Monday 30 October 2023

Pendugwm Woods

On Saturday 21 October a few hardy members of the events team decided to brave the weather and set up a few traps at Pendugwm Woods (near Pontrobert).  Following the deluge of the day before, and reports that access wasn't that great, it wasn't opened up as a public event just in case.  Phil very kindly checked out the reserve at lunch time on the Saturday and cleared out the culvert, so we went ahead with 3 traps to see what was out there.

We didn't set up the gazebo or any tables, so base camp was Mark's truck, and whilst Mark and Phil went out to pot up what was appearing in traps, I worked through the pots on the dashboard. And we didn't do too badly at all.  First up was a Barred Sallow - a lovely sign of Autumn.  

Barred Sallow (all photos by Phil McGregor)

The most numerous moth was the November Moth, and we agonised over each and every one but put most of them down as November Moth Agg.  We did however find one female which we were able to confidently say was definitely November Moth. 

Female November Moth

As we were getting Winter Moth as well, I sent Mark & Phil to check the trunks of the trees to see if we could find any females.  They are wingless and can apparently be found walking up tree trunks after dark.  We didn't locate any, but well worth a try.

We also assiduously checked the Red-Green Carpets, just in case we could find an Autumn Green Carpet, which have been recorded at site.  But despite Phil's best efforts it was not to be.  He even took one on the chin, so to speak, as a Carpet rested there for a while!  In the end we recorded 8 species (list to be attached here), which seemed a good result for the last "event" of the year.  

Red-Green Carpet

Also a Red-Green Carpet

Spruce Carpet

Hope to have more luck with events next year.  Keep trapping everyone, and many thanks to all in the events team for their hard work and enthusiasm.

Monday 28 August 2023

Mothing event at Glaslyn Nature Reserve 26-08-23.

This was to be our only moorland event of the year and the first time we've been back to Glaslyn since 2015, so we were very hopeful of trapping some nice upland species which are rarely seen at lower levels.

During the day of the event we had many heavy downpours in the west of the county (where Glaslyn is situated), but the weather forecast was for the rain to clear by the evening so it looked as though things were improving.

The events team got onsite by 8:00pm giving plenty of time to get set up, unfortunately the small car park was mostly under water from the earlier rain, so we had to workaround this to get our base camp set up. The sky was mostly cloudy with a few clear spells, but there was a rather chilly breeze which we hoped wouldn't affect the mothing too much.

Glaslyn Nature Reserve - view from the track

At 8:45 the traps were switched on and it wasn't long before our first two species of the evening were potted, a Twin-spot Carpet and an Antler Moth, both mainly upland species. This was followed by a Chevron along with a Flounced Rustic, the two species which turned out to be the most numerous of the night.


Twin-spot Carpet

Next a Neglected Rustic was trapped (another moorland species), this species was definitely on our target list, so it was good to get it, in fact quite a few were seen during the evening. Then a species turned up which took us a while to name, a real upland speciality, the Haworth's Minor - very nice to see

Neglected Rustic

Haworth's Minor

As the evening progressed the chill breeze got through to us all, a comment was made about Scott's last voyage in the Antarctic and Julie had a big blanket around herself, so she somewhat resembled Old Mother Hubbard - but the moths kept in, so we all remained stalwart.

Autumnal Rustic, Ear Moth Agg and Lesser Yellow Underwing were added to the list and these were followed by a rather nice Anomalous, which took a bit of tempting before we could get it to pose for the camera.


As midnight approached (by which time we were all suitable 'chilled out'), most of us decided to call it a night, except for Phil, who decided to stay on for a bit, running just one trap. As we packed away the kit one final species was recorded, a Small Wainscot.

Only one micro moth was recorded (the chill breeze was certainly a factor here, most micro species don't like flying in chilly conditions) a Crambus pascuella.

The following morning Phil dropped me line saying that he had added two species to the list, Dark Sword-grass and another good upland species, the Heath Rustic, giving us a final total of 17 species in all. For a full list of species recorded please click here.

