SUMMARY OF MACRO MOTHS
RECORDED IN 2011
To view a list of macro moth species
recorded in Caithness in 2011 click on this link: 2011 LIST
Laying snow from heavy falls in November
and December 2010 continued until the middle of January, but the latter
part of January and all of February were relatively mild. Throughout
March temperatures were above average for the month with unusually calm
and dry conditions leading into April. After a short wet and windy
spell early in April the weather for most of the month and the first
week of May was dominated by high pressure with warm, dry sunny days.
Although the cold nights associated with this period reduced trapping
activity the warm weather resulted in a number of species recording
their earliest dates in the County. The summer and autumn weather
was average for the County.
178 species of macro moth were recorded in the County during 2011, well
down on the 202 recorded in 2010 but up on 2009 total of 166. 2908
records were received from 19 observers a substantial fall on the 2010
total of 3600.
FIRST COUNTY RECORDS
Four macro moth species were recorded in Caithness for the first
Recorded in ND02 (1 record of 1 adult) and ND35 (3
records of 3 adults)
Previously recorded in Scotland as far north as the southern Moray
Firth coast and the Inverness area. Recent records in Wester Ross ans
the Dornoch area suggest that the species is expanding its range rather
tyhan having been overlooked.
ND26 - 1 record of 1 adult
Sparsely recorded in Scotland north to Shetland including a handful of
records from Sutherland
BRINDLED BEAUTY Lycia hirtaria
Recorded in ND26 - 2 records of 2
adults from 2 sites
Two fairly distinct populations in the UK being widespread in England
and Wales from the Midlands southward but in Scotland largely confined
to the non montane areas in the Highlands north to Lairg. Possibly a
recent colonist to the County rather than being previously
overlooked as one of the sites at which it was found has been monitored
regularly for some years.
OLD LADY Mormo maura
One record in ND16
UK distribution is mainly south of line below Cumbria and Durham and in
Scotland its status is described as local and infrequent. Not noted as
a migrant so this record of one at an outside light in Thurso appears
to indicate the existence of a small resident population.
OTHER RECORDS OF INTEREST
SIX-SPOT BURNET Zygaena filipendulae
A new colony of at least 20 individuals discovered at a well watched
site in ND27
DRINKER Euthrix potatoria
Recorded in ND05, ND06 and ND14
Following the first records in 2010 Drinker was recorded in 2011 at
four sires in three squares, including larva at one site. Appears to be
well established in the west of the County.
COMMON LUTESTRING Ochropacha
duplaris Recorded in ND27
Only the fifth record of this species in the Caithness and only the
second since 1961.
BEECH-GREEN CARPET Colostygia
The second County record following the first in 2010 also in the
south--east of the County.
WHITE-SPOTTED PUG Eupithecia
tripunctaria Recorded in ND26
Two records from the same site constitute the 2nd and 3rd County
records following the first in 1982.
MANCHESTER TREBLE-BAR Carsia
sororiata Recorded in ND02
Status: Nationally Scarce B. Single record in ND02 was the first record
for that square.
EARLY TOOTH-STRIPED Trichopteryx
carpinata Recorded in ND26
A single record in ND26 was the first since 1995.
PALE BRINDLED BEAUTY Apocheima
pilosaria Recorded in ND26 and ND35
After the first County record in 2010, two records in 2011 indicate
that the species may be more widespread than records show.
SCARCE UMBER Agriopis
Recorded in NC96
A single record from NC96 is only the second record since 1996
HUMMING-BIRD HAWKMOTH Macroglossum
stellatarum Recorded in ND27
The fifth County record. All records have been since 2006.
ELEPHANT HAWKMOTH Deilephila
Recorded in ND06
The fourth County record. All records have been since 2006
SWALLOW PROMINENT Pheosia
Recoded in ND13
The fourth County record
VAPOURER Orgyia antiqua
Recorded in ND06
A single record of larva from ND06. This species is probably under
recorded with an unusually high percentage of records (ca 50%) being of
COMMON FOOTMAN Eilema
Recorded in ND02
The third County record and the second since 1982. All records have
from the south-east of the County.
NUTMEG Discestra trifolii
Recorded in ND37
The second County record the first being in 1973
CLAY Mythimna ferrago
Recorded in ND02
The second County record the first being in 1961
SHARK Cucullia umbratica
Recorded in ND26
The fifth County record. All records have been in the last two weeks of
SWORD-GRASS Xylena exsoleta
The second and third County records
SAXON Hyppa rectilnea
Recorded in ND14
The third County record following one in 2010
FROSTED ORANGE Gortyna flavago
Recorded in ND35
Eight records from one site in ND35 constituted the fifth to twelfth
records for the County
Thank you to the observers listed below who provided records during
2011 and a special thanks to Roy Leverton for his help and support on
numerous identification issues.
H Byrne, H Clark, J Clarke, R Dawson, R Homan, M Legg, S Manson, E
Maughan, A McBay, D Money, N Money,
A Miller, P Miller, K Munro, D Omand, I Outlaw, D Tuerlinkx, D Watt, P
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