Monday, 17 August 2009

Clouded Yellow

A rare treat - a clouded yellow in my Camrose garden last week!

Monday, 10 August 2009

July - Early August

Good to see others are observing a mass of butterflies on sunny days. After bad summers in 2007 2008 I have been surprised at the numbers on my transects. Tortoiseshells and peacocks and common blues are in short supply.
Walking along the Ceredigion coast path from Mwnt towards Aberporth there were masses on a large patch of knapweed. They were mostly whites and very fresh painted ladies with the odd tortoiseshell and peacocks as well as gatekeepers and meadow browns. Small coppers were fairly
numerous in the short grass on the path itself.

I haven't trapped so many footman moths this year and haven't seen a buff tip for a couple of years. There have been more poplar hawkmoths than usual also brussels lace and willow beauties. There have been several prominents - pebble,pale and coxcombs

For the past two years I have looked for the marmalade hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus without much success. There are plenty around in my garden this year - maybe because I decided lawns were a waste of time and let the grass and wild flowers grow.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Hornet Robberfly (Asilus crabroniformis)

A visit to the Newgale Hornet Robberfly site today produced a count of only 13 - hopefully there are more about - the weather was nice but very blowy.
Remember to keep an eye out for this BIG bold fly lying up on cow/horse pats wherever there is some decent habitat and extensive grazing by cattle or horses/ponies.

One day of sunshine - Clouded Yellow

One day of sunshine and suddenly there are dozens of common blues and wall browns around at Newgale, Small tortoiseshells in my garden in Camrose and a Clouded Yellow flying down the road through Keeston.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Camrose Butterflies

No rarities seen but a local bird cover crop field had thousands of large and small whites last sunday as well as hundreds of newly emerged Painted ladies. The fields were full of butterflies - a rare sight these days!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Butterflies in the Martletwy/Landshipping area

During a regular weekly butterfly transect at Martletwy/Landshipping area - commas, painted ladies, red admirals were all seen in reasonable numbers but no small tortoiseshells this weekend (one or two last weekend, but they still seem scarce). Three silver-washed fritillaries (similar numbers a week earlier) - they seem to be having a good summer. Large numbers of whites (all three common species) and the first clouded yellow of the summer noted.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Speckled bush cricket

We get one or two speckled bush crickets in our garden each year - about 5km south-west of Minwear/Canaston.

Green bugs

Have just had another internet search on these after seeing more this morning - there are quite a few about on knapweed flowers.

This particular species seems to be the potato capsid bug Closteromotomus norwegicus.

Stenotus binotatus females do look similar to my photograph, but the clincher seems to be that the second antenna segment is of similar length to the third and fourth segments combined.

The British bugs site has lots of photographs of lots of species. I don't know how comprehensive it is, but it's the best I've seen so far.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Speckled Bush Cricket

Recent visits to Canaston and Minwear Woods have turned up numerous Speckled Bush Crickets. Has anyone else seen this species much away from the coast?

Another Invasion of Painted ladies on the cards?

Following the invasion of Painted lady butterflies earlier in the year I have recently found a couple of arable fields near Camrose with un-treated margins with plenty of creeping thistle. Almost all of the plants have been heavily eaten by Painted lady caterpillars. There must have been thousands of caterpillars here. Has anyone else noticed the same thing? Perhaps we can expect to see a second wave of this species soon?

Response to Joyce re metallic green butterflies

In response to Joyces note about moths and butterflies I would suspect the metallic green things were green hairstreaks?

Green Bug response

Response to Annies question about the green bug. I am no expert on this group but there is a photo in the Collins "Complete British Insects" of a similar bug that is commonly found feeding on ripening seeds and flowers. It is called Stenotus binotatus and as hinted in the name, it has a pair of black dots on the pronotum.

Hope this helps, Jon

Oil beetle identification response

In response to Annie's Oil beetle question, I think that it is M. proscaberous we get round here. There is a Key to oil beetles in British Wildlife vol14 october 2002. Have you got it?


