A Lucky Find!

Wednesday, July 12th 2017

With all the preparations for Foxglove 25, it was nice to do the routine weekly jobs such as putting out the moth trap, and opening it this morning. One moth that was discovered on the reserve recently was this Lunar Hornet Moth. This was actually found on a bird ringing net at the weekend and is a day flying moth which does not come to light traps.

With a wingspan 32 to 42 mm it is one of the larger moths, and presents a fearsome sight to the uninitiated; as you can see the finder was being cautious! This is one of several similar 'mimic' species, known as Clearwings.

Their habitat is predominantly where willows are present and best looked for in July as the adults emerge and rest low down on the trunks. The eggs are laid on the bark, and the larvae burrow into the wood, feeding internally under the bark.

Although widespread in Britain they are often over looked as wasps and not moths. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common. Instead of using a light trap to catch and record this species they are caught and recorded via the use of lure phenome traps, or, as in this case, a lucky find! 


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