• Glowworm and Moth Walk
  • 28th June 2014

  • Mike Bright and I led a walk around Old Castle Down near Bridgend yesterday evening to look for glowworms and moths. Thankfully the threatened rain-storms held off and a large group of wildlife enthusiasts aged from around 8 to 80 turned up with a variety of torches, raincoats and wellies. Mike managed to find an impressive total of five female glowworms, all with their luminescence shining brightly amongst the vegetation...

    Female Glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) trying to attract a male with her luminescence
    Female Glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) shining to attract a mate

    I set up two portable moth traps and although they had only been running for a little over an hour we caught a variety of different species. The most dramatic were four Small Elephant Hawkmoths one of which was prepared to sit quietly while it was was passed around the group.

    Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus) on a thistle flower
    Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus).

    The walk ended at about 11:30pm, but I left the traps running all night and returned in the morning to find lots of new arrivals. My attempts to photograph them were interrupted by heavy rain but I managed to get enough shots between the showers to show that not all moths are dull and brown!...

    Camouflaged Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) on limestone
    Camouflaged Peppered Moth (Biston betularia)

    Barred Yellow moth (Cidaria fulvata) on a tree trunk
    Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata)

    Shark Moth (Cucullia umbratica) on a gorse twig
    The Shark (Cucullia umbratica)

    Shark Moth (Cucullia umbratica) face
    The Shark (Cucullia umbratica) face-on

    Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus) on a thistle seed-head
    Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus)

    If anyone who was on the walk took photos of moths and would like them identified, please e-mail me and I'll be happy to do my best. (You can find my contact details here...)