Wednesday, 16 May 2018

'One to look out for' - the Orange Footman

There are some species in our database which are recorded very infrequently due to scarcity or distribution in the Montgomeryshire. So I thought it might be a good idea to highlight these species as and when their flight times arrive so that we could target them a little better. I shall call these particular series of posts 'One to look out for'. So today I'll get the ball rolling with the Orange Footman.

This species was first recorded at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in the west of the county in 2012 and in the subsequent six years there have been 9 further records from six different sites across the county. The species is predominantly found in the southern and eastern side of England, but in recent years it has slowly spread westwards and northwards. Its foodplant as in common with many other species of footman species is lichen, so we shouldn't have any problem with that, as lichen can be found in abundance throughout much of the county. It's on the wing from late May to June, so plenty of time coming up to record this species (I actually recorded one last night 15/05/18 at my home site in Commins Coch in the west of the county). It doesn't really have any confusion species as the only ones it can be confused with are the Dingy and Buff  Footman, but these species aren't on the wing until late June, so there shouldn't really be a problem here, but at always, if you're unsure, just send me a photo and I will confirm it for you one way or another. The species page can be viewed here.

Orange Footman
So there we are, we've kicked off with our first 'One to look out for', so let's see if we can add a few more records of this species to our database.

Peter.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

A Night out in the City - Saturday 28 April 2018

Saturday night saw 13 of us, including our hosts, at Lower View, City, near Sarn, on a private nature reserve that had not previously been trapped.  It was a chilly evening, with a full moon, so expectations weren’t high, but for those that arrived early there was an excellent chance to walk around the reserve and enjoy the sight of Early Purple Orchids emerging.  It was also a chance to enjoy being bitten by midges!  It was good to see some new faces, and Peter put in a celebrity appearance later on, in time for refreshments.

The traps went on at 8pm and a lot of the moth action came from the lighted sheet. The first moth of the evening from the sheet was a Water Carpet.  In all 19 species were trapped, which was higher than anticipated, including 2 micro species.  The highlight for those of us not at the last trapping was a Tissue, which comes out of hibernation in April/May.  There were many of the usual suspects coming to the end of their season, including Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Twin-spotted Quaker & Hebrew Character, and some of the emerging Spring species like Early Thorn and Early Grey.  The full species list can be read here.

Tissue

Early Grey



Early Thorn

Members of the group enjoying a warming cuppa in Steve's weaving shed

Some people brought their own moths in case there wasn’t enough action on the night.  Paul presented Peter with a bag of Owl pellets.  He had previously had Monopsis laevigella emerge from the pellets but on the night it was a White-shouldered House Moth that put in an appearance. 

Many thanks for the splendid hospitality from Steve & Lisette, who let us shelter in their very comfortable shed, including a wood burner, and fed us very welcome sandwiches & sausage rolls towards the end of the night.  Washed down with lashings of tea or Bullace gin, and followed by Sue's legendary shortbread. No wonder we didn’t venture out to the traps very often!  As the night got colder (minimum 4C) & clearer there were less moths around and the evening drew to a close at midnight.