Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A red data book species at Commins Coch

Five days ago a fairly worn moth came to my trap, I didn't think I could name and was going to discard it, but had second thoughts and potted it up for a closer look later. A few minutes later in another egg box I came across another moth which was obviously the same species as the first one I potted, but this time it was in far better condition and feeling came over me that I had got a very important record. I photographed both moths and sent them of to Douglas, hoping that he would confirm my thoughts, which he indeed did - incredibly, I had recorded two Rosy Marsh Moths a red data book species.

Rosy Marsh Moth - one of the original two


I don't know what this species was doing at my site, the nearest population to me is at Cors Dyfi about twelve miles away. I suppose the very warm weather we've had recently could have made the Cors Dyfi population wander from the reserve - or the other possibility is that I've now got a small population breeding at our nature reserve - the only problem with the second hypothesis is that we don't have any of the normal foodplant here, which is bog myrtle although we so have narrow leaved willow which the reference books state has also been used as a foodplant. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if it turns up again next year, which will give us a better indication of whether it's now breeding here - great record though, however you look at it.

Rosy Marsh Moth - a better marked later specimen

Over the next three days two more individuals turned up....and there may still be more to come - watch this space!

Peter.

4 comments:

  1. How exciting Peter. It just shows that you can never tell what might turn up! Well spotted.

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  2. Hmmmm, very nice record indeed! I wonder if the richness of the habitat on your reserve attracted the moths whilst ranging, despite the absence of the Bog Myrtle and as you say, maybe settled for willow instead?

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  3. Yes, and the plot thickens, as I've had a further two records since writing this report - and the moth I recorded last night looked very fresh indeed.

    The issue here for me is that when you record a species which has wandered from it's usual site, it's normally just the odd moth, but I've now had five records (6 moths) since August 3rd which suggest to me that the case for a breeding population at my site is getting stronger.

    I'll continue to update this post with any further records I have.

    Peter.

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  4. Another one last night - I'm up to six records now.


    Peter.

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