Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mothin' on Skomer

As mentioned on Facebook a while back, we hosted an intrepid group of Pembrokeshire lepidopterists on the island with the sole intention of setting light traps across the island, surveying a range of habitats as seeing what we could produce. With the narrowest of weather windows imaginable, we managed to conduct a diurnal search on arrival day and deploy a total of 8 moth traps that night throughout the North and South Valleys, with fantastic results! I'll let the numbers and pictures do the talking...

  • Number of traps - 8
  • Species trapped and identified - 111
  • Total number of moths caught - 1216
And for the records...
  • 14 species never before recorded on Skomer!!! An astonishing total.
  • 1 1st since 1960's
  • 2nd records for the island
  • 2 3rd records for the island
  • and a 5th and 6th record for Pembrokeshire

Interest for all ages! Processing the traps in the sheltered picnic areas, to avoid the torrential rain!

Moths on the menu? Making good use of the dining room.

Antler Moth. Quite a common species on Skomer, but always a delight!

Orange Swift. Another dazzling species
Common Plume Moth Emmelina monodactyla. Only the 2nd Skomer record!
The beautiful Acleris holmiana. This incredibly distinctive species had only been found
on Skomer once before, trapped at North Haven in 2012. That's until we went and caught 13
of them during this event! Surely a new colonist?!
Agonopterix arenella. . One of 14 1st records for Skomer 
Agonopterix kaekeritziana. Another 1st for Skomer

Both Bullrush and Webb's Wainscots were caught, the latter species being a
nationally scarce breeding resident on Skomer
Chinese Character. A beautiful species which we don't often catch on the island
True Lovers Knot. What a name! And not a bad looking moth either.
Big thanks to Robin Taylor, Tony Lewis, Karen Meatyard, Mark and Sam Burton and all other attendees. Without your expertise and enthusiasm, the catch wouldn't have been nearly as impressive. Cant wait to do more of the same next year!

All images courtesy of Mark Burton

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