Monday, 15 February 2010

Moths at Monkwood

The first visit of last year was in early March. An impressive amount of clearance work and coppicing had been done over the winter and the piles of cut poles produced signs of one of the scarcer moth of the year. 41 Ectoedemia atrifrontella is one of very few Nepticulid moths that mine bark rather than leaves. The larva's tunnels leave a raised pattern on the bark of young oak branches. The moth is Nationally notable. Tony Simpson had recorded the moth at Monkwood in the 1980's so it is good to know it is still there.

The final trapping session of the year was Mike Southall's public event in September. 38 species were recorded from 7 traps. Highlights were 2364 Frosted Orange, a very late 2422 Green Silver Lines and a large number (115 between us!) of 1658 Oak Lutestrings. Monkwood must be the best site for this species in the county by some distance. The event was well attended by
members of the public who were new to moths and enjoyed seeing them close up.

Over 182 species were recorded for Monkwood in 2009. The site continues to offer excellent
habitat for some of our county's scarcer moths. I'll keep you updated as 2010 unfolds!

Oliver, Monkwood

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