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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Dark Bordered Beauty moth field trip to RSPB Insh Marshes - July 24th 2011.

Pete Moore

Twenty-two people gathered for the chance of seeing Dark Bordered Beauty moth, surely a record turn-out for this season’s field trips. Dark Bordered Beauty (hereafter known as DBB) is known from just three sites in Scotland and one site in England. A colony was discovered at RSPB Insh Marshes as recently as 2010 and is thought to be confined to one small clearing. This trapping session was carried out by RSPB and Butterfly Conservation to assess the extent of the colony on this site and see if there were any other occupied clearings.

A total of twelve MV light traps were run overnight in various parts of the aspen woodland where there were clearings with aspen suckers, the food-plant of DBB moth larvae. In addition, an actinic trap was run in the known colony so that folk would have something to see if the other clearings proved negative.

As has been the case so often this summer it had been a cold, clear night and moth numbers were relatively low. However, when RSPB volunteers covered up the traps early in the morning they found one DBB at the actinic trap set in the colony and another one was found just outside the trap of Neil Sherman, a visiting moth-er from Suffolk. Interestingly, this was about 300m away from the colony. Was this a wandering individual or the indication of another colony? Both of these moths were potted up to show the group when they arrived later. Not so rewarding as finding one in a trap but at least folk got to see them in the flesh as it were. After an introductory chat and a look at the DBBs, we split up into five or six groups to go through the traps, each group lead by an experienced moth-er. Unfortunately no more DBBs were found but we notched up a grand total of 59 macros and 9 micros. List below. In spite of the relative paucity of DBBs and moths in general, it was a good chance for a bit of socialising and the sun shone on the proceedings, indeed it got so warm that Barbara almost took her gloves off.


Antler Moth

Barred Red

Barred Straw

Beautiful Golden Y

Black Rustic


Brown-line Bright-eye

Burnished Brass

Chimney Sweeper

Clouded Bordered Brindle

Common Lutestring

Common Marbled Carpet

Common Wainscot

Coxcomb Prominent

Dark Arches

Dark Bordered Beauty

Dotted Clay

Double Square-spot

Dusky Brocade

Flame Shoulder

Garden Tiger

Gold Spangle

Gold Spot

Great Brocade

Green Arches

Green Carpet

Green Pug

Ingrailed Clay

Iron Prominent

July Belle

July Highflyer

Juniper Pug

Large Yellow Underwing

Lempke's Gold Spot

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Light Arches

Light Emerald

Ling Pug


Minor Mottled Beauty

Northern Spinach

Oblique Carpet

Plain Wave

Purple Bar

Purple Clay

Riband Wave

Scarce Silver Y

Silver-ground Carpet

Six-striped Rustic

Small Dotted Buff

Small Fan-footed Wave

Small Square-spot

Smoky Wainscot



Swallow Prominent

Tawny Speckled Pug

True Lover's Knot

Welsh Wave


Acompsia cinerella

Agriphila tristella

Apotomis betuletana

Argyresthia goedartella

Argyresthia retinella

Eudonia truncicolella

Scoparia ambigualis

Scoparia ancipitella

Udea lutealis


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