With Brexit burning away in the news media at the moment, it’s an apposite time to talk about immigrants … though these ones are strictly lepidopteran of course. It’s been an excellent week for migrants, with the storm blowing in from the Americas, and though I’ve not been able to get the trap out as much I’d have liked, I’ve had some nice new moths. Here’s a quick run-down …


Clancy’s Rustic (l) and White Speck (r), both of which are migrants, the former being new for me, and a really smart moth in my view; the latter more subtle, but equally beautiful.


Scarce Bordered Straw (l) and Dark Sword-grass (r). Again, the former is a new one for me, though not uncommon. Like one or two others, I think our recent move from Exmouth to Budleigh has meant that I’m just a bit closer to the sea and to rocky shorelines, helping to bring in different moths.

Not migrants, but I’ve also had some other moths new to my gardens (old and new):


On the left here is Grey Shoulder Knot, new to me, and I’ve put it up next to a much more familiar visitor to my old garden, Blair’s Shoulder Knot. They are both lovely; the former have more obvious patterning, but if you look closely at the Blair’s you will see beautiful black lines running through its grey, making it well camouflaged against bark.

Another new one was this Large Wainscot, again, showing very subtle colours:


I love the subtlety of the Wainscots, which would be lost entirely in reedy vegetation. And speaking of blending-in, the Sallows must be the masters to Autumnal colours, wonderfully illustrated by these three, with a few Autumn leaves thrown in for comparison.

Across the top are two forms of Barred Sallow (l), with Centre-barred Sallow (r) and (normal) Sallow below next to the leaves.

Finally, back to one more immigrant. The last couple of nights we’ve had a visitor in the back room, seeking out a place to shelter …


This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, an immigrant from America – indeed, from the West Coast originally – but now beginning to be well-established in Europe, including the UK, probably from timber imports; I suspect this one is local. As the name suggests, it likes conifers, and though I’m always wary of insects that are invasive, it’s certainly a smart bug. The insects around us have good reason to shelter though. Having just got my hands on a bat detector, I’ve become aware of just how numerous bats are. I’m planning a separate post on this, but for now I’m hoping you might be able to use the link below to hear the Pipistrelle bat that is a regular hawker round our back door – especially when the moth trap is running!

Click here


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Budleigh Salterton resident; keen birder; moth-er.

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