Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Small Brindled Beauty (at last!)

I started mothing in 1994.  Every February I put out my MV trap at Dingestow Court (and in Carmarthenshire when we lived there) hoping for a Small Brindled Beauty, but they never came.  After 23 years of trying, I have finally been rewarded with one of these truly beautiful moths: to MV at Dingestow Court on 20th February 2017.  They are reassuringly distinctive - narrow and almost noctuid-like - and I now know that my past careful scrutiny of Pale Brindled Beauty just in case was pointless.  Martin's map indicates that this is a very rare moth in Gwent, so I'm doubly pleased to catch one.  I hope I won't have to wait another 23 years before my next!

Redhouse Barns, 20th February 

I ran the MV last night. This morning there were no moths in the trap, but one Oak Beauty on the barn wall approx 10' away.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

14 February- Chepstow
Psychoides fillicivora

This is a follow up on Sam's post.
Thought I would include a picture of the Fern that is in my garden upon which P. fillicivora feeds upon.
I now believe this is possibly a (soft) Shield Fern. (open to debate/ comments).
I checked over the underside leaves, fronds on all plants in my garden and I can report there is no visual sign of any activity.

A bit later in the year I will keep an eye out for any activity and try to post up the signs of 'feeding damage' and hopefully several adults. For those who are keen eyed -there is a white butterfly upon top of the post, but only an ornamental one!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Psychoides larvae

When we sat down for lunch during a family walk in Piercefield Woods I noticed some rather manky Hart's-tongue Ferns and decided to check them for Psychoides larvae.  Almost immediately I noticed a round cluster of sori (the round spore-bearing bits), which I prodded and out popped a brown-headed larva.  The brown head indicates the commoner P. filicivora rather than the uncommon P. verhuella.  This is quite an easy Micro to spot in midwinter!

This is what the adults look like - distinctive too in their own small way.

Thankyou to the good folk of the Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan Moth Blogs for the heads-up about Psychoides larvae being identifiable.

Friday, 3 February 2017


Not seen a moth since 10.1.17 It's either RAIN. WIND. or too damn COLD sometimes all three at the same time.

The night of 2.2.17 was windy with some heavy rain & 6°.

I did'nt hold out much hope of finding any moths under the works security lights when i checked them at 0615 prior to the start of a dayshift.

But i found this Acleris umbrana.

Sam tells me it is a new micro species for Gwent.

Acleris umbrana

Showing scale tufts.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Change of date for AGM

Please note, the date of the Monmouthshire Moth & Butterfly Group AGM has been changed to Wednesday 22nd March. Its at the Usk Royal British Legion Club, (Old Market Street, Usk, NP15 1AL). The main speaker will be Dr Rupert Perkins, Cardiff University, talking on the butterflies and moths of “Blaenserchan and Beyond”. 7.30pm start. All welcome.
December Sightings...final report

Landevenny and Chepstow

14 December 2016- Landevenny
Upon finishing work and getting into my car that evening I glanced across to my passenger side and there was a small outline of a micro moth upon the outside of the car window. Being a recorder of lepidoptera as you know, you just have to find out what it is but I had a dilemma given where it was positioned and as to what to capture it in.
A quick search around the vehicle came up with nothing, so I had to use my initiative and resort to emptying my lunch box. It glad to say it worked fine after my gentle, stalking, approach work so not to disturb it.
(I have not dared tell the wife about my last resort with the lunch box as I may have not written up this post!)
The next morning in good light pictures revealed this micro moth pictured below.
It was a new moth to me and one perhaps I should have encountered before given its widespread distribution and frequent habitat.
Acleris hastiana or Sallow Button by its common name, is classified common in the U.K. but a highly variable species with numerous named forms.
In fact literature states that it is "probably the most Polymorphic Tortrid".

16 December 2016-Chepstow
A wander through the town today produced this Blair's Shoulder-knot.
It was found in the lower part of the town upon a wall. It was nice to see as I have not seen one in a while and an unexpected surprise given the time of year.