Dark Sword-grass

Heath Rustic

In all, although not ideal weather conditions I feel that we did very well, trapping some good target species and some other species normally associated with upland areas, so well worth braving the chilly breeze for an excellent event.

As always, a big thankyou to all those on the events team who make for the smooth running of all our events and we look forwards to our next event which is planned to be at Powis Castle Saturday 30th. September.



Monday 31 July 2023

Gerddi Bro Dyfi Gardens

 Gerddi Bro Dyfi Gardens

The event at Gerddi Bro Dyfi Gardens was held on the 7th of July. With the Bioblitz event being held the following day at the same venue, we hoped to catch some interesting moths, which would be kept to show people at the Bioblitz event. A bat walk was also held on the same night, which looked well attended, and it was nice to see a few new people come over to look at the moths. Some kind of sports party event was also going on, which gave us some background music, though none of the party goers came over to look at the moths!

The weather was good, being dry and quite mild, without many clouds. Four traps were set up, and well as the white sheet (which had to be hung on the gazebo this time as there was nowhere else to put it!).

It was a bright evening and we had to wait a while for the moths to appear, but they came in good numbers after that, with a nice range of species.

Some of the more frequent micro-moth visitors were two common Agriphila species, Agriphila straminella and Agriphila inquinatella, both of which were found regularly in the traps and on the white sheet. A good number of Anania hortulata were also found in the traps- a very common moth.

Other common micro-moth species included Argyresthia brockeella, Celypha lacunana, and the slightly less common Celypha striana, as well as the common but slightly odd-looking Agapeta hamana.

Agapeta hamana

There were also several more unusual micro-moth species. One of these was Anania satchydalis, a nationally scarce species found only in small numbers in the county. Another was Endotricha flammealis- this was only the 17th record of the species for the county, with the species being found at only 2 sites in Montgomeryshire. Adaina microdactyla was another good record- only the second county record for the species.

Endotricha flammealis

Pammene regiana was also recorded- a quite attractive 'C' species moth and only the 22nd record for Montgomeryshire.

Many of the macro-moths recorded were of more common varieties. Heart & Dart moths were abundant, as were the common Yellow Underwing varieties- Lesser Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, and Large Yellow Underwing were all found regularly in the traps. A good number of Small Phoenix and Brimstone moths were also seen.

The V-Pug- a common species in the county.

Other common but attractive macro-moths included the Rosy Footman, Beautiful Golden Y, Garden Tiger, and both the Poplar and Elephant Hawk-moths.

Rosy Footman

More unusual species included the Double Line- a local species in Montgomeryshire and a Nationally Scare B species. The Four-spotted Footman was also recorded, this being the 11th record for the county- the event being ideally situated to record it, with most previous records being on the North-Western side of the county.

Four-spotted Footman

The Triple-spotted Pug was another 'C' species recorded at the event, as was the Currant Pug- both uncommon species with sparse records scattered throughout the county.

A Scallop Shell was also recorded- a relatively uncommon 'B' species.

The total species count for the night was 95 species, with 23 micro-moth species and 72 macro moth species. A full list of the species recorded can be found using the following link:

The next moth night event will be held at Glaslyn Lake on Saturday 26th August, starting at 9pm.

Friday 30 June 2023

Seeking Clearwing pheromones


I am to be involved in a daytime Clearwing search near Machynlleth mid July. Looking for Welsh Clearwing in particular.

Unfortunately, it appears sourcing lures has been left a little late. Angleps are currently closed and according to their website are out of stock of all Clearwing lures with no knowing when they will have fresh supplies.

Is there anyone out there who knows of alternative suppliers or has sufficient stock of pheromones that they may be willing to share some please? Just enough for one day.

We are also hoping to try for Lunar Hornet and Yellow-legged.

Many thanks,


3/7/23 Pheromone lures have been sourced, already! Many thanks to those who responded.

