Aigas Field Centre
Setting off on field trip
Here are some photos from the workshop, which was led by Dr Mark Young of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen and Roy Leverton, County Moth Recorder for Banffshire (VC 94).
At the start of the event, Andy Scott and Margaret Curry produced pictures of a moth for identification. Mark and Roy identified it as the extremely rare Ethmia pyraustia, which had not been seen in the area in which it was found since 1853. For more details of this remarkable discovery, please visit Butterfly Conservation's website.
The programme opened with a slideshow by Roy, illustrating the extraordinary differences that can occur in certain species between instars, the different forms that some species produce, wonderful examples of camouflage, and characteristic features of certain groups. Some larvae were so similar that the only reliable means of identification was to rear them in captivity until the adult moth emerged. As ever, Roy's pictures were superb.
Much of the day, which was sunny and dry, was spent in the grounds of Aigas Field Centre, initially examining the contents of two moth traps, before going on to search birch, sallow and heather for larvae.
Mark led the field trip, demonstrating how to find larvae by looking for evidence of recent feeding, and beating and sweeping foliage.
A list was kept of all the moths found - adults as well as larvae.
After the outdoor work, the day concluded at the Field Centre with techniques of larvae rearing.
125W MV trap in garden near Aigas Field Centre
Grey Pine Carpet
15w actinic trap near loch
Adult moths seen or caught during the day
Common Marbled Carpet
Epirrita sp (possibly Autumnal Moth)
Northern Winter Moth
Pale Brindled Beauty
Fritillary (probable Pearl-bordered)