Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rare moth recorded in Kent for the first time

Rare moth species first for Kent

August 2013. A species of moth not previously seen in Kent and known only by its Latin name Harpella forficella has been discovered at Kent Wildlife Trust's Holborough Marshes nature reserve, near Snodland.

This striking cream and brown moth, native to Europe, was found by amateur naturalist and Trust volunteer, Ross Newham. Ross undertakes moth recording at a number of Trust reserves across West Kent, with all records helping to build up a detailed inventory of the species in the area. Using this information, conservation bodies can then study the biological records available to plan the management of sites.

After being caught and photographed, the sighting was confirmed by ecologist, Dr Marc Botham and Somerset-based moth expert David Agassiz; the moth then being released back at Holborough Marshes by Trust staff.

Harpella forficella was first recorded in the UK in 2011 with two subsequent records in 2012. This record in Kent may therefore prove to be only the fourth occasion the species has been found in the UK.

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