Saturday, 12 July 2014

Shades of grey

Took another trip to Glaslyn MWT reserve last night. Arrived at the site to find completely clear skies and a temperature of 10c. However, not long after getting the traps switched on it began to cloud over and the temperature rose to 12.5c where it stayed for the rest of the night.

When driving down the track to reach the car park I noticed some scree slopes. There were no site records of Ashworth's Rustic but I thought it might be worth placing a couple of heath traps around the top of these scree slopes (about 500m from the main traps). Much to my surprise, not only did I catch AR, I caught loads of them! 38 in total. 36 of these were between the strategically-placed two 6w heath traps. Only two turned up in the MVs. Which, I think, just goes to show how much it's depend on the rocky slopes; these two were probably wanderers. Really quite a variable moth - some forms were very pretty, though all very grey.

Other moorland moths seen included Striped Twin-spot Carpet, Northern Spinach, Narrow-winged Pug, True Lover's Knot, Antler Moth, Dark Brocade, Gold Spange and Scarce Silver Y.

Once again there were several out-of-place moths, for example Rosy Footman and Iron Prominent. But the prize for 'the moth caught that would be least expected on moorland' goes to Zeiraphera isertana (of which two were recorded). This is meant to be species of oak woodland. No idea where the nearest oak was but would certainly be a considerable distance.

The main challenge of the night was low cloud which began to envelope the site once the traps were set up. It reduced visibility to less than 10m at times. The MVs were just about bright enough to penetrate the cloud but the actinics were not and were consequently very difficult to locate! Had to just set off, hoping I was walking in the right direction! Luckily it seemed to work.

53 species were seen in total. The list and some photos can be seen here:
Glaslyn (11/07/14)

1 comment:

  1. Another good list of species from Glaslyn.

    I was really surprised by the colony of Ashworth's Rustic you've found - great detective work on your part, which just goes to show, that when trapping at any site you have to think 'out of the box' at times, to locate some of the more unusual or scarce species.