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Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Moth Mania at the Marshes - Saturday 5th of August 2017

This was the annual moth-trapping bash as part of Dark Bordered Beauty moth (DBB) monitoring at RSPB Insh Marshes – one of only three Scottish sites for this species. There are a number of areas of suitable habitat (suckering aspens) scattered through Invertromie Woodland and to avoid double-counting active males that might fly from one area to another, we endeavour to trap all areas on the same night. So, we ran 14 moth traps over the night of August 4th/5th and folk gathered on the morning of the 5th to go through them.

Many thanks to Ivan Lang of RSPB who set all the traps running on the evening of the 4th, which took him 3 hours thanks to electrics playing up! Having got to his bed after midnight, he then got up early on the morning of the 5th to switch off the traps and cover them up – true dedication to the cause!

The problem with running multiple traps on one night and making it a public event, is that the date has to be fixed well in advance, in this case February – to get advertised in Chequered Skipper. And as we know, the Highland weather can be unreliable! And so it was this year, with cool overnight conditions leading to a relatively low number of moths in the traps. There was a brilliant turn-out of people though with 30 gathering on the Saturday morning and I’m delighted to report that everyone got to see DBBs, both in the traps and free-flying. It was quality not quantity from the moths!

Pete Moore


 Dark Bordered Beauty Male and Female by Roy Leverton

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