Monday 22 July 2019

New sightings of Welsh Clearwing and Ashworth's Rustic at Lake Vyrnwy

Gavin Chambers has been doing some fine work in Montgomeryshire on luring Welsh Clearwings to pheromones and trapping Ashworth's Rustic at lake Vyrnwy. To read his report please click on the following link.


Tuesday 9 July 2019

Llanymynech Rocks daytime event - A silver lining to a cloudy day with a new county record

Wouldn’t you just believe it, prior to this event we had a week or more of sunny weather, but come Saturday the weather was overcast and drizzling, not good conditions for butterflies and day flying moth species. However, we had to work with what had and we did our best to make the most of things - and in fact it turned out to be an excellent day.
The trapping site

After meeting in the carpark, we hiked up to the trapping area by about 1:30 to get set up. On reaching our desired trapping site, even before we got setup we more or less walked into a Small Eggar Larval nest (an uncommon species in the county and a Nationally scarce B species throughout the UK), which was a real treat for us all to see and, furthermore, throughout the afternoon three more larval nests were discovered making four in all, a great record for the site. 
Small Eggar larval nest

After marvelling over the Small Eggar larval nests we set up our two pheromone traps. One pheromone trap was for our target species, the Six-belted Clearwing and we were trying another pheromone for the Yellow-legged clearwing just on the off-chance one was in the vicinity. We all gazed at these pheromone traps for a while until we got goggle-eyed then we started to fan out, searching for other day-flying moths and butterflies.
Checking the net

Butterflies, it has to be said, were very thin on the ground and during the afternoon we only saw three species which braved the gloomy conditions; Small Heath, Ringlet and Meadow Brown.
Small Heath and Ringlet

We did slightly better for moths, recording 3 macro species (including the Small Eggar) and 9 micro species, which included 3 plume species, one of which was a new county record for Montgomeryshire; the rare migrant plume species Oxyptilus laetus---for a full species list please click here.
Yellow Shell

Merrifieldia leucodactyla

Oxypilus laetus

At 4:30pm we decided to call it a day and stated to pack up and wouldn’t you just know it - in the best manor of most mothing events there was a moth, on this occasion a Clay, underneath a bit of kit, there’s always one last moth, isn’t there - somethings never change! To sum up, I think we had a pretty good day, what with the Small Eggar larval nests and the new county record micro species Oxyptilus laetus.
Many thanks to those who turned out on a pretty gloomy day, (those clearwing species are still eluding us), and to Mel for taking the photos.
Our next event will be at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve on Saturday 3rd August, full details can be seen on the events area of our website.



As a post script to this event it was rather good to hear that two members of our group; Sue Southam and Paul Roughley went back to Llanymynech Rocks the following week and this time they were successful and did indeed manage to lure the six-belted Clearwing to the pheromones. Up to six individuals arrived at any one time - photos below.

Six belted Clearwing at the pheromone

Six-belted Clearwing