Caption: Argent and Sable Moth
Last summer, during our Wings in the Woods butterfly surveys, a rare moth was found. The Argent & Sable moth, a black and white day flying moth, was spotted by Butterfly Conservation's Northern Regional Manager, Dr David Wainwright, in an area of Bog Myrtle on Bethecar Moor. The only other record this far north is at Roudsea Moss National Nature Reserve. We held a training day for Rusland Horizons volunteers in June, and were very excited to find another moth near Oxen Park.
We are now looking for areas of bog myrtle that can be surveyed or any records of this beautiful moth. The moth can be seen flying in May and June, laying its eggs under leaves of the foodplant. The larvae feed on the leaves of bog myrtle and young birch saplings, usually in open woodland, grassland or moorland. The larvae spin together 2 or 3 leaves, making a chamber to protect them from predators while they eat the leaves. They spend from September to April as pupa in moss.
Please let our Butterfly project office, Hilary Smith (contact details below) know of any sightings, taking a photograph of the moth or recording the location of bog myrtle patches as soon as possible.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, and becoming a Butterfly Conservation volunteer in the Rusland Horizons area, please contact: Hilary Smith, Wings in the Woods Project Officer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 01524 298680/07946 026670