I thought I might break the monotony of Cretztschmar’s Bunting posts (as exciting as it is), and do a blog on some recent insects and lepidoptera on the island. The flowers around the Bardsey are truly stunning at the moment, and the Thrift in particular is carpeting many areas of the coast. This coastal and rather unique habitat is home to a variety of interesting species of lepidoptera. The most well-known of these on Bardsey is that of the Thrift Clearwing. I have managed to find a little over 10 individuals around the South End this year, and also another individual on the East Side. In addition to the clearwings, there are plenty of micros to be seen: Lobesia littoralis, Bryotropha terrella, Teleiopsis diffinis, Celypha cespitana and many more. It is also proving to be an excellent month for migrant lepidoptera, with daily sightings of Silver Ys, Rush Veneers, Rusty Dot Pearls, double-figure counts of Painted Ladies, one Small Mottled Willow and also a handful of Bordered Straw.
Away from the coast, and into the moth traps…on the calm and cloudy nights, my heath trap at Nant has been pulling in as many as 50 moths, of over 20 species. There hasn’t been anything massively exciting, although a Small Elephant Hawkmoth in the trap today was a great surprise. Some of the commonest species present in the traps at the moment include Bright-line Brown-eyes, Brown Rustics, Flame Shoulders, Common Marbled Carpets, Small Square Spots, Broom Moths and Shears. Caterpillars have been featuring well around the island, although most of the Lackey nests have been abandoned as the large final instars seek more food and a place to settle down into a pupa. Yellowtails and Six-spot Burnet caterpillars are also all over the place.
The flowering Thrift near Ogof Ystwffl Glas (a minute away from where the bunting is showing). Here is one of the favourite haunts of the following species…
Thrift Clearwing. This is a Nationally Scarce (Na) species, which we have small numbers of on the coast
There have been plenty of Hoverflies making use of the thrift- this appears to be some species of Eupeodes
Honey Bee on the thrift
A different angle on this Drinker caterpillar
Common Marbled Carpet (white morph)
Canon 7D mkII
Canon 15mm fisheye
Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro