As of March 2015, an official website for Surrey Moths has been set-up here. There you'll find information on everything to do with the Surrey Branch of Butterfly Conservation, including the updated events calender for 2015. Hope to see you there!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Notables from the Garden

A big improvement in night temperatures over the last few days has resulted in some real quality moths turning up in the garden trap.

It took all morning to identify this very worn little moth as the rare immigrant, Oak Processionary.  Males of the species have occasionally made the hop from mainland Europe, and more recently, larvae of the species is appearing in stretches of Oak woodland in the South, much to the disapproval of many wildlife authorities. The larvae, if present in numbers, can seriously damage Oak trees, and also release hairs that are highly irritable to the skin.

Small Ranunculus has been increasing its range in the South-east ever since it was re-discovered in Britain in 1997, so I guess it was only a matter of time before one turned up in the garden, but it was still a great surprise to walk out to check the trap and find one staring back!

Hoary Footman is another scarce species which is slowly spreading up from the coast, where it has until recently been confined to sea cliffs in the South-west. It is now established in various localities in Surrey, and I caught this individual in the garden on 31st July, a day before Jim Porter caught one just up the road in his Chessington garden.

And a comparison with the much commoner Scarce Footman (foreground)...

This well marked Tree-lichen Beauty on the 1st August represented the 3rd individual I've caught in the garden this year, of this recently established immigrant.

Waved Black, caught on 3rd August...

I thought Plain Pug was chiefly coastal, so it was a bit of a surprise when I caught this moth the other night. It turns out that the species is quite common in the suburbs of south London...

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