Yesterday he sent me a picture of a moth (the only one in the trap) he wasn't sure about, asking if I thought it was Conistra vaccinii or ligula. I'd never seen one of either like his picture. As Herts County Moth Recorder Colin Plant had recently sent around a message about watching out for Black-spotted Chestnut Conistra rubiginosa I looked it up. Robin's moth looked just right for that species and Colin confirmed what it was.
The species was first seen in the UK in Kent in 2011, at more than one site. In 2014 it turned up in Suffolk and in 2015 at two sites in Bedfordshire and then in 2016 in Dorset. Cambridgeshire joined the list in 2018, as did Hertfordshire a week ago just before the New Year. So it is well worth keeping the traps out!
If you think you have one please take a picture and possibly save the specimen for absolute confirmation (there is a similar looking species in Europe, not yet recorded in the UK). Thanks to Robin for supplying the information and picture.
Bucks County Moth Recorder
|Black-spotted Chestnut, Denham Jan 2019|