Friday, 28 March 2008

Beautiful night in Hebden

Last night (27th March), the evening was fair and clear and just before the temperatures dropped to below zero and the rain set in once again, a single and beautiful 1930 Oak Beauty Biston strataria (m) visited the window next to the trap. My first ever example of this species.




6 comments:

AndyC said...

Excellent record of this scarce species in Calderdale/yorkshire.

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Not often recorded rather than scarce might be a better description. I recorded this most years in small numbers when I ran a trap in the garden. Largest number was 5 individuals in one night. Unless you trap close to suitable habitat in March( which obviously not many do) you are highly unlikely to find it as it seems not to stray far from suitable woodland.

drepana said...

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your input. There seems to be only 2 records from VC63 in 2006 and both were within a few days of my sighting and that of Dave Hunton who had 2 last night in Garforth. Perhaps we are both near suitable woodland. I do have quite a scattering of oaks near me but am not right on the edge of a wood. Does the word "scarce" as used by AndyC have a greater (more exact)definition here than the normal dictionary one?

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

I am always wary of using the word scarce as a recording term. Its almost impossible to quantify in the present and impossible for following recorders in following years to decipher in terms of numbers of individuals or where and when it occurs. My own feeling on Oak Beauty is that its probably around in greater numbers than we suspect but its simply not a good time of year for recorders to go to the correct habitat to look for it. Unless one makes a targeted attempt on any species that is considered uncommon/scarce then we do not really know if the statement is true or its lack of recorder effort.

I recorded more individual specimens of a micro called Ypsolopha sylvella when I first started trapping in my garden than had been caught in the whole of recording this species in Yorkshire. But does this mean it common or uncommon in suitable habitat in either Calderdale or Yorkshire ? Well no one will know unless someone targets the species.

I am not trying to be pedantic here, but as recorders of moths are spread so thinly on the ground in Calderdale it difficult to call some species scarce or uncommon as we simply do not really know what their status is until many more years of effort have gone into recording locally

AndyC said...

Scarce means not plentiful or abundant or not often recorded in large numbers.under 10 records a year is scarce.its difficult because if no one records Large yellow underwing does it become scarce or just underecorded.????
.......top moth anyway

AndyC said...

So its local.?