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Butterfly Conservation- Glasgow & South West Scotland Branch

Argyll Moth Recording

Welcome to the Argyll Moth Recording page of the Glasgow and SW Scotland branch of Butterfly Conservation.

This page will be updated regularly during 2008 with moth data from sites where trapping is done regularly. The merits of this page are as follows:

  • IDENTIFICATION AID: if you have caught something which you cannot identify, having access to current data from other sites will offer possible identities which you can check out in your moth books or you can enter the candidate moth names into the search box at www.ukmoths.org.uk.
  • MICRO MOTHS: learning to identify micro-moths is difficult and daunting to the novice. The data presented on this page together with photos in the "Difficult Moth Gallery" and www.ukmoths.org.uk will help identify your micros.
  • LIVE MOTH DATA: you can follow the emergence of the different species through the year across Argyll
  • IDENTIFY AREAS WITHOUT REGULAR TRAPPING: gaps in the trapping network can be plugged if new trapping sites are found.


06/09/08: Autumn is well and truly here with some lovely autumn moth species such as Canary-Shouldered Thorn being recorded in Argyll.

28/08/08: The total number of moth spp recorded in Argyll in 2008 now stands at 211. A total of 88 species were trapped at Glen Nant on 25 July 2008 during an event organised by Butterfly Conservation and the Forestry Commission. Five of the UK BAP species, Square-spotted Clay were found but Glen Nant is not a new site.

01/07/08: The total number of moth spp recorded in Argyll in 2008 now stands at 143. The weather of recent weeks has not been good for moth trapping but some data is being received.

16/06/08: The total number of moth spp recorded in Argyll in 2008 now stands at 130. A National Moth Night Event on 7 June 2008 was held at Glasdrum and a total of 73 species were caught. The highlight was Small Yellow Wave which is quite a rare moth only found locally. Both Grey Arches & Green Arches are now on the wing and some of the Clays have also been seen: Ingrailed Clay at Ardfern on 3 June and Purple Clay at Creagan Wood 7 June.

30/05/08: The total number of moth spp recorded in Argyll in 2008 now stands at 98. This includes three UK BAP spp: Barred Tooth-striped; Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moth & Argent & Sable (seen on the way up the Cobbler). And also a nationally notable pyralid, Udea decrepitalis which was found at Glasdrum & nearby Elleric. A Ringed Carpet has also been recorded at Creagan Wood. With the advancing season, the Arches should soon be on the wing and many more spp. There are also more pugs on the wing and some pug photos are this week featured in the difficult moth gallery. And also a common micro, a gelechid, Carpatolechia proximella

11/05/08: Last weeks warm sunny weather resulted in some good moth catches in Argyll. The most exciting result was finding the UK BAP species, Barred Tooth-Striped, at two new sites: Creagan Wood & Glen Nant NNR. In addition, many new species for 2008 appeared: Pebble Prominent; Pale Shouldered Brocade; Knot Grass; Rivulet; Silver-Ground Carpet; Small Angle Shades; Peach Blossom etc. Click on the maps below for full details.

Current moths which may cause identification problems are the carpets which have a red bar in them or have green in them. First the red carpets. Flame Carpet is easiest as it has two protuberances on the outer edge of the red band towards leading edge. The Red Twin-spot Carpet only has one protuberance on outer edge of red band and has two dark spots towards wing tip. However, red forms of the Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet look very similar but can be distinguished by the presence of a notch on the inner side of the red central band towards leading edge. The Red Carpet does not appear until later in summer.

The green carpets may also cause confusion. Red-Green Carpets are quite common at the moment and are quite variable and May Highflyers which are also very variable are also on the wing. Ruddy Highflyers are much rarer and have quite sharply pointed wing tips and a marked black dash at wing tip which distinguishes them from May Highflyers. No Ruddy high flyers have been reported in 2008.

24/04/08: There are relatively few species around in April which makes identification easier. Amongst the pugs, the Brindled Pug is very common and has distintive markings. Amongst the micros, Diurnea Fagella is both very common and very variable and two specimens are shown in the "Difficult Moth Gallery". Acleris spp are tortrix moths which require genitalia examination to identify to species level.

Please send all moth data recorded in the vice-county Argyll Main (98) to The southern boundary of Argyll Main is along the Crinal Canal so Taynish is in Kintyre Vice-County (101) but Lochgilphead is in Argyll Main. Moth records in Kintyre should be sent to Helen Bibby

The Argyll Moth Group (AMG) has been recently created to encourage and support moth trapping in Argyll. There are four Skinner moth traps which run off the mains electricity supply and two battery operated Heath traps within Argyll which can be borrowed if you don't want to buy your own trap or if you want to try out moth trapping. If you would like to join this group, please contact Helen Bibby.

Thanks are due to SNH for supporting the Argyll Moth Group.

If you trap regularly (at least twice a month) at a site in Argyll and would like your moth data to be featured on the map below, please

Regular Trapping sites in Argyll
(click on site name for latest data!)


Argyll Moths 2008 Statistics
using all data submitted to Argyll moth recorder up to 7 September 2008
  • No. of spp: 222
  • No. of Macro spp: 203
  • No. of Micro spp: 19
  • No. of BAