Monday, 18 May 2009

Capperia britanniodactyla

Ian Kimber and I found this species by chance whilst doing a daytime session for National Moth Night on 22nd May 2004. The first Yorkshire records since 1920. Several late instar larva found feeding on Woodsage at SE0990428305 in the Shibden Valley.

It likes dry, south-facing and sloping stony habitats, where the larvae feed on wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia). In spring, the larva bites through a stem of the foodplant, causing it to wilt. These wilted stems can be quite obvious and are a good indicator to find the larva, which feeds amongst the drooping leaves. If the cat is in residence the wilted part bitten through stems of the wooddsage are a dead give away. I only ever managed to find this species in three sites, 2 in Calderdale and one in Kirklees. As far as my experiences go you only have a chance of finding it on woodsage which is exposed to full sun on bare or rabbit grazed areas. The first instar larva overwinters at the base of the foodplant and if this gets shaded or overgrown I suspect the larva perish from damp and cold over winter. As far as I am aware this species has stil not be found in many parts of Yorkshire so any records you can come up with will be notable records nationally and locally

1 comment:

brian leecy said...

hi paul,thers some great woodsage sites near me,il certainly check them out,will let you know,all the best bri.