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Thursday, 11 December 2014
Rare African moth flies into Exmouth
News just in from Butterfly Conservation:
Rare African Gem Discovered In Devon
An African moth which hasn’t been seen in this country for 45 years has been found in Devon, Butterfly Conservation can reveal.
The Accent Gem moth was discovered around two weeks ago by Dave Wall in Exmouth. Dave said: “I run a moth trap in my garden and often get a lot of migrant species because of being so close to the coast, but this was different.
“I didn’t recognise it at first and had to look through my books and contact the Devon Moth Group to get it confirmed. Once we knew what it was, I just couldn’t believe it and I was so excited that I was late into work that morning.
“When you first look at it you might think it’s not that special, but this is only the second-ever sighting in Britain and for such a tiny moth to have come such a long way is amazing. It’s actually very pretty too, with these dark triangular markings and white ticks on the wings.”
The Accent Gem’s forewing is often reddish brown in colour or a darker, greyish brown and it was last seen in Kent in 1969.
Moth officer for Butterfly Conservation’s Devon Branch, Barry Henwood, said: “The only other record of this extremely rare migrant was at Halstead 45 years ago. That individual was somewhat worn, whereas the Exmouth moth was in excellent condition. It is found through most of Africa and may be established in the Azores, Portugal and Mediterranean coasts of Spain and France and eastwards to Lebanon.
“The moth must have travelled a long way to arrive in Exmouth, probably aided by warm southerly winds. As with many other rare immigrant moths, it has little chance of becoming established in Britain.”
This is the second extremely rare migrant moth caught in Devon in recent months. Back in July, members of the Devon Moth Group also found a Ringed Border moth, a first for the county and only the third known British record.
Check out our blog to find out about the other migrant moths that have been visiting the UK this autumn.