Devon Moth Group’s first field meeting of 2017 takes place on Saturday evening (20th May) at Blackberry Camp. Moth traps will be run from dusk onwards to find out which moth species live at this wooded Iron Age hill fort located between Honiton and Sidmouth. Group members and members of the public are equally welcome. Full details of this event and others arranged for this summer and autumn can be found on the Events page.
Devon Moth Group’s programme of field meetings for 2015 is now online at Events
We have eight meetings arranged to date, from May to September and spread right across the county from the far south-west coast to the heart of mid-Devon.
Come along and see the amazing moths that live in Devon!
An extremely rare migrant moth, the Ringed Border, was discovered by Devon Moth Group members at our field meeting at Parke near Bovey Tracey on Friday night. This is the first time the moth has ever been seen in Devon and possibly only the third ever sighting for mainland Britain.
Although there have been a number of common immigrant moths arriving into Devon during the recent spell of hot weather, the stunned moth recorders, led by former Devon County Moth Recorder Roy McCormick and National Trust ranger Fred Hutt, could hardly believe their eyes when the moth was spotted at the light traps just after midnight. The only previous British sightings were of one in Somerset in 2009 and one in Hampshire in 2010. The amazing find just proves that you never know what you’ll find in your moth trap!
Our recent field meeting at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Marsland nature reserve near Bude coincided with one of the best periods for moth trapping since the last decent summer, back in 2006.
A fantastic 98 species were identified during the evening – remarkable after very poor moth numbers during the first 6 months of this year.
These included lots of pretty species such as Ghost moth, Peach Blossom, Large Emerald (below), Poplar and Elephant Hawk-moths, Buff-tip and the stunning Garden Tiger.
The full species list for the event is here (in pdf format) Marsland moth records 13 July 2013
The Devon Moth Night event at the National Trust’s Parke Estate in Bovey Tracey on Friday 21 June was blessed with reasonable weather and a bumper crop of moths.
So far, 2013 has been characterised by pretty poor night-time conditions and moth populations seem to be at a very low ebb, perhaps due to the washout weather of 2012. Hopes were not very high, therefore, as a dozen of us met Fred Hutt, the National Trust Ranger for Parke, for our second field event of the season.
However, we needn’t have worried. Traps were set in a sheltered woodland on a hillside and almost at once the moths started to arrive. Roy McCormick, leading the event, was kept busy as new species were rapidly added to the list. Those fairly new to moth recording were thrilled to see lots of colourful species, including Lime (image below), Poplar and Elephant Hawk-moths, Buff-tip, Green Arches, Lobster Moth and other ‘crowd pleasers’. The more experienced members weren’t missing out either, with Ruddy Carpet, Beautiful Carpet, Poplar grey and the spectacular micro-moth Schiffermuellerina grandis.
In all 89 species were recorded in a few hours before the rain really set in and we packed up for the night.
The full species list for the event is here (in pdf format) Parke NT Ledge Wood 21 6 2013
Devon Moth Group’s final field meeting of this so-called summer took place at Hittisleigh Woods on 24 August 2012. The dubious weather made mothing difficult and led to a lower than average turnout of participants. However, the moths did turn up with 60 species recorded in all, during quite a short trapping session.
The full list of moths recorded can be found here.
A full write-up of the event will be included in the next Devon Moth Group newsletter.