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Full List of UK BAP Priority Macro Moths

This list does not include the “widespread but rapidly declining” species which are included on the BAP for research only

Verancular name Scientific name
Argent & Sable
Ashworth`s Rustic
Barberry Carpet
Barred Tooth-striped
Belted Beauty
Black-veined Moth
Bordered Gothic
Bright Wave
Brighton Wainscot
Chalk Carpet
Clay Fan-Foot
Common Fan-foot
Concolorous
Cousin German
Dark Crimson Underwing
Dark-bordered Beauty
Dingy Mocha
Drab Looper
False Mocha
Fenn’s Wainscot
Fiery Clearwing
Forester
Four-Spotted Moth
Goat Moth
Grey Carpet
Heart Moth
Light Crimson Underwing
Lunar Yellow Underwing
Marsh Mallow Moth
Marsh Moth
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth
Netted Carpet
Netted Mountain Moth
New Forest Burnet
Northern Dart
Olive Crescent
Orange Upperwing
Pale Shining Brown
Reddish Buff
Rest Harrow
Sandhill Rustic – This subspecies only
Scarce Pug
Scarce Vapourer
Shoulder-striped Clover
Silky Wave
Slender Scotch Burnet
Sloe Carpet
Small Dark Yellow Underwing
Speckled Footman
Straw Belle
Striped Lynchis
Sussex Emerald
Sword-Grass
White-mantled Wainscot
White-spot
White-spotted Pinion
Rheumaptera hastata
Xestia ashworthii
Pareulype berberata
Trichopteryx polycommata
Lycia zonaria britannica
Siona lineata
Heliophobus reticulata
Idaea ochrata
Oria musculosa
Scotopteryx bipunctaria
Paracolax tristalis
Pechipogo strigilata
Chortodes extrema
Protolampra sobrina
Catocala sponsa
Epione vespertaria
Cyclophora pendularia
Minoa murinata
Cyclophora porata
Chortodes brevillinea
Pyropteron chrysidiformis
Adscita statices
Tyta luctuosa
Cossus cossus
Lithostege griseata
Dicycla oo
Catocala promissa
Noctua orbona
Hydraecia osseola
Athetis pallustris
Hemaris tityus
Eustroma reticulata
Macaria carbonaria
Zygaena viciae argyllensis
Xestia alpicola alpina
Trisateles emortualis
Jodia croceago
Polia bombycina
Acosmetia caliginosa
Aplasta ononaria
Luperina nickerlii leechi
Eupithecia extensaria
Orgyria recens
Heliothis maritima
Idaea dilutaria
Zygaena loti scotica
Aleucis distinctata
Anarta cordigera
Coscinia cribraria bivittata
Aspitates gilvaria
Shargacucullia lychnitis
Thalera fimbrialis
Xylena exsoleta
Archanara neurica
Hadena albimacula
Cosmia diffinis

Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa

Status: Resident and partial migrant.

Distribution and Abundance: Very common.

Primary Habitat: General occurrence.

Flight Period: At least double brooded, mainly in May, June, September and October, but has been recorded in almost every month of the year.

Observations: Often to be seen at rest on dead flower heads, fences, walls etc., camouflaged by its cryptic coloration. The variably coloured caterpillar is often found feeding on garden plants. The flight period of moths taken in a light trap run nightly in a Wellingborough garden in the early 1950’s is significantly shorter than that currently seen at light traps operating at Pitsford Reservoir. The detail is as follows:-
Wellingborough
1951, 29 May to 20 Oct. – 105
1952, 11 June to 21 Oct. –   52
1953, 13 June to 25 Oct. –   49
Pitsford
1999,  9 May to 11 Nov. – 162
2000, 28 Apr to 19 Nov. – 277
2001, 15 May to 2 Dec.  –   99.

L.O.N.: 1907. Many localities. Common.

First Record: 1863, Smith

Sand Dart Agrotis ripae

B&F: 2093

ABH: 73.323

Status: Vagrant.

Record: 3 July 1951 Wellingborough (P. Gent).

Observations: The moth was taken in a garden light trap.

First Record: 1951, Gent.

Notice Board

Site Images: We are keen to complete the species illustrations on the site, additionally some of the earlier photographs now look below par and could be improved. If anyone has photographs of the species that we have not yet pictured, or clear improvements, and does not mind us using them to fill some of our gaps will they please let John Ward know. Any photographs used will of course be acknowledged.

The up to date grid square coverage map is now available by clicking onto:
Request for Information/Records from the County Recorder

IDENTIFICATION AND NOTICE BOARD ENTRIESAny member of the group is able to handle identification queries on moths at any of their stages and if in doubt will refer the matter on for a second opinion. At the outset the insect should be retained and a realistic photograph provided to confirm the identity. Due to the limitations sometimes imposed by photographic images of moths it is not always possible to identify difficult species from a photograph alone. Basically there is always a preference for a moth in the hand. Accordingly if there are still doubts the actual insect should then be seen by either Philip Horsnail, Mark Hammond, Pete Sharpe or John Ward who will act as determinators.

