Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Striped Lychnis larva survey - Bucks

Since 1991 there has been some sort of survey for Striped Lychnis larvae in Bucks (generally in the Chilterns area).  After some years when BAP was written for the species things were a bit more formalised and the plan included a big survey every 5 years.  2015 is one of those years and the first time we have been without Peter Hall in the county who has acted as the main co-ordinator.

This year I'm trying to get a survey going and today Wed 15th July went to a site near Marlow where I was pretty sure I could find some larvae to see what size they were and if we were at the right time to start surveying.  I looked at over 700 plants and found 191 larvae, most being tiny (<5mm) or small (up to 10mm) and nothing above medium sized.  This was a really good result for the site and shows that survey work should start soon and with good weather in a few days they will be a bit larger and easier to spot.

We now have many sites for the species and I'm looking for volunteers to help with the survey over the next 2 to 3 weeks (you don't need to help everyday, just a few hours would be useful).  I will supply information on sites to visit, what to record etc and results should be returned to me daily and will be summarised for all to see.  In this way we should avoid lots of people going to the same site.  If you are interesting in helping or would like more information please contact me at

I look forward to hearing from you.

Below are some pictures courtesy of Peter Hall of larvae of various sizes.

I also had a look at a few clumps of Common Toadflax and spotted one small Toadflax Brocade caterpillar.

Martin Albertini
Bucks moth recorders

Some tiny ones (tricky to spot)

A small one

A big one

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