Rare Moths

Lancashire ’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) moth species in 2012 and Actions for 2013
Listed below are the summaries of searches made in the Lancashire Vice Counties of VC59 and 60 during 2012 for BAP Moth species thought likely or known to occur in the area.  Details of plans for 2013 are included.
Goat Moth                                       Cossus cossus
The species was located in two adjacent near coastal localities in VC59.   Single adults came to light in early July in Formby and larval feeding signs were found in Ainsdale in September.

Plans for 2011:
Any searches for larval signs, pupal cases or adults particularly in the Formby Ainsdale area would be worthwhile.  Mature Willows and Poplar trees are the most likely to produce signs of the first two stages although it will use Apple, Ash and others - the adults come readily to light in late June and July.
Forester                                   Adscita statices

The species was found in good numbers in the Ainsdale area in five separate 1km squares between the 29th June and the 21st July (max seen 21 on 15th July).  A big thanks to all who helped in the increased survey activity in this area.
Plans for 2013:
The Formby / Ainsdale dune complex is the area most likely to produce this moth where it can be found flying or nectaring in grassy/flowery areas in sunny situations.  Searches in damp flower rich meadows in North Lancashire during late June and through July would be very worthwhile.
Anania funebris

The moth apparently had a very poor season although there was limited opportunity to survey due to poor weather.  It was only reported from Gait Barrows NNR and Warton Crag as singletons between the 22nd May and 10th June apart from a report of two on the 25th May at the former site.
Poor weather at in mid to late May and early June has been a significant problem for this species for a few years now.
Plans for 2013:
A more detailed survey for the moth and its larval foodplant Golden-rod, is taking place during 2013.  For more details contact Graham Jones (gra_ham_jones@yahoo.co.uk ).  Anyone visiting the limestone areas of north  Lancashire during May and June is asked to keep an eye out for and report any sightings of this small black, white and yellow micro flying rapidly in sunny sheltered areas.
Netted Carpet                         Eustroma reticulatum
The detailed larval survey  for this species took place on the 10th September producing really good counts of the moth on very healthy looking stands of Touch-me-not-Balsam – at least something is benefiting from the wet conditions!  Additionally a several adults were seen at light traps) were found on the roadside verge on the edge of Hynning Wood where recent ground disturbance had benefited the foodplant.  A close working relationship has been built with the nearby Honey Bee Society site where ground disturbance and seeding have taken place to attempt to spread the range of the foodplant 
Plans for 2013
Counts of the larvae and monitoring of the health of the plant communities will take place.  Any reports with an accurate grid ref of the foodplant (the bright-yellow flowered touch-me-not balsam) found away from the Hyning Wood area would be very much appreciated.
Barred Tooth-striped                Trichopteryx polycommata

This species was located at five previously known sites within and adjacent to the Silverdale limestone area from late March to early May.  Most counts were of singletons but no dedicated trapping events or larval searches were carried out for this species in 2012.
Plans for 2013: 
The weather has forced all attempts to look for this moth during 2013 to be abandoned.  Searches for larvae on wild privet or ash in Gait Barrows would be much appreciated during May and June.
Belted Beauty                          Lycia zonaria

The coastal colony south of Potts Corner has suffered a noticeable dip in productivity with max numbers of only 170 found on the 23rd April 2012.  The northern edge of the site is threatened with damage associated with an offshore windfarm cable route and anyone wishing to object to this should contact Steve Palmer for more details on s.palmer12@btopenworld.com
Plans for 2013:
Due to prolonged cold weather early counts produced no reports and by mid May 2013 a max count of 22 moths was made.  No other counts got above single figures. It would therefore be valuable to have counts of the larvae during 2013 as an alternative option.  Daytime visits during June would be ideal with the silver grey larva with a broad yellow stripe along its side making identification simple.

