Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Caloptilia falconipennella (Scarce Alder Slender) - Darley Dale

With the sudden increase in both day and night time temperatures I ran the moth trap on 11th March and was rewarded with 11 species of macro moth, including a couple of Yellow Horned and an Oak Beauty. 
I also caught two micro moths, one was clearly Acleris cristana but the other was an unfamiliar Caloptilia. After some searching on the internet I'm fairly certain it is the autumn form of Caloptilia falconipennella, which over winters as an adult moth. It's common name, Scarce Alder Slender, indicates both its food plant and its national status. It's another moth which appears to be spreading northwards with records in Bedfordshire (2004), Northamptonshire (2011), , Leicestershire (2011) and in Nottinghamshire in 2012 and again this year at Attenborough NR. 
It is just 6mm long, so easily overlooked and I suspect that this may be the first record for Derbyshire although if it has managed to get to the Derbyshire Dales it must also occur further south in the County.
Caloptilia falconipennella
UK Records of Caloptilia falconipennella ©NBN Gateway

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