Monday, 28 December 2015
Euchromius ocellea at Dingestow
I have dreamt of catching Euchromius ocellea for nearly 20 years, in part because there was a previous VC35 record of this rare southern Pyralid (caught by Dr Neil Horton in 1978). This wish was enhanced by widespread captures of Euchromius in Britain during various winter immigrations, which I missed out on because of a lack of attention to the weather. Thanks to Twitter alerts and emails from Ian Morgan in Carmarthenshire, I was well aware of the wonderful southerly airflow over Christmas 2015. My first attempt at trapping (26th December) produced just 1 Emmelina monodactyla and 2 Winter Moth, accompanied in the MV trap by a large water beetle (Colymbetes fuscus), which was the first Dingestow record of this common species despite me recording water beetles in the ponds and lake over several previous years.
The following night (27th December) seemed perfect, with a warm southerly wind, but we had 20 of my relatives here for supper so I couldn't check the trap as regularly as I hoped. Nevertheless, at 21:00 I wandered outside with my Christmas cracker hat on, and checked the MV. Nestling in an eggbox was a perfect Euchromius! The rest of the night was a bit of a let-down, with a Silver Y being the only other migrant in the trap, but I was well satisfied with my dream moth.