• David Winnard

Meet the Neighbour

It was during lockdown in 2020 that I noticed a few small moths hanging around the kitchen window where we had planted up some window boxes with a variety of ferns. This part of the garden does not get much light and the garden wall had a number of Hart's-tongue Ferns growing out of it, when we modified the wall to have a log store then I decided to replace the ferns in to the window boxes.


There was a reason for this, I had suspected that we had a species of micro moth using them and much to my delight the little moths flying around the kitchen were indeed Fern Smut (Psychoides filicivora).

Described as a 'Local' species in North Wales the benefit of having our fern window boxes allowed me to be able to see them when washing up so I could keep an eye on them.


On the 4th May the weather was a bit dull and dreary and as I was in the kitchen I could see at least 7 moths resting on the ferns, so I decided to get a pic of them. They are a tiny moth and look black with a pale spot, but when you get up close with them you can see the moth is a beautiful dark purple, only really seen up close and with the light on them.


The number of ferns we have planted has increased since 2020 and we have a variety of species now. The moths seem to love many of them, we can see the 'mines' of the larvae and some may say the ferns look untidy because of them, but for me it is a pleasure to see them enjoying the garden, after all the plants in the garden are not just for us, they are for all the local wildlife to use.