Saturday, 9 April 2016

Early Tooth-striped

Last night's collection of moths in the garden actinic comprised 33 individuals of nine species, still dominated by the Orthosias:  Diurnea fagella (1), Early Tooth-striped (1), Engrailed (1), Small Quaker (1), Powdered Quaker (4), Common Quaker (3), Clouded Drab (7), Twin-spotted Quaker (1) and Hebrew Character (14).  Despite Bucks having not far short of 200 records for Early Tooth-striped, the moth isn't all that common and could only be described as widespread across the southern half of the county on the chalk of the Chilterns.  There is an enclave on the clay in the west, in some (but by no means all) of the old Bernwood woodlands on the Bucks/Oxon border, and these include the present-day Bernwood Forest which is a stronghold, but otherwise it seems to be absent from the northern half of the county.  Needless to say I was quite pleased to see it here last night, only the third example I've ever had in the garden.

Early Tooth-striped, Westcott 8th April

I have searched without success for its rather more colourful but far rarer cousin the Barred Tooth-striped, a much declined species which also flies at this time of year.  Its caterpillars feed on privet, of which there is no shortage in Bernwood Forest from where it was once known.  However, there have been no records of it in Bucks for more than 50 years so the species has almost certainly been lost from the county.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


  1. Hi Dave, an Early Tooth-striped came to my garden trap last night being the fourth record here.


  2. I may be out of date, but if I am it is only recently...I don't believe Early Tooth-striped is found at all in Hertfordshire. ( Although. in past years I have taken it in double figures right on the border in Bucks).

    1. Interesting - I hadn't looked at counties adjacent to Bucks. It appears to be current in at least parts of both Oxon & Berks. I'd suggest that it will be found in Herts too because there are quite a few records from both you and Richard Ellis in the area around Chorleywood which is right on the county line (could be a target for you!). The Beds Moth Group website lists it as rare in VC30 but they do have at least one recent record (2013). However, BC's Provisional Atlas of the UK's Larger Moths (2010) does show a distinct lack of current records to the east until you get into Norfolk and Suffolk.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.