Wednesday 31 August 2016

Cwmystwyth moths

Red has been recording some very interesting moths in his garden recently. Some of them are notable upland species. Unfortunately one of them was trapped in his garden pond and hence not in the best condition!
Striped twin-spot carpet

Neglected rustic

Northern rustics


Maiden's blush (not a good swimmer)

Vestal and Lesser Wax

This Vestal visited the garden (my first time!) last night:
along with this well-marked Cork Moth:

and something hairy:

This evening my daughter pointed out the ones I missed early this morning, including a Phycitodes sp. (probably saxicola based on size and previous occurrence) and this worn Lesser Wax Moth (apologies for the poor photo - it was getting dark - but still unmistakable):

White-line Dart - Distribution Map

Tony, thanks for the confirmation and here is its distribution map.


Tuesday 30 August 2016

Our first Sallow

.... and we found this Centre-barred Sallow in our conservatory this evening.  Autumn is approaching!

Carolyn & Evan

White-line Dart

We caught this moth in Aberystwyth last night and wondered initially if it was a Square-spot Dart in view of the late flight period. The books state that the White-line Dart flies mid July to mid August. However this moth shows definite black arrow heads towards the outer edge of the fore-wing and the outer central cross line curves round and barely touches the kidney mark as described in Skinner. This suggests the White-line Dart. Any thoughts on this?

Carolyn & Evan

Sunday 28 August 2016

Micros galore

A good week for micros in the garden trap: Rush veneer, Rusty dot pearl, Zelleria hepariella, Cedestis subfasciella, Swammerdamia caesiella, Carcina quercana, Oegoconia quadripuncta. Among the macros Poplar Hawkmoth, Small Blood-vein and Iron Prominent.

Cedestis subfasciella   
Also confirmation from Peter of Cydia nigricana, Dichrorampha alpinana and a surprise in the form of Dichrorampha aeratana (see my post of 22nd May), as well as Coleophora paripennella, C. caespititiella and Phycitodes saxicola seen earlier in the year.

And one micro still to identify from Thursday:


Friday 26 August 2016

Tywi Wildwood

While water vole surveying for WTSWW yesterday I was lucky enough to see a puss moth caterpillar (I've always wanted to see one) and while photographing that I saw this on an adjacent willow. It looks like a prominent of some kind but can anyone be more specific please?
The only other moth activity was a few silver Y, chevron, diamond-back moths, Agriphila straminella and a Catoptria margaritella.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

July Highflyer

There were 20 July Highflyers in the trap this morning. This was by far the freshest and most boldly marked. They were joined by a couple of firsts for the year - Blue bordered Carpet and Copper Underwing also what I take to be a second generation Green Carpet. For those that notice such things - the squares on the background are 14mm, I'm not quite sure why.

Monday 22 August 2016

Old Lady and Feathered Gothic

A good selection of moths last night included our first Old Lady for some time and this attractive male Feathered Gothic.

Carolyn & Evan

Old Lady

Feathered Gothic

Friday 19 August 2016

Mothing at Dolgoch Hostel VC46 July 2016

I have acted as volunteer warden at Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust's two remote upland hostels, at Tyncornel and Dolgoch, coming down from Cumbria for a week or two almost annually for the past twelve or so years, and recorded moths at both places. However, almost all my past stints there have been in early Autumn so my species lists became somewhat repetitive. (Only once before had I tried an earlier week, at Dolgoch in May 2012, and with frost every night saw fewer than a dozen moths.) For a less risky change in 2016 I did my Dolgoch week from 10-17 July and ran MV lights over sheets outside the hostel building each night along with Heath traps at varying locations nearby. Dolgoch is around 300m above sea level and in the remote setting shown below just off the old Tregaron to Abergwesyn drovers' road. The River Towy, just a field away from the building, marks Ceredigion's eastern boundary with Carmarthenshire.

I'd previously recorded around 75 moth species at Dolgoch, and with my 100 species this time was able to double my cumulative list in a single week, simply through choosing a different time of year and being blessed with relatively mild nights. The building has no mains electricity so I ran my generator with the two MV lamps from around 2200 to 0100 each night. I'm using this blog now simply to share some of my mothing experiences and to seek help with a few queries before I submit my records. With the deadline for submission for the forthcoming macro moth atlas at the end of this year I'd like to get these cleared up fairly quickly and get my records to your county's recorders. Tyncornel and Dolgoch hostels are only around five miles apart but fall in different 10 km squares (SN75 and SN85 respectively), so many autumnal species will have gained a couple of dots in the atlas. Apologies in advance for the quality of most of the images and for the unimaginative presentation below.

Does this look OK for Fen Square-spot, not a species I'm familiar with?
And these for Freyer's (top) and Larch (bottom)Pugs?

And this Belle at actinic light on 15 July. Distribution maps and date would suggest July rather than Lead but I wouldn't want to rely on this. Any thoughts?

