Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Report: moth event at Centre for Alternative Technology - 22/07/17

View over the quarry
The Centre for Alternative Technology (www.cat.org.uk) in the far west of the county owns a significant area of land, much of which is managed with biodiversity in mind. Following successful events in the past, we descended on the site last Saturday with eight traps. The trapping area is mostly mixed mature woodland, and is adjacent to a disused slate quarry, which offered some stunning views as the sun set.

As well as gathering valuable records, events are an excellent way to raise awareness about moths and it was, therefore, great that many of the 27 people who turned up were completely new to moths. We caught an excellent selection of 'crowd-pleasers', including Black Arches, Rosy Footman, Elephant Hawk-moth, Buff Arches and Large Emerald, which I'm sure represented an excellent introduction to moths.

Barred Carpet (photo: GO)
Shortly after turning the lights on, I potted two Nationally Scarce species from the white sheet: Barred Carpet and Devon Carpet. At an event held at the site in 2015, we found the former to be very common with over 10 individuals being caught. We recorded similar numbers this time, and mused it could be one of the best sites in the county for this particular species.

Due to clear skies, the temperature quickly dropped (low of 10°c), however, moths continued to readily come to the traps for the first few hours of darkness. Notable macros found during this time were Satin Beauty, Satin Lutestring, Oak Nycteoline, Dark Marbled Carpet and Tissue, the latter of which we have found hibernating in caves at the site during previous visits. Micros were a little thin on the ground, however, we did record 15 species. Scoparia ancipitella, Agonopterix conterminella and Hypatima rhomboidella were among the most notable. The full list of species seen is available here.

We began to pack up the traps at around 12:30, and were able to add a flurry of species to the list, including Garden Tiger, Northern Spinach, Dotted Clay and Slender Pug. Despite the cool conditions, we recorded a total of 76 species. One can't help but wonder what interesting species might have come to light had it been warmer - we'll just have to return again!

The link below contains more photos from the event:
CAT MMG moth event - 22/07/17


1 comment:

  1. An excellent report Douglas - I'm sure we all had a great evening.

    I echo what you've already said - we shall return again, as I'm sure that there are still species to be discovered at this wonderful edge of the county site.