Highlands & Islands

Rare moth spotted after butterfly hunters miss Mull ferry

Blomer’s rivulet
Image caption Blomer's rivulet is classed as scarce in England and Wales

A moth not previously recorded in Scotland has been spotted in the Highlands after conservationists missed their ferry on a trip to Mull.

The Blomer's rivulet was found by members of Butterfly Conservation's Highland branch at Lochaline.

They made the discovery while they waited for the ferry to Mull after missing an earlier crossing.

The delicately patterned grey and rusty brown moth is classed as nationally scarce in England and Wales.

The moth's identity was confirmed from a photograph by Banff-based moth expert Roy Leverton.

Author of the book Enjoying Moths, Mr Leverton said: "This is a most unlikely find.

"I could just about have imagined it turning up in the Borders, or even Dumfries and Galloway, but not this far north."

'Exciting find'

Highland branch member Margaret Currie, of Culbokie on the Black Isle, said the moth was spotted low down in a hazel tree.

She said: "We had no idea what it was and fortunately we took a photo. This has now been verified as Blomer's Rivulet, a new moth for Scotland".

Named after 18th Century naturalist Charles Blomer, the moth occurs sporadically throughout England and Wales in deciduous woodland habitats and is on the wing from June to July. The caterpillars feed on wych elm.

Paul Kirkland, director of Butterfly Conservation Scotland said; "This is a very exciting find, and it shows that there are corners of the country where new moth colonies can still be discovered.

"The news will spur on our moth recorders to explore other parts of Scotland."

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