Scarlet Tiger

With rain forecast I almost resisted putting out the trap last night, but glad I did with this Scarlet Tiger, Callimorpha dominula, being the star of the show.

I’ve banged on before about moths not being brown and boring, but this one needs no advert in that respect – simply a stunning moth and really freshly emerged. Randle et al (2020) note that though Scarlet Tiger is largely a moth of the SW of England, its distribution is increasing, extending its range. For me though, it’s still a lifer, and a much-appreciated one.

Also of note today were Scoparia basistrigalis (Base-lined Grey), one of the less frequent, and larger, of the ‘greys’, a set of moths that I really like; and Box-tree Moth (Cydalima perspectalis), an Asian immigrant from as recent as 2007 when the first one was trapped, now well-established in the UK. This was one of two around the trap this morning.

Not of note in terms of rarity or distribution, but interesting if only for how well they are named were Dark/Grey Dagger, Beautiful Yellow Underwing and Scalloped Oak – the first and last this morning, with the middle one trapped a few days ago.

Finally, away from moths, I’ve put a small pond into the garden recently and the first thing of real note – other than the crows that squabble over drinking rights early in the morning – was the male Broad-bodied Chaser that spent an hour or so checking it out last week.

Fascinatingly, within 24 hours of filling the pond it was being checked out by water beetles, though I think they’ve subsequently upped and left as it was devoid of other life. Since then I’ve added a few plants purchased from a local supplier of native aquatics and already the insect life is picking up – and with it, of course, other animals eager to make use of a food supply. Other than these few things to get it going I’m keen to see what comes naturally to it and I’ll keep you posted. For now, it’s enough simply to watch and wait.

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Budleigh Salterton resident; keen birder; moth-er.

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