrangor, Aberystwyth,
SN581808. The identification was confirmed by G. S. Robinson. I estimated 200-400 on each
1 square metre of the bank, which was 18m long and 1.5m high, making a total of c.8,000
moths. They remained in similar abundance for at least 5 days in hot dry weather. By 20
June only c.8 were left.

The moth is widespread and common in Britain, and the larvae mine the leaves of various
grasses, especially Red Fescue which is abundant on the bank. I have kept an eye on the
population ever since, but have never seen a specimen anywhere else along the banks by
this road, where the vegetation is very similar, except on this one stretch. The population
has persisted now for over 30 years, but never again in such abundance. Recently I have
noted the dates of first emergence:
     2006: 5 May
     2007: 17 April
     2008: 1 May
     2009: 24 April
     2010: 1 May
     2011: 15 April
     2012: 28 April
     2013: 17 May

Not unexpectedly, this year has been by far the latest, and while the maximum numbers
have recently been in the low hundreds, this year the most seen at one time has been only

Arthur Chater

Elachista argentella

The bank at Penyrangor, looking SSE, May 2013

Tuesday 18 June 2013

moths on Cors Caron last night

Grey scalloped bar turned up as last year which is reassuring!  Out on the bog it was cool and breezy so not a lot but 3 of the above plus 14 True Lover's Knots.  I seem to remember that this moth has alternate years of plenty. The lovely little micro is I think Eulia ministrana?
Pic in the middle is the mystery.  Something of the pale mottled willow about it? Same size as the smaller one illustrated by Lewington.  A faded tlk? but all the others were fresh and its not the end of their season.   It was a bit browner than in my pic taken in low light.
My highlight was a Light Knot Grass, new to me.

And Two Queries

We thought initially this could be a Waved Carpet but later convinced ourselves that there was a rather faint pair of blackish spikes projecting ouwtards from the centre of the crossline near the middle of the forewing making it a Welsh Wave.  Do people agree?

And this rather fine noctuid has completely eluded us.  Can anyone help please?

Carolyn & Evan.

Four Beautiful Moths

A ggod night with 3 traps in and around our property- 61 moths of 32 species including these 4 attractive moths:
Carolyn & Evan.

Lobster Moth

Buff Arches
Clouded-bordered Brindle
Foxglove Pug [FW 11.5mm]

What's the moth

At last the garden catches are looking reasonable again. There were 16 species last night, most numerous again were the Buff-tips (8). Firsts for this year were a Large yellow underwing, Small angle shades, May highflyer (a bit late and very worn), Green silver-lines, Oak hook-tip, and Foxglove pug. Most puzzling is this one shown below; shape and size and the conspicuous black collar make me think it is a Heart and dart, but the markings are unusual. Can anyone help with id please?

Monday 17 June 2013

Useful website and Denmark Farm

For those new to this website please note that you can access the comments by clicking on 'comments'.
Included in the discussion below the last post, my spiky green 'caterpillar', is the link to the which is fantastic to use and very comprehensive.  Tony, could you add it to the links section on the right?
Re Denmark Farm trapping: as you know it was a cold and windy night last Thurs and just to help even more it soaked down on Friday morning!  Nevertheless Tillo and I set traps and hung a sheet (well it got a wash anyway)and showed some potted live moths from my garden catch the previous night to a new moth-er.  Next morning 4 people turned up in spite of the rain and I was able to show them the meagre offering of 17 species from 4 traps which nevertheless elicited some excitement and wonder so it was a worthwhile exercise after all.
Denmark Farm will be trapped again on a better evening!

Sunday 16 June 2013

Caterpillar id

A small caterpillar daring to live under a blue tit nestbox in an oakwood near Tregaron today.  I only have Manley so would be grateful if someone with Porter could have a look.  Caterpillars with this type of bristle seem to be butterflies. I should have used flash as it was so dark in the wood but was struggling to hang on to the tree as the nestbox was placed awkwardly (by me of course) and operate the camera.  For my pains I managed to get peppered by box fleas and am now in quarantine.

