Large Skipper Moth
30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

#30DaysWild Day 13 – Moth Fields

There’s a great field in Tremorfa Park / Pengam Green in Cardiff which has a variety of scrub, long unkept grass, brambles and gorse – which seems to be the perfect place to spot a day flying moth or two!

Cinnabar Moth
Cinnabar Moth

The fact it’s left to it’s own devices and not intervened with by the council has meant this area has gotten wild and unruly, and it’s distance from the main park means it swerves the problems that come with regular use from passersby.

The variety of plants, not just long grass, means pollinators have a shot at making the area their home – unlike verges and other ‘wild’ areas which have become barren of flowers and are blank green spaces with no food. The long grass itself provides shelter, and for the large skipper males, a place to show off to the females.

Large Skipper Moth
Large Skipper Moth

As lovely as it is to have this area as it is, it would be great to find a way of protecting it for the future, or at least recognising it’s value. It’s definitely a rough diamond which has plenty of potential for pollinators. Both the moths I found today have been day flying types who enjoy the sunny aspects of the meadow, and the diversity of pollen-laden wildflowers. A perfect spot.

Day Flying Moth Facts

The Large Skipper is a rusty brown day flying moth with a fuzzy body and dark brown patterns on it’s wings. From afar it looks more butterfly-like, but closer up you can spot it’s defining features, including a faint pattern on the underside of it’s wings. If you can see something orange and butterfly-like perched on long grass, it might be this guy!

Cinnabar moths are super easy to identify, even for me! Bold red and black, with a fuzzy black body and chunky black antennae. If they’re not dancing in the air, they’ll be perched on undergrowth, where they lay their eggs on poisonous ragwort (a curly leaved weed).

Cinnabar Moth
Cinnabar Moth

Keep It Wild

Remember to keep track of the rest of my 30 Days Wild adventures here:

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Living wildly in Cardiff, Wales.

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