Tuesday 30 September 2014

Pine carpet and others

The catches in the garden seem to have been on the poor side this year and we were wondering if it was related to the new street lights (or the fact that the leader of the bat group has recently moved in). As a small experiment we ran a trap in the garden and one in a nearby, unmaintained meadow out of reach of the street lights. Result was garden 14 moths of 11 species, meadow 23 moths of 8 species. Only Brimstone, Dusky thorn, and Spruce carpet occurred in both traps. Highlight was the Merveille du jour (see earlier post) with Angle shades the only possible migrant. There was also a pine carpet to add to my recent carpet moths.
Archips podana (F)
Large fruit-tree tortrix

Pine carpet
Tony & Ina

In need of a haircut?

I'm currently doing some identification work on micros for a number of the group. Of course, after Dave G's micro course, I'm expecting even more in the future. The varying shapes I encounter when dissecting never cease to amaze me. Some are really plain, but others, like the attached, actually very pretty. Liz is lucky enough to be the first to encounter this species in Ceredigion, but as micros are very under-recorded, the opportunity for fame is just outside your door if you look.
Bryotropha politella
This group of moths are rather plain and dull, but internally rather nice, with politella being the smartest of them all. If you have any micro-moths that need a name, contact Ina at first and from there they make their way over to me. Peter Hall

Merveille du Jour

Had to get this in quick.  Everyone likes the pretty ones and CMCs are not often posted but this one was in such good condition I could not resist a pic!  Maybe better photos later when Tony gets his camera out.
Merveille du Jour

Common Marbled Carpet

Sunday 28 September 2014

Autumnal carpets

Last night we ran two Heath traps in mixed woodland at Ynys-hir. We had 80 moths of 26 species. On the carpet front we had Spruce, Grey pine, Red-green, Autumn green, Common marbled, and Green. Also present were Brimstone, Light emerald, Pink-barred sallow, Sallow, Autumnal rustic, Snout, Oak hook-tip, Green-brindled crescent and a Willow beauty. In the micros were Twenty plume, Acleris Rhombana and emargana, Ypsolopha ustella and parenthesella.
Acleris rhombana

Acleris emargana

Grey pine carpet

Spruce carpet

Just to compare habitats we also put a trap in the garden and got 16 moths of 11 species. Ones we did not have in the woodland were Canary-shouldered thorn, Black rustic, Light brown apple moth, and Eudonia angustea.
Eudonia angustea
Tony & Ina

Saturday 27 September 2014

Autumnal Moths

Like Liz a rather cool night dropping to 6.4°C but with 8 species mostly in the sheltered woodland trap. These included several fresh Red-green Carpets, Autumnal Rustic, Red-line Quaker, Green-brindled Crescent, Pink-barred Sallow & a second generation Light Emerald.

Carolyn & Evan

Autumnal Rustic

Red-line Quaker

Green-brindled Crescent

Raising awareness at Bont wood night trap.

Last evening I set a load of traps, borrowed a jenny, took the sheet off the bed and hung it on the trees, set up a table with books, camera etc and awaited the throng…..and they came, people that is.
I had set a lower age limit for youngsters so that selected the most active and adventurous which redefined risk assessment for me during an evening I thought might never end!  After a couple of hours I had run out of excuses for the moths non- appearance and had to resort to putting out a few I had prepared the night before.
If only I'd done that Sky at Night course…

This morning I had invited participants to join me to open the remote traps…..even more people arrived for that despite the fact that at 10 the previous night there were only 4 moths in all the  traps!  Fortunately the sky had clouded over in the early hours and there was enough action to fill over 2 hours of torturing moths in the cause of education.

What did I learn?  That Marbled carpets and Canary shouldered Thorns are the real toughies of the moth world, turning up to the party and refusing to go away; that I should have invited the badgers to put in an appearance( two tawny owl hoots don't really cut it with today's 8 year olds) that I should study caddis flies and star formations ...and don't take the dog, its just one more child under the requisite age!
Many thanks to Karen who was backstop this morning and Jim who lifted the ten ton jenny back into the van, oh yes, and to all those who turned up and waited in good humour and were suitably enthralled by a very few, but nevertheless stunning, members of the moth community.
Sorry no pics but there will be on the Coed Y Bont facebook page as all the young 'uns had camera phones and spotted the potential in the face-on C Sh Thorn look ( see Sarah's post)!

