Moth Night: 26 September 2019 to 28 September 2019

Theme

The theme of this year’s event was monitoring the recent spread of the spectacular Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini, which is re-colonising the UK. A total of 41 examples were recorded from 32 sites in Bedfordshire, the Channel Islands, Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Sussex, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, including counts of nine from Wolford Wood and four from Oversley Wood in Warwickshire, and two from Shirrell Heath in Hampshire.

Prizes

The prize for the most notable record of a Clifden Nonpareil was won by Tim Arnold. His record of the species from Northamptonshire was one of several recorded in the county in 2019 but prior to 2019 there had been only one record around the turn of the twentieth century (Mark Hammond, pers. comm.). Tim’s moth was caught on a public event in which he was a participant and it became the star of the event! Tim won a 40W actinic moth-trap kindly donated by Watkins and Doncaster.

The best migrant moth record, under the rules of submission, was the Dark Mottled Willow Spodoptera cilium caught by Ralph Parks on St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly. There were just over 30 British records of this species at the time. A £50 credit voucher was awarded by Atropos Books.

The prize for the best record of a resident species went to Margaret Currie for her record of Pale Pinion Lithophane socia in her garden at Culbokie, East Ross. The first record of this species for VC106 came in 2018, representing a significant northwards expansion of range and Margaret’s record adds further to the picture of recent colonisation (one of three records in 2019; M. Eagleson, pers. comm.). Margaret received a prize from the Field Studies Council, consisting of a butterfly/moth field course of her choice.

Random drawn prizes for public events organisers went to Suzanne Rowe, Douglas Boyes, Phil Knot, George Tordoff and Thomas Oliver, each of whom received a copy of Field Guide to Moths of Great Britain and Ireland donated by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Although not actual prize winners, deserving of mention are the 15 Fisher’s Estuarine Moth Gortyna borelii caught on two nights each, at Actinic light, Whitstable, Kent (A. Taylor). This is one of the few UK moth species given full legal protection and the moths were caught under licence.

Finally, if there had been a prize for animal participants then Milo the cat who brought a Convolvulus Hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli back to her owner in Hampshire would have won it. It was identified from a photo sent to the enquiries email address.

Public event © Judith Barnard

Clifden Nonpareil © Judith Barnard

Key Statistics

26th 27th 28th Totals
Records received: 2,098 2,279 1,376 5,753
Minimum total moth count:

 

9,658 10,911 6,863 27,432
No. of recorded sites: 171 191 118 *343
No. of recorded vice-counties:

 

62 63 59 *82
No. of Macro-moth species: 129 143 130 *180
No. of Micro-moth species: 90 72 71 *126
Species total: 219 215 201 *306

*Aggregate over the 3 nights

 

Clifden Nonpareil © Judith Barnard

Most Abundant Macros (Minimum Counts)

Lunar Underwing
Omphaloscelis lunosa
6,686 from 334 sites
Large Yellow Underwing
Noctua pronuba
4,392 from 345 sites
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Xestia c-nigrum
4,093 from 312 sites
Square-spot Rustic
Xestia xanthographa
1,033 from 187 sites
Black Rustic
Aporophyla nigra
985 from 20 sites
Beaded Chestnut
Agrochola lychnidis
831 from 166 sites
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Noctua comes
771 from 225 sites
Silver Y
Autographa gamma
262 from 135 sites
Autumnal Rustic
Eugnorisma glariosa
262 from 42 sites
Common Marbled Carpet
Dysstroma truncata
246 from 119 sites

Setaceous Hebrew Character © Paul Hill

Black Rustic © Paul Hill

Most Abundant Micros (Minimum Counts)

Light Brown Apple Moth
Epiphyas postvittana
359 from 158 sites
Garden Rose Tortrix
Acleris variegana
64 from 52 sites
Common Plume
Emmelina monodactyla
54 from 37 sites
Acleris sparsana 29 from 10 sites
Blastobasis adustella 26 from 17 sites
Tachystola acroxantha 25 from 17 sites
White-shouldered House Moth
Endrosis sarcitrella
21 from 18 sites
Rhomboid Tortrix
Acleris rhombana
16 from 13 sites
Epinotia ramella 13 from 10 sites
Beautiful Plume
Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
11 from 10 sites

 

NERC S.41/42 Species & Scottish Biodiversity List

Sandhill Rustic
Luperina nickerlii
3 from 1 site
Sword-grass
Idaea ichrata
1 from 1 site
Lunar Yellow Underwing
Noctua orbona
42 from 9 sites

Immigrants

The following species are traditionally regarded as immigrants, though local breeding is possible for a proportion of records for some species. This list also includes some species considered resident in the Channel Islands (VC113).

