Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Highland Branch
Branch events and filed trips
 » Homepage
 » Latest news
 » Events
 » Your records
 » Surveys
 » Species
 » Newsletter
 » Committee
 » Contact us
 » Links
branch logo
Links to the national Butterfly Conservation website
 » National website
 » BC Scotland
 » BC Membership
 » Orkney
 » Shetland
 » Western Isles

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.

Acompsia cinerella

Double Dart

Purple Bar

Agriphila straminella

Double Square-spot

Purple Clay

Agriphila tristella

Eana osseana

Puss Moth (larvae)


Epinotia ramella

Riband Wave

Argyresthia brockeella

Eucosma cana

Rosy Minor

Argyresthia goedartella

Eudonia lacustrata

Scoparia ancipitella

Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix

Eudonia truncicolella

Shaded Broad-bar

Barred Straw

Gold Spangle

Silver-ground Carpet

Beautiful Golden Y

Green Arches

Six-striped Rustic

Brimstone Moth

Green Carpet

Slender Pug

Brown-line Bright-eye

Green Pug

Small Dotted Buff

Burnished Brass

Grey Mountain Carpet

Small Rivulet

Chestnut-coloured Carpet

Ingrailed Clay

Small Square-spot


Juniper Pug

Smoky Wainscot

Cnephasia species

Large Emerald


Common Marbled Carpet

Large Yellow Underwing


Common Rustic/Lesser Common Rustic

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Square-spot Rustic


Lesser Swallow Prominent

Swallow Prominent

Dark Arches

Lesser Yellow Underwing

Twin-spot Carpet

Depressaria pulcherrimella

Light Arches

Udea lutealis

Dotted Carpet

Light Emerald

Yellow Shell

Dotted Clay

Mottled Beauty


Moth Trapping  Gold Spangle Moth

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

Moth Trapping


Puss Moth caterpillar (below) Photo by Bob Turner

Puss Moth Caterpillar


Brown-line Bright-eye (below left)  Rosy Minor (below right) Photos by Audrey Turner

Brown-line Bright-eye Moth Rosy Minor Moth















Copyright Butterfly Conservation 2006 Highland Branch
Privacy and Copyright Statement
Butterfly Conservation
Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)