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!


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

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

Thursday 10 September 2015

National Moth Night (s)

Anyone out there recording moths for NMN please keep an eye out for any moths you may find with colour marks on the wings.
These moths have been caught over the last few days on the south and east coast mainly.  Some may just find their way up here so any marked moths you re-trap on National Moth Night (or any other time) please record a comment.

Please record any marked moths with a comment noting the colour, which wing and the position (base, middle or tip).

Thanks you and happy trapping.

Ina and Tony

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Mullein Wave Distribution map


Here is the map of the Mullein Wave and it looks like a few have flown inland from the coast.


Mullein wave

On another clear, cool night we set a couple of actinic traps in Arthur's front and back gardens in Aberystwyth. We hoped for more but got very similar catch to other recent sessions, 11 macros and 3 micros. The best was this Mullein wave, only the third record for Aberystwyth the first was in 1937 and the other in 1975, which happened to be a daytime observation by Arthur at his house. This is quite surprising since the moth is found in coastal locations, feeds on a variety of herbaceous plants and Aberystwyth is one of the most trapped locations in the county.
Tony & Ina with thanks to Arthur

Monday 7 September 2015

Another Black-banded

You wait all this time to catch one and then two come along at once. After last week's moth in Aberystwyth this latest one was caught by David Kirk who is currently visiting New Quay. Apart from this being only the seventh record for the county, it is significant that it is the first away from Mwnt and Aberystwyth. It is probable that there are other sites along the coast which have colonies of Black-banded.


Centre-barred Sallow

Not quite such a cold night last night but still only 15 species in the trap this morning (11 macro and 4 micro). Another Autumn regular, Centre-barred sallow, showed up for the first time this year, with two in the trap and one outside (there may have been more as we saw Blue tits on the trap and a Robin was close-by). Large yellow underwing were down to just 12, also Canary-shouldered thorn, Common marbled carpet, Small square spot, Dark arches, Setaceous hebrew character, Silver Y, Flounced rustic, Rosy rustic, and a very fresh July highflyer. The micros were Mother of pearl, Light brown apple moth, Eudonia truncicolella, and Agriphila geniculea.
Tony & Ina

Sunday 6 September 2015

Hedge Rustic

Unlike Liz our three traps produced only five species with a minimum temperature of 2.8°C!  Notable however were two Hedge Rustics, this one showing the kidney mark extending to a point towards the oval as described in Waring.

Carolyn & Evan

Denmark Farm Trap

The temp was 3.3C at 3am (and only 4C at 7am,) sky was clear and moon quite bright  so no great expectation but 5 traps did produce 17 species for an appreciative audience which included some very well behaved children.  Ian explained some of the finer points and fielded questions so 2 hours flew by. The session finished with coffee and cakes courtesy of Denmark Farm.
The trails are open all year round from dawn to dusk and the habitats offer plenty of interest particularly in dragonflies and butterflies as soon as the sun shines.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Bordered Beauty Distribution Map


Congratulations!  You will be upgraded from an black circle to a green cross.


Friday 4 September 2015

Bordered Beauty

This beauty turned up in the trap this morning. I see I last recorded one in 1991, so it was good to see another one today.

Wednesday 2 September 2015


We caught this Nationally Scarce A coastal moth in Aberystwyth today.  According to Waring there is a single known present day colony at Gwbert near Cardigan and perhaps the recent Southwesterlies have blown it this way. 

Also attached is the VC46 distribution map for this moth. 

Carolyn & Evan

National Moth Night 2015

National Moth Night involves finding as many moths as you can during the daytime on 10th, 11th and 12th September and similarly running light traps on one or more of 10th, 11th. 12th September (so the final check will be on Sunday morning).
This could also include checking likely spots with overnight outside lights (especially coastal) or a bit of dusking around late buddleia bushes, tobacco plants, etc.
Even though the theme this year is migrant moths, all catches and numbers are recorded and documented.
Please do try and take part.

More information can be found at;


I'll be opening some traps at Denmark Farm on Sunday morning.  This is a very good location with multiple habitats so if the weather is half decent for moths there should be a good catch.  
It starts at 9.30am and I'm hoping Ian Tillo will be available to comment on the catch and id all those brown ones!  
Everyone welcome.