Monday 26 June 2023

Llyn Coed y Dinas, Saturday 17th June 2023.

This event was the seventh time MMG have recorded moth species at this site since 2014. The first event held in July of that year recorded 111 species in perfect weather conditions so it was to be a good challenge to achieve anywhere near that number!

It is only in the last couple of weeks that night time temperatures have started to hold up, enabling a steady increase in moth species numbers "on the wing".  

It was with promising cloudy skies and a very mild, dry start to the evening (notwithstanding a large, anvil shaped cloud noted lurking somewhere south of Newtown), four traps and a white sheet were enthusiastically erected and placed about the reserve in time for a 9.45pm switch on.

Scarlet Tiger. (Rob Stokes)

By this point, young and older visitors to the event and moths alike, were already putting in an appearance at the table. A rather worn Brussels Lace, a crisp Barred Yellow and crowd pleasing Scarlet Tiger started off the evening nice and easily as far as identification was concerned. It was not long however, before the Micro's were rapidly piling up on the table, with a lot of discussion, head scratching and page turning, this being balanced with a general regret of Peter's absence and missing terribly, his marvellous ID skills! 

Amongst many of the more common Hedya pruniana and Chrysoteuchia culmella,  the queueing Micro's included Hedya salicella, Anania coronata, a scarce and somewhat overlooked Scythropia crataegella, Ancilis achatana, Phycita roborella and a hopeful, if early Archips rosana

As well as being outside of its flight time, the potential Archips rosana, unfortunately, was not photographed, so verification was not possible and the record, quite correctly, not accepted.  The Scythropia Cragaetella, too, was not photographed. However, it was confirmed on site by Sue Southam, who has recorded this species before. There are less than 10 Montgomeryshire records of this micro species according to the MMG website.


Anania coronata. (Phil McGregor)
Hedya salicella. (Meurig Garbutt)

It was around 11pm that the first rumble of thunder was rapidly identified and confirmed, soon followed by pulses of heavy rain. Nonetheless, visitors and group members stoically continued with a steady stream of moths to the table. Figure of Eighty, Pebble Hook-tip, Freyer's Pug, Short-cloaked Moth and a fine Swallow-tailed Moth were amongst the larger moths recorded. Two macro highlights were a Marbled White Spot and a Bordered White, for the reason, neither being familiar to a good number of the attendees. The former appears to be more typical of upland environments (acid grassy heath, moorland and woodland's) and the latter, possibly due to it's normal habitat of conifers, in particular, Scot's Pine.

Marbled White Spot. (Rob Stokes)

Bordered White, wings in typical closed poise.
(Meurig Garbutt)

Despite the rain, a reasonable 44 moth species were recorded. The full species list is available to view here.

By 1am, a rather damp, handful of the group members, (some of us suffering from "Micro blindness"), decided that the flow of moths had slowed sufficiently to call it a night. Traps were switched off by 1.10am. 

Thank you to Julie Pearce for organising the event. Rob Stokes and Meurig Garbutt for contributing photographs, team members Paul Roughley and Julie Pearce for id/recording assistance.  Thanks also to all the group members and visitors that made for a very enjoyable and educational event!

Beautiful Hook-tip. (Phil McGregor)

The next event is on FRIDAY 7th July in Machynlleth, where MMG will be participating in the Gerddi Bro Dyfi 2023 Bioblitz weekend. 

For the Friday night, MMG  will be based, with the white sheet, up in the gardens, the same location as last year. 

However, a selection of the moths recorded will be available for viewing on the Saturday at the bioblitz "base camp",  a different location, next to Y Plas, not in the actual gardens.


Friday 9 June 2023

Llanfyllin Workhouse Event 13 May 2023

 It seems a long time ago now, but we held the first night-time event of the season at Llanfyllin Workhouse.  This was a joint event with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, and it was well attended, with about 20 people there.  

