Thursday, 17 August 2017

6th August

St.Pierre's Great Wood, Mounton

After arriving during a mild but breezy evening, a quick rethink of my position in the wood had to be worked out, so a more sheltered spot had to be found.
Finding one, and eventually feeling comfortable with the position of the trap, I sat back waiting with coffee in hand for things to develop. With the problem of the breeze eliminated I thought it was to be an easy evening listening to owls hooting and collecting moths, not a bit of it!
Another issue decided to rear its head.....Hornets!
I've had Hornets before but the number here took me by surprise and they kept arriving. They thankfully stopped after about 50 minutes but numbered 5 in total- the most I've seen before. They would be left in pots to buzz around until last thing.
With that out of the way, the night turned out to be not to bad at the end of the session with 94 moths of 25 species which was pleasing. 5 localised macro, one Scarce B macro and 1 localised micro were notable.

The best of the bunch turned out to be a little micro featured below.
A bit of a rare find in the county apparently with Sam informing me that there are 2-3 records only in the Database for V35.

Hedya atropunctana

The Shoulder-spot Marble, Hedya atropunctana is mainly a northern species according to many sources, but it is found in the south to a lesser degree.
It feeds on Bog-myrtle, Sallow and Birch of which the latter two which would makes sense at the site.
It would also seem that I caught the second generation in this instance.


  1. Hedya atropunctana is a great catch. There are three records from Wyndcliff, one by Neil Horton from 1983 and two by Jon Baker in 2006, plus one from Llansoy in 1989. The Wyndcliff/St Pierre habitat does seem a bit odd for a Birch/Sallow feeder (let alone a species of Bog Myrtle!) and Llansoy is similarly implausible. I wonder whether these might all be records of wanderers, although from who knows where?

  2. Sam, St. Pierre Great Wood underwent a little clearance a few years ago. Two areas got opened up and as you know Birch is one of the first trees to colonise an open area. Could H. atropunctana arrived soon afterwards perhaps.

  3. You may well be right, Nick. There are quite a number of other upland Micros that have so far only been found in eastern Monmouthshire, eg in the Trellech area.