Saturday 25 April 2015


A bumper night with a minimum temperature of 9.2°C produced 160 moths of 26 macro species.  The star of the night was this freshly emerged Streamer and also new for this year were two Notodontidae (Pale & Pebble Prominents), V-Pug, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and Brindled Beauty.

Carolyn & Evan


Pale Prominent

Pebble Prominent


Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet

Ruddy highflyers

It didn't feel quite as warm on Cors Fochno last night as the forecasters predicted but we had a reasonable catch from 3 actinic traps. There were 8 Ruddy highflyers, our first for this year. Other firsts for us this year were Grey birch (3) and a single Flame shoulder. A total of 16 macro species and no micros.

Tony & Ina

Thursday 23 April 2015

Conifer woodland moths

We put a 15W Heath trap in some local conifer woodland last night and, not surprisingly, got our first Spruce carpets of the year. There were good numbers of Spruce carpet, Brindled pug, Hebrew character, and Common quaker, six Engrailed, and 1 or 2 each of Early tooth-striped, Water carpet, Great prominent, Early thorn, Clouded drab, Early grey, and Double-striped pug. Only one micro moth, a Twenty-plume.
Spruce carpet
Tony & Ina

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Lobster Anyone?

The only thing new for the year in the garden trap last night was a Lobster Moth, Others included Shoulder Stripe, Great Prominent, Early Tooth-striped Pale Prominent, Early Grey.

I collected some nests last autumn and the first moths have emerged today.  Unfortunately one escaped that looked very like a White-shouldered House Moth, but could not be sure the others where Skin Moths - Monopis laevigella.

Ina and Tony

Female Emperor Moth

No wonder their pheromone is very strong as this female emperor is a formidable beast although this one was docile as it was -1C !
I wanted to hang it up in my net laundry bag and go back later to see the males but no time today.
I am hoping to trap Sat night on  Coed Y Bont for another one of these and will be opening the trap early so anyone is welcome to join me on Sunday morning at 7am or to look in the pots at 8.30am prior to a bird walk around the new ponds in the clear fell area starting at 9.30am.
An Emperor was found on a wall very near where I will be trapping 2 days ago plus I should catch Grey Birch.

Coed Y Bont is on the lane to Strata Florida and is well worth a visit…see the Facebook page.
GR SN:737660

Monday 20 April 2015

Muslin Moth

Slightly earlier than last year, this Muslin Moth in the trap this morning. Also quakers, Garden Carpet and A. Heracliana.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Grey Birch

Our garden moth trap this weekend produced 13 species.  New for us this year were Great Prominent and this freshly emerged Grey Birch.  Attached is a map of the latter's distribution in VC46.

Carolyn & Evan

Grey Birch

Friday 17 April 2015

Micro Tip - Coleophora juncicolella

Micro-moth field tips: Coleophora juncicolella. This tiny Coleophora makes a beautifully detailed and well disguised case. With a case of only 4mm in length, the only real chance of seeing it is to beat or sweep some heather. This should dislodge lots of small pieces of heather. I found this one by beating the heather into an upturned umbrella at Lindow Moss, Wilmslow on 15.4.15. After a minute or two of careful observation, a piece of the heather started to walk about! Alternatively, put the contents of the sweeping or beating into a clear container and wait for the Coleophora larvae to walk up the side of the container.
Ben Smart.

Emperor Moth - New Lure

Second try with the new Emperor lure was very effective.  We had three males within a minute of opening the box!  For the next hour or two, despite putting the lure away in an airtight box, I was followed by the little darlings.  As we have no idea if these were the same males we have only recorded four. We did get back in the car and drive half a mile further on and I was still attracting them!  Powerful stuff!!
Sorry about the rubbish photo, they would not keep still for obvious reasons.
I don't think the moths were absent from my first location, I was just a little early.


Thursday 16 April 2015


Exactly two days earlier than last year, a Mullein high up on the wall this morning. Perhaps it hatched from the caterpillars that ate our buddleia.

