MOTHS OF CAITHNESS
SUMMARY OF MOTHS RECORDED IN 2018
FOR FULL LIST OF SPECIES GO TO 2018 GO T0 HOME
An usually hot Summer for Caithness was sandwiched between a cold Spring and cool wet Autumn, with a mild winter continuing the trend we have seen in recent years. As a result the numbers of records of Spring and Autumn species were low, particularly mid to late Autumn species.
270 species were record during the year and they are listed, together with the number of records and the number of individuals, in the chart at the end of this summary. There were a number of excellent records but the stand out one must be Elachista kilmunella in a form “not previously known to science”.
There was a noticeable increase in the interest and recording of “micro” moths.
1st RECORDS FOR CAITHNESS
12.036 Monopis laevigella Skin Moth – 1 record of one adult
15.015 Aspilapteryx tringpennella – First documented records: 2 records of one adult from each of 2 sites. One historic undocumented record from 1982 was accepted on standing of observer
38.026 Elachista kilmunella – 2 records of two different adults from one site of a form not previously recorded anywhere else. Identified by dissection.
73.074 Heliothis peltigera Bordered Straw – 1 record of one adult
SPECIES RARE OR SCARCE IN CAITHNESS
21.004 Leucoptera laburnella Laburnum Leaf Miner – 1 record of 2 adults and 2 of leaf mines
32.026 Agonopterix kaekeritziana – 1 record of 1 adult. 2nd County record
35.109 Scrobipalpa acuminatella - 1 record of 1 adult. 2nd County record
44.001 Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth – 1 record of 1 adult 3rd County record
49.020 Argyrotaenia ljungiana – 3 records of single adults from one site 2nd to 4th County records
49.142 Falseuncaria ruficiliana - 1 record of 1 adult. 4th County record
62.068 Dioryctria abietella -1 record of 1 adult. 2nd County record
63.005 Pyrausta despicata – 2 records of single adults from 2 sites. 2nd & 3rd County records
69.017 Deilephila porcellus Small Elephant Hawk-moth - 1 record of 1 adult. 2nd County record
70.016 Idaea aversata Riband Wave - 1 record of 1 adult. 2nd County record since 1998
70.084 Plemyria rubiginata Blue-bordered Carpet – 1 record of 2 adults 3rd County record since 1975
70.169 Eupithecia fraxinata Angle-barred (Ash) Pug - 1 record of 1 adult. 1st County record since 1996
70.192 Aplocera plagiata Treble-bar - 1 record of 1 adult. 4th County record since 1975
70.244 Colotois pennaria Feathered Thorn - 1 record of 1 adult 3rd County record
70.292 Dyscia fagaria Grey Scalloped Bar - 1 record of 1 adult 2nd County record since1993 and 6th overall. Last record 2009
73.107 Mormo maura Old Lady – 1 record of 1 adult was the 3rd record for the County and the first since 2011
73.159 Apamea unanimis Small Clouded Brindle – 4 records of 4 adults from two sites were the first County records since 2010 and 3rd to 6th records in total
73.343 Noctua fimbriata Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1 record of 1 adult at one of the 2016 sites was the 5th County record and opens up the possibility that this species is breeding in the County
OTHER RECORDS OF INTEREST
38.030 Elachista albifrontella - 8 records from the site at which it was first recorded in 2017
66.010 Euthrix potatoria Drinker – expansion of range eastward in the County continues and recorded within 10km of the east coast in 2018
69.004 Agrius convolvuli Convolvulus Hawk-moth - 1 record of 1 adult – first since record 2015
69.010 Macroglossum stellatarum Humming-bird Hawk-moth – 6 records is the most in any one year, appears to be becoming more frequent
69.016 Deilephila elpenor Elephant Hawk-moth – 5 records, appears to be well established
70.078 Thera cognate Chestnut-coloured Carpet - 1 record of 1 adult at a new site
70.130 Odezia atrata Chimney Sweeper - 2 records from 2 locations in only known site - 1st records since 2014
70.132 Perizoma affinitata Rivulet – 2 records of 3 adults from 2 sites
70.155 Eupithecia venosata Netted Pug – 3 records of 3 adults from one site all of the Orcadian form ochracea. Conclusive evidence of breeding required.
70.161 Eupithecia virgaureata Golden-rod Pug – only 1 record of 1 adult, a very poor year
70.182 Eupithecia assimilate Currant Pug - 3 records including one of 50 adults on recently planted currant bushes.
70.207 Lomaspilis marginata Clouded Border – now well established in woodlands in the Castletown/Dunnet area with one record away from the woodlands.
71.003 Cerura vinula Puss Moth – 5 records from 2 sites is the highest number of records in a year for this elusive and declining species
72.017 Orgyia antiqua Vapourer – 1 record of 1 male is the first record of this species since 2015 and only the 6th County record of an adult
72.025 Parasemia plantaginis Wood Tiger - 1 record of 1 adult is only the 2nd record since 2011 of this elusive species which appears to be becoming more difficult to find
72.045 Eilema lurideola Common Footman -1 record of 2 adults in the north of the County is the first record of this species away from the south east coast of the County
73.015 Autographa gamma Siver Y – a massive influx of migrants in the Spring and high numbers recorded throughout the Summer resulted in this species totalling the highest number of records of any species in 2018 even exceeding those of Large Yellow Underwing.
73.042 Acronicta menyanthidis Light Knot Grass – 1 record of 2 adults was the first record since 2014 and only the 10th overall
73.052 Cucullia umbratica Shark – 1 record of 1 adult was the first County record since 2015
73.121 Gortyna flavago Frosted Orange – has expanded its range and increased in numbers dramatically over the last two years.
73.257 Anarta myrtilli Beautiful Yellow Underwing – 3 records of 3 adults was the highest number of records in one year
73.322 Agrotis vestigialis Archer’s Dart – 1 record of 1 adult was the first County record since 2013