Tomintoul Moths - July 31st 2016
Twelve people gathered just outside Tomintoul on a very cool and breezy morning to see what moths had been trapped overnight. It was unpleasantly cool for July and those who brought woolly hats and gloves made use of them! Four small traps were run in and around a limestone quarry and three larger MV traps were run on nearby limestone grassland on the edge of broadleaved woodland and next to the River Avon.
Before going through the traps and whilst waiting for further attendees, we had a wander into the quarry to look at the limestone flora. On two small willow bushes someone spotted two Puss moth caterpillars! They were early instars and so had not developed the amazing and oft-photographed face of later instars, but were impressive beasties nonetheless.
Moth numbers in the small traps were generally low, presumably because of the cool, breezy overnight conditions. Nevertheless, they contained a Confused and a surprising number of Rosy Minors and Brown-line Bright-eyes.
We moved on to the MVs that were more sheltered and contained a better number of moths. Macro-moth highlights included Grey Mountain Carpet, Small Rivulet, Green Pug, Slender Pug, Gold Spangle and Chestnut-coloured Carpet. Seven macro-moths were new for the 10km square (NJ11), namely Riband Wave, Common Marbled Carpet (surprisingly), Green Pug, Slender Pug, Dotted Carpet, Light Arches and Double Square-spot.
However, my personal favourites were the common but gorgeous micro-moths Argyresthia goedartella and Argyresthia brockeella. The micro-moth Acompsia cinerella was a “first” for the Vice-county (Banffshire) and most, if not all, of the micros are likely to be new for the 10km square.
Total number of moth species was 65 – pretty good considering the cool conditions. List below.
The experts examining the moths (above left) and Gold Spangle (above right) Photos by Malcolm MacGarvin
The group round a moth trap (below) Photo by Malcolm MacGarvin
Puss Moth caterpillar (below) Photo by Bob Turner
Brown-line Bright-eye (below left) Rosy Minor (below right) Photos by Audrey Turner
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