Sunday, 23 July 2017

Small Ranunculus reaches Abergavenny

I have had my eye on the increasingly large colony of Prickly Lettuce in the Llanfoist/Abergavenny area for the last couple of years, and eventually I found time to stop for a Small Ranunculus search.  After about 10 minutes I found the distinctive larvae feeding on the upper flower buds - 10+ in all, on 2 of the 30+ plants I checked.  I remember finding them in Newport XX years ago, shortly after Roger James caught the imago and re-established this species as a Welsh resident, and the species has slowly spread along the SE Wales coast.  Abergavenny is a significant inland step for this increasing moth; now I need to check the scattered Prickly Lettuce plants in Monmouth...

The Lettuces also held a couple of small, pallid, grub-like larvae that might be identifiable.  Mines of Chrysoesthia sexgutella were on Goosefoot nearby.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

7th July

Least Carpet established here?

Its amazing what you can find when you go for a wander into Chepstow town for shopping or a simple leisurely stroll.
This year I already have seen Fern, Mocha, Scorched Carpet, Treble-brown Spot, Sycamore and Scarlet Tiger amongst others in the town.
Today the 7th July I was finding a few moths about once more in the heart of the town.
On this stroll my wife and I decided we would take a look at the river before heading back.
I always am on the look out for moths and low and behold below a strip-light for a public house sign was a tiny moth. It was difficult to see but I immediately knew it was important with the darker markings towards the top forewings. Excitement swept over me when after taking several pictures Least Carpet came into larger view on my camera.
I knew it was possibly around after visiting the Norfolk Moth site that week when they had a sighting, but really had not expected this.

My wife said that we needed provisions so we diverted our course to Tesco's.
On our way we took the subway just off Nelson Street to avoid traffic. I always look in here and immediately to my left yet another shock awaited me in the form of another Least Carpet which was perched on the paint work. A great opportunity to get a close up.

Martin Anthony found one in 1991 I believe and I did see one in the town three years ago in 2014.
Finding 2 in one day seems absolutely incredible given previous sightings of years apart and of just singles.
It is classified as local nationally but in Vice county 35 it surely is 'red data book rare' at present until maybe we can conjure up more sightings.
To put it in perspective; You are more likely to find Scarce Hook-tip than Least Carpet in the county.
It may be bold of me but perhaps it is indeed established here at Chepstow or immediate vicinity with this additional sighting.



Now i have invested in a generator i took a set of tubes out mobile mothing on 21.7.17. It had been windy and rain for most of the day but a weather window from 2100 was on the cards. Sure enough the wind dropped off to nothing and it stopped raining.

I set up 4 x 30w actinic tubes on a sheet put over a picnic table in a woodland clearing with a friend who has just started to get into moths. 200 moths of 30 species dropped onto the sheet by 0200.

I have never seen so many Black Arches before, 30 male & 1 female covered the sheet. Other highlights and nfy moths were:- Blomer's Rivulet, Purple Thorn, Large Emerald, Mocha, Evergestis pallidata & Coxcomb Prominent.

Friday, 21 July 2017

June 2017

Scarce Hook-tip findings in V35.

The opportunity of finding Scarce Hook-tip is more than likely over for another season, especially so as there seems to be a theme of early emergences this year.
Indeed this appears possibly to be case when I checked over four sites this year for this moth.
One site remained unchanged but if we took in to consideration the other three then some supporting evidence emerges.
The only small issue arises where the dates I checked/found these sites differs slightly. In 2016 it spanned June 22nd- July 11th, and this year 2017 dates spanned June 13th-22nd although this could be argued in itself as evidence. The time remaining on each site was about the same for each year. 
I've come up with some figures based on both this year and last year just to compare for interest.

Total numbers recorded at four sites.

Site 1. 2016- 8. 2017- 12.
Site 2. 2016- 4. 2017- 17.
Site 3. 2016- 1. 2017- 6.
Site 4. 2016- 1. 2017- 1.

It could argued there are improved numbers, that the moth is becoming more established and looking at the totals there is a suggestion of this, however it could be simply a case that my timing at these sites this year was more in tune to their emergence, who knows.
One thing that surely is of importance here for this Red Data Book moth is that there are greater numbers at these sites than was originally thought apart from one.
Site 4 is a little strange in that Scarce Hook-tip is present, but at low density.
I personally don't believe this a correct representative figure and there are a few more individuals but still at low numbers. Lime trees were removed from this site this year (possibly by persons unbeknown as to their importance) but hopefully it should not affect it overall.   

