The Isles of Scilly are recognised as one of the best places in Great Britain for recording migrant moths and in 2006 it was one of the best years on record. A permanent Moth Recording Station has been located at the Longstones Cafe now for a number of years and Mick Scott is trapping almost continuously during the year. Many new species to the islands and to Britain have been caught here over the years.
Near perfect conditions prevailed throughout the week. we have southerly to south easterly winds, light rain and very warm air temperatures for the time of year. We trapped on 6 nights with the catches deteriorating towards the end of the week due to strong winds. A blended Mercury Vapour Light & Skinner Trap was used on the evenings of 14th – 19th October at Troy Town Farm on St. Agnes.
During the week on St. Mary’s a potential First for Britain was trapped by Mick Scott at Longstones. A full report is posted on on this Archive under “A new moth species for Britain” 19th October 2006.
The species was eventually confirmed as Palpita testalis on 11th Jan 2007, a first record for Britain. Also Crimson Speckled / Dark Mottled Willow / The Mallow, a first for Scilly, were trapped at Longstones. At Troy Town we had a Merveille du Jour, a first record for the Isles of Scilly / Antigastra catalaunalis / Convolvulus Hawkmoth / Cosmopolitan / Palpita vitrealis/ Scarce Bordered Straw / Small Mottled Willow/ Gem/ Vestal (The pink form indicating a sub-tropical migrant) Dark Sword-grass and the usual Delicates & White-specks. Also on St.Agnes at Lower Town Barn – Blair’s Mocha / Hymenia recurvalis / Old Worm Webworm completed the weeks rarities.
Highlights of the week were –
1 of Palpita testalis – ist record from Britain – Mick Scott – Longstones
2 of Hellula undalis (Old World Webworm- Rare migrant)
1 of Antigastra catalaunalis ( Rare vagrant from tropics)
1 of Palpita vitrealis (Status scarce migrant)
1 of Hymenia recurvalis (2nd record for St. Agnes- rare vagrant from tropics)
1 of Crimson Speckled – (Rare vagrant from southern europe)
1 of Merveille du Jour (first record for Isles of Scilly – St.Agnes, Troytown 15th Oct)
1 of Dark Mottled Willow (2nd for Scilly – Rare Vagrant)
1 of The Mallow – (First record for Scilly, Longstones)
1 of Blair’s Mocha – (Rare & irregular migrant)
1 of Cosmopolitan (Status scarce migrant)
3 of Convolvulus Hawkmoth 9 (Regular migrant to the islands)
11 of The Gem (Status scarce migrant
2 of Small Mottled Willow (Common migrant)
6 of Scarce Bordered Straw (Common migrant)
3 of The Vestal (good numbers of this regular migrant, including 1 Pink Form)
72 of White Speck (good numbers of this common migrant)
16 of Delicate (good numbers of this common migrant)
Selected images below are:-
1) LEFT – 1) Palpita testalis; 2) Crimson Speckled; 3) Hymenia recurvalis; 4) Merveille du Jour 5)Vestal (Pink Form) ; 6) Convolvulus Hawmoth; 7) Delicate
2) RIGHT – 1) Antigastra catalaunalis; 2) Dark Mottled Willow; 3) Hymenia recurvalis; 4) Mallow; 5) Blair’s Mocha; 6) Dark Sword-grass; 7) Old World Webworm