First for Scotland

posted 18 Aug 2013, 01:42 by Keith Naylor   [ updated 18 Aug 2013, 06:49 ]
Alison Robertson noticed a moth at the window at The Crichton, Dumfries, on the 14th August 2013, and found it to be an unfamiliar micro moth, so she took a photo and researched it. It looked very similar to some photos on the internet of Acrolepia autumnitella, a species mainly in the south and Midlands of England. This was perplexing. However, two days later, armed with knowledge of its foodplant, Alison checked for Bittersweet at The Crichton and found four leaves with tenanted mines and took photos. See species account.

The selection of photos were sent to Mark Young, keeper of the Scottish micro moth list who confirmed its identity and the fact that it was new to Scotland.

As you will recall the foremost lepidopterist of our Region, William Lennon, who worked at The Crichton when it was a Sanitorium, also caught a first for Scotland on 6th September 1865. He noticed a strange micro moth on the outside of a window, but he was on the inside, and to obtain it he broke the glass and caught it. It turned out to be Euchromius ocellea, the first for Scotland and only the third for Britain. H. G. Knaggs, the editor of the Ent. Mon. Mag. (vol. iii. 139) took it the British Museum and compared it with the only known specimen there. The other was caught in Glamorganshire in 1862.

So lightning does strike twice!