Tuesday, 15 August 2017

National Moth Night - 12th-14th October 2017 - IVY

Advance notice. 

Start looking out for local sheltered patches of ivy blossom, especially those which can be visited after dark with a torch. 
The theme for National Moth Night this year is ivy/ ivy blossom. Daytime searches or traps set on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday
Looking first during the day is a good idea then you can avoid nocturnal visits to any stands of ivy which are covered with social wasps - they may also be there in numbers at night, indicating a nearby nest.....but there should be plenty of ivy around to investigate.

More information may be available on the Atropos website but it is undergoing some reconstruction at the moment so keep checking.

Atropos - National Moth Night

Monday, 14 August 2017

Annulet and Orange Swift

A fair night on the coast last night produced 42 macro and 17 micro species.
Weighted heavily in favour of Large Y/u (69) as you would expect, closely followed by flame Shoulder or Flamethrowers as someone has recently named them... and I'm afraid it has stuck in my head! ;-)
Annulet 3 and Orange Swift 3 were the favourites.



Brussels Lace

Common Plume

Orange Swift

Pinion-streaked Snout - or Concord flies again

Setacious Hebrew Character

Tawny Speckled Pug

Rusty-dot Pearl

Friday, 11 August 2017

Small Argent and Sable

Presumably a second generation moth along the forestry track above Tyn Y Graig (Mynydd bach forest).  Its quite high, 371m at the trig point, where the track goes just below it and has edge vegetation of heather, bilberry, tormentil and bedstraws.
Its ironic that the gaps in the forestry now present glimpses of the habitat which would have been on the hills before the sheep plague; at the time we all thought afforestation was the end of the world.  I can't envisage what unexpectedly beneficial side effects there might be to the creation of vast sheep lawns.
 Pic below is of 'improved' grassland above Soar Y Mynydd where I saw 1x Sm A&S in early June on a remnant patch of bedstraw along the track to Tyn Cornel. You can't see the huge amount of subsidised fencing which now nets this moorland.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Small Rufous and Small Wainscot

If I have identified it correctly, this is a moth I wasn't aware of. Tony's updated moths of Ceredigion  shows very few records in the county when I was trapping in the late1980's, though is is apparently more commonly recorded now. I don't know why I gave it a second look, I wonder how many I have recorded as Small Wainscot in the past, though seeing the two side by side they are not at all alike.


Monday, 7 August 2017


Epinotia nisella as discussed below.
Despite 3 days in cold 'solitary' this moth would still not obey me and lie still for a pic.  I was a bit mystified by the strange shape of the wings like a miniature small angle shades and the brightness of the orangey area.  It has now made a bid for freedom so this is the best pic from...rather a lot!

Four-spotted Footman

New Quay garden trap 06/08/2017.

We had the fourth Four-spotted  Footman of the year last night. all have been males.

Also our second Blue-bordered Carpet -

and a first for the garden - Six-striped Rustic

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Old Lady

We were pleased to find an Old Lady in our catch this morning - an infrequent visitor to moth traps.

Carolyn & Evan

Oak Eggar, Blue bordered carpet and a visitor from the bog

Very pleased to see these moths in the trap last night; just got out in time to block up the trap as the heavens opened.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Three micros from the garden

Alucita hexadactyla - I will be keeping a close eye on my Honeysuckle...the one in my last garden never managed a good show of blooms...there was however about 100 of these hiding away in the garage when I moved!

Blastobasis adustella - very common moth that I never seem to photograph...the quality of these pictures says it all!

Bucculatix nigricomella - my cultivation of Ox-eye Daisy is paying off!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Grey Dagger - Cross Inn, Llanon

On pear tree in pot on patio.

Epinotia nisella

Firstly I must apologise for the bad pictures.
I wanted to illustrate this colour of E.nisella which is not shown in the Sterling, Parsons Field Guide.
Recent DNA bar-codes of different colour forms show slight but consistent differences between the Poplar feeding group (now Epinotia cinereana)  and the Willow feeding group (Epinotia nisella). Differences in both male and female genitalia have been found.
(Hancock, Bland, 2015)

From the latest A.B.H. checklist - "Prior to 2012 records of E nisella may include E. cinereana.  E. cinereana has now been recognised as distinct from E. nisella: (Mutanen et al., 2012b)"

New ABH numbers are 49.255 E.nisella and 49.256 E.cinereana.

The photo below is of Epinotia nisella (Willow feeder).  I hope this helps with anyone struggling with a brown Tortrix moth with a black/dark brown patch but this is still a variable moth!

