Monday, 29 June 2020

Dichrorampha sylvicolana

            Earlier this year I obtained permission to survey for moths at Black Meadow in Chaddesley Woods, conveniently situated not far from home and a site I could visit whenever I wished.

            I had always felt there was the potential for ‘something good’ at the site but that does not mean I can take any credit for the discovery of the nationally scarce Dichrorampha sylvicolana by Steve Whitehouse on the 13th June. In some ways it was a rather sad state of affairs, with neither of us realising that a dark Dichrorampha, with contrasting orange irroration, netted from an area containing sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica) in a damp woodland meadow was highly likely to be sylvicolana. Our only excuse being that it is a scarce moth, never previously recorded anywhere near Worcestershire so far as I can tell and had consequently never been ‘on our radar’.

          When Steve passed it to me for dissection I did think it looked a bit different and I intended to photograph it even though it was rather worn, however, it was a busy time and after a couple of days it was euthanized for dissection. So it was not until 21st June I dissected the specimen and discovered it’s true identity resulting in a flurry of emails and an agreement to meet on site the following afternoon when we managed to net two more specimens. Despite being past their best, one was in good enough condition to warrant a couple of photographs, though I shall be hoping to photograph a pristine specimen next year.

Patrick Clement

Dichrorampha sylvicolana 22.6.20

Dichrorampha sylvicolana 22.6.20

sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica)

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