Wednesday, 13 February 2008

New Species for Calderdale ?



Whilst walking Norland Moor this morning between 8am and 9.30am Sue and I spotted several small moths flying around the heather in the sunshine. I caught one of these and potted it up to check the species when I got home. Turns out to be a new species for me and perhaps Calderdale in being Philedonides lunana, a member of the Tortricinae. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism in that the males and females are completely different looking. The only moths we saw were males as shown in the photo (borrowed from Ian Kimbers website). The moth is common in Yorkshire in the right habitat (heather) so it might be worth checking out heather moorland near you when the sun reappears again later in the week. I think we were rather lucky this morning in that it was very still and sunny an unusual combination in February in Calderdale ! I am still surprised I have never recorded it before as its flight period is supposed to be from March to May.

5 comments:

AndyC said...

Amazing how there are still species out there to be found.The Scallop Shell is a first unless someone knows different.

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Andy
As far as I am aware Scallop Shell is new to Calderdale but as I don't have any contact with the Countryside Unit or Halifax Sc Soc recorder I may have missed a modern record.

The micro on Norland was only really strange in that I walk the moor at least weekly 52 weeks a year and have not seen this specis before. I probably have, but have not checked and assumed they were Neofaculta ericetella or simlar. There are literally hundreds of micro moths that have not been recorded yet in Calderdale simply because no one has looked. I have a couple of VC and Yorkshire first records simply because I went and looked. If you want to bag a county or VC first then go forth and look, it really is that easy ! One of the commoner leaf mines on Sallow in Calderdale in autumn is Ectoedemia intimella dead easy to find right up to leaf fall, dead easy to ID and not recorded before I looked for it in 2001 after a tip by a mate.

AndyC said...

its funny how no one has looked as there have been many moffers in the past.I have been invited to have a look in the libary of the Hx Sc Soc at there next meeting.?I find it hard to belive that Collinson did not record Mother shipton(unless it was called somthing else) locall plus lots of other 'Common Macros'.The list of new species over the last few years is mind blowing,Beautiful Snout,Pale Prominent , Pal Pinion,Blackneck,Scallop shell etc etc.Some are new to range expansion but how many are just not looked for.?

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Andy
We have had very few local lepidopterists over the years in the old Parish of Halifax (the largest in Britain) so to my mind its not surprising we have new records coming up now. As you say its partly down to global warming but also due in no small part to reduction in airborn pollution. Most lepidopterists did not waste their limited leasuire time in Halifax when they could nip off to far more interesting relatively unpolluted and much richer entomological areas around Britain on their hols etc. Long before the Halifax Birdwatchers Club became the "Filey Bird Club", local lepidopterists were off to more "tickable" areas to bag some new species :-))

Bill Collinson retired to the New Forest area to find some species he had only previously seen in books !

The main interest in Calderdale is not trapping adult moths but getting out to look for the larval stages to see what actually breeds here rather than simply passes through as an adult. For example when I ran the trap in the garden I used to get around 5 Feathered Ranunculus in the trap annually in late summer. Its a coastal species so what the hell is it doing passing over Calderdale. The Yorkshire recorder and I think there is a small resident breeding population locally but I have not found it yet, something else to look for in the coming years as I hope to be living in Wales by Summer and reading what you guys find here.

AndyC said...

I have also recorded Feathered Ranunculus in autumn it may be a migrant or breeding somewhere between park Road and Northowram.????