We first of all watched Swifts flying over the fields around the workhouse and coming into roost (incredible to watch them fly straight up into their nests/roosts).  I didn't realise that swifts collect what they need to build their nests in flight, and then pack it all together using their own saliva! Then Lottie led a bat walk around the grounds.  Although they detected a few, there weren't many bats around, and this was a fairly good indication of how the moths would go too.  It was a distinctly chilly evening.

Anyhow, we did our best and managed to record 10 macros and 1 micro.  The list will be attached here. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take any photos as Mark & I were going on holiday the following day, and it was all a bit hectic, but luckily Lottie did take some.  Take my word for it, we had a lovely Lesser Swallow Prominent, a beautiful Aphomia sociella, and in the end what turned out to be a handsome Sallow Kitten, hiding behind the white sheet.  Many thanks to Phil again for lending us his white sheet.  And to Paul & Sandy for help with setting up.  And Simon for helping with identification.  

Sallow Kitten by Lottie Glover

And Llanfyllin Workhouse was a lovely venue.  They made us very welcome with hot drinks and biscuits.  Thanks to Lottie for arranging the event.  It would be well worth going again another time.  The next event is coming up: Saturday 17 June at Llyn Coed y Dinas.  Further details coming on Facebook soon.  Then in July we will be helping with the Gerddi Bro Dyfi Gardens bioblitz on Friday 7 July.  Again there will be more details on Facebook.  Hope to see some of you there.  

Friday 7 April 2023

Moths are more efficient pollinators than bees, new research shows

 Research news, just in from Butterfly Conservation, illustrating the soaring significance of moths as critical plant pollinators. (I hope the link works, otherwise it is tried and tested copy and paste!):

nb. edited 20/5/23 on lap top for a workable link!


Wednesday 8 February 2023

January Challenge - the results

Now that that the challenged is over, I've collated all the received records into the charts below. After Peter Williams asked me to run the challenge, I decided to open it to recorders in my home county of Staffordshire, and to Shropshire, our mutual neighbours.

Last year there were 12 participants, all but one from Montgomeryshire. This year there were again 12 participants: 5 from Montgomeryshire, 4 from Staffordshire, 2 from Shropshire and 1 from Northamptonshire.

The weather conditions seemed to have deterred either the recorders or the moths, or perhaps both; 21 species were recorded (12 macro and 9 micro), which is the same as last year, but there were only 126 individual macro-moths recorded this year compared to 236 the previous year, and 12 micro-moths (18 last year.

Only one person completed the macro part of the challenge, and this was Peter Williams with 11 species. Sue Southam was runner-up with 6 species. As in previous years, no one managed to record 5 micro-moth species, the best results being a tie between Peter and Sue with 3 species each.

This chart shows the collated data.

Now for a more detailed breakdown of the results:

Mottled Umber was the most numerous species recorded with 35 individuals, followed by Winter Moth (23) then Mottled Grey (16). The highest number of moths recorded was 89 by Peter Williams, down from his 170 last year; second most was by Sue Southam with 13, down from 25 last year. As to be expected, micro-moths were once again quite scarce with just 13 individuals of 9 species.

The next chart shows the top 5 moths recorded during the January challenge since 2012.

Finally, this chart is a decode to the participants.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

January Challenge - your results please

It seems to have been a difficult challenge for many of us, just how difficult will be revealed in due course once I've collated the data. To that end, I'd be grateful for your results. Just a reminder of the information I require:

1. A list of species recorded throughout the month.

2. Total count for each species you've recorded.

3. Total number of nights you trapped on.

4. Your location, if you care to share this, otherwise just the county.

Please email me:

Alternatively comment on this post with your results. Please don't do both, I'm a simple soul and easily confused!

Thank you. 

Saturday 21 January 2023

January Challenge - 10 days to go

The last ten days or so have been particularly challenging for moth trapping, but there is slightly milder weather in prospect so get lucky, bag those 10 macro species before the end of the month!

One of them is quite likely to be a Dotted Border.