Devon Carpets at Hardcastle Craggs

DEVON CARPET at HARDCASTLE CRAGGS, Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire 2011.

Small Phoneix with Devon Carpet showing size difference

Classic Devon Carpet

  The first record for Yorkshire was at Kilburn in Spruce Bank Woods on 22nd August 2009. and 2 here on the 11th September 2010 (TB)

The second Devon Carpet for Yorkshire and first for VC63 and Calderdale were caught at an actinic light trap in Hardcastle Craggs on 14th 15th 21st and 25th August 2010 (Elenea Giacometti) a photo was sent to C.Fletcher for identification and confirmation soon followed. Elena Giacometti from Italy was working voluntry for the National trust and decided to run a moth trap as part of her studies. The question was asked was it the same individual caught 4 times or was it a possible a small undetected colony was present with the species being bivoltine we decided to have a look for it the next year ?

The following spring Brian Leesey , Martin Hayes and myself went to the same area and set light traps in the hope of catching another . On the 7th May 2011 one well marked individual was caught and again photos were sent to C.Fletcher for confirmation. Over the next 3 weeks we were able to run light traps on 3 more nights recording 13 individuals with a maximum of 5 on the 27th. Of these 10 were attracted to Mv light and 3 were netted at dusk in the surrounding area.

On the 25th June Brian Leesey and myself found the food plant growing close to the area where we were running light traps and it was decided that in July we would try and find the larvae this would prove very difficult as the information on the larval stages is very limited.

Marsh bedstraw grows inbetween Juncuss and the ground usually damp underfoot so searching for larvae was hard going on the 15th and 22nd July with nothing to show for our efforts we did think that the larvae may well be still very small at this point and difficult to detect .Added to this were swarms of biting midges and muggy conditions didn’t make for a pleasant evening. In hind sight the larvae may well have been at the pupal stage when we were searching as the second generation were on the wing by the 30th July. Numbers quickly increased 2 on the 1st August and 10 on the 5th then on the 13th and amazing 30 individuals were recorded..far more than we had ever hoped for.This continued into september with 16 all freshly emerged.
  There seems to be an emergence just after dark then quiet for a couple of hours and then another emergence.Mv light seem to attract the most but actinic lights attract them seems stange but we could id them in flight the main chacteristic being very similar to Pug species occasionally we mistook Flame carpets in flight for  Devons.