New Moth found in Wales

Great news for Wales!
An extremely rare moth has been discovered in Wales for the first time. The Butterfly Conservation have received two separate records of the Barred Tooth-striped moth ( Trichopteryx polucommata) at a woodland site in Monmouthshire earlier this month. This moth is nationally scarce in the UK so the discovery of a new stronghold for this species is great news. This moth can usually seen around this time of year on the wing (mainly between March and April) . The Barred Tooth is usually found in open woodland or scrub, but it can also been found in hedgerows and on the outskirts of woodlands.

The Butterfly Conservation officer for wales George Tordoff, said: “At first glance the moth might look unremarkable, but it’s actually very distinctive thanks to the dark brown band that can be seen across the middle of the upper wings.

moth-for-web(Photo by BC)

“To find the Barred Tooth-striped at a new site is really encouraging, because not only is this a first for Wales, but the moth is declining in England. The fact that two have been caught on different nights also suggests that the moth is likely to be breeding in the wood it was found in.”

Nick Felstead is a member of BC’s South Wales Branch and made the exciting discovery two weeks ago stating : “I remember it being a horrible night – very windy and wet – so I didn’t expect to find much and when I first saw the moth, I didn’t recognise it. So I took a photo and when I got home I started looking up what species it could be. Alarm bells went off when I realised what it was and when BC confirmed it, I just couldn’t believe it!”

moth-2-content (Photo by Nick Felstead.)

The food plant for this caterpillar is Wild Privet, that was growing in both the ares where the moths were recorded. BC Wales is now working in close conjunction with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who manage the woodland, to guaranty that the Wild Privet of the forests are protected when forest management work is done.

This is great discovery for moth lovers and shows how much we still don’t know about the wildlife in our own back garden sometimes. Hopefully with all the work citizen scientist are doing with wildlife this will be one of the first of many discoveries for British Invertebrates this year.

 

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A Behavioral entomologist. I love the little things that are often overlooked.

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