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Lundy Moth'ing

I spent 3 nights on Lundy Island between 15th and 18th July, and recorded a few moths at the lights of our accommodation in the St John's Valley.  Highlights were the Gelechid Nothris congressariella, which is a specialist of Lundy and Scilly because of the restricted range of its foodplant Balm-leaved Figwort, a Mullein Wave, and the cognata form of Tawny Speckled Pug (which really threw me!).  Supporting case included a Ling Pug, lots of Brussels Lace (presumably the two Gwent records originate from the north Devon/Somerset coast), a resting Hummer, and cases of Luffia ferchaultella on our accommodation wall.  Next time I visit Lundy I'm tempted to take an MV trap...



Eek, a Mouse!

Mouse Moth was pretty common at Dingestow between 1994 and 2006, with 1 or 2 annually, but then it vanished.  It's possible this was because I switched from a Blended MV-Tungsten trap, but I think this was a genuine disappearance.  Anyway, The Mouse is back - one came to MV at Dingestow Court on 18th July 2017.

Supporting cast included an Ear Moth sp., a Gold Spot, September & Canary-shouldered Thorns, and more than 30 species of Micro, including lots of Yponomeuta rorella, a chalk-streaked Crambus selasella, and a couple of Catoptria falsella.





Saturday, 15 July 2017


Ran the 125w MV last night 14.7.17 at home. 185 moths of 50 macro & 12 micro species were recorded. New for year's included :-

1 x Chilo Phragmitella

2 x Brown Veined Wainscot

1 x Round-winged Muslin Footman

Highlight and star of the trap goes to this lifer Kent Black Arches.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Star-wort - another new moth for Gwent in Blackwood!

Inspecting my trap this morning I was immediately focussed on what I initially thought was a Mullein (a nice moth to add to this year's garden list I thought), but then checking the books it was apparent that it was too late for Mullein, so what could it be?
On closer inspection the moth had quite distinctive pale kidney oval marks on the forewing which pointed to it probably being a Star-wort and Martin Anthony confirmed that indeed it was and that it was the first for Gwent.

Sunday, 9 July 2017


Out checking under the works security lights on my tea break on the night shift last night turned up 17 moths plus this lifer for me. Stunning litle moth the Sitochroa palealis.

2 July
Livox area, Wye Valley

A lovely very warm late morning and early afternoon wander produced some interesting moths and a few butterflies.
The three moths featured here include two I've never seen before plus another I've come across just once in my short time recording.

I've yet to have these confirmed but believe they include the following running from top to bottom....
Screckensteinia festaliella - Bramble False-feather
Bembecia ichneumoniformis - Six-belted Clearwing
Oncocera semirubella - Rosy-striped Knot-horn.
If anybody would like to confirm or pass some comments on these for me that would be appreciated, thanks.

The 'Clearwing' has five 'belts' visible but I guess one is slightly hidden?

I also came across one of our largest UK butterflies the Silver-washed Fritillary actively flying at pace. This one was conveniently stopped at a feeding station, on bramble.

Late June
Private Wood- Square-spot Bramble Shoot Moth

I was kindly given permission to trap in a private wood at the late end of June. It was surprisingly productive given the limited time I stayed there.
Quite a few moths turned up with many new moths to me but this one caught my eye.
We all like to have new encounters, county or national rarities to add to our collection but every now and again we come across different forms which I have to say I find just as interesting.
Last year (2016) a few of us come across the orange form f. furrugana of the micro Knapweed Conch (Agapeta Zoegana) which was a nice addition.
This year I thought I would put this one up here on the Blog because I can't say I've seen this anomaly occur on the Bramble Shoot Moth (Notocelia uddmanniana) and I've seen a few.
An unusual square shaped blotch appeared on this one instead of the normally rounded, chocolate coloured half-moon shape.
Perhaps the moth is evolving or it is just a one-off of the production line, one to break a mould.

None the less, I thought I would call it a sub species...'Square-spot Bramble Shoot Moth'. A bit of a mouthful but it has ring to it!

Sunday, 2 July 2017


Ran the MV at home last night 1.7.17. Was only going to sit out with it for a couple of hours but ended sitting out till 0430... A case of just another 10 minutes & before you know it it's not worth going to bed.
Potted 324 moths of 68 macro & 24 micro species.

A few new for year & highlights were:- Gothic, White Satin Moth, Phycitodes binaevella, Wax Moth, Agapeta Zoegana & Leopard Moth.


Highlights from the last couple of nights in Mum's garden MV trap in Tintern were a Small Mottled Willow (3rd of the year) and 2 Large Emerald on 30/6.

On 1/7,  2 Clouded Magpie, Sharp-angled Carpet, 4 Cloaked Carpet, 2 Satin Lutestring, 3 Black Arches, Lunar Spotted Pinion, 2 Dark Spectacle and a Beautiful Snout.

Finally on the 1/7, the stunning micro Oecophora bractella, which was the third record of the year.