Micro small elephants help moth list

With few birds to look at in recent days at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, the many other species to be encountered on site ensure every visit proves to be important.

The constant effort of recording Lepidoptera has seen over 100 species of moth recorded by the end of May for the first time ever.

First recorded in Yorkshire in 1859, and as recently as 1989 in VC61 (per Yorkshire Moths), this Incurvaria masculella photographed on May 28th was the first site record since 2013.

Incurvaria masculella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

Copper Underwing Amphipyra pyramidea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

The recording of Copper Underwing Amphipyra pyramidea agg. is always something of a problem each year regarding species discussion, though this larvae found on the 28th ensures Copper Underwing Amphipyra pyramidea is on the year list. This becoming only the third confirmed site record of the species.

Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus appeared at light on both the 25th and 26th.

Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

These the third and fourth site records following the first appearance of the species in June last year.

Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

This stunning Eyed-Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata is one of the regular species trapped during the recording season. National Moth Night is upon us, and I’ll be showing off the best of the moths trapped the previous night on Sunday June 12th from 10am-11.00 (depending on moths and weather) and hopefully this will be one of many eye-catching species on show. News, and events taking place at Tophill can be found by checking out the official site.

Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

No less of an interesting site record, this Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma was the first spring individual for a number of years, while a Bee Moth Aphomia sociella found in the car of site warden Richard Hampshire was only the 24th individual recorded at Tophill since 1995!

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