In general, at the time of recording we would like to hear of moths that are UK BAP speciesnew to the county, or are classified on the site as very localscarce or rare for entry on the notice board. Additionally any exceptional or interesting captures,i.e. very high numbers, species seen months out of season and unusual extremes of variation or melanism etc. will be welcome. Any other records can wait until submission of the annual recorders list. To keep the project within reasonable bounds we will generally only enter the first recording from a locality on the notice board but would appreciate the actual numbers involved at the end of the season.


It would be most helpful if all 2011 records could be sent to John Ward as soon as possible once recording for the season has finished with any new species for each site highlighted please. Any records received after the end of January will be too late for the 2011 season records update.

We are currently compiling a list of trips for 2011.  If anyone has any species or localities that they would like to target we would be pleased to hear from them; we are particularly thinking of sites that have not been worked previously or areas that are under-recorded.  We still think that there are resident populations of moths awaiting discovery in unrecorded areas of the county.  A good example of this in 2010 was the recording of White-line Snout in the unworked Sunderland Wood, never seen previously in Northants.  Please let Mark or John know if you have any suggestions.

23 September 2011. Please see late entry of new county record under 9 August 2011.

17 September 2011. The final Moth Group trip this year to Fermyn Woods Country Park (SP98) was well supported by, “The friends of Fermyn Woods Country Park.” Despite the cool and variable weather there was a catch of in excess of thirty moths covering fourteen species. Unfortunately the evening was terminated abruptly with a heavy deluge of rain at around 9.30pm. Full list of moths to follow.

10 September 2011. Richard Baylis ran three lights overnight at Holdenby House (SP66) as part of ongoing survey work. A total of 20 species was recorded.

31 August 2011. One False Mocha C. porata taken in an Oundle garden m.v. light trap (TL08) by Phil Horsnail. A new grid square record for this BAP species.

19 August 2011. James Skinner ran two lights at Sunderland Wood (SP77), part of the Kelmarsh Estate, as part of ongoing survey work. A total of 23 species was recorded.

13 August 2011. One worn Wood Carpet E. Rivata taken at a garden m.v. light trap in Kingsthorpe (SP76) by Pete Sharpe.

12 August 2011. Two Marbled Green C. muralis taken in an m.v. light trap at Greatworth (SP54) by Terry Stokes. The first time seen in the county since 1970. A photograph of one of the moths will appear on the species write-up in due course.

9 August 2011. One Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing N. janthina taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Kingsthorpe (SP76) by Pete Sharpe and photographically determined by Gerry Haggett. A new county record and the most inland record documented for the species to date. A photograph of the actual moth will be included with the species write-up in due course.

9 August 2011. Three Garden Dart E. nigricans taken at a garden m.v. light trap in Kingsthorpe (SP76) by Pete Sharpe. Pete informed me that he has taken around twenty of the species over the past few weeks, so there is hope that it is on its way back to regaining its former more common status within the county.

6 August 2011. The trip to Barnack Hills & Holes (TF00) yielded only 36 species, best of which was a single Square-spotted ClayX. rhomboidea and one The Four-spotted T. luctuosa. .

5 August 2011One White-point M. albipuncta taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Pitsford village (SP76) by Angus Molyneux. A new grid square record for the species.

Nick Smith has taken a number of notice board moths recently at his m.v. light traps at Woodnewton (TL09). These are: –
3 August 2011. Two Webb’s Wainscot A. sparganii, 2 August 2011. Two Garden Dart E. nigricans, 2 August 2011. One White-point M. albipuncta, 1 Augustt 2011. One The Four-spotted T. luctuosa. A further different example of this BAP species was taken the next day and 30 July 2011. One Bedstraw Hawk-moth H. gallii. This is the fifth county record for this species and follows the 2008 record at Glapthorn Cow Pasture also in TL09.

30th July 2011. Ron Follows ran a joint NMG/WT trap session at Ring Haw (TL09). 55 species were recorded, the highlights being two Nationally Notable moths – Mere Wainscot C. fluxa and Square-spotted ClayX. rhomboidea.

23 July 2011. Paul Waring ran a moth identification workshop at Old Sulehay / Ring Haw (TL09). A total of 33 species were recorded during the session, most notable being Square-spotted ClayX. rhomboidea.

18 July 2011. One Bedstraw Hawk-moth H. gallii taken at m.v. light trap at Maidford (SP65) by Jim Scott. A new grid square record for the species.

