Monday, 4 July 2016

The Forester moth - Flash Lane

In July 2014 Ken photographed a Forester moth at Stiches Plantation. I searched for it there immediately afterwards and again the following year without success. On Saturday Alan Stewardson contacted me to say he had seen at least two off Flash Lane so I went to have a look this morning and quickly located several feeding on clover and bird's-foot trefoil in the sunshine. I saw at least 7 in the immediate area but there is similar grassy habitat on Flash Lane and across to Sitches Plantation so it may be reasonably common in this area. 
In the Butterflies & Moths of Derbyshire Fred Harrison indicated that there were just two known colonies of the Forester in Derbyshire in the Moss Valley and at Unstone, although the latter is thought to have disappeared due to development. In 2006/2007 a colony was discovered near Ashover but this is clearly a scarce moth in Derbyshire and is reported to be in decline nationally as a result of agricultural intensification.
Forester Moth

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