Buff-tips return

I have a Purple-leaved Filbert bush in my garden which is very attractive to female Buff-tips when laying their eggs. As a result it gets defoliated every year. I trapped 19 moths in the garden last night, and 10 of them were buff-tips, no surprise there. I got them to pose for this group photo!

Saturday 15 June 2013

Moths in Pontrhydygroes

Peter has reported finding some less common variants of three common species, all of which came to light in pontrhydygroes in weeks 23/24.

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

Scalloped Hazel

Pale-shouldered Brocade

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Denmark Farm

There will be a short talk by Ian Tillotson at 8:30pm to start the Denmark Farm moth event tomorrow evening and we hope it will be dark enough to see some moths come to light; if not there will be some potted samples to study including a fresh Elephant HM as in the previous pic.  Trap opening will be 10am on Friday morning, all welcome.
Details of the event plus access info in the events section to the right.

Elephant hawkmoths at Aberporth

Moth trap 9th June, Aberporth. 23 moths including 2 Elephant Hawkmoths.

Reported by Sarah

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Another good night

We had another good catch last night with just one trap on a local woodland ride yielding 31 moths of 16 different species.  Here are photos of four of the more attractive ones.
Carolyn & Evan.
Green Silver-lines

Marbled White Spot

Peppered Moth

Tawny-barred Angle

Monday 10 June 2013

Hi Folks,
I visited Ceredigion last week. Finally chose a dry few days. Stayed in a guesthouse near to Llanddewi Brefi, called Pant-teg and ran 2 traps there one night. 30 species listed here in no particular order: Pebble Prominent, Brimstone, Coxcomb Prominent, Least Black Arches, Small Phoenix, Pale Prominent, Common Wave, Clouded Border (including a weird aberration), Common White Wave, Hebrew Character, Broken-barred Carpet, Puss, Nut-tree Tussock, Flame Shoulder, Scalloped Hazel, White Ermine, Pale Shouldered Brocade, Dark Arches, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Grey Birch, Brown Silver-line, Broom, Herald, Common Quaker, Red Twin-spot Carpet, May Highflyer, Devon Carpet, Campion, Light Knot Grass and Syndemis musculana.

I also managed to run two traps at Cors Caron, albeit for only a couple of hours as it got too chilly. Small Phoenix, Hebrew Character, Knot Grass, Fox, Peach Blossom, Pale Prominent, Flame Shoulder, Brown Silver-line, Scalloped Hook-tip, Common White Wave, Broken-barred Carpet, Common Wave, Pebble Prominent, Poplar Hawk, Red Twin-spot Carpet, White Ermine, Clouded Silver, Nut-tree Tussock, Scalloped Hazel, Clouded Border, Eyed Hawk, Light Knot Grass, Pale Shouldered Brocade, Foxglove Pug, Devon Carpet, Narrow-winged Pug and Syndemis musculana. 27 species. No Ruddy Highflyers!

I still have a couple of micros to id. Not too bad overall I thought. Sorry I didn't make contact with some of you, but I have learnt that trapping there has to be a last minute decision and I run traps for around 3 hours only from dusk onwards. Peter, as per usual I will send you a full listing once the micros are id'd later in the year. The final night was spent in Carmarthen where I was even more successful, including a Sand Dart, a first for me.

Peter Hall

Sunday 9 June 2013

Small seraphim & Four-dotted footman

A spur of the moment decision to trap on Borth bog before the weather breaks, produced a couple of species we had not seen before:

Small seraphim
Four-dotted footman

Also this Ruby tiger:

Day Sightings

On a coastal walk from Borth to Clarach and return in hot sunshine today we found this Oak Eggar caterpillar, an unfortunate rather damaged Brimstone Moth and saw lots of very active Speckled Yellow day-flying moths which proved rather more difficult to photograph.

Carolyn & Evan