Monday, 26 June 2017

Mid June stopoff

After doing some business in the town of Monmouth I decided to take a quiet stop off at Dixton for a sandwich and drink, a bit of peace and quiet.
I decided to have a stretch of the legs and looked down along this hedgerow and chanced upon a strange looking anomaly upon a leaf.
Upon closer inspection it looked like some construction of sorts. It triggered off  a thought in my head that it could be an insect at work possibly a fly, beetle or maybe a moth. I was sure I'd seen something somewhere in a book or on-line, so I quickly took some photographs.
Getting back and looking through my micro moth book an image of this remarkable construction came up.
It was assigned to the work of a Bagworm moth, the group of  Psychidae micro moths.
This particular one which Sam Bosanquet has confirmed for me, is under the name Psyche casta (Common Sweep). It is indeed common as it's name suggests but I can't say I've seen it before. It is a group of moths that I've always looked at but thought I would never find so I'm very pleased to have encountered one.
Amazingly it attaches blades of grass or rush longitudinally in a cluster (health and safety would have no issues with this I believe) and can be found in a range of habitats.



  1. You've taken some great pics of the Psyche cases Nick. They are widely scattered in eastern Monmouthshire but we don't have many records.

    Your mention of Dixton reminds me that I looked (unsuccessfully) for Cosmopterix mines on Pellitory of the Wall there a week ago. It should arrive in the county soon, so your summer challenge is to look for these mines in Chepstow (I failed there 3 years ago).

  2. Thanks for the challenge Sam! I don't even know the plant as yet however I'm sure I've seen it about.
    I've come up with an answer to the other challenge you set me which maybe of interest.


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