Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Coed Y Dinas event

In the week preceding the event the promise of a dry Saturday night from the weather forecasters did actually materialise; the evening was mild and fairly muggy which pointed towards ideal mothing conditions.

Beautiful Hook-tip
The four of us taking traps had arranged to meet at 8:30 to give us plenty of time to set up a total of seven traps.  We placed them along the main paths of the site which pretty well covered the site and the lights were switched on shortly after 10pm.

Poplar Grey

Acleris Rhombana
While it was still light Gavin caught some micro moths with his net, these included - Eudonia Lacustrata, Ditula angustiorana and Celypha lacunana, the last of which was a new record for the site. In fact it was an excellent evening as far as new site records were concerned; by the end of the event we had bagged no fewer than 34 new site records; the Obscure Wainscot was only the forth county record of this species.

Double Lobed
Once the traps were fired up moths were brought to the table almost immediately and it became very busy at base camp identifying everything as it came in. First up was a Riband Wave, closely followed be a Snout, July Highflyer and a Mid-barred Minor, then a cracking female Ghost Moth which gave rise to stories of this species ‘lekking’ in the grasses on still, warm evenings which is wonderful to observe if you’re ever lucky enough.
Checking the trap

As the evening progressed, potted specimens were flooding into base camp for id – Beautiful Hook-tip, Southern Wainscot, and a stunning Lilac Beauty certainly kept everyone buzzing. Then another Wainscot species was brought in, we couldn’t id it at the time, but later it was confirmed as an Obscure Wainscot; this was definitely our best catch of the night. Other noticeable macro species were – Scallop Shell, Double Lobed, Clay Triple-lines, Dingy Shears, Poplar Grey, and a lovely to see, freshly emerged Garden Tiger.

Scallop Shell

An excellent haul of 41 species of micro moth were recorded, we don’t often get to these numbers at events. Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine) was quite numerous and were found in all the traps as the site contains numerous larval webs on the foodplant. Also recorded was one Yponomeuta cagnagella (Spindle Ermine). Other noticeable species were – Acleris xylosteana, Tortrix viridana, Phycita roborella, Monopis laevigella, Prays fraxinella, Hedya ochroleucana, and probably best micro of the night was only the 10th county record of Batrachedra praeangusta.

Yponomeuta evonymella
            Shortly after 2:00am we decided to call it a day and, as usual, as we were emptying out the traps, the last few species of the night were           added to the list – Poplar Hawk-moth, Common Footman, Buff-tip, Rustic, V-pug, Early Thorn a nice Scalloped Oak. I wish we had Rustic earlier in the evening when I could have held a workshop on the differences between this species and the Uncertain, always a talking point – never mind, one to do at another event perhaps. In all, an excellent 108 species were recorded. To see the full list, please click here.
Obscure Wainscot

Many thanks to those who brought along their traps also to those who helped setting up and packing away the kit and, of course, to Sue for bringing along her very scrummy chocolate brownies.


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