 

Silver Y
Autographa gamma
262 from 135 sites
Delicate
Mythimna vitellina
195 from 50 sites
Diamond-back Moth
Plutella xylostella
174 from 82 sites
Rusty-dot Pearl
Udea ferrugalis
148 from 32 sites
White-point
Mythimna albipuncta
109 from 42 sites
Rush Veneer
Nomophila noctuella
39 from 28 sites
Convolvulus Hawk-moth
Agrius convolvuli
39 from 18 sites
Clancy’s Rustic
Caradrina kadenii
38 from 20 sites
Scarce Bordered Straw
Helicoverpa armigera
33 from 27 sites
Dark Sword-grass
Agrotis ipsilon
14 from 12 sites
Pearly Underwing
Peridroma saucia
13 from 9 sites
Four-spotted Footman
Lithosia quadra
9 from 6 sites
Palpita vitrealis 9 from 5 sites
White-speck
Mythimna unipuncta
9 from 1 site
Vestal
Rhodometra sacraria
6 from 6 sites
Humming-bird Hawk-moth
Macroglossum stellatarum
5 from 5 sites
Dewick’s Plusia
Macdunnoughia confusa
4 from 4 sites
Radford’s Flame Shoulder
Ochropleura leucogaster
3 from 3 sites
Bordered Straw
Heliothis peltigera
2 from 2 sites
Blair's Mocha
Cyclophora puppillaria
1 from 1 site
Plumed Fan-foot
Pechipogo plumigeralis
1 from 1 site
Golden Twin-spot
Chrysodeixis chalcites
1 from 1 site
Small Mottled Willow
Spodoptera exigua
1 from 1 site
Dark Mottled Willow
Spodoptera cilium
1 from 1 site
Cosmopolitan
Leucania loreyi
1 from 1 site

 

Figure 2: Distribution of Immigrant Species. MN2019

Dark Sword-grass © Paul Hill

Humming-bird Hawk-moth © Paul Hill

Highest Counts of a Single Species from One Site (one entry per species)

Setaceous Hebrew Character
Xestia c-nigrum
346 from Bawdsey Hall, East Suffolk
Large Yellow Underwing
Noctua pronuba
205 from Bawdsey Hall, East Suffolk
Lunar Underwing
Omphaloscelis lunosa
180 from Sherington House, Buckinghamshire
Black Rustic
Aporophyla nigra
132 from Great Ellingham, West Norfolk
Beaded Chestnut
Agrochola lychnidis
92 from Hutton Conyers, North-west Yorkshire
Autumnal Rustic
Eugnorisma glareosa
80 from Canvey Wick NR, South Essex
Box-tree Moth
Cydalima perspectalis
65 from Barnehurst, West Kent
Pink-barred Sallow
Xanthia togata
61 from Moniaive, Dumfriesshire
Square-spot Rustic
Xanthia xanthographa
60 from Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, East Kent
Rosy Rustic
Hydraecia micacea
37 from Pierowall, Orkney Islands

Rosy Rustic © Paul Hill

Autumnal Rustic © Paul Hill

Vice-county Table

This table presents summary information for each vice-county that returned data. Some information was returned pertaining to the number of guests attending organised events; public event attendance figures are in brackets where known; a question mark denotes no attendance figure supplied. The ‘Species Total’ column shows the total number of species recorded (bold) and the breakdown of first macro- and then micro-moth species. The number of recorders is the minimum count as multiple recorders are listed for some sites.

