After 60 years away, this extremely rare moth is found on the Isle of Wight

A moth previously thought to be extinct has been found on the Isle of Wight by two conservationists.

narrow-bordered_bee_hawk-moth_

This is fantastic news, well done to Ian and Cath and the HIWWT team. Ed


Moth Surveyors Ian and Cath Fletcher spotted the species, identified as the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk moth, on a stalk of grass at a wildlife reserve in Cranmore.

The moth is nationally scarce and is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Missing for 60 years
Not seen for 60 years, it is believed that the last person to record one here was Dr KG Blair, an eminent entomologist, who lived in Freshwater for a number of years. He had several moths named after him including Blair’s Wainscot and Blair’s Mocha.

The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk moth requires a mix of open, flower-rich grassland and scrub. It’s this habitat mosaic which is important for a number of the special Lepidoptera recorded from the reserve. The moth is nationally scarce and is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Careful management of the local nature reserve
Ian Fletcher, Assistant Moth Recorder with the Isle of Wight Natural History & Archaeological Society said,

“It was testament to the careful management of the local nature reserve by the warden Jamie Marsh and his colleague Gareth Shelley of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.”

Jamie Marsh, Reserves officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said,

“After much hard work on the site it is great to see that our management is working and we are seeing new species utilising restored habitats and improving populations of other key rare species found on the reserve.”

Image: © Ian Fletcher

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Friday, 13th June, 2014 8:18am

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Filed under: Top story, West Wight, Wildlife

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