Monday 30 May 2016

Coleophora larva

We spent a very agreeable afternoon yesterday in our fields with Tony and Ina looking for day fliers and micros.  We had a productive session which included this Coleophora species on a birch leaf which Ina suggested that we brought home to breed through to identify the species.  Over the following 24 hours it has moved its feeding site three times and produced abundant frass as shown in the pictures below.  With the aid of a microscope we also made a video of the larva feeding.  To see this clip, click on the link below and then select download in the top right hand corner and then open/save.  It is a large file so may take a few minutes to download.

Carolyn & Evan

Sunday 29 May 2016

Satin Lutestring

Last night we ran two Heath traps in some local woodland and recorded 30 species. First for us this year were Satin lutestring (3), Scorched wing (3), Brimstone moth, Bordered white, Cream wave, and Marbled brown (4). Amongst the others were Grey birch, May highflyer, Pale Tussock, Nut-tree tussock, Pale-shouldered brocade, Red-green carpet, Foxglove pug, Engrailed, Peppered moth, and White ermine.
  Satin lutestring seems to be doing very well in Ceredigion with 172 county records, all bar 10 of which were recorded post 2001.
Satin lutestring

Satin lutestring

May highflyer

Tony & Ina

Saturday 28 May 2016

Micropterix calthella

On a  walk up the road this afternoon we spotted these mating Micropterix calthella on a buttercup flower and on the way home we disturbed this roosting Barred Umber just before the rain came.

Carolyn & Evan

Marbled Browns

Many thanks to Chloe for organising an excellent mothing session this morning at the Penparcau Community Centre and Tony & Ina for their expertise.  Among a good selection of moths on show were these two variants of the Marbled Brown from our oak woodland.  These are well illustrated in Skinner, but it is the first time we have seen this pale form.

Carolyn & Evan

Friday 27 May 2016

Cors Fochno and Ynyslas

A little 'dusking' on the dunes at Ynyslas last night.
Mainly micros found of course but Green Carpet appears to be alive and well in this location as every larger moth Tony chased with his net (I wish I had taken a photo) turned out to be this species.
Cors Fochno was a little better than of late with seventeen species, an improvement in the temperature makes a difference.
The photographs below are of  species some find confusing.
Please note that the photos are not to scale.

Common Wave

Common White Wave

Scoparis pyralella
Scoparia ambigualis
Some S.ambigualis in this county can be the sandy brown form, nearer the colour of this S.pyralella.
The mark on the wing at two thirds is a C in pyralella and an X in ambigualis.
Having said this there will always be some that cannot be done!

Thursday 26 May 2016

Brown Rustic and Campion

A couple of moths in the trap this morning which don’t appear high on the county list. A  Brown Rustic and a Campion.  The Brown Rustic picture is rather over exposed to show some pattern, it was very much darker in life. The Campion seems to thrive at Llawrcwrt and I catch several most years but Brown Rustics appear much less frequently.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Peach Blossom...

A poor and rather cold night in an Aberystwyth woodland produced a low number of moths but we did have our first Peach Blossom & Small Square-spot for this year.

Carolyn & Evan

Peach Blossom
Small Square-spot

Pebble Pominents

These two were in the trap this morning. There is quite a difference in their wing patterns.. Is this sexual di-morphism or just within the normal expected range?
It was, cold last night and the catch was limited to  eight moths and six species.                     

Mwnt and Cors Fochno

Yesterday four of us had a walk along the coast path north from Mwnt. Tried for Emperor Moth as the larvae have been found there in the past, but had no luck.
We did however find Anania funebris, a minimum of four, but there were probably many more that remained unseen.
Other species; Cydia ulicetana, Common Heath, M.calthella, G.simpliciella, the larval spinnings of Bramble-shoot moth and an, at present, unresolved Pug.

Last night's traps on Cors Fochno produced very little.  In fact one was empty but for a Brown Silver-line hiding beneath it...shivering!!
Six moths only in the other; Ruddy Highflyer, Green Carpet, Common Wave, Common Pug, Bryotropha terrella and the thirteenth record of Light Knot Grass away from Cors Caron out of a total of 530.

Sunday 22 May 2016

May Highflyer

A refugee in our conservatory this morning from trapping yesterday was this May Highflyer.  Later this afternoon we spotted this Grey Birch roosting on some bramble by some Alder trees in our field.