Vice-county Sites Recorders
(Guests)
Records
Totals
Species Total
macro/micro
1 West Cornwall 8 8 311 70 47/23
2 East Cornwall 4 4 47 28 21/7
3 South Devon 18 13 259 69 48/21
5 South Somerset 1 1 24 24 15/9
6 North Somerset 7 6 76 41 33/8
7 North Wiltshire 1 1 5 5 5/0
8 South Wiltshire 2 2 38 27 23/4
9 Dorset 13 9 233 62 48/14
10 Isle of Wight 1 1 1 1 1/0
11 South Hampshire 12 10 (17) 149 57 42/15
12 North Hampshire 6 6 74 39 29/10
13 West Sussex 2 2 71 30 18/12
14 East Sussex 5 4 130 52 37/15
15 East Kent 13 13 (15) 402 96 72/24
16 West Kent 5 2 62 37 25/12
17 Surrey 11 10 (31) 128 45 34/11
18 South Essex 4 2 153 75 51/24
19 North Essex 5 4 (8) 133 54 43/11
20 Hertfordshire 1 1 8 6 6/0
22 Berkshire 6 6 (29) 76 43 33/10
23 Oxfordshire 6 4 (1) 73 34 28/6
24 Buckinghamshire 3 4 (12) 40 25 20/5
25 East Suffolk 17 16 (22) 484 105 71/34
26 West Suffolk 3 2 33 19 17/2
27 East Norfolk 11 10 271 67 51/16
28 West Norfolk 3 3 71 36 28/8
29 Cambridgeshire 5 4 62 25 23/2
31 Huntingdonshire 1 1 15 11 9/2
32 Northamptonshire 3 3 (15) 52 36 29/7
33 East Gloucestershire 5 3 82 34 26/8
36 Herefordshire 1 1 1 1 1/0
37 Worcestershire 4 7 (10) 102 50 34/16
38 Warwickshire 12 6 (25) 179 66 40/26
39 Staffordshire 3 3 45 23 17/6
40 Shropshire 2 3 (10) 13 11 10/1
41 Glamorgan 3 4 (15) 49 25 18/7
42 Breconshire 7 9 (5) 39 28 24/4
43 Radnorshire 2 2 21 17 15/2
44 Carmarthenshire (Caerfyrddyn) 1 1 6 6 5/1
45 Pembrokeshire 1 2 4 4 4/0
46 Cardiganshire (Ceredigion) 1 1 8 8 8/0
47 Montgomeryshire 1 1 32 20 16/4
49 Caernarvonshire (Caernarfon) 2 2 19 14 12/2
53 South Lincolnshire 1 1 2 2 2/0
54 North Lincolnshire 1 1 41 23 16/7
55 Leicestershire (with Rutland) 4 4 39 20 15/5
56 Nottinghamshire 4 5 (1) 88 35 30/5
57 Derbyshire 2 2 (3) 31 28 23/5
58 Cheshire 7 7 103 46 32/14
59 South Lancashire 9 7 (2) 82 33 28/5
60 West Lancashire 5 7 (10) 77 38 26/12
61 South-east Yorkshire 11 10 (7) 187 48 34/14
62 North-east Yorkshire 8 6 (18) 102 39 31/8
63 South-west Yorkshire 7 5 62 26 21/5
64 Mid-west Yorkshire 9 9 (5) 53 33 25/8
65 North-west Yorkshire 3 4 94 42 33/9
72 Dumfriesshire 3 3 (18) 47 31 27/4
78 Peeblesshire 1 1 5 5 5/0
79 Selkirkshire 2 2 10 9 9/0
80 Roxburghshire 1 1 5 5 5/0
81 Berwickshire 4 1 38 26 22/4
83 Midlothian (Edinburgh) 1 1 4 4 4/0
85 Fifeshire (with Kinross) 1 1 3 3 3/0
86 Stirlingshire 1 1 2 2 2/0
88 Mid Perthshire 4 3 (1) 32 22 18/4
90 Angus (Forfar) 2 2 (24) 17 17 13/4
91 Kincardineshire 2 2 (21) 64 46 36/10
92 South Aberdeenshire 2 2 (9) 10 10 10/0
93 North Aberdeenshire 2 2 23 22 17/5
95 Moray (Elgin) 1 1 6 6 6/0
103 Mid Ebudes 1 1 5 5 5/0
104 North Ebudes 2 2 (15) 13 12 11/1
106 East Ross 2 2 26 19 18/1
109 Caithness 4 4 97 28 22/6
110 Outer Hebrides 3 1 23 17 14/3
111 Orkney islands 2 2 29 16 11/5
113 Channel Islands 1 1 196 70 47/23
H5 East Cork 2 1 16 13 13/0
H34 East Donegal 2 1 11 9 9/0
H38 Down 2 2 27 25 23/2