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45 Rare & Scarce Moth species recorded at Rough Bank

Other Rough Bank pages:     Moths (full list)     Butterflies     Other Invertebrates     Reserve tour     Reserve Leaflet

Since 2012, the year when Butterfly Conservation purchased Rough Bank reserve, a total of nearly 700 moth species have been recorded on the site and there are a few other species only recorded prior to 2012. The Rough Bank Moths page gives a full species list.

45 of the species recorded at Rough Bank are nationally rare or scarce in the UK, and nearly all of these are believed to be resident on the reserve because of the habitat and the presence on site of their larval foodplants. Many of these species have been found here at least 3 times since 2012. The exceptions to this are indicated in the text below, though in some cases these have been found on site as larvae or larval mines rather than as adults which could have flown onto the site from elsewhere. Rough Bank was quickly recognised as one of the most important known sites in Gloucestershire for scarce moths. Frequent daytime recording visits since 2012 produced many of these records, and it seems likely that several other Cotswold grassland sites would be found to support similar numbers of scarce species if subjected to similarly frequent daytime surveys.

The majority of the rare & scarce species recorded at Rough Bank are micro-moths. The identification and recording of these, particularly as a daytime activity, is not as popular as the recording of the larger macro-moths which is done mostly by the use of ultra-violet light traps at night. All of the species have been recorded since 2012, and only a few of them had also been found here in the past. Several of the species photographs below were taken at other Gloucestershire sites.

The Atlas of larger moths in Great Britain and Ireland published in late 2019 contains IUCN red list threat assessments which do not necessarily indicate scarcity. The number of 10Km UK map dots for 2000-2016 is used here: at most 15 for rare species, 16 - 30 for scarce A, and 31 - 100 for scarce B. Of the 12 scarce macro-moth species previously shown on this page only 3 are now nationally scarce (more likely the result of more people recording than of range expansion). One species not previously rated as scarce now does qualify. For micro-moths national status is from the 2012 review.

Following the publication (in 2019, 2020 & 2021) of amendments to the UK lepidoptera checklist, the scientific names of some of the species on this page have been changed from earlier versions of the page. Where common names for micro-moths are given in brackets after the scientific name, they are either from the checklist (which gives common names for relatively few micros) or another source.

National Rarities

4 nationally rare species have been found since 2012, three of which are resident on the unimproved grassland. These species are given provisional Red Data Book status in the 2012 review of the status of microlepidoptera in Britain.

Scarce Species (Na)

6 species rated "Nationally Scarce A" (also known as "Nationally Notable a", abbreviated to "Na") have been recorded at Rough Bank since 2012. These are species believed to occur in from 16 to 30 10Km O.S. map grid squares in the UK.

Scarce Species (Nb)

35 species rated "Nationally Scarce B" (also known as "Nationally Notable b", abbreviated to "Nb") have been recorded at Rough Bank. These are species believed to occur in from 31 to 100 10Km O.S. map grid squares in the UK.

Elachista species. The species listed below from this genus are all small, with wingspans in the range 7 - 10mm. Their larvae feed on sedges &/or grasses.
Elachista subocellea larva Elachista subocellea larva

Photos © Guy Meredith.   Page last revised January 2021
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