Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A mine mystery solved

A few weeks ago I noticed this mine on Hawthorn by Dingestow Court Lake:

The rings of frass made me think of Leucoptera malifoliella, which had just one previous VC35 record, although they didn't look quite right.  Today an incoming phone call while I was driving led to me parking by Jingle Street, and I noticed identical mines on several Hawthorn leaves by the car, accompanied by similar-looking mines with the upper surface creased like a Phyllonorycter.  I collected several for checking and found that they match P. corylifoliella perfectly.  This is a scarce Micro in Wales - there are just 5 previous Monmouthshire records - and is a species I have only seen once before as a mine.  It's satisfying to know what these silvery mines with rings of black speckles are.

The same layby area held various other mines, including Cameraria on Horse Chestnut, Phyllonorycter acerifoliella on Field Maple, and a range of Stigmella species on Beech, Hazel and Hawthorn.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Mining near Llangua

A brief stop in a layby near Llangua produced 9 Lepidoptera leafmines, all of which were new for the VC35 part of hectad SO32.  This is a pathetically under-recorded square, with just 24 species of Micro recorded, mostly from Cwmyoy - I need to stop a few times this autumn for miners and then over next year for other Micros.  They were: Stigmella lemniscella (photo, on Elm), S. floslactella (Hazel), Phyllonorycter acerifoliella (Field Maple), S. aurella (photo, on Agrimony and S. splendidisimella not entirely ruled out), Lyonetia clerkella (Cherry), Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella (Birch), S. oxyacanthella (Hawthorn), S. hybnerella (Hawthorn) & Parornix anglicella (Hawthorn). 

There are still many common species on common host trees to find in this square, and then there's the even more pathetically under-recorded SO42 (18 species of Micro) and the fairly hopeless SO31 (60 species of Micro): I/we have an awful lot still to do in NE Gwent!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

ABERGAVENNY October 2015

Ran our MV 3 times recently, for macros.  Smallish catches compared to some in the south of the County, but pleasing to still be getting new ones for us as we are coming up to two years of trapping.

3rd October
LYU x 8;  Black Rustic x 1;  Rustic x 1;  Silver Y x 1; Sallow x 1 (new to us); Brown-spot Pinion x 1;  Common Marbled Carpet x 5;  Red-green Carpet x 2;  Red Underwing x 1.      TOTAL 21

14th October
Common Marbled Carpet 2;  LYU x 1; Beaded Chestnut x 2 (new to us); Blair's Shoulder-knot x 3;  Black Rustic x 1;  Red-line Quaker x 1 (new to us).    TOTAL 10

19th October
LYU x 1;  Red-line Quaker x 3;  Beaded Chestnut x 3;  Common Marbled Carpet x 2;  Lesser Yellow Underwing x 1;  Sallow x 1; Grey Shoulder-knot x 1 (new to us); Green-brindled Crescent x 1 (new to us); Red-green Carpet x 2   TOTAL 15

Val & Mike
Green-brindled Crescent

Grey Shoulder-knot

Sunday 18th October

Black Rock, Portskewett

Rather some interesting characters around at Black Rock on Sunday evening, some of the human kind and more interestingly of the lepidoptera kind.
Many of the younger generation seemed to have a meet here this evening, with a humm and rev of car engines, plenty of talking and chuckling, probably induced by something a few of them were smoking, still, they were harmless enough and did not bother me.
With the trap it was a last minute decision to go to Black Rock because Wentwood was the original destination.
The change of mind was forced upon me due to me forgetting a piece of kit, of all things the blasted Battery!! Had to race back to get it and set up in the complete darkness.
Things work in mysterious ways at times and it proved to be a good move as 32 moths of 16 species arrived at the trap.
The best of the bunch were two L-album Wainscots and Feathered Ranunculus.
Full list of species at bottom of post.