Species not recorded in Lancashire but worth searching for:
Pyrausta sanguinalis                                         Scarce Crimson and Gold
The beautiful little pyralid moth is a species of coastal dune slacks where plenty of the larval foodplant (thyme) occurs.  It is present on the Isle of Man and sites such as the St Annes dune nature reserve where patches of thyme occur would be well worth checking for this moth.  It flies in sunny conditions in June and again in August but also comes to light.  Reference in Barry Goater’s Pyralid book to it occurring in Lancashire were taken from Beirne (1952).  It is possible that Beirne was referring to the Wallasey records in Mansbridge (1940), which is in Cheshire , not Lancashire .
Chalk Carpet                                                      Scotopteryx bipunctaria
Despite the lack of records from our area, this moth, which is readily disturbed during the day and comes to light, might occur in the limestone areas of north Lancs.  The adult is on the wing in July and August and the larva feed on bird’s-foot trefoil.
Dark-bordered Beauty                                                Epione vespertaria
Although a real long-shot, any upland wet and lightly wooded areas where creeping willow still occurs in quantity would be worth a check for this attractive moth.  It only occurs at one or two other northern English sites in Yorkshire and Northumberland and a few others in Scotland .  Just after sunrise and at dusk in late July and August would be the best time to target this species in suitable habitat.
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth                                    Hemaris tityus
The possibilities of finding this day-flying hawk-moth do seem rather slim, particularly after the many years of searching that have taken place already in areas where devil’s-bit scabious occurs.  However, it has colonies across much of Britain and must be worth bearing in mind when out walking in damp flowery meadows or along the wide woodland rides on limestone when the sun is out from mid-May to mid-June.
Rosy Marsh Moth                                                 Coenophila subrosea
This species was found in Cumbria (Roudsea Wood NNR) a few years ago and would certainly be worthwhile looking for in the few remaining lowland raised bogs where Bog Myrtle occurs.  Searches should concentrate for the larvae in spring and the adult in August.
Northern Dart                                                          Xestia alpicola alpina
This is very much a high ground species (above 1500ft – 460m) and is believed to occur as an adult in the Pennines in odd years.  The larval foodplant is cowberry and the moth flies from late June to August very late at night but also occasionally in hot sunshine.  Any searches should be centred on concentrations of the foodplant.
White-spotted Pinion                                                       Cosmia diffinis
There is doubt as to whether this moth has ever been recorded in Lancashire and searches of locations where mature elm still occur have always drawn a blank.  Its main flight period is in August should you fancy looking for it.  Searches in the past have concentrated in the Roeburndale woods.  As an incentive, records of any of this elm feeding group, which includes Lesser-spotted Pinion and Lunar-spotted Pinion would be extremely welcome as neither has been seen for many years in the county.
Please send details of any of the above, as soon as possible after the find, to the relevant county recorder

Existing UK BAP priority species retained
Slender Scotch Burnet
New Forest Burnet
Fiery Clearwing
Basil Thyme Case-bearer Coleophora tricolor
Dingy Mocha
Bright Wave Idaea ochrata
Silky Wave Idaea dilutaria
Chalk Carpet Scotopteryx bipunctaria
Netted Carpet Eustroma reticulata
Barberry Carpet Pareulype berberata
Argent & Sable Rheumaptera hastata
Drab Looper Minoa murinata
Barred Tooth-striped
Netted Mountain Moth Macaria carbonaria
Dark Bordered Beauty Epione vespertaria
Belted Beauty Lycia zonaria britannica
Black-veined Moth Siona lineata
Straw Belle Aspitates gilvaria
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth Speckled Footman Coscinia cribraria
Lunar Yellow Underwing Noctua orbona
Cousin German Protolampra sobrina
Northern Dart Xestia alpicola alpina
Ashworth's Rustic Xestia ashworthii
Pale Shining Brown Polia bombycina
Bordered Gothic
White Spot Hadena albimacula
Striped Lychnis Shargacucullia lychnitis
Sword Grass Xylena exsoleta
Orange Upperwing Jodia croceago
Heart Moth Dicycla oo
White-spotted Pinion Cosmia diffinis
Marsh Mallow Moth
Brighton Wainscot Oria musculosa
Marsh Moth Athetis pallustris
Reddish Buff Acosmetia caliginosa
Light Crimson Underwing
Dark Crimson Underwing Catocala sponsa
Four-spotted Tyta luctuosa
Common Fan-foot Pechipogo strigilata
Clay Fan-foot Paracolax tristalis
Olive Crescent Trisateles emortualis
New UK BAP priority species added (‘scarce moths’)
Stigmella zelleriella
Lampronia capitella
Nematopogon magna
Nemophora fasciella
Goat Moth Cossus cossus
Forester Adscita statices
Eudarcia richardsoni
Nemapogon picarella
Phyllonorycter scabiosella
Phyllonorycter sagitella
Coleophora hydrolapathella
Coleophora vibicella
Coleophora wockeella
Aplota palpellus
Agonopterix atomella
Agonopterix capreolella
Syncopacma albipalpella
Syncopacma suecicella
Scythris siccella
Celypha woodiana
Grapholita pallifrontana
Epermenia insecurella
Pyrausta sanguinalis
Anania funebris
Agrotera nemoralis
Sciota hostilis
Rest Harrow Aplasta ononaria
Sussex Emerald Thalera fimbrialis
False Mocha Cyclophora porata
Scarce Pug Eupithecia extensaria occidua
Grey Carpet Lithostege griseata
Sloe Carpet Aleucis distinctata
Scarce Vapourer Orgyia recens
Small Dark Yellow Underwing Anarta cordigera
Concolorous Chortodes extrema
White-mantled Wainscot Archanara neurica
Fenn’s Wainscot Chortodes brevilinea
Sandhill Rustic Luperina nickerlii ssp. leechi
Shoulder-striped Clover
+ 69 rapidly declining ‘common and widespread’ species listed for research action only