Tuesday, 14 July 2009


I found a few Dark Green Fritillaries towards the end of June on the coast path between Trefasser Cross and Strumble head. Also some metallic green moths about the size of the common blue butterfly. I think they may be foresters has anyone else seen them?
Ceredigion- butterflies
Meadow browns and ringlets are fairly numerous on the transects I monitor inspite of bad summers in 2007,2008. Skippers and common blues are around but few in number, small tortoiseshells, peacocks and small coppers are rare this year. Maybe the second flight season will be better.
poplar hawkmoths, privit hawkmoths and elephant hawkmoths have all been in the trap in June.
Also lychnis, silverground carpet, white banded and garden carpets, brimstones, phoenix, pebble prominent, blood veins, buff and white ermines. small magpie, poplar grey, green and grey arches, coxcomb prominent and willow beauties.

Friday, 10 July 2009

What are these bugs?

These bugs were feeding on knapweed. Anyone know what they are? Or more importantly, where do I go to start trying to identify them? Those illustrated in my insect book don't have green eyes or black dots on the pronotum.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I've seen lots of oil beetles on the coast between St Justinians' and Porth Taflod this year. I'd assumed from the bright blue-purple colour that they were Meloe violaceous, but are they? The NBN map doesn't show them in Pembrokeshire, but does show some records of M proscarabaeus. How do I identify them? I have some photos.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Coastal bees etc

Lots of solitary bees along the coast enjoying the early seasson warmth. Species included
Andrena cineraria
A. ovatula
A. scotica
A. thoracica
Nomada goddeniana
N. fabriciana
Sphecodes monilicornis
Halictus tumulorum etc etc..........

Of interest was the numerous oil beetle larvae (triungulins) found clinging to various species of Nomada bees. Good info on Oil beetles and their bizzare life cycle at

For all bee, wasp and ant info take a look at

Numerous small copper butterflies on the wing, near Solva.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Orthoptera etc

First sighting of a Silver Y moth on Pen Dinas (Solva) today.Also first instars of Grey Bush cricket and (probably) Meadow grasshopper. Lots of Podalonia hirsuta (Shecid Wasps) too.
Oil beetle (Meloe violaceus) and dozens of Bloody nosed beetles.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Re Rhagium bifasciatum

Adrian Fowles sent me the following........"The only Pembs record we have for R. bifasciatum is Stackpole in Nov 2002 . It is a common species in Wales and its 'absence' from Pembs really just reflects the fact that there hasn't been any resident coleopterist in the county for centuries! Visiting coleopterists nearly always focus on the coast. I'd guess that NMW must have had bifasciatum at Ty Canol when they ran malaise traps in the 90s. It must also be present inPengelli Forest".

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Sightings from Joyce Jones, South Ceredigion close to the Pembrokeshire border

No moths in my trap during January.
February – Common Quaker, Dotted Border, Hebrew Character, Early Grey, Dark Chestnut

March - Hebrew Character, Oak Beauty, Twin Spot Quaker. Early Grey, Common Quaker.
( Red Chestnut and Lead Coloured Drab – not positively identified)

Noise from bees bumble bees high on a pussy willow.
Only 1 peacock butterfly so far.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Rhagium bifasciatum in Pembs

In reply to the Rhagium bifasciatum question, yes I have found the species in the county before I had assumed it was relatively common! There is some info on longhorns and their distribution in British Wildlife vol 18 number 6.
'Taxonomic chauvinism threatens the future of entomology': Great article in TheBiologist about the lack of entomologists and entomolgical research in the UK available at

Sarah Beynon


I spotted a Bloody-nosed beetle at Solva on 16th Feb and another couple atWhitesands on the 17th. The couple of warm days must have woken them up!Otherwise, a couple of small tortoiseshells in the garden... Also, while looking though some material I collected last year, I came across 2longhorn beetles: Rhagium bifasciatum. The longhorn atlas says there are no previous records for the county - has anyone got any other Pembs records

Sarah Beynon

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Early observations

This year so far I have seen one or two bumble bees on the wing and a Peacock butterfly. Ants active along the coast and dung flies out on sunny days..........anyone had anything better?