Feathered Ranunculus 
L-album Wainscot 
Figure of Eight 
Barred Sallow 
Black Rustic 
Feathered Thorn

Macros recorded were:
LYU-7, Willow Beauty-1, Barred Sallow-4, Light Emerald-1, Figure of Eight-1, L-album Wainscot-2, Feathered Thorn-1, Black Rustic-1, November Moth agg.-3, Snout-2, Common Marbled Carpet-4, Spruce Carpet-1, Beautiful Hook-tip-1 and Feathered Ranunculus-1.

1 each of Micros recorded were:
Narrow-winged Grey (Eudonia angustea) and Ashy button (Acleris sparsana).
The latter micro Sam Bosanquet informs me has less than 20 records and is a new site here.  

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Redhouse Barns and Uskmouth, 19th October 2015

I ran the MV at Redhouse and the Skinner actinic in the Reedbeds at Uskmouth.
In the Ringer's Ride at Uskmouth I found 32 moths of just 2 species! 31 of them were Large Wainscots! The other moth was a tiny Willow Beauty. 

Some of the 31 Large Wainscots

Back at Redhouse Barns there were 46 moths of 14 species: Beaded Chestnut 13, LargeYellow Underwing 8, November Moth agg. 6, Setaceous Hebrew Character 5, Lunar Underwing 4, Red-line Quaker 2, Blaire's Shoulder Knot, Brimstone, Figure of Eight, Black Rustic, E. monodactylus, a 2nd generation Pinion-streaked Snout, Green Brindled Crescent and a female Large Wainscot.

Pinion-streaked Snout

Female Large Wainscot

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Lighthouse Park

Ran the MV Sat 17th at home slightly less wind than Friday night. Still NNE cloudy & 10°. 26 moths of 13 macro & 1 micro species dropped in. Barred Sallow was NFY & Figure of Eight was a lifer for me :-

LYU x 5
Barred Sallow x1
Large Wainscot x 4
Common Marbled Carpet x 1
Figure of Eight x 2
Blair's Shoulder-knot x 2
Lesser YU x 1
Pink Barred Sallow x 1
Beaded Chestnut x 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character x 3
Sallow x 2
Common Wainscot x 1
Black Rustic x 1
Emmelina monodactyla x 1

All common moths i know but it beats an empty trap & it will soon be time for a few of those.

                                   Figure of Eight

Friday, 16 October 2015

Lighthouse Park

Fired up the MV last night 15th at home. NNE 9mph part cloudy and around 10°.
Just 15 macro moths of 11 species awaited me when i checked the trap in the morning at 0530 before leaving for work. Trap contents were as follows

November Moth agg x 2
Blair's Shoulder-knot x 1
Red-green Carpet x 1
Merveille du Jour x 1
LYU x 4
Setaceous Hebrew Character x 1
Green-brindled Crescent x 1
Large Wainscot x 1
Silver Y x 1
Common Marbled Carpet x 1
Delicate x 1


Monday, 12 October 2015

Stigmella aceris

Please check your local Norway Maple leaves for the linear mines of Stigmella aceris, which is spreading rapidly NW through Britain and has just reached Monmouth, and the tentiform mines of Phyllonorycter platanoidella, which arrived here at least a decade ago.  If you're feeling really keen you can also examine their keys for Ectoedemia sericopeza, which was added to the county list in Newport in 2011 but is rather tricky to spot.  There are equivalent leaf and key mines made by other Micros on Field Maple and Sycamore, all of which are very under-recorded here.  [for the non-botanist, Norway Maple looks quite a lot like Sycamore but has very much sharper points to its leaf teeth, and is commonly planted in urban areas]


Micros, mines etc

I haven't had much time for Gwent moth recording in recent months, but a few sessions with the MV at Dingestow and recording a few mines during the daytime have tempted me to join this Blog as well as the Carmarthenshire one (where I'm ashamed to say I have posted a few Gwent sightings).  Recent highlights have included Orange Sallow to MV (2nd Dingestow record), mines of Bucculatrix cidarella on Alder by Dingestow Court Lake (amazingly only the 2nd VC35 record), mines of Stigmella tiliae on Tilia vulgaris at Dingestow Court (5th VC35 record) and mines of Stigmella aceris on Norway Maple at Hadnock Road new for Wales (see Carmarthenshire Blog posting and my Twitter account).  I'll try to post more regularly as autumn progresses.

