Ruby tiger moth

Another expedition into the reserve’s species lists has produced a ruby tiger moth (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) found and identified in the summer of 2021 by our lepidopterist, Hugo Brooke. This is a common day-flying moth, its adult stage so short lived, that it doesn’t feed; its only purpose is to mate and lay eggs on the ragwort, plantain, dock or dandelions on the edge of our woodland.
At this time of year, the ruby tiger is overwintering as a caterpillar, at ground level, among the leaf litter. Its blood contains a natural antifreeze which will have protected it through our recent sub-zero cold snap.

Oak lutestring

During last week’s moth trapping in Village Green, Ian and Hugo identified an oak lutestring (Cymatophorima diluta), a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species, classified as scarce and local. This is the thirteenth BAP priority species of Lepidoptera identified in the reserve: the hard work we put into our woodland habitat is paying off!

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A lot of Lepidoptera

from Ian Bushell and Clive Knight

[1] Blood vein moth [2] Meadow brown [3] Ringlet [4] Small heath [5] Painted lady [6] Small skipper.
Header Image: Comma by Ian Bushell

Spindle Ermine Moth

To improve the reserve as habitat and increase its biodiversity, the Friends have been planting trees for years: whips and saplings of many different species to thicken the hedges and copses.

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Moth traps

On the evening of July 16th, Ian Bushell and lepidopterist, Hugo Brooke set up moth traps at the top of Village Green. You may have seen them and wondered what they were doing.

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Another new species

On Sunday, Julie Newblé sent us pictures of caterpillars in a tent-web she found strung between blackthorn twigs in the hedge at the top of the Arboretum.

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