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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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