Friday, 23 July 2021

Langmaid's Yellow Underwing at Dingestow

Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina) was separated from Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) in 1991 and was recorded new to Britain (by John Langmaid, hence the name) shortly afterwards. Initially it appeared to be an occasional migrant/vagrant to Britain, but in the last 15 years it has been seen annually in many parts of south-east England and is clearly resident. The first Welsh records came from Montgomeryshire in 2009 but very few have followed. I have been aware of its likely appearance at Dingestow for several years, but checking the hindwings of Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing for the characteristically extensive black border of Langmaid's is very difficult on live specimens.

The Dingestow Court MV trap on 21st-22nd July 2021 held three Noctua: one of which (the left hand individual in the photo above) appeared significantly shorter- and broader-winged than the other two. Crucially the shorter-winged one appeared to have very little yellow on the hindwing. Failed attempts to photograph its hindwing when it was alive eventually resulted in it escaping in my kitchen and vanishing for several hours. Luckily it was relocated, allowing conclusive examination of the male specimen showing it to be Monmouthshire's first (confirmed) Langmaid's Yellow Underwing.

Heatwave nights at Dingestow

While the country struggled to sleep during nearly a week of 30 degree daytime temperatures and >15 degree nocturnal minima, the moths went wild. Successive 04:30 starts played havoc with my sleep, albeit with lie-ins after late night 00:30 sessions with the generator on two nights, but it was well worth it. Five moths new to Dingestow came to my lights between 14th and 22nd July, taking the area total to 991 species. Highlights were:

14/7 Penyclawdd Wood: 1 Blackneck* (3rd Dingestow record), 1 Argolamprotes miceella (2nd), 1 Catoptria margaritella* (2nd), 2 Eudemis profundana* (2nd), 1 Mompha ochraceella* (3rd), 1 Ypsolopha alpella (3rd)

15/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Dingy Shears (8th) & 1 Lunar-spotted Pinion

16/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Round-winged Muslin* (4th), 1 Clouded Brindle* (4th) & 1 Lunar-spotted Pinion

17/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Scarlet Tiger* (NEW for Dingestow), 1 Broom Moth* (2nd), 1 Nutmeg* (2nd)

18/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Round-winged Muslin (5th), 1 Dioryctria sylvestrella* (NEW for VC35)

20/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Cypress Carpet* (2nd), 1 Clouded Brindle (5th), Ear Moth agg* (7th), 1 Dingy Shears, 1 Lunar-spotted Pinion, 1 Ancylis badiana* (NEW for Dingestow), 1 Bactra furfurana* (NEW for Dingestow), 1 Calamotropha paludella (7th)

21/7 Dingestow Court: 1 Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (NEW for VC35), 1 Small Rufous* (3rd), 1 Small Elephant Hawkmoth* (6th), 1 Mocha

22/7 Yew Tree Wood: 1 Red-necked Footman, 1 Fern, 1 Round-winged Muslin, 2 Devon Carpet, 1 Acleris umbrana* (NEW for Dingestow), 1 Prays ruficeps (2nd), 1 Ptycholomoides aeriferanus* (2nd), 1 Ypsolopha sequella* (2nd), 1 Acrobasis repandana* (2nd), 1 Coleophora albitarsella* (2nd), 1 Scoparia basistrigalis (3rd), 2 Argolamprotes miceella (3rd), 1 Dioryctria simpliciella* (4th), 1 Eana incanana (5th)

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Clearwings at Dingestow 3

The pheromone lures and trap are producing the goods - my first ever Lunar Hornet Clearwing came to the garden at Dingestow Court this morning!

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Some productive nights at Dingestow

Although we haven't yet had any really vintage Heat Wave nights this summer, late June and early July have produced several catches of 80+ species at Dingestow, supplemented by some diurnal recording. Highlights have included four new Micros and one new Macro for the area, taking the totals to 564 Micros, 421 Macros, 985 Moths.

12/6: Nemapogon koenigi (photo below) to Yellow-legged Clearwing lure, new for Dingestow and the third county record.

23/6: Coleophora discordella (above) swept from Bird's-foot Trefoil, new for Dingestow.

16/6: Coleophora peribenanderi (3rd Dingestow record), Epinotia bilunana (3rd) (below), Gypsonoma sociana (5th) & Scythropia crataegella (6th) (below)

23/6: Sharp-angled Carpet (below) (5th Dingestow record), 2 Blotched Emerald

1/7: Notocelia trimaculana (3rd Dingestow record), Elachista maculicerusella (above) (4th but last seen in 2000)

2/7: Platyptilia gonodactyla (below) (new for Dingestow), 1 Heart & Club

9/7: Opostega salaciella (above) (new for Dingestow & VC35)

12/7: Kent Black Arches (below) (new for Dingestow), 1 Double Kidney (below) (5th but last seen in 1999), 1 Heart & Club

Clearwings at Dingestow 2

The lure attracted a second Yellow-legged Clearwing in Dingestow Court garden on 13th July 2021, giving me a chance to photograph it outside a pot. They really are amazing creatures!

Saturday, 10 July 2021

 Uskmouth Reedbeds, actinic Skinner trap 8th July

I put the actinic Skinner trap out for National Moth Night - the theme this year is reedbeds and wetlands. For once the weather has been good for National Moth Night - it normally pours with rain and the wind howls!

I caught 15 species, including a blackneck, a buff-tip, 3 obscure wainscots, 5 silky wainscots, a southern wainscot and a smokey wainscot.

  Obscure Wainscot

                                                                         Silky Wainscot
                                                                    Smokey Wainscot
                                                                    Southern Wainscot

Friday, 2 July 2021

Clearwings at Dingestow

After complete failure over 15 years staring at Clearwing pheromone lures hanging in bags, I finally bought a pheromone trap. Miraculously this worked the first time I tried it: attracting a male Yellow-legged Clearwing on 8th June. I tried with Yellow-legged, Red-belted and Currant lures several times a week without any more success until today (2nd July), when a stunning male Red-belted Clearwing appeared in the trap.

I have found the exuviae of both Yellow-legged Clearwings (in parkland oaks) and Red-belted Clearwings (in an ancient perry pear) at Dingestow over the last 15 years but had never seen the adult of either species. Finally seeing an imago was hugely exciting!