Cors Fochno

The weather was rather wet when we went to check the traps this morning. The numbers were a bit disappointing but we did have 2 Rosy Marsh Moth. Of the other 20 macro species the most numerous were True Lover's Knot and Large Yellow Underwing. Amongst the rest were Canary-shouldered Thorn, Yellow-barred Brindle, Scarce Footman, Pinion-streaked Snout, Garden Tiger, Chevron, Willow Beauty, Coxcomb Prominent, and Barred Rivulet.
Tony & Ina
Barred Rivulet

Rosy Marsh Moth

Rosy Marsh Moth

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Marsh Pug

One more moth which we retained for further examination is a Marsh Pug. The books say that it flies in May and June and the caterpillars feed on the flowers and seeds of Field Mouse-ear and is mainly day-flying. We have found other counties with records in July and August, so does it sometimes produce a second generation? Another problem is that Field Mouse-ear is not known to be present in Ceredigion, so are there other foodplants? We have found one site which says it feeds on Common Mouse-ear and also Stitchwort.

On the positive side it is very small (7.5mm wing length) and has all the right features. Hopefully we will revisit the site in some afternoon sunshine to try and find some others.

There are 5 historical county records but the last one was in 1941!

Tony & Ina

Tissue Moth

Yesterday we recorded moths at Werndeg, up the Leri valley from Talybont, as part of a recording day organised by WWBIC, the Local Records Centre. We ran 4 traps around the meadows and woodland which caught 1236 macro moths of 90 different species. Almost 50% of those were Large Yellow Underwings which packed themselves like sardines into the egg boxes. The best of the bunch was a Tissue, only the 8th non-RIS record since 2000.
 Tony & Ina
Tissue at bottom-left


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Garden Tiger moths

The effect of environment
was under investigation
when Sidebotham took
several thousand Garden
Tiger moth larvae (Arctia
caja) and raised them in
separate lots on different
food plants (Sidebotham
1870b). There was no ef-
fect of diet on colour over
two generations, but he
did note that hind wing
colour differed between
stocks collected at differ-
ent locations. Specimens
in his collection illustrate
variation from almost
white forewings to almost
black, and some differenc-
es in hind wing colour (Fig
2). The inheritance of wing patterns has still not been properly invesgated (Rob-
inson 1971)

Joseph Sidebotham’s Lepidoptera. (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301771434_Joseph_Sidebotham%27s_Lepidoptera accessed Jul 25, 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

Garden Tiger

I can't see in Waring, that this is one of the named forms of Garden Tiger. I should have checked the hind wings (but didn't) It's certainly a stunning moth though, and worth an outing on the blog. Are such excursions from the norm quite common, or is this extreme?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Barred Rivulet and Mompha ochraceela

18th July garden moth trap - 174 moths, 44 macro species and 15 micro species.  There were 3 new garden moths: Barred Rivulet; Gypsonoma dealbana; and Mompha ochraceela.

Barred Rivulet 
Mompha ochraceela

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Endothenia quadrimaculana

Two County Records for this very large Tortrix;

26 June 1949 - E.C.Pelham-Clinton
26 June 1954 - G.G.E.Scudder

As the recorder I am in good company...but the moth is three weeks late!

Llawrcwrt Garden Trap 18th July

 A moth I haven't seen for several years, a Twin-spot Carpet, turned up in the trap yesterday.

                       Also present, a particularly severe looking spectacle (wearing a Bowler hat)

Monday, 17 July 2017

A spot of dusking

We spent an hour at Ynyslas last night, mainly looking for Rosy Wave.  How often is it that your target species doesn't turn up?  Well last night was an exception the first moth netted as we got out of the car was a Rosy Wave!
Also Small Blood-vein, Scarce and Dingy Footman, Single-dotted Wave, Smokey Wainscot, Agriphila straminella, Eucosma campoliliana....

Small Blood-vein

Rosy Wave

E. campoliliana

Smokey Wainscot

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Beautiful Carpet

Maybe I shouldn't complain about doing the school run: Beautiful Carpet outside the classroom yesterday.

Also Argyresthia dilectella.

Garden Moths 14thJuly

A few from the garden last night. 29 species in all including a few not pictured - Garden Tiger, Iron Prominent, Yellow-tail, Buff Arches, Common Carpet,Flame Shoulder, Double Square-spot, Burnished Brass, Peppered, Small Phoenix, Buff Ermine, Grey Dagger, Grey Arches and of course Large Yellow Underwing and Dark Arches.

Buff Footman


Crambus perlella

Dotted Clay

Green Pug

Poplar Grey

Yponomeuta padella/malinellus agg.