Light Crimson Underwing at Alners Gorse

View of a resting mottled grey, brown and black moth showing part of its red underwing
Light Crimson Underwing. Photo: Nigel Spring

Light Crimson Underwing at Alners Gorse – the first confirmed breeding population in Dorset!

Nigel Spring reports that in late July last year we were amazed to discover three Light Crimson Underwings (Catocala promissa) in the moth trap at Alners Gorse.  In the UK this species has a very limited distribution, being restricted to the oak woodlands of the New Forest, Wiltshire and NE Hampshire.  Although it has been recorded in Dorset, the stray records were thought to refer to wanderers and immigrants from the continent.

This year, 2020 we set the light traps again at Alners Gorse on the night of July 19th and Jack Oughton revisited with his small group for the night of August 5th.  On both nights, two LCU’s were trapped!  This is a very exciting development as it effectively proves that Alner’s supports a breeding population of this species, the first for Dorset!

Also for information, please note these details about this year’s Moth Night which will be taking place between 27 – 29 August this year. This year’s campaign is focusing on four underwing species – Red Underwing, Rosy Underwing, Dark Crimson Underwing and Light Crimson Underwing. Regrettably we can’t hold events in the same way as in previous years but we are hoping that people will be inspired to take part in their own gardens and local outdoor areas this year, perhaps as a ‘staycation’ activity.

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