Gold Spot, rather than Lempke's, the latter having a more northerly distribution?

Double Line was a new one for me, not normally occurring as far north as Cumbria.

And could anyone comment on the likelihood of this being Depressaria pulcherrimella?

Maybe that's about it for queries. Other highlights for me included: Red-necked Footman; Poplar Kitten; Scallop Shell; Beautiful Snout; Haworth's Minor; Small Angle Shades; Marsh Oblique-barred; Bryotropha politella; Cryptoblabes bistriga; Ancylis unguicella.

I'm planning a Spring week at Dolgoch in 2017 or 2018, and hoping 2012's chilly experience won't be repeated. Modest though my records are in number they will have helped to put dots on the map in an otherwise sparsely recorded corner of your county.

I'm away for the next week or so and may not be able to access the internet so please forgive me for failing to give a quick response or thanks for any comments received.

Martin Tordoff
Kendal, Cumbria

Thursday 18 August 2016

Barred Hook-tip

On what looked like a perfect night for moths (warm and cloudy) the garden trap caught only 44 moths, 19 macros and 3 micros. The only new for us this year were a Yellow-barred brindle and a Barred hook-tip. There are only 27 previous county records for Barred hook-tip, the last 5 records were all in 2013. This species has the dubious distinction of never having been caught in the Rothamsted trap at Tregaron!
Barred Hook-tip

Distribution map

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Another Crescent at Ynys-hir

A couple of weeks ago we recorded a Crescent at Ynys-hir (see Blog for beginning of August). Last night I caught another one. The first one was a quite dark plain form but this one is the closer to the form shown in "Waring & Townsend".


Tuesday 16 August 2016

Silver Hook

A single Heath trap at Ynyslas last night produced plenty of moths including a Silver hook, 3 Galium carpet, 3 Hedge rustic, Chinese character (2nd generation), 5 Pebble prominent, and 8 White-line dart.
Silver hook

Galium carpet

Chinese character


Sunday 14 August 2016

Ynys-hir moths

We ran two traps at Ynys-hir last night and recorded 59 macro species and 25 micros (at least). We had five species of Thorn, Early, Purple, September, Dusky and Canary-shouldered. Firsts for us this year were Rosy rustic, Copper underwing, and Sallow kitten. A Heath trap on the marshy fields surprised us with 11 Oblique carpets.
Oblique carpet

Dusky thorn

September thorn
  The trap in the marsh area produced almost as many micros (13) as macros (15), so always worth going somewhere a little different.
Calybites phasianipenella (Ina assures me it was not dead!)

Gold triangle (Hypsopygia costalis)

Calamotropha paludella

Tony & Ina

Saturday 13 August 2016

Blue-bordered Carpet & Yellow-barred Brindle

A good haul last night included these two, for us at least infrequently caught, attractive Geometers.

Carolyn & Evan
Blue-bordered Carpet

Yellow-barred Brindle

Thursday 11 August 2016

Llawrcwrt Bordered Beauty and an Ear

I caught my first Bordered Beauty last year and a year to the day later this turned up. I post the picture as a trick of the lighting has given it an odd 3D - eight winged effect not evident in life.
The other is LLawrcwrts first Ear. Just which particular Ear I'm afraid we'll never know. Other moths this week that I seldom see included: Swallow Prominent, Black Arches, Chinese Character and what Tony tells me is a Golden-rod Pug.

Sunday 7 August 2016

Pen Dinas Moth Night.

Chloe has organised a moth event for 2nd September.   Trap, sheet and light session.   All welcome.

Friday 5 August 2016

Platytes alpinella

Another county first...
A very local coastal moth, mainly in the south and east also in Pembrokeshire . Occasionally elsewhere as a wanderer or an immigrant.
Found at Ynyslas last night, sorry about the rubbish photo, this is the best of a bad lot.
Platytes alpinella

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Free course if you are interested in leaf miners.


Wednesday 14th September 2016, Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran.

Wales Biodiversity Partnership funding has made it possible for us to put on this free training event.
Places are limited. Please email to book a place.

Monday 1 August 2016

Crescent at Ynys-hir

We enjoyed the company of a visiting moth-er from South Wales as 'guest' identifier at Ynys-hir on Sunday.  Thanks to Paul Parsons from coming along and entertaining us. We also met a new 'recruit' to the Ceredigion moth group from Cross Inn, which if you read one of the previous posts you will see is one of the least recorded 10k squares, but maybe not for long.
Tony went along to join the campers from the RSPB big wild sleep-out and had a number of very excited children going through the moths with him.  This included one little girl that was determined to take some eggs (moth) home and try to rear them through.  I hope she succeeds and becomes a moth-er of the future!  The moths that created the most excitement were two large Northern Eggars - big enough to cuddle!
The moth pictured below had us all fooled for a while and in the midst of emptying/recording the catch it was not looked at properly until later.
This is the darkest Crescent any of us had seen...but maybe some of you out there have had one similar?
Distribution map