Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Last of the Orthosias

Three hours on Pitstone Hill, Bucks last night produced four specimens of the target species, Orthosia opima (Northern Drab).  The National Trust's Ashridge Estate seems to be the only remaining local stronghold for this species, certainly in Bucks if not in all three of our counties.  Despite the relatively warm temperatures - it was still in double figures at midnight - there was an annoying south-westerly breeze from which it was difficult to escape on the hill.  Two of the three MV traps were placed in relatively sheltered hollows and did quite well but the third was in light scrub out on the exposed hillside and it caught just one moth (although it was a Northern Drab!).  Two different specimens are illustrated below.  The session produced 23 species of which a rather early Barred Hook-tip and an as yet unconfirmed Depressaria species were the only other new sightings for the year.
Dave Wilton

Northern Drab, Pitstone Hill 14th April

Northern Drab, Pitstone Hill 14th April

Barred Hook-tip, Pitstone Hill 14th April

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