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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Insh Marshes RSPB Reserve - Moths at the Marshes - National Insect Week

June 23rd 2018

Just six folk gathered to go through three moth traps run the previous night and then go for a walk to look for butterflies and day-flying moths.

The night had been cool (clear skies) and breezy so there wasn’t a huge haul of moths but nevertheless we had 51 species in the traps which was plenty to enjoy. Some of the highlights were Sallow Kitten, Poplar Hawk-moth, Peppered moth, Large Emerald, Poplar Grey, Garden Tiger, Campion, White Ermine, Pebble Hook-tip and Grey Dagger. But my personal favourite was a micro – Argyresthia brockeella – which is an absolute beauty, as long as you have a hand lens!

Going through the traps took us up to lunchtime, then after eating our packed lunches at the reserve picnic tables, we took a wander along the trail. It had become cool and overcast and we weren’t expecting much in the way of butterflies, so we didn’t walk far but we actually saw four species: Ringlet, Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillary (freshly emerged) and Northern Brown Argus (also very fresh). And we added another eight moths to the list, including Yellow Shell and Straw Dot, which gave us a total moth list of 59 species. The full list is below:

beautiful golden Y

green arches

poplar hawk-moth

bright-line brown-eye

green carpet

sallow kitten

broken-barred carpet

grey dagger

silver-ground carpet

brown rustic

ingrailed clay

small dotted buff


iron prominent

small square spot

chimney sweeper

July belle

smoky wainscot

clouded border

large emerald

smoky wave

clouded-bordered brindle

large yellow underwing


common carpet

lesser swallow prominent

straw dot

common lutestring

light emerald

swallow prominent

common marbled carpet

map-winged swift

true lover's knot

common wave

marbled minor agg.

white ermine

common white wave

middle-barred minor

yellow shell

coxcomb prominent

mottled beauty

Ancylis badiana

dark arches

nut-tree tussock

Argyresthia brockeella

dark brocade

pale-shouldered brocade

Celypha lacunana

dusky brocade


Crambus lathoniellus

flame carpet

pebble hook-tip

Epinotia bilunana

flame shoulder

peppered moth

Scoparia ambigualis

garden tiger

poplar grey








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