Friday, 7 July 2017

Hafren Forest - 05/07/17

I went to more under-recorded forestry on Wednesday night; this time to Hafren Forest in the south-west of the county. SN88 has had very little summer trapping so I picked a very warm night (18c for most of the night!) and headed down with 6 traps.

I trapped at 340m in an area of the site that is dominated by broadleaved scrub, with an understory of heathers, bilberry, etc. The scrub is adjacent to large areas of commercial conifers. I caught a large number of species that are meant to only be associated with larch: e.g. Argyresthia laevigatella, Coleophora laricella, Ptycholomoides aeriferanus and Larch Pug (no larch appeared to present). I wonder if these species are utilising non-native conifer species in the county - I have noticed this at a couple of other sites in the county.

Within about an hour of switching the lights on, I noticed a very large pug species sitting on one of the traps. My first thought was Cloaked Pug but dismissed this as I believed it to be extinct. However, upon checking the book and reading that there is evidence of recent breeding in the UK and the foodplants are non-native conifers, I quickly returned to pot the moth. Indeed, it was Cloaked Pug (three were caught in total), representing the first county record since the 80s and strongly suggesting the species is breeding here once again. Who knows how common this moth is in the county - there's certainly enough potential habitat but most of it goes completely untrapped!

I recorded a total of 141 species. Bryotropha boreella was new for the county. Other moths of note included Gold Swift, Exoteleia dodecella, Celypha rivulana, Scoparia ancipitella, Beautiful Carpet, Dotted Carpet, Small Argent & Sable, Red-necked Footman, Clouded Buff, Double Line and Marsh Oblique-barred.

Photos below:
Hafren Forest - 05/07/17

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great trap - the new record of Bryotropha boreella is excellent and discovering what seems to be a breeding colony of Cloaked Pug after an absence of 30 years in the county, is outstanding.