Thursday, 21 September 2017

Late post, Late August

26th August
Chepstow Park Wood-battling bats

I decided to go to one of my local woods this evening. Cloud was beginning to break up as I arrived and soon cleared here by 10pm BST.
It was fairly calm overall so I set up in hope of finding something interesting.
A late passer by with her dogs at dusk was interested in what I was doing and wondered if I was surveying for bats perhaps.
'No' I said 'moths', but I just as well have been surveying for bats than moths because during the evening I set up in three locations within these woods hoping to get in a clear area that was Bat-free.
Every site I chose at least one bat had a look in and interfered with the trap.

I persevered, kept going undeterred and had 30 moths of 14 species.
After battling bats in a frustrating evening, a nice reward for all my efforts came forward in a form of a micro, Epermemia falciformis (Large Lance-wing).

This micro has hardly been encountered at all in the county. It had only one previous sighting 14 years ago by the one and only Sam Bosanquet.
It apparently likes to reside in damp woodland or marshland with its larval food plant being Wild Angelica and Ground-elder.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

22nd August


Only the second home trap conducted this year was very rewarding after going through the egg boxes and surrounding foliage nearby. Considering I only run an actinic trap the 212 moths that took an interest in the light show was very good.

Of the 53 species, the macro's I enjoyed seeing Yellow-barred Brindle and a Mocha (both fairly common moths around the town lately), Maiden's Blush, Red Underwing (another regular), a new addition to the site in Beautiful Carpet (above picture) and a nice pristine Vestal (below) which I believe is the only sighting in the county so far to date.

Micro's were of  several species with again new additions on site.

Three new additions included:
From top to bottom
Euspilapteryx auroguttella (Gold-dot Slender)
Argyresthia bonnetella (Hawthorn Argent)
and a plain looking Scarce B classified micro in Bucculatrix maritama (Saltern Bent-wing).

All in all a very good return.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Late save to a chilly night

Last night's (8/9) MV trap at Dingestow Court produced 21 mundane autumn species, with the only highlight of this poor catch being an early return to bed.  However, when I went to reset the trap this evening I noticed a Red Underwing sitting on the wall above it.  I don't think I could have overlooked it if it had been there in the morning (not least because I scanned the wall for big grey things in the hope of a Convolvulus Hawkmoth), so presumably it landed nearby and moved during the day.  I prodded it, just in case, but its hindwings were red not blue!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A bit of a Mug(wort)

I fear yesterday's best find will have to go down as unproven - frass extruded from small holes in the stems of Mugwort at The Nedern seems likely to be European Corn-borer (Ostrinia nubilalis).  Unfortunately I didn't cut a stem open to examine the larva.  There don't seem to be any references to other Mugwort stem borers though.

Otherwise my protracted searches of Mugwort stands were unproductive, with a couple of Red Herrings.  I couldn't see any Coleophora cases (wrong time of year?) or larvae of The Wormwood (ditto); forgot that Leucospilapteryx omissella mines the leaves (although I did see several obvious fly mines I think/hope I would have spotted the blotches of this Micro); and got unnecessarily excited by an Elachista maculicerusella and three Emmelina monodactyla as I hoped that both originated from the Mugwort.  There are several Mugwort specialities that should be in Gwent, but I failed on them all!

Two caterpillars - a Vapourer and a Knot Grass - were also noted.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

19th August


Tachystola acroxanthia here again

I first saw this micro moth at Black Rock a few years back but it now seems I do not need to go travelling because conveniently it turns up regular at my house.
This one was disturbed when my wife picked up the kettle to make a cup of tea this morning.
It obviously had flown in from the garden when the window had been open beforehand.

Tachystola acroxanthia (Ruddy Streak)

I'm sure Sam may correct me on this if he has further records to hand, but I'm sure this might be the 5th county record.
This is the 3rd record in-a-row here commencing from 2015. It seems I don't have go looking for it, it just turns up indoors at one time or another. This time though, credit must go to my wife for putting me onto it.
15th August

Llandevenny surprise

A cooling, progressively damp evening here due to clearing skies, did produce a pleasant new surprise at Llandevenny near Magor.
This moth had me puzzled for quite some time as the markings did not fit my book to anything specific and trying to find it on-line proved just as difficult.
Martin Anthony helped me out in the end giving forth the name of Small Seraphim. I had encountered a Seraphim earlier in the year but this is a completely new moth species to me and I don't remember seeing it featured on the blog so thought I'd put it up here.

It apparently frequents damp woodland, hedgerows and marshy areas of which this area fits the bill. 
Sallow's are its food plant I'm led to believe which are quite frequent generally so it should be seen perhaps more often.
Martin's macro moth distribution maps as of December 2015 show only 7 squares shaded for this moth, so it seems it is not too often encountered.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Early autumn surprises

I have caught plenty of Oak and Pebble Hooktips this year, and have been wondering why Barred Hooktips were eluding me - my last Dingestow record was in 2006 but it was annual before then.  One graced the MV trap on 28/8, along with 39 other species.  Devon Carpet was equally interesting, because I have never caught one in the garden before, although it is regular in Penyclawdd Wood on the southern edge of my home patch.  Small Dusty Wave made its garden MV debut despite being quite common in outbuildings here.  Supporting cast included a Pale Eggar, a Broad-bordered YU and a Copper Underwing.