Scarce Foresters

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 21 May 2011 18:42

I like the prefix scarce. After James presented me with a dead specimen of a forester he found at Southerham, I was sure the foresters up Bible Bottom there were going to be Scarce Foresters so I was keen to go an check them out at the first opportunity. I found eight and caught them all, all were males and all were Scarce Foresters! This Na species is a tick for me and according to Colin Pratt it is actually the most frequently encountered forester in Sussex. I have seen Cistus Forester (Nb) at Malling Down and I think there are records for the Forester (local) on the Lewes Downs too, so this is perhaps one of the few places where all three can occur together. So the only forester I have not seen now is the commonest one nationally and scarcest one regionally, the Forester!

The ID of the male Scarce Forester is easier than other two species (it's in a separate genus too). The antennae are pectinate right to the tip where they form a sort of club in the last few segments in the other two species. You can see this is clearly not the case in the above photo. This was easy to see with a hand lens. The moths were quite approachable and lethargic. I didn't have a lot of time but I did see hundreds of Adonis Blues and heard my first Stripe-winged Grasshopper of the year. That leaves me on 3355.

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