Final year BSc Zoology student discovers a rare six belted clearwing moth

Richard Lewis, a final year BSc Zoology student, discovered several clearwing moths at his dissertation site, which is an old coal spoil that's now being managed by Caerphilly Council as a wildlife park.

Richard said:  “One of the main aims of my dissertation is to look at how useful these sites can be for wildlife and to disprove prejudices that the old coal fields are wildlife deserts. The site itself is called Parc Penallta which is just outside of Ystrad Mynach, and I've promised to share my findings with the rangers managing the site. I won't pretend that I know much about clearwings, but from the little I've read I've learned that they're day flying moths that try and mimic wasps and bees, and this deters predators. This isn't the only species I've seen there either, I've come across what I think was a Welsh clearwing, but with my luck it flew out of the net before I could get a photograph of it! I'm hoping that finding this beasite now means that people will take another look at the South Wales Valleys and question what else can be lurking here.”