Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mothing event at the Bro Dyfi Community Garden

This was the first time that we had organised a mothing event at the Bro Dyfi Community Garden in Machynlleth. Unfortunately, the evening was rather wet which does tend to put people off from attending; however, 15 people did brave the conditions for what turned out to be an excellent evening of mothing. As far as the weather was concerned we had heavy showers interspersed with drizzle throughout, but it was very mild and humid which were good conditions for active moths.

People turning up for the event
Skinner trap under an Oak tree

On this occasion the Bro Dyfi volunteer gardening group had arranged for a reporter from the Cambrian News to take a few pictures of the event, so there was quite a bit of photographic activity before the trapping began.

Heath trap near the water feature
 With gloomy conditions, due to the rain, the lights were switched on early and by 9:00pm moths were already being potted and brought to the table.

Recording the species

First up were the very common species of Large Yellow Underwing and a Lesser Yellow Underwing. Soon, a lovely Swallow-tailed Moth was potted, a beautiful species, especially to those who hadn’t seen one before. A cracking Peppered Moth led us all into debate on how this is an ‘indicator species’ as to the cleanliness of
Head shot of a Large Elephant Hawk-moth
our air quality (the darker the moth, the more pollutants are in the air). Late on in the evening a couple of stunning Large Elephant Hawk-moths came to the traps, but as is often the case with hawk moths, who are usually a late flying species, about half the people attending missed  them as they had left the event by then.

Small Magpie anania hortulata
16 species of micro moth were recorded; these included a stunningly marked Prays fraxinella and the seldom recorded Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis.

Silver Y
We also recorded two migrant species, the Silver Y and the Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella– both these species would have been carried to the UK during recent spells of southerly winds from the near continent.


Wood Carpet

In all 54 species were recorded – the best being the Wood Carpet, a local species; a Cloaked Minor, a species which hasn’t been recorded on the western side of Montgomeryshire before and the best record of the night, a Large Tabby

Aglossa pinguialis
Aglossa pinguinalis which has only been recorded in Montgomeryshire on three previous occasion, all previously on the eastern side of the county. For a full species list please click here.

In all, (despite the weather), it was an excellent evening’s moth trapping, everybody enjoyed themselves and we finally decided to call it a night at 1:00am. We will certainly return to these community gardens again to hold another event.


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