Friday, 15 August 2008

Darts & Stuff

Hi all
Been quiet for a couple of weeks here in N Wales on the moth front due to visits back to Yorkshire, visitors and the sad death of my Springer Spaniel, Maya :-((

Garden Dart; Never recorded this for certain in my years of trapping in Calderdale and was never proficient enough to make sure of gen ids. Some of the Darts shown on the blog recently I would just put down as unknowns myself. Its very difficult with worn moths to be certain without checking its tackle and unless you are desperate to know just pop em back to live another day.

Holly Blue: This species was around in massive numbers in 1997 and 1998 and I have dozens of photos of it egg laying and in cop. Holly Blues fluctuate dramatically due to parasitism by a small braconid wasp which causes a massive population crash. I have hardly seen a single Holly Blue in Calderdale for the last 8 years or so. Great news one was spotted and put on the blog. It will hopefully mean numbers will build up again before it crashes again. There is a great feature on the Holly Blue and populations crashes in one of the old issues of British Wildlife, well worth reading.

Butterflies are around here on the Llyn in huge numbers compared to Calderdale with Gatekeeper the most common at the moment, its not unusual to count 30 or 40 in 100 yards of sheltered hedgerow. One species around in great numbers as larvae at the moment is Garden Tiger. Sue and I move at least a couple of dozen off the roads each time we go out cycling.

Just a reminder if anyone does fancy a trip to North wales, you are welcome to visit Sue and I for a natter and some grub

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