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Introduction to Moths Workshop – Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan, Saturday 20th April 2013

By Tom Prescott

Photos by Janette Borwick

This event was held at the Kilchoan Learning Centre in partnership with West Highland College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands and followed a similar event held last year not too far away at Strontian.  As last year the main aim of this event was to increase and encourage moth recording in the Ardnamurchan area, a very under recorded part of the Highlands with the emphasis  being to provide an introduction to moths at the start of the season and how to attract and record them.  

Moth traps were set the night before in Janette Borwick’s garden and those of her neighbours, as well as on the nearby RSPB Glenborrodale reserve.  The weather that evening was not ideal, the sky was clear and the wind strengthening.  Fortunately it clouded over during the night but the wind changed direction turning previously sheltered trap locations into exposed sites.  This meant that the traps produced very mixed results with a couple of the MVs catching very little indeed, being easily outperformed by some of the more sheltered 15W actinics.  One MV only caught seven Hebrew Character whilst another caught just over 350 moths the most numerous being 115 Hebrew Character, exactly 100 Common Quaker, 43 Small Quaker, 26 Red Chestnut, 23 Clouded Drab and 14 Twin-spotted Quaker.

It was very encouraging therefore when 15 people turned up on Saturday morning at the Centre to learn more about moths.  Fortunately there were plenty of moths with a tally of 19 different species (see list below) from all the traps.  The highlights included a lovely fresh Powdered Quaker, along with Early Grey, fantastic Oak Beauty and Lunar Marbled Brown.

One of the highlights of last year’s event was the Carrot Cake and the word had got out on the street.  To add to the pressure it was also Pat Glenday, the Centre Manager’s birthday!  The ideal excuse for a two cake event!  A wonderful Carrot Cake baked by Janette and a Coffee Cake.  

So a great venue and start to the season.  Lets make every event a double–caker!

Moth list –all caught on the night of 19th April 2013

663 0 Diurnea fagella

666 0 Semioscopis avellanella

1775 Mottled Grey Colostygia multistrigaria

1852 Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata

1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata

1881 Early Tooth-striped Trichopteryx carpinata

1917 Early Thorn Selenia dentaria

1930 Oak Beauty Biston strataria

1947 Engrailed Ectropis bistortata

2015 Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis

2139 Red Chestnut Cerastis rubricosa

2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda

2186 Powdered Quaker Orthosia gracilis

2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi

2188 Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta

2189 Twin-spotted Quaker Orthosia munda

2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica

2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola

2258 Chestnut Conistra vaccinii


Oak Beauty (J Borwick)

Oak Beauty

Lunar Marbled Brown (J Borwick)

Lunar Marbled Brown

Powdered Quaker (J Borwick)

Powdered Quaker

Twin-spotted Quaker (J Borwick)

Twin-spotted Quaker

Early Grey (J Borwick)

Early Grey


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