On the 26th July I ventured out in search of a species I have wanted to see for a few years, the beautiful Welsh Clearwing (Synanthedon scoliaeformis). It may not look it at first glance but this is a day flying moth, though with a wingspan of around 3cm you could easily miss it.
After doing a bit of research I decided to head to Merionethshire as this is a strong hold for this species in North Wales, it is a species that like birch trees in open countryside, upland pastures and open woodland. Whilst not confined to Wales, it is very local in its distribution and there areas of Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire are some of the best places to encounter it.
After finding a suitable location I took out my lure. In recent years the development of artificial pheromone lures, which certain species are attracted to, has allowed many moth recorders to find tricky species more easily and so note their presence, number and distribution in new areas.
It is late in the season for the Welsh Clearwing, flying in June and July, so I was wondering if I was too late, but with in minutes of the lure being out, one appeared, and it was more stunning than I thought it would.
It posed for a few photos before I took the lure away so it could continue on its way. Next year I plan to search in more new areas to see if this tiny species is lurking in other areas we did not know about.