11 July 2011. One Small Marbled E. Parva taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Peterborough (TL19) by Mike Weedon. The second county record for this rare migrant that was seen in the county for the first time in 1953.

11 July 2011. Two Toadflax Brocade C. lunula taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Peterborough (TL19) by Mike Weedon. As an example of this species was recorded in this garden last August it appears that the moth could be temporarily established in the vicinity.

10 July 2011. Despite excellent weather conditions, a plentiful supply of old Apple trees and a brand new pheromone lure, we failed to record Red-belted Clearwing at Wilson’s Orchard (SP76). Note however that a singleton of this species was recorded by Mark Hammond at Old Sulehay (TL09) on 20th June.

9 July 2011. One Small Ranunculus H. dysodea taken at m.v. light in a Corby garden (SP88) by Adam Homer. An update of the Victorian record from this grid square and further evidence that the moth is spreading rapidly within the county.

8 July 2011. One The Ni Moth T. Ni taken in an actinic light trap at Sywell (SP86) by Jim Dunkley. This example was smaller and rather differently marked than those that I have seen previously. Eventually it was determined by sight of the actual moth.

2 July 2011. A rare confluent form of Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Z. lonicerae was seen and photographed at Hackleton (SP85) by Jeff BlincowA picture of the moth can now be seen on the species write-up.

28 June 2011. One Small Ranunculus H. dysodea taken at m.v. light in Old Stratford (SP74) by Andy Harding. A new grid square record for this recolonising species. A further Small Ranunculus H. dysodea was taken at light on the same night in a Peterborough garden (TL19) by Mike Weedon.

27 June 2011. One Garden Tiger A. caja was recorded in the Pitsford Water (SP77) light traps by Dave Francis. A much declined species in VC32.

22 June 2011. Two Small Seraphim P. sexalata one taken by net and the other in an m.v. light trap at Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

14 June 2011. One The Concolorous C. extrema taken in an m.v. light trap at Geddington Chase (SP98) by John Ward. It is noticeable that the woodland is generally drying out once again and that the Calamagrostis is becoming less common. In the 1990’s the same thing happened and the population of this species crashed with no moths recorded at this site for several years.

10 June 2011. The trip to Sunderland Wood (Kelmarsh Estates – SP77) on a what proved to be a moderately chilly night produced just twenty species.

29 May 2011. One Red-necked Footman A. rubricollis observed at rest in grass at Bedford Purlieus (TL09) by S Hodgson.

28 May 2011. The group trip to Ring Haw (TL09) yielded 71 macro species, most significant of which was seven The Concolorous C. extrema

27 May 2011. One Red-necked Footman A. rubricollis taken in an m.v. light trap at Holdenby House (SP66) by Richard Baylis. A new grid square record.

20 May 2011. One The Concolorous C. extrema taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

7 May 2011. One False Mocha C. porata taken in a garden m.v. light trap in Woodnewton (TL09) by Nick Smith.

2 May 2011. Thirteen The Four-spotted T. luctuosa seen at Werrington Brook Drain (TF10) by Paul Waring. This follows five seen on 27 April 2011 at the same site.

23 April 2011. One Scarce Prominent O. carmelita taken at m.v. light at Yardley Chase (SP85) by Pete Sharpe.

19 April 2011. One Red-line Quaker A. lota found alive inside Lings House (SP76) identified by James Skinner and confirmed by John Ward. The moth was in very fresh and certainly not overwintered condition looking as if it had recently emerged. This is a single brooded moth of the autumn months that is known to overwinter as an egg hatching and completing its growth in the spring and summer months. I have consulted all of the reference books that I hold back to Victorian times and the species is invariably shown as an autumnal moth. My thoughts on this phenomenon are that it was a late developing moth effected by the record low temperatures that we experienced at the end of 2010. The extreme cold delayed its emergence until the conditions were suitable to trigger its emergence this spring. A more experienced colleague shares this point of view but we welcome other explanations please.

19 April 2011. Pinion-spotted Pug E. insigniata taken at light in a Woodnewton garden (TL09) by Nick Smith. Seldom seen as a moth.

13 April 2011. One Scarce Prominent O. carmelita taken in an actinic light trap left overnight under birch in Bucknell Wood (SP64) by Terry Stokes. A new locality for the species.

2 April 2011. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at m.v. light in Yardley Chase (SP85) by Pete Sharpe.

2 April 2011. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at 15W Actinic Skinner trap by Richard Baylis in his East Haddon garden (SP66). This species was recorded here in 2010 also.

2 April 2011. The trip to Brigstock Country Park/Fermyn Woods (SP98) resulted in fifteen species being seen.

25 March 2011. The first group outing to Glapthorn Cow Pasture (TL09) yielded twenty-two species, the highlight of which was two White-marked C. leucographa. Despite examples of the target species having been recorded within the past few days at sites within a few miles either side of this location, Small Eggar was not seen.