Friday 26 September 2014

First Mottled Umber

Last night in the garden was not too bad compared with the night before when we only had six moths in total in two traps
This morning the first Mottled Umber and a couple of fresh 2nd gen Heart and Dart were among the twenty five moths in and around one trap.
Micros were the ubiquitous (well in our garden anyway), Lt Brown Apple moths - both nights, Dioryctria abietella last night and a Diamond-back the night before.
Mottled Umber

Pale Mottled Willow

Dioryctria abietella
Ina and Tony

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Micro course pics

pic 1 The brave and the good who gave up a most beautiful day to study micros in a rather cool classroom….well alright foolish might come in there somewhere!
Pics 2,3,4: The really beautiful little micros which turned up to be studied: Rhigognostis incarnatella, Tebenna micalis, and Olindia schumacherana.  The Tebenna was caught on Mwnt, one of the few moths to venture out there on a very windy night!
Not got a pic of Dave our excellent course tutor because he's not as pretty as the moths he catches but I will be posting details of his future courses on here and we can all attest to his ability to turn macro-moth-ers  into micro enthusiasts so THANKS Dave!

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Cors Fochno

Two heath traps on the west boardwalk last night.
Nothing special to report, most numerous moth was Heath Rustic with Canary-shouldered Thorn, Chevron and Brimstone next in line.
A Light Emerald that seemed not to want to leave the shelter of the trap, Small Wainscot, Sallow, Black Rustic and a couple of carpets Common Marbled and Spruce.
Sorry, no photos - breakfast was calling!!
Ina & Tony

Monday 22 September 2014

Cilgerran Moth Course

Thanks to all who attended the excellent Introduction to Micros Moths course at Cilgerran yesterday (21st).

Special thanks to Dave Grundy for his engaging tuition, WWBIC for funding towards the event, Cilgerran Wildlife Centre for the venue and, last but by no means least, to Liz Snell for her hard work in organisation of the event.

I am expecting lots more vc46 micro records next year with your newly acquired knowledge! ;-)

Ina Smith

Friday 19 September 2014

Late Elephant

This was a surprise in the trap this morning.  Very fresh. Last date from Fowles is 20/08.  Any other late records Evan?
I also had 19 other species inc first Black Rustic, what a stunning moth it always reminds me of astrakhan collars! Also first Red line Quaker and a smart Gold spot.
Lower pic was even more of a cardio workout, a Black V moth which was hard to track down as it has green veins…OK so I was in France at the time but only just: Normandy 2 nights ago.  This moth is now apparently extinct in UK but it could come back given climate change . 

A Surfeit of Square-spot Rustics

I hope the title doesn't suggest we ate them!!
We (Mike, Tony & myself) sat for nearly two hours last night at Ynyslas with the mv light and managed three species.  As you can gather from the title most numerous were S-s Rs.  We did get a little over excited on occasion when something looked a little different, but no, you guessed, just a variation on the theme for the night.
There were two other singletons, an Anomalous and a rather fetching female Shuttle-shaped Dart.

Shuttle-shaped Dart


Anomalous - in bubble bath!
Hope for better mothing Saturday into Sunday.
Ina and Tony.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Ynys-hir moths

Ran two traps at the RSPB reserve, one in woodland and the other in an open area next to a paddock. The woodland produced 15 macro species and 8 micros, the other gave 19 macros and 2 micros. Two of the macros were firsts for us this year, Autumnal rustic and Brindled green (which looked greener in the sunlight than it does in the photo).
Autumnal rustic

Brindled green
Most numerous amongst the micros were Ypsolopha ustella and Acleris laterana. Interesting were Anania lancealis, which was a bit later than the normal flight period, Pandemis cinnamomeana (a male with its white face) and Argyresthia semitestacella.
Anania lancealis

Pandemis cinnamomeana
Tony and Ina

Saturday 13 September 2014

Ynyslas dunes again

Two actinic heath traps in the dunes last night caught 93 moths of 18 macro species and no micros. 58 of the total were Square-spot rustic. There were 3 Anomalous, 2 Purple bar, 2 Galium carpet, Gold spot, 6 Hedge rustic. Two firsts for us this year were a Feathered gothic and Pink-barred sallow.
Feathered gothic

Pink-barred sallow
Tony & Ina

Friday 12 September 2014

Pine carpet

With the prospect of not quite such a cold night last night we set two actinics in the garden. Result was 18 moths of 12 species. Rosy rustic, Flounced rustic, Lesser yellow underwing, and Light brown apple moth were the only species which were not singles. Most interesting was this Pine carpet, which was a long way from any of the documented food plants. Back in May this year we had a Pine carpet at Ynys-hir, and one was recorded at Ynyslas. Have they found a new food plant or do they fly considerable distances from their normal habitat?
Pine carpet

Tony & Ina

Monday 8 September 2014

Copper Underwings

Slippery little cusomers aren't they Sarah?

