Monday, 24 November 2014

15 November - Chepstow

The picture here taken inside a moth pot, is of the micro Psychoides filicivora.
Psychoides filicivora or 'Fern Smut' as it is commonly known, is active by day and night and is classified Nationally as 'Local'.
This one was found in the daytime resting upon a wall.

County micro moth recorder Sam Bosanquet informs me that very few records exist for Vice county 35.
This one apparently was just the 6th recording, but ties in nicely with the previous 5 as all were recorded from the Wye Valley.
The Wye Valley provides a ideal habitat and hosts a variety of ferns upon which the moth feeds upon.
The moth is incredibly small even for a micro, which may play a part in the fact that not many have been recorded as it could be easily overlooked.


  1. It is not going to be restricted to the Wye Valley - it breeds in my garden in Cardiff and is likely to be found wherever Hartstongue Fern and Maiden-hair Fern grow amongst others.

  2. Funnily enough I found one (alive) in a spider web in my Cardiff garden on 23/11. As Dave suggests, it is pretty common throughout the lowlands of Glamorgan.

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  4. Thanks for your additional comments. It's good to get some more information on the micro that I had nether seen before.
    I had no idea of its distribution until Sam told me, but it's interesting to know its nearby.
    I was thinking off the top of my head, wouldn't it be good if we could safely say that the moths relationship with these certain ferns was nearly garanteed of its presence then perhaps we could shade vice county squares as per fern distribution.
    The downside would be that it would take away the excitement of moth trapping the unexpected I suppose.
    As a matter of interest, have you found any relationship to the 'ferns and
    micro moth' in Glamorgan vice county?

    By the way I did see on the NBN gateway site that several sites in Glamorgan and indeed in and around Bristol that Psychoides filicivora had been recorded.

    regards, Nick

  5. I would love to think that we had enough data to back that theory up, but I'm afraid we don't - micros are poorly recorded after all.