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St Nicholas CofE School moth count

Surveying moths is a really rewarding hobby and is vital for monitoring biodiversity in our countryside and gardens, so earlier this month, pupils from St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Henstridge kindly allowed Stephen to lay a moth trap in their learning garden overnight. The following morning, they were all amazed to discover that the trap had attracted 39 Macro moth species, including the Elephant Hawk Moth, Flame Shoulder and Willow Beauty, and 16 Micro species, including Udea prunails, Hysopygia glaucinalis and Anania lemnata (small magpie), giving the children an opportunity to learn about the various species around and also demonstrating to Stephen which species are present in the region.

Stephen is always looking for new sites to carry out moth surveys, so if you’d like to know how many moths visit your garden at night then please do get in touch by calling 01935 814633.

Mike

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It has been an exciting year for a keen moth-spotter, with so many caterpillars and moths emerging at each of our garden centres, especially back in July when we spent three solid days collecting and spotting for Living Records. Out of the hundreds that we identified, one particular variety stood out from the crowd, none other than the elusive Buff tip. At first we saw teams of little green ‘wriggly things’ working together to eat leaves on some of our specimen birch trees and it wasn’t long before they had grown to about the length of my finger and were feeding alone, merrily stripping through the foliage. The full size caterpillars will soon be found in all sorts of odd places as they seek somewhere to overwinter and I can’t wait to see them transform into the brilliantly disguised Buff tip moths.

I am also really looking forward to discovering more native and immigrant moths this October at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Centre. The five day course will see us searching the beautiful ancient grassland and coastline around Kingcombe for as many varieties of special autumn moths as we can find – and with any luck we’ll catch sight of the infamous Blair’s Wainscot.

Steve

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