25 February 2011. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at m.v. light at Pitsford Water (SP77) by Dave Francis. Previous records of singletons were recorded on the reserve on 16 March 2010, 23 February 2007 and 26 March 2005

23 February 2011. One Dotted Chestnut C. rubiginea taken at m.v. light in Irchester Country Park (SP96) by Derek Larkin. The species continues to expand its range within the county since first being seen in 2004. To date the moth has always been seen as a singleton.

11 February 2011. At the instigation of the Wildlife Trust we have to make a decision regarding the treatment of records submitted by recorders to the Moth Group and then onwards to other interested parties.  We are proposing the following:-
All records submitted to the County Recorder and Northamptonshire Moth Group (NMG), once verified, will be entered into our main database and will be available to third parties upon request.  In accordance with our joint agreement, at least once annually we supply the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre (Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust) and National Moth Recording Scheme (Butterfly Conservation) with a full dataset of  confirmed records received and this data is then  incorporated into their databases along with those of the NBN Gateway.  The contact details you have provided will remain confidential at all times and we will continue to safeguard any sensitive species and locaities as we have always done.  Please notify the County Recorder directly if you have any concerns regarding the availability of this data within the next month.

Great Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri

Status: Accidental.

Record: 3 June 1988 Wollaston (J. Ward).

Observations: The record refers to a male moth that was found barely alive outside the premises of a firm of importers on an industrial estate in Wollaston. I saw the moth on 15 June 1988, by which time it was dead, and positively indentified it. There is no doubt that the moth was imported with the firm’s goods.

First Record: 1988, Ward.

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

Status: Resident.

Distribution and Abundance: Common.

Primary Habitat: Woodland.

Flight Period: Single brooded in June and July.

Observations:  Never particularly common at light. Records from the Rothamsted trap at Fineshade for the eight years to 2000 show an average catch of three per annum. Caterpillars were found feeding on buckthorn at Newton in May 1991.

L.O.N.: 1907. Many localities. Common.

First Record:  1858, Green.

The Vestal Rhodometra sacraria

B&F: 1716

ABH: 70.038

Status:  Migrant.

Distribution and Abundance:  Irregular.

Primary Habitat:  General occurrence.

Flight Period:  Most records are in September and October.

Observations: Following the first record the moth has been seen in the county in most years, however until the high migration year of 2006 records had tailed off somewhat. In 2006 fifty-three examples of the moth were recorded in the county greatly increasing the mapped distribution of the species. At this stage it is not known to what extent this is a pattern for the future and the overall effect on the scarcity of the moth. Records from the Pitsford Water static light traps for the eight years from 1999 to 2006 are as follows:- 1999 – 3, 2000 – 3, 2001 – 2, 2002 – 0, 2003 – 0, 2004 – 0, 2005 – 0 and 2006 – 7 .

First Record: 1981, Finch

Blossom Underwing Orthosia miniosa

B&F: 2183

ABH: 73.243

Status: Resident.

Distribution and Abundance: Local.

Primary Habitat: Woodland.

Flight Period: Single brooded in March and April.

Localities: Hazelborough Wood, Salcey Forest, Yardley Chase and Fermyn Woods.

Observations: Historically more widespread in the county and then restricted to south Northants recently the species appears to have extended its range northwards once again. The moth prefers areas of open woodland and I well remember many of our unsuccessful attempts in the 1970’s to update records from some of the old sites such as Castor Hanglands, Bedford Purlieus, Geddington Chase and Hardwick Wood.  In the 1980’s caterpillars were found commonly in Salcey Forest feeding on hawthorn bushes growing under the oaks prompting searches for larvae in the old localities that also failed. Over the past few years’ singletons have been seen in north Northants and the moth was recorded annually from 2006 to 2009 at m.v. light in Woodnewton. Further evidence of the spread was obtained in March 2009 when several moths were taken at light at the moth group trip to Fermyn Woods and then in 2011 by the additional mapping of four new grid squares.

Confusion Species: Common Quaker

L.O.N.: Undated. Northampton. 

First Record: 1900, Kenyon

Glaucous Shears Papestra biren

Status: Vagrant/Accidental.

Distribution and Abundance: Rare.

Record: 11 May 1987 Deanshanger School grounds
(D. Brown).

Observations: There are two earlier records for the species,
9 July 1928 Kettering (A. Cooper) and 30 July 1929 Kettering (A. Cooper). There are unresolvable doubts concerning these records in that both are abnormally late for the moth to be on the wing, perhaps suggesting misidentification. Offsetting this it should also be borne in mind that Arthur Cooper was an extremely reliable and experienced recorder.

First Record: 1928, Cooper.