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.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent report Phil, it sounds as though you all had a very good evening indeed. I hope your 'micro blindness' has cleared up and that your id skills are as keen as always.