Monday, 20 March 2017

Monmouthshire Moth & Butterfly Group AGM

Wednesday 22nd March 

 Royal British Legion Club, 
Old Market Street, 
NP15 1AL

 7.30pm - 9.30pm 

Dr Rupert Perkins will give an illustrated talk on the butterflies and moths of “Blaenserchan and Beyond”
All welcome.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Haisbro Avenue 13th March 2017
Myself and Sheila ran the MV over-night. In the morning we recorded 9 species: 27 Common Quaker, 4 Clouded Drab , 3 Hebrew Character, 2 Early Grey, Twin-spot Quaker, Small Quaker, Early Moth, Double-striped Pug and a Yellow Horned.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Ypsolopha mucronella

This Ypsolopha mucronella was star catch at Dingestow Court MV on 11th March 2017 - there are only 4 previous Monmouthshire records, two of them from the 1970s.  It was very jumpy and flew off as soon as I tipped it out of the pot in the hope of taking a better photo.  The MV attracted 42 moths of 15 species, which is pretty good for mid March.  A couple of Grey Shoulder-knot and another Plutella xylostella were notable.

Friday, 10 March 2017

March mothing

The Dingestow Court MV produced my earliest ever Water Carpet on 9th March, along with 10 other spring Macros such as Double-striped Pug, Small Quaker and Shoulder-stripe.  The Actinic on 10th March held Oak Nycteoline and the first ever March record of the migrant Diamond-backed Moth for Monmouthshire.

Bashing Yew

Once a week I do an hour's nature walk for our guests at Old Lands, during which I show them a range of intriguing insects, plants etc.  A couple of weeks ago I started by showing them the wealth of insects hibernating in Yew: out came a Caloptilia betulicola as well as loads of leafhoppers, spiders etc.  Last week I bashed the same Yew with my net and caught a C. elongella.  Today a different Yew tree held a C. falconipenella.  The shelter provided by Yew during the winter is ideal for hibernating Micros; I wonder what would be found by tapping Yews in places like the Wyndcliff?!

Caloptilia betulicola, with light brown wings, slight patterning, and white hindlegs

Caloptilia falconipenella, resembling C. semifascia but longer winged and with a dark-speckled white costal blotch (albeit most prominent on its leading edge) rather than a uniformly coloured wing with a white wedge.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Small Brindled Beauty (at last!)

I started mothing in 1994.  Every February I put out my MV trap at Dingestow Court (and in Carmarthenshire when we lived there) hoping for a Small Brindled Beauty, but they never came.  After 23 years of trying, I have finally been rewarded with one of these truly beautiful moths: to MV at Dingestow Court on 20th February 2017.  They are reassuringly distinctive - narrow and almost noctuid-like - and I now know that my past careful scrutiny of Pale Brindled Beauty just in case was pointless.  Martin's map indicates that this is a very rare moth in Gwent, so I'm doubly pleased to catch one.  I hope I won't have to wait another 23 years before my next!

Redhouse Barns, 20th February 

I ran the MV last night. This morning there were no moths in the trap, but one Oak Beauty on the barn wall approx 10' away.