Sunday, 6 July 2014

Forester or Cistus Forester - Sitches Wood?

A couple of interesting photos of a forester moth taken by Ken at Sitches plantation on Thursday. There are two species of forester recorded in Derbyshire, the commonest is the Cistus which is found in the limestone dales and can often be seen in good numbers on Longstone Edge in May and June. The Forester is rarer with only a couple of historical locations known for the species both in NE Derbyshire but a new colony was reported near Ashover in 2006.
The larva of the Cistus Forester feed exclusively on Rock Rose, which is not a flower which is found on the gritstone moors whereas the Forester feeds on Common and Sheep's Sorrel which is much more widespread on both limestone and acidic grasslands. They are usually separated in the field on size, the Cistus Forester is a generally couple of mm smaller than Forester. I think given the habitat that The Forester is the more likely identification but either is a very interesting local record
I checked the area today without success in intermittent sunshine.

Forester or Cistus Forester Moth (c. Ken Smith)

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