Friday, 23 September 2016

Scarce Bordered Straw


Strong southerlies tempted me to put the Dingestow Court MV out on 23/9, and I'm glad I did.  A Scarce Bordered Straw (4th Dingestow record and 1st here since 2006) was the highlight among 80+ individuals of 21 species.  Autumn residents included Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow, Red-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut and Black Rustic. On the other side of the house, the porch light attracted this gorgeous Orange Sallow.  Ivy blossom held 4 moth species and 17 individuals of the uncommon beetle Oedemera femorata.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Redhouse Barns, 20th September

I ran the MV over-night. This morning the high-lights were 3 Vestal, 1 Dark Swordgrass, an L-album Wainscot, a Sallow and an Angle Shades.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Redhouse Barns, 18th September 2016

I ran the MV over night and the high-lights were an L-album Wainscot, Bordered Beauty, a Beautiful Snout, Meal Moth, 2 Black Rustic, 2 Beaded Chestnut and 2 Lunar Underwing.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Garnddyrys mines

Rowans at Garnddyrys, on the north side of the Blorenge held mines of both Stigmella magdalenae (narrow frass line, only 1 previous VC35 record) and S. nylandriella (broad frass line, seemingly common on Rowans in VC35), as well as Phyllonorycter sorbi.  There were a couple of species on Birch and Hawthorn too.

Mystery of the day is whether a mine on Sheep's Sorrel could be Enteucha acetosae.  It is rather spiralling, but lacks red coloration and the frass is pretty sparse.  I'm guessing it's some kind of fly, but it doesn't match the 3 Pegomya species very well.  It would be new for southern Wales...

Another Vestal

I missed last week's southerlies with a lurgy, so was glad to catch up with part of the Vestal influx: a small, brightly-marked one to MV at Dingestow Court on 17/9.  Among the 19 other species in the trap was an Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, and fresh-looking Eudonia pallida and Carcina quercana.  The previous night - 16/9 - was chilly and the MV only attracted 10 species.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

(Leaf) Mining in NW Gwent

Quick stops at Bryn Bach Country Park and Waun y Pound helped slightly with rebalancing the eastern bias of leaf mine recording in VC35.  It was slim pickings, with just 13 species shared between the two sites.  Most were on Hawthorn, with a couple on Rowan, Oak and Willow.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was Phyllonorycter viminiella on introduced Osier.  Searches of several birch trees produced no moth mines, but an abundance of Sawfly blotches. 

I wonder whether the Micro fauna is limited by the number of host tree species that occur naturally in these areas; most of the trees/bushes at Bryn Bach were in obviously planted landscaping blocks.  Are the common miners of lowland Monmouthshire, such as Phyllonorycter coryli and Stigmella floslactella present on almost all Hazels in the Valleys in the way they are in the east?  More questions than answers from this brief visit.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Tricky Elm mines

The leafmines season is well under way, so apologies for the regular pics of leaves on the Blog (perhaps it will inspire a few more people to record mines).  I'm making brief (10 minute) stops in far-flung bits of VC35 to try to boost Micro records, and it's good to get some records from September because several trees, especially Birch and Rowan, lose their leaves very early.  The west still needs some concerted mining effort if anyone wants to try...

Anyway, this week my focus has been on Elm, which is abundant in many hedges in the north-east of Monmouthshire.  Phyllonorycter tristrigella (12 previous VC35 records) and Stigmella lemniscella (10 records) are frequent, whereas S. ulmivora (4 records) seems to be genuinely uncommon.  Most P. tristrigella mines are obviously long and narrow, but two rounder ones near Skenfrith got me hoping for P. schreberella (4 previous records).  I opened one up, and the larva inside was obviously pale green, so this was just P. tristrigella after all.


This morning, a stop near the Hendre revealed more P. tristrigella, followed by an underside mine that was more obviously circular from above as well as being broad below.  Sure enough, this one held a yellow larva: the 5th Monmouthshire record for P. schreberella.

The same length of hedgerow also held a short, vacated mine of Bucculatrix albedinella, which has just two previous records.  Stigmella viscerella is my final Elm target: it has just three previous records and is clearly rare here.