Friday 31 October 2014

October 30th....warm but windy

A group shot of last night's moths.
The Mervs obviously thought they were too posh to join the others!
Only one missing, a LtB.A. that had a prior engagement...inside a Blue tit I believe.


Thursday 30 October 2014

Another Merv view

Only one photo I'm afraid, but last night's moths included 4 Merveille all with black band Sarah!
19 Epirrita aggs, Spruce Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, 1 extremely worn but still recognisable Common Marbled Carpet, Red-Green Carpet, Red Sword-grass, Chestnut, Yellow-line Quaker and Green-brindled Crescent.  The warm Southerlies over the next couple of nights may well be more productive.

Sunday 26 October 2014

December Moth

Last night was better than expected with 12 macro species including plentiful, very variable November Moths, Spruce Carpet and Feathered Thorn.  New for this season were December Moth and Mottled Umber.

Carolyn & Evan

December Moth

Mottled Umber

Saturday 25 October 2014

Less than 1mph*

Only two moths in three hours yesterday evening, so I gave up. One was a Rusty-dot Pearl, the other this Bedellia somnulentella. Nice to see the moth in the flesh after seeing the mine last month at Cilgerran.


* mph = moths per hour

Sunday 19 October 2014

.... and Two Micros

 We also caught these two micros.  The first I believe is Acleris sparsana.  The second I think is one of the family Blastobasidae - probably Blastobasis lacticolella.  Under the microscope we could see the strongly upcurved labial palps, the well developed tongue and the base of the antenna (scape) with a scaly tuft (pecten) but the antennae were quite short (well under the stated 2/3 length of the forewing).  Further advice would be appreciated.


Acleris sparsana (FL 10mm)

Blastobasis lacticolella (FL 9mm)

Top View

More Autumn Moths....

A balmy night from three traps -two woodland + one garden -  produced thirteen macro species.  These included Feathered Thorn, Satellite, two variations of November Moth (Epirrita sp), Black Rustic, Flounced Chestnut and Merveille du Jour.

Carolyn & Evan

Feathered Thorn


November Moth 1

November Moth 2

Friday 17 October 2014

Changes to the blog

You may have noticed that we have changed the layout of the blog.

Details about contacting the group or the county recorders can be obtained by clicking on the "Contact us" button.

Information and guidance on how to create and submit moth records can be obtained by clicking on the "Submitting records" button.

Coed Y Bont moths

Worth Bri lugging the 105amp battery up into the wood or at least that's what I told him! A late Light Emerald and faded Snout join this year's unseasonable list but the rest were as expected Epirritas (every one different looking)  Red and Yellow line Quakers, (red 7 yellow 4, whereas in my garden a stronger light produced 20 yellow, 11 red) Spruce carpets in double figures and then singles of the big and beautiful: Feathered Thorn,M du J, and Grey shoulder knot.
There were hundreds of other creatures from midges to blue bottles.
Recently the expert Lichenologist Ray Woods had a look around and found some rare species so next year Ina we'll have to get to grips with the micros!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Big micros, leaf mines, and Mompha langiella

I put a light out for a couple of hours yesterday evening and was pleasantly surprised at the number of moths around in my garden, inc. Green-brindled Crescent, Blair's Shoulder Knot, Pale Mottled Willow, and my largest ever Blastobasis lacticolella at over 12mm long:

Found some leaf mines along Plas Crug in Aberystwyth this morning - i think the first one is Stigmella microtheriella (on Hazel), not sure about the second (on Elm i think):
and I now know not to look for moths in Holly - the leaf mine I found belongs to a fly.
Finally, what I believe is Mompha langiella landed on the window this afternoon; Ina's list suggests that it is rarely recorded in the county:

....and Two Migrants

...and from the same garden in Aberystwyth this Pearly Underwing, which was confirmed by seeing the appearance and darker veins of the underwing, and this Rusty-dot Pearl.

Carolyn & Evan

Pearly Underwing

Rusty-dot Pearl

Mixed Trapping Session

From our valley this morning we had our first Satellite and Chestnuts and from a certain garden in Aberystwyth the catch included Blair's Shoulder-knot, two colour forms of Lunar Underwing, Feathered Ranunculus and Yellow-line Quaker.

Carolyn & Evan

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Lunar Underwing - dark form

Lunar Underwing - chestnut form  

Yellow-line Quaker

Chestnuts....not 'roasting on an open fire'

Two traps at Ynys-hir last night, the Actinic doing slightly better than the MV light for both numbers and species.
The first Chestnuts we have seen this season and first Large Wainscots too. 
Others, in no particular order...  CMCarpet, Red-green C, Spruce C, Grey Pine C, Pine C. Red-line Quaker, Blk Rustic, Green-brindled Cres, Lt Emerald, Marveille du Jour.


Large Wainscot

Green-brindled Crescent
Quality of photos is not too great, sorry!

Ina & Tony

Thursday 9 October 2014

Distribution Map for the Delicate

Following Liz's capture of a Delicate while on the 'Patricia' I had a look to see what Delicates had been caught here in Ceredigion.

The last sightings were in 2006 & 2008 at Ynyshir,  IBERS (Welsh Plant Breeding Station) and Bont Goch respectively.


Wednesday 8 October 2014

Intercepted at sea

The Delicate

Sorry Sarah, this one may have been on its way to you but it was attracted by the wall light in the dining room of a small ship travelling from Milford to Ilfracombe on Sunday evening.  The passage was in the face of strong southerlies so it was released on the Devon shore next day.
You can imagine that passengers and crew were either under-whelmed or bemused by this event  although the galley slave did volunteer the fact that there had been an owl on board the previous week; that might have elicited more interest I suppose.

Thursday 2 October 2014


After Ina's request, here's an attempt at showing you the various parts of the male genitalia, used for identifying species. I've annotated a moth identified today as Bryotropha similis, which is another county first for Ceredigion, along with politella the other day. Now politella is a much more exotic looking moth (I refer to its private parts), but see if you can find the equivalent parts from the notes and names on similis. Similis was found at Ynys-hir.
Key: Aedeagus is the phallus of the male
Thorn shield: this is one of the diagnostics and is a number of spikes comprising what is termed a thorn-shield. In similis it is supposed to be up to 100, although here it is over 100.
Gnathos: This supports the anal tube and its shape is another diagnostic
Sacculus: this forms the base of the valvae, which in themselves are 2 wing-like structures.
Vinculum: In Bryotrohas these often have a knee-cap shape and the lack of one in similis is another identifying feature

So to id it as similis, I counted the number of spikes in the thorn-shield, looked at the shape of the gnathos - in this case sharply bent and wider after the bend tapering to a point, the lack of a knee on the vinculum and finally the wing pattern of the adult moth. I used the key in MBGBI volume 4(2) plus an additional publication called The Genus Bryotropha in the Western Palearctic by Karsholt & Rutten.

The first image shows the parts with names, the second is the recent politella of Liz and the third, to help, is another politella from another county but in a shape that is similar to the similis, so it might be easier to relate them all.

Why are some backgrounds blue and others fawn? I choose what to make the background in the complex process of photographing microscopic parts and in some cases I feel that pale blue accentuates the features and in others fawn does the same. Rarely I will use a pale yellow.

Bryotropha similis Ynys-hir - Ina Smith
Bryotropa politella - Liz Snell
Bryotropha politella - from Bucks with aedeagus separated

Peter Hall

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Pale Tussock

For all you out there who like pretty things!
Found by Chloe wandering around Penglanowen today.