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Choreutis diana – the “Affric Twitcher” Survey

 

Monday 12th August

11. 00am – 4pm Glen Affric

Background

Choreutis diana is a small day-flying moth that has only ever been found in the UK in Glen Affric.  It was first discovered in the UK in the glen near Fasnakyle on the 12th August 1919, exactly one hundred years ago to the day.  Over the intervening 100 years the moth has only been recorded sporadically with gaps of 33, 23 and 12 years without any sightings and it has not been seen as an adult since 1995 – 24 years ago! 

A survey of the caterpillars and their characteristic spinnings on birch leaves, which were found for the first time in 2007, was undertaken earlier this year.  Prior to this survey the moth was only known this century from a very small area around Forestry and Land Scotland’s top car park in the glen.  However, this year’s survey found the moth to be more widespread with caterpillars and their spinnings found in 3-4 locations in the glen around 12km apart, as well as at two sites in the adjoining glen beyond Tomich.

We now need you help to determine the current status of the moth in the Glen by looking for the day-flying adults. 

The adult moths are on the wing from around the end of July through to the beginning of September.  We plan to look for them around the top car park and our newly discovered sites, and possibly elsewhere too.

Little is known about the adult moth so it is hoped that this survey will help determine its requirements, for example its preferred nectar plants.

Meeting place and timings

We will meet at Forestry and Land Scotland’s car park at the top of Glen Affric (Grid reference NH200233) at 11am and search for the moth until around 4pm.  The car park lies between Loch Affric and Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin.

What’s needed

Plenty of sunshine, packed lunch, stout walking shoes and a good sense of humour!  Midge repellent and/or a midge hood.  A hand lens and butterfly net will also be useful.

Booking

It is not necessary to book and the event is free and open to anyone – no previous experience or knowledge is required.

For more information contact

Tom Prescott Butterfly Conservation Scotland

Email: tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org

Tel: 01540 661469  Mob: 07979 785665 (NB I may not have a signal on the day at the top end of Glen Affric).

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