Back at home, the only notable moth recently has been this Red Underwing. I discovered it at 03h45 one night, as I closed the trap before a heavy downpour. It was on the kitchen window, and through bleary eyes I veritably panicked that it might be something rarer. It wasn't. But it was still corking. Here it is lapping up sugared water before release. 

James Lowen 


15 August 2019   Gypsy

At the weekend, Family Lowen took a trip to London. As you might expect, in #MyMothYear, I had ulterior motives. I wanted to do two things: to 'moth' with a teenager and former neighbour who I enticed into the hobby shortly before leaving the capital in 2014; and to track down some moths deemed in some quarters to be 'pests' and other new arrivals in the UK - for a chapter on such creatures. My original off-the-wall target had been Prays peregrina, a micro moth described new to science from London earlier this century, still known only from south-east England and - remarkably - believed to be adventive here (i.e. its natural range is unknown, but not the UK!). However, a chance encounter with one at Nigel Jarman's Kent home in July removed that particular stress. Nailed! Given this unexpectedly early success, I was now targeting four moths in particular: Case-bearing Clothes Moth (one of just a couple of species that prompt the public to irrationally scorn all moths - and one that even the Bible loves to hate; my parents' house was full of them...), which I had somehow failed to see so far this year; Raspberry Clearwing (at the site where I ticked it three years ago); Jersey Tiger (although I have seen a couple already this year, I wanted to see one back in my former home territory, which is part of this colonist's core UK range) and Gypsy Moth (a species I had seen only once before, as a migrant in Norfolk; it is a real shame that this species went extinct in the UK and just as tragic that its adventive return, albeit through a different subspecies, means that Government authorities formally consider it a 'pest'). Four targets, four successes - and all on the first day/night. Clinical.