Moths & Butterflies of Anagach Woods - Sunday 24th June 2018
Both adults and kids seemingly enjoyed the moth and butterfly event on June 24th at Grantown’s Anagach Wood. While the boring grown-ups stood around patiently looking at every moth that came out of the trap, the kids had much more fun taking a "hands on" approach and wanting to take home their adopted pet moth. With lovely names such as True Lover's Knot, Beautiful Brocade, Mottled Beauty and Map-winged Swift, who could blame them!
After the excitement of the traps, we took a wander to the 'old tip' to look for the gorgeous metallic coloured Six-spot Burnet moth. Two years ago, Mike Taylor, our VC moth recorder, confirmed this was the largest inland colony of burnet moths, as a tally of around 300 was counted. We found caterpillars, cocoons and adults, and saw their foodplant, Bird's-foot Trefoil. The kids were truly impressed! These were by far the highlight for them, although we did have a couple more species of butterfly to throw in, but perhaps less impressive after the large numbers and the showiness of the burnet moths. At the last moment, before we all retreated for lunch, a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary was spotted – perhaps the best butterfly of the morning. We enjoyed the amazing weather, unusual for the Highlands and wished for it to be like this more often – at least, for us butterfly enthusiasts.
The moth list is as follows (slightly disappointing, as there was a slip-up when setting up the traps the night before, but we’ll not go into that):
Checking the traps
Checking out the moths
Life cycle of a Six-spot Burnet Moth. Above from left, larva, pupa and adult emerging.
Below, adult and the cycle starts again
Small Heath Butterfly
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