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!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

New book

It would be remiss of me not to give a plug to the latest book on Surrey's moths - Smaller moths of Surrey by Bob Palmer, Jim Porter and Graham Collins. I have had the pleasure of doing some fieldwork with Jim and Graham, and they really know their stuff. Searching for near invisible 'micro-moths' may not be everyone's cup of t, but they bring a great deal of skill, knowledge, enthusiasm and persistence to the task. In fact they have been urging Surrey's mothing community to get out into the field during the season (roughly March till November) to collect as many 'dots' as possible for the atlas.

I am still a novice at identifying micro-moths but the new book by Sterling and Parsons (illustrated by Richard Lewington) is a big step in the right direction. It is called Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Armed with these two tomes (and some £50 the poorer!) almost anybody should be able to start finding and identifying at least some of the micros. 

The Field Guide is published by British Wildlife Press and the Surrey atlas by the Surrey Wildlife Trust (order from their website).

The Atlas covers all of the 1,100 plus species that have been recorded in Surrey, out of a UK total of around 1,600. There is a map for most species, which gives a quick visual picture of the distribution. The text explains the scarcity or otherwise of each species and gives some basic information about the food-plants and how most of the records have been obtained.

I was pleased to discover that there are two species for which I have obtained the only modern records - in fact Argyresthia cupressella has only ever been recorded in my garden. (How much am I bid for tickets to search for this little moth which is about 6mm long?).

The book is hardback, and printed on better quality paper than Graham's earlier books in the series (butterflies and larger moths). There are some good photographs of a representative range of species, including one of my favourites, Alabonia geoffrella

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