New Devon micro-moth checklist available

A new, up-dated micro-moth checklist for Devon is now available on the Devon Moth Group website. This list, expertly produced by Devon Moth Group members Stella Beavan and Bob Heckford, includes over 1,000 species of micro-moths that have been recorded in the County. It has now been updated with recently added species and changes in scientific names, and has been reordered into the correct taxonomic order according to the Agassiz, Beavan & Heckford Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles.

The list provides a fantastic resource for anyone recording moths in Devon and DMG is extremely grateful to Stella and Bob for all their hard work creating, revising and maintaining it.

Pyrausta purpuralis (Patrick Clement)

Pyrausta purpuralis (Patrick Clement)

Tiverton rare moth find

An extremely rare immigrant moth, Diplopseustis perieresalis, was found by Andrew Cunningham in his garden at Tiverton on Sunday night (2 Sept 2012). It is thought to be only the 17th ever record for Britain, the second ever for Devon and is a new species for North Devon (Vice-county 4).

Diplopseustis periersalis (Andrew Cunningham)

Diplopseustis perieresalis (Andrew Cunningham)

This pyralid moth is found widely across eastern asia, Australia and New Zealand, where it is thought that the larvae feed on rushes. In western Europe, the first sighting was in the year 2000 in Portugal, and the species has first occured in the UK (on the Isles of Scilly) in 2001. Further British sightings followed. The first mainland record was from Exeter, when Graham and Jean Jarvis found one in their garden trap in November 2007.

It is not clear how this moth managed to spread from the far east to western Europe, but it seems that it is established somewhere in the region and further immigration into Britain is likely in the future.

Micro-moth new to Devon

Ethmia quadrillella, a smart-looking black and white micro-moth in the family Elachistidae (formerly in family Ethmiidae), was recorded by Peter Vernon at Colyford on 17th August 2012. This is a new county record for Devon – the species never having been recorded here before.

This moth is a scarce species (specifically listed as Nationally Scarce B) found as a resident mainly in eastern England from Kent up to Yorkshire, where it is typically found in wetland habitats. However, it is also known to occur as an occasional migrant or wanderer, so it is highly likely that this Devon individual had travelled either from eastern England or from Continental Europe. The sighting came during a period of considerable moth immigration.

Ethmia quadrillella (Peter Vernon)