Not much in the trap, but also Early-tooth-striped, Water Carpet and Eudonia angustea (2) on the wall.


Wednesday 15 April 2015

Cors Fochno - Dk.Sword-grass and Emperor

Acleris hyemana
Emperor Moth female
A good catch last night under willow blossom included Early Tooth-striped, Oak Beauty, Engrailed, Brindled and Double-striped Pug, Pale Pinion, Red Sword-grass and all the usual suspects.
Dark Sword-grass and Diamond-back both together....any other migrants made it as far as Ceredigion?
Acleris hyemana - although this is a common moth this is only the third recorded in vc46
The two below being the macro stars of the night.

Dark Sword-grass

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Blossom U/wing, Grt Prominent, 13th April

Only 12 species in one actinic trap last night.
I recorded the one in the first photo as Powdered Quaker, our guest moth-er had it in an embrace that was a little too tight for a good look.
Tegenaria sp ?
Great Prominent

Blossom Underwing

Powdered Quaker

Saturday 11 April 2015

A Good Night's Catch

We set three traps last night and caught 275 moths of 20 macro species, the most numerous being the Common Quaker with 91 in just one trap.  New for us this season were Early Thorn, Purple Thorn, Lunar Marbled Brown, Frosted Green and Pine Beauty.

In the afternoon we took a walk near Ynyslas and also found caterpillars of the Scarlet Tiger feeding on Foxglove which is not listed in Manley as one of the food plants.

Carolyn & Evan

Early Thorn

Purple Thorn

Lunar Marbled Brown

Cwm Tydu BioBlitz

One or two from this morning.  Full details later.

50plus Scarlet Tiger larvae on Comfrey

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Ynys-hir event

We set 4 traps at the RSPB reserve on Saturday night for the moth event on Sunday morning, 1 Robinson 125W MV, 1 Skinner 30W Actinic, and 2 Heath 15W Actinics. Despite the night being cold and clear with a very large moon we had a reasonable number of moths. It was good to get some visitors, especially the children, who showed great interest in the moths. Thanks to Carolyn, Evan, and Liz for their help.

We had 111 moths with 19 macro and 2 micro species:
Red sword-grass 6, Hebrew character 27, Engrailed 5, Early thorn 3, Clouded drab 7, Pale pinion 1, Early grey 10, Satellite 2, Brindled pug 5, Early tooth striped 1, Oak beauty 1, Small quaker 14, Common quaker 11, Twin-spotted quaker 3, Chestnut 8, Red chestnut 1, Water carpet 1, Frosted green 1, Pale brindled beauty 1, Diurnea fagella 2, Agonopterix heracliana 1.

Tony & Ina

Monday 6 April 2015

Another hibernator

Two of these visited last night:

My first thought was Mompha divisella, but they seem faded in comparison to one caught last autumn. Is this a result of spending the winter as an adult, or should I consider M. bradleyi?


Saturday 4 April 2015

Shoulder Stripe

We set three traps last night in different locations and caught 16 macro species.  Included in these was this beautiful, freshly emerged Shoulder Stripe and another over-wintering moth - the Pale Pinion.

Carolyn & Evan

Shoulder Stripe

Pale Pinion

Orange underwings ...

I rushed down the bog as soon as I returned from scouring the County for Heronries with Red as it was sunny at last.
Saw at least 6 individuals but as they cover quite some distances along the track I was conservative in my count: there might be more.
Bri managed these shots but even at 5000th of a second they are so fast and small when high in the sky above the birches that the images are always blurry.  They hadn't come down to mate or roost by 5.30pm as promised in the book!

Thursday 2 April 2015

Orange Underwing

On a walk up our valley this afternoon we spotted a solitary Orange Underwing.  It was flying for about 20 minutes in typical fashion above a copse of Birch trees in pale sunshine around 4 pm.  This is the first time we have seen one in this location.

Carolyn & Evan