Carolyn & Evan

May Highflyer
Grey Birch

Nanteos and Coed Penglanowen

The sun shone but the wind was cold for a walk around the lake at Nanteos and through the nature reserve woodland. Not a lot of insects about but we saw good numbers of Azure blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly. Just one macro moth, our first Green carpet this year. We were nearly back at the car when we found about 20 Micropterix calthella feeding on Buttercup flowers.

Tony & Ina
Green carpet

Micropterix calthella

Aberystwyth vs Llanrhystud

Like Sarah, few moths in my garden trap recently: 18 moths of 14 species last night. But two were firsts for the garden: Marbled Coronet and Nut-tree Tussock. (My first Heart-and-Dart this year was on 7th May).

This morning at Llanrhystud lime kilns more day-flyers than I expected: Esperia Sulphurella (1), Psychoides Filicivora (2), Glyphipterix Simpliciella (70+) and a Small Yellow underwing. While I was waiting for it to settle for a photo, a Micropterix aruncella came and posed next to me.

This afternoon, Aberystwyth cemetery was dominated by Glyphipterix fuscoviridella (25+) and, now that the Ox-eye daisies are out, several Dichrorampha sp. and a possible Cydia nigricana.

D. alpinana? (FW 7mm)

D. plumbana? (FW 6mm)

C. nigricana? (FW 6mm)

Saturday 21 May 2016


A bumper night with rain bringing the moths out - 33 macro species from our usual three traps in garden and woodland.  The star of the night was this Seraphim no doubt from our local Aspen and Poplar trees.  The photos below are of both the upper and lower surfaces with the latter showing the rather small hind wings.  We think you can just see the doubly-folded lobe along the trailing edge of the upper side of one slightly exposed hind wing as described in Waring.

Other moths included both male & female forms of the bilberry feeding Beautiful Snout, Broken-barred Carpet, Scalloped Hook-tip, Green Silver-lines, Marbled Brown, Treble Lines, Scorched Wing and Common Marbled Carpet.

Carolyn & Evan


Seraphim - under surface
Beautiful Snout m&f
Broken-barred Carpet
Scalloped Hook-tip
Green Silver-lines

Friday 20 May 2016

Cross Inn moths

Llain Cottage: Lunar Thorn
I had the pleasure of visiting Ceredigion again these past 2 days and stayed with friends near Cross Inn (the one on the New Quay road). I managed to run one trap in their garden for both nights despite the breeze and cool temperatures. 27 species recorded with one pug left to do. No micros Ina, so sorry. Most exciting, for me at least, was a single Lunar Thorn this morning. Spring species were still there, with Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Powdered Quaker and Common Quaker, but early Summer species dominated and included Cream Wave, Least Black Arches, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Clouded Bordered Brindle, Spectacle, Buff-tip. Commonest were Clouded Silver and Nut-tree Tussock.
Peter Hall

Llain Cottage: Pale-shouldered Brocade

Llain Cottage: Scalloped Hazel

Llain Cottage: Scorched Wing

White-pinion spotted and Common white wave

Pete Skinner has reported some more firsts for the year from his garden. They are White-pinion spotted, Heart & dart, Common white wave, and Poplar hawkmoth.
White-pinion spotted

Heart & dart

Common white wave

Poplar hawkmoth

Ynys-hir moths

4 Heath traps in some relatively un-trapped parts of the reserve last night produced nearly 50 moths with 22 macro species and 1 micro. New for us this year were Dark sword-grass (3), Common lutestring, Heart and dart, May highflyer, Silver-ground carpet, and Dwarf pug (first at the reserve for 9 years). Others included Lesser swallow prominent, Pale tussock (6), Common marbled carpet, Small phoenix, Nut-tree tussock, White ermine, Barred umber, and Water carpet. The micro was Eudonia angustea , only 1 but probably many more to come given the wonderful mossy carpet in that bit of woodland.

Tony & Ina

Common lutestring

Common lutestring

Dark sword-grass

Dwarf pug

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Phyllonorycter nicellii

Two more moths emerged today from leaves collected last October at Cwm Clettwr.
Sorry for the poor photos, they were in the mood to be off!!