Toadflax Brocade

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 21 July 2018 09:58

Another visit to Shoreham Beach to continue the survey there and I swept both the larva and an adult of Toadflax Brocade. Back in the summer of 1997, my first summer in Sussex when I was only 19, I saw my first one of these. I was walking up Ditchling Road and I spotted it on a railway bridge. I carried the moth in my hand until I could get back home and identify it using Skinner. It's so much easier now to identify invertebrates. No websites, no digital cameras and no social media, imagine that! Back then I had my copy of Skinner and that was it! I didn't even know anyone else in Sussex who recorded moths. Here is a photo of the larva taken earlier this year at the London Wetland Centre. I only ever see this moth on Purple Toadflax and the spread of this garden escape is no doubt why the moth has done so well in recent years. I was always taken by the name.

On the top of the Old Fort, I found a single Six-belted Clearwing. It seems to be having a good year, I've seen it twice this year already. Here is a photo of one I took at Beddingham. Not that I remotely think there is anything wrong with moth trapping but I get so much more out of recording moths in the field like this. Yes, you get a much shorter list but you feel like you're really getting to grips with a site this way.

2 Response to "Toadflax Brocade"

Gibster Says:

Couldn't agree more regards finding moths by day vs light-house keeping. Don't even think about getting me started on larval signs and mines! Traps are fantastic for showing you what's there, but fieldwork is better for understanding why it's there in the first place. Nice case of TB, btw - one I still need too.

Graeme Lyons Says:

That said I ran my first moth trap since March last night and had a real mega and a load of new site records. So it's swings and roundabouts I guess! Took an hour and fifteen minutes to process!

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