Please can Gwent moth'ers continue to trap whenever possible as there are still good late migrants to be recorded.  I haven't caught many here yet, but did enjoy this well-marked Pearly Underwing on 3rd October.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

9th October

A poor turn out -however
The original forecast for this evening was for quite extensive cloud cover, however the expected cloud never really arrived until after 3.30am when a temperature rise started to take place. Before hand cool clear skies must have restricted the catch, so by dawn just 6 moths of 6 species turned up.
A dreadful night you might say, apart from this immigrant/resident, a L-album Wainscot.
This was a very pleasing first for me here. Who cares about numbers when you get moths like this turn up!
Martin Anthoney kindly informs me that it has become established in South Wales. Sightings in Vice County 35 recently, have been made in 2011 and 2013 at Newport Wetlands and Portskewett.
I read the moth likes slightly salty ditches and caterpillars feed on grasses. I suppose plenty of both appear in around the coastline of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary- a favourable habitat for it to thrive perhaps?

L-album Wainscot (Mythimna l-album)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Lighthouse Park

Ran the MV out on the patio for a few hours Thur 8/10 just 21 moths of 15 macro & 2 micro species dropped in. NFY was a worn Merveille du Jour. Ran the MV again Fri 9/10 26 moths of 15 macro & 2 micro species dropped in Red-line Quaker was NFY also had another Merveille du Jour this one a much fresher specemen.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

September 19th
A belated post due to technology- e-mails not going where they should!
On Saturday 19th Barry Catlin and I decided we would take our two traps to Wentwood for an evening.
The temperature dropped away but we managed to record a few moths totalling 24 of 13 species.
Barry's trap was placed a distance away in what we thought might be a favourable area but only managed to pull in two moths unfortunately, a Black Rustic and LYU.
The most likely outcome to this situation was our encounters with 2 bats which flew around our traps quite regularly and as Barry's trap was a distance away and left unattended for a time it may well be that bats had a three course meal. I was frequently distracting bats away from my trap and sure more moths would have been caught otherwise.
Still, we ended up trapping:
Silver Y-1, Square-spot Rustic-1, Green Carpet -3, Black Rustic-3, Autumnal Rustic-7, Dingy Footman-1, LYU- 2, Brimstone Moth-1, Canary-shouldered Thorn-1, Frosted Orange-1, Common Wainscot-1.

With 1 micro each of Agonopterix arenella (Brindled Flat-body)
and Nationally localised Pyla Fusca (Brown Knot-horn)

As far as I know according to the online micro maps of V35 listed on this site, there are no records of Pyla Fusca being seen in the county for some time. i.e. Only Pre-2000 records exist.

 Frosted Orange
Agonopterix arenella (Brindled Flat-body)
Pyla Fusca (Brown Knot-horn)

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Coleophoras at Lamby Lake

I nipped down to Lamby Lake this morning to look for Coleophora artemisicolella larval cases on Mugwort. I found some of these a couple of weeks ago just across the Rhymney in VC41, so there seemed a good chance they'd be on the VC35 side of the river too. There was plenty of Mugwort and I managed to locate a couple of cases, which are made from a hollowed out seed head and usually seen attached to another seed head, as in the photo below. If I saw two there were probably lots more I didn't spot! I think this is the first Monmouthshire record.

Coleophora artemisicolella larval case (centre) on Mugwort

I also found quite a number of larval cases of Coleophora argentula on Yarrow, these being made from silk and much easier to spot.

Coleophora argentula larval case on Yarrow seed head
Finally, a couple of the elongated silken cases of Coleophora beribenanderi were found on the leaves of Creeping Thistle.
Coleophora peribenanderi larval case on Creeping Thistle

All in all, a good morning for Coleophoras. Sorry for the poor photos - I blame bad light!