The highlight of last year was the discovery of the Pauper Pug E. egenaria , when two worn males came to light at Shrawley wood on 3/6/00. Attempts to find it amongst the Small-leaved Limes there on three previous occasions had failed, perhaps because flowering Limes on which it feeds are local in the huge area of lime coppice. This is an RDB3 species only otherwise found in the U.K. in the Wye Valley and in Norfolk.
Dotted Chestnut C.rubiginea was recorded again at Malvern Wells by Peter Holmes, and for the first time at Upper Welland by Ian Duncan. Mike Southall had a single Barred Hook-tip D.cultraria at Crossway Green, a local species in the county. Kevin McGee photographed a Sycamore A.aceris on a tree trunk at Drakes Broughton on 24/7/00 . This is the first confirmed record this century, although there have been three other unconfirmed records since 1970. Ian Duncan had a Tawny Pinion L.semibrunnea at light at Upper Welland on 2/10/00, a rare moth with only four other records since 1970. Buff Footman E.deplana continues to spread, with records in Shrawley Wood, Wyre Forest, Malvern Wells, and at Bredon Hill. A single Red-necked Footman A.rubricollis was found in the bottom of a moth-trap as the county moth group was rushing to pack things up in torrential rain at the end of a night at Shrawley Wood, and was almost missed! This could have been a migrant or possibly a resident as it was in the middle of the wood close to some conifers, which I am told is a favourite habitat of this species in Northern Ireland.
The County 'Mothers' Group, as it likes to be called!, had a regular light-trapping programme at various sites throughout the county last year, and Neil and Corrinda Gregory have an even more ambitious programme planned for this year. Rosemary Winnall organised regular light-trapping meetings at Park Farm in Wyre Forest which recorded most of the Wyre Forest specialities e.g. Alder Kitten, Satin Lutestring, Bilberry Pug, Lead-coloured Pug, Great Oak Beauty, Angle-barred Sallow in good numbers, and has planned another recording programme based around the Lodge Hill Farm area for this year.
Last year was better than usual in our landlocked county for passing visitors! There was an influx of migrants from early June, with good numbers of common migrants such as Silver Y and the Pyralids Nomophila noctuella and Udea ferrugalis, and a Small Mottled Willow S.exigua at Bransford on 20/6/00, and Mike Southall had a Bordered Straw H.peltigera at Crossway Green on 3/7/00. There were a number of Vestal R.sacraria recorded from 20 to 29/August; Rosemary Winnall at Bliss Gate, Mike Southall at Crossway Green, and by me at Bransford, including several flushed from arable fields in daylight. Then I had a Scarce Bordered Straw H.annigera at Bransford on 10/9/00, and Mike Southall another at Crossway Green on 511 0/00. There were at least six Humming-bird Hawk-moths M.stellatarum records scattered throughout the county, and David Green had a Convolvulus Hawkmoth A.convolvuli at Little Comberton in September, and Harry Green was called to see another at Longdon in the same month. Finally on 18/12/00 Peter Gamer noticed an unfamiliar moth in his house, some four days after leaving open his upstairs windows in the unseasonal warm wet weather. This turned out to be a new county record. At first thought to be a Tunbridge Wells Gem, we finally decided it must be a female Golden Twin-spot C.chalcites, which although not as rare is still a very nice record for our inland county. This species may now be breeding in heated greenhouses in the U.K., but this moth came to us at the end of a long spell of warm southerly winds which might well have brought it up from the Canaries where it is common.
There were seven new microlepidopteran species recorded in VC 37 last year; Opostega crepusculella, Metzneria lappella, and Piniphila bifasciana at Tiddesley Wood, Pammene albuginana at Wyre Forest and Shrawley wood, Acrolepiopsis assectella at Bransford possibly a migrant or adventitious on Allium spps., Cochylis dubitana at Kings Heath specimens collected by Dave Grundy, and Plodia interpunctella infesting a bag of birdseed in my garage.
Other records of note were; Incurvaria praelatella in Wyre Forest second county record, Triaxomera fulvimitrella in Wyre Forest only previous record by Stuart Carlier also in Wyre Forest in 1929, Elachista luticomella in Wyre Forest (last records in 1800's), and Schoenobius forficella amongst Glyceria maxima in a marsh at Stourport (only second modem county record).
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