I think I posted this picture last year, but no harm in reminding people. 
Sorry about the manicure!!


Sunday 7 September 2014

Broad-bordered yellow underwing

A cold, clear night last night limited us to just 10 moths of 8 species in the garden. In contrast the previous night a trap in open woodland at Ynys-hir produced 33 species including a single Broad-bordered yellow underwing. This is supposed to be a common species but we rarely see them. There were good numbers of Brimstone, Snout, Flame shoulder, and Large yellow underwing. Others included 3 Oblique carpet, Spectacle, 4 Angle shades, Gold spot, 2 Flame carpet, Pinion-streaked snout, Red-green carpet, 2 Blood-vein, 2 Straw dot, Sallow, Centre-barred sallow, Black rustic, 3 Dark-barred twin-spot carpet. After the huge numbers of fresh Green carpets on Ynyslas last week, there was only 1 which was very worn and faded. Best of the micros was Homoeosoma nebulella.
Broad-bordered yellow underwing
Tony & Ina

Thursday 4 September 2014

Ynyslas dunes

Following on from bog and woodland, I put two heath traps on the dunes last night. It was a very good night for mothing with a minimum of 14C. The traps were heaving with Large and Lesser yellow underwing, Square-spot rustic, Hedge rustic, Flame shoulder, Setaceous hebrew character and Green carpet, sometimes three deep with a topping of Crane-fly and Earwigs. Still good numbers of White-line dart and Archer's dart and a fresh Heart and dart. Very pleased to see an Anomalous, Galium carpet, Purple bar, Shore wainscot, Canary-shouldered thorn, and a very worn Drinker. 29 macro species in all and 3 micros: Pyrausta despicata, Eucosma camoliliana, and Agriphila inquinitella.

Galium carpet

Purple bar

Wednesday 3 September 2014

...and Two Micros

We also caught these two Tortrices.  The first I believe is Acleris variegana (Garden Rose Tortrix) - FL 9mm.  The second I thought initially was Acleris emargana (FL 10mm) , but am now wondering if it it is A. effractana?  Unfortunately it escaped while being photographed so I do not have the specimen.


A Warm Start to September

A warm night yielded 27 macro species from two traps in woodland and our garden.  The most numerous were Brimstone and Flounced Rustic.  Noteworthy were this attractive Hedge Rustic and two colour forms of the Small Wainscot.

Carolyn & Evan

Ynys-hir woodland

A warmer, cloudier night with a Robinson MV trap under the trees at Ynys-hir, produced relatively few moths with 20 macro species and 9 micros. Most numerous were Brimstone, Green carpet and Flame shoulder, also September thorn, Tawny-barred angle (very battered looking), Chinese character, Snout, Pinion-streaked snout, Spruce carpet, Flame carpet, Setaceous hebrew character, Rosy rustic, and Chevron. Very fresh looking Peach blossom and Small fan-footed wave, presumably both second generation. In the micros there was Brown house moth, Mother of pearl, Rusty-dot pearl, Large fruit-tree tortrix, Acleris laterana, Carcina quercana, Cydia splendana, Ypsolopha dentella, and Y. parenthesella.
Peach blossom

Pinion-streaked snou

Small fan-footed wave

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Bulrush wainscot

Despite the cold night on Cors Fochno last night I was rewarded with 16 species of macro moth, featuring 3 Bulrush wainscot. There were good numbers of Sallow, Double-striped pug, Square-spot rustic, and Chevron (some of which caused confusion by sitting with their wings completely closed like a butterfly). Others were Dusky thorn, Ear moth sp., Common wave, Rosy rustic, and only 2 Large yellow underwing.
Bulrush wainscot

Bulrush wainscot
At least it was too cold for the midges this morning!