Well over 100 species of moth caught at Benfield Country Park last night

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 24 July 2010 12:49

I ran two MV traps for Benfield Country Park last night, the first time this excellent little downland site  just north of the A27 by Hove and Portslade had been moth trapped. We very quickly amassed a huge list of species and it would have been much  higher if I had the time to do all the micros. The best find for me was a Tree-lichen Beauty (top picture), I'm not sure how frequent these immigrants/new residents are now, I saw one about ten years ago at Dungeness, I think they are still quite scarce but they can turn up in twos and threes apparently and are most likely breeding in Sussex. There was a whole supporting cast of nice moths too, Kent Black Arches, Brussel's Lace (second picture), Hoary Footman, Galium Carpet (third picture), Reddish Light Arches, Small Purple-barred and White-spotted Pug (actually we had 7 species of pug) were some of the less often seen species. Other immigrants included numerous Diamond-back Moths, Silver-Ys and a Dark Sword-grass. Nice showy stuff included Small and Elephant Hawk-moth, a huge female Oak Eggar, Drinker, Peach Blossom, Ghost Moth and Buff Arches.
There were a few beetles too including several of this huge Geotrupes sp. (probably a Dor Beetle - need to key it out), several Summer Chafers and Lagria hirta. A great evening, it's always good to see your enthusiasm rub off on other people, there is no better way to spend an evening  in a field with complete strangers until midnight huddled round a light bulb!

26/07/10 UPDATE: I keyed out the large beetles, they turned out to be Geotrupes spiniger, very closely related to the true Dor Beetle, Geotrupes stercorarius. Still common though and associated with dung.

2 Response to "Well over 100 species of moth caught at Benfield Country Park last night"

Anonymous Says:

A great evening enjoyed by all.

Our thanks again. I have added a link under "NEWS" on our own web site.


Best Regards,

Martin Robinson, Benfield Wildlife and Conservation Group

Graeme Lyons Says:

Great stuff, it was an awesome evening, I'll definately have to look there again, I bet you have Barred Tooth-stripe in the spring, it's only a few miles away on a very similar site. It feeds on Privet and is nationally scarce/BAP. Worth looking for.

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