Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Tinea pellionella

Checked a bag of wool in the same room as the potential Tinea pellionella. There are hundreds of them in there munching their way through the wool.

The case of the strange caterpillar

Have got about 80 of these on the walls and ceiling of the spare bedroom. They are about 8 - 9mm long. The case appears to be attached to the surface at a single point. The grub extends itself approx half way out of the case, but withdraws back in when there is movement nearby.

Douglas thinks they are Tinea pellionella (case-bearing clothes moth). I am going to rear some on to try and confirm this. Will attempt to feed them on bits of wool.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Deadline for sending in your 2016 'Moth Night' records is 30th November

This is just a reminder to all recorders to ensure all Moth Night 2016 datasets (records from 09th to 11th June) are submitted via the Butterfly Conservation online recording system (www.mothnight.info) or email to lhill@butterfly-conservation.org by close-of-play Wednesday, 30th November 2016, after which the online system will be closed and the data shortly afterwards will be forwarded to all County Moth Recorders for verification.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Butterfly Conservation’s UK Moth Recorders' Meeting 2017

Hello Moth-ers,

Just a quick note to remind you all that next year's Butterfly Conservation’s UK Moth Recorders' meeting will take place on 28th January 2017 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham  (directions here http://bmi.org.uk/location.html) . As usual, the day will be packed with several moth related talks and lunch will be provided. I have been advised that tickets are selling fast so if you don't want to miss your place please book now at http://butterfly-conservation.org/13194/uk-moth-recorders-meeting.html


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A surprise species from our Llanymynech Rocks event

Our last event of the year was at Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve. The wet weather which had preceded it, right up to Saturday morning, suggested that we might all be in for a drenching; however, by the time we all met up at the reserve car park the rain had gone and, apart from it being a bit on the chilly side, conditions looked very favourable indeed.

The area we were concentrating on for trapping was along the path beneath the cliffs, in a linear setup, and by 7:00pm as dusk was falling the traps were all fired up. Things were a little on the slow side in the beginning, but once the first species, an Angle Shades was potted, species started to come to the table fairly regularly for the rest of the evening and these included, the Shuttle-shaped Dart, Autumnal Rustic and Garden Carpet.

Llanymynech Rocks is an area which was once quarried for its limestone, and 100yds or so down the path from where we had set up base camp is an iron cut-out of two men quarrying the stone, the light from one of the traps was illuminating these figures and as I looked down from base camp onto the figures, I asked others with me, who were those people looking into the trap, ‘they’ve been there for ages’ I said. Douglas enlightened me - a very humorous moment giving all a good laugh at my expense, I was truly caught out!

About half way through the evening a moth was potted which was confirmed as a Feathered Ranunculus, a species which had only been recorded in the county on one other occasion, at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in the far west of the county. This was an excellent record and very much unexpected. Douglas and I decided to take a walk up to the trap it was recorded from, when, as we arrived, another Feathered Ranunculus in a very timely way turned up; and later in the evening yet another was recorded from the adjacent trap. One could have just been a ‘wanderer’, but three certainly suggest a breeding population at the site, a very exciting prospect.

Feathered Ranunculus
Several other macro species recorded were new to the site, these were - Canary-shouldered Thorn, Black Rustic, Grey Shoulder-knot, Blair's Shoulder-knot, Merveille du Jour, Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing and Barred Sallow. For a full species list please click here.

The theme of this particular event was ‘migrant species’ and we were indeed fortunate to trap two; a Dark Sword-grass and a Silver Y, the latter of which was another new site record.

Dark Sword-grass
Micro species were very thin on the ground, probably because of the cooler conditions, but we did manage to record two species; a Zelleria hepariella and an Acleris sparsana, both of which were new for the site. To see all the photos taken at the event, please click here, then once the file has been accessed click on each individual photo.

Shortly after 11:15pm we decided to call it a day and what a superb evening it had been – who would have thought that we would find a Feathered Ranunculus at this site, let alone a small breeding population, which just goes to show that there is still species and populations out there which remain undiscovered - but the MMG is on the case! What an excellent end of the season it was for us all.

I must once again thank all those who brought along their traps and to those who helped to set up and pack away the kit; also for Sue and Jeny for supplying the cakes (always very welcome). Finally a big thank you to everyone who attended the events throughout season as, for me, this is what makes it all so worthwhile. I look forward to seeing you all again next year and please keep an eye out for the 2017 events which will be posted on the events area of the website during the winter months.


Does anyone recognise this grub?

Tammy at MWT has sent me some photos of the larva/grub of something. She has so far hit a brick wall in trying to id it and I’ve gone through all my relevant reference books and done numerous searches ‘on line’ and I’m still no closer to getting an id for her. My best guess is that it’s a type of fly maggot as this is what it most resembles and the fact that it doesn’t have any legs also backs my thought process up. Is this something you have ever seen and could you help us to identify it, thanks?


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Mothing event at Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve - Saturday 1st October

Hello Moth-ers,

Our last mothing event of the year is this Saturday (1st October) at Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve. This has been an excellent site for us over the years, but this will be the first time we’ll be holding an event at this site in October. We are particularly targeting autumn migrants on this occasion, but whatever turns up we’ll be adding many new dots onto the maps. If you’ve never been to one of these events before, treat yourself, please come along and join us, for a great night’s mothing.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve.
Target Species: Autumn migrants
Event Date: Saturday 1st October 2016.
Event time: 7:00pm onwards, walk up the reserve track from the car park.
Directions: The reserve is found between Llanymynech and Pant. Heading out of Llanymynech on the A483 turn left just before the Cross Guns Pub where the speed limit changes from 30 to 40 mph. Follow a short bit of road then turn right onto a short track to the reserve car park.
Grid reference: for car park is SJ270219

Montgomeryshire Moth Group (MMG) is an independent voluntary group of people interested in moths. All ages are welcome to attend events whether experts or beginners.
This year all the events are light trapping events. We set up the light traps at dusk to attract moths and then release them after identification.

As with all our evening events, please bring a torch and wear suitable outdoor clothing.

You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening that suits you, we are likely to stay for several hours. However, in case of cancellation, due to poor weather or unforeseen circumstances, always ring or e-mail to check the event is on before joining us.

Please note that some sites are not easy to find, so please make sure you know where the venue is before you set off.

All the best,