Author Archives: Lynda Lambert

large blsck and grey mothwith a red and  balck striped body

Privet Hawkmoth. Photo: Lynda Lambert

Grey and Black Hawkmoth resting with closed wiongs

Privet Hawkmoth. Photo: Lynda Lambert

After a few poor results from recent moth traps in herCorfe Mullen garden Lyn attracted this Privet Hawkmoth on 21/05/20.

Half way through the morning when sitting with a coffee in the garden, Lyn noticed something on the fence and found it to be this beautiful large moth.The flight season is June-July yet the hot weather must have brought this one out 10 days early .

Its foodplants are many, but Holly and Honeysuckle are known to be two of them which is abundant in Lyn’s garden.

Silvery grey moth with difse brown and fine specklingtripes

Grass Wave. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark visited Slop Bog on 31/05/20 and found this Grass Wave moth.

Readily disturbed by day, it is in flight from May -July. Its foodplants include Heather and Broom and it is mostly abundant on lowland heathland, open woodland, and bogs.

Thin  winged golden brown moth

Crescent Plume moth. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark photographed this beautiful Crescent Plume moth at Badbury Rings on 1/06/20.

They are in flight Mid June -August so this one put in an early  appearance this year.

The foodplant is Restharrow and Spiny Restharrow and it  has various habitats, one being downland.

a white caterpillar with bright yelow and black spots

Mullein moth caterpillar. Photo: Brian Arnold

When Brian was walking back from Ailwood Down, Swanage on 30/05/20 he spotted this striking Mullein moth caterpillar.

The foodplants are wild and cultivated mulleins, buddleias, and Water figwort.

To see a photo of the adult moth see our gallery post on 28/04/20.

tiny  red and gold moth with a brownish background on Thyme

Pyrausta aurata. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann sent us this photo of a tiny moth found in her Corfe MUllen garden on 15/05/20. As far as I can tell from this photo it is Pyrausta aurata, commonly known as a Mint moth because it feeds on mint, but also likes other herbs .

Flies in sunshine between March – September.

A similar species is Pyrausta purpuralis.

Red and Black moth resting on grass

Cinnabar moth. Photo: Penny Hawes

A striking daytime flying moth,a Cinnabar, was found at Sharford Bridge by Penny on 17/05/20.

This moth has a long period of emergence so newly emerged moths can be seen alongside fully grown caterpillars from mid May -early August.


Brown and Cream  highly partterned moth with a face  on the outer corners of forewings

Mother Shipton moth. Photo: Brian Arnold

Brians tells us:

On 20/05/20 we did our Durlston East transect. As elsewhere there are a large number of Dingy Skippers, many more than we have seen in previous years. We saw them all quite clearly, but in section 1 of the transect there was an impostor!! We saw what we first thought was a Dingy Skipper at the bottom corner where we have seen them before, but it was not flying in the same way – flying more quickly and diving down into the grass rather than settling in clear view. I managed to get a good look after following it and got a clear view and a photo – it is a Mother Shipton moth. The size, colour and pattern is of course very similar to the Dingy Skipper.


large brown /grey hawkmoth with  darker crossbands on all wings

Poplar Hawkmoth. Photo: Caroline Stringer

Caroline tells us on 14/05/20 this was the first Hawkmoth she has ever trapped in her Oakford Fitzpaine garden.

Always so exciting to find one of these beautiful large hawkmoths when you do a moth trap.

This species is resident and common and is the most widely distributed and frequent hawkmoth found in the British Isles from May – August, sometimes in September in the south.