Marsh Fritillary Larval Web Season

Marsh fritillary webs Em Foot

Marsh fritillary webs Em Foot

After cutting the Coed Penglanowen glade, marsh fritillary larval web surveys on our rhos reserves have dominated our work days for the last few weeks.

A group of students joined us for our Rhos Pil Bach survey. I was feeling hopeful after several adults were seen earlier in the year, in two separate fields.

Marsh fritillary webs and caterpillars Em Foot

Marsh fritillary webs and caterpillars Em Foot

We found 3 webs in a field they haven’t been found in for many years which was very exciting for me but I’m not sure the students were quite as excited! Unfortunately we didn’t find any webs in the usual field, however they do seem to be late this year, the webs we did find were very small, so they may not have hatched yet. There were some good patches of scabious.

We got some good frog, toad and lizard records as well as a few butterflies.

We have been much more successful at Rhos Glyn yr Helyg where we have found over 300 webs so far and still have about a third of the site left to survey!

Last year’s total was 42 so this is a massive increase. It was amazing to see so many and not have to search for them. The size of the caterpillars and webs varied greatly as did the shape of the webs.

With the sun shining many of the caterpillars were out basking. We also saw them stripping the outer layer of the scabious stalks. We still have Rhos Fullbrook to survey and Glyn yr Helyg to finish this week.

Our monthly dormouse box check at Cwm Clettwr was a success again this month with 6 dormice being found including a female and a woodmouse with 4 young. The dormice were also found in a couple of previously unused boxes including one right down at the riverside. Several unoccupied dormouse nests were also found. We haven’t found any breeding nests in the boxes so they must be using the natural habitat for these.

Thank you very much to everyone who has helped this month. If you would like to volunteer with us in Ceredigion there are work parties on a Wednesday and Thursday out on the reserves, year round, contact Em on 07980932332 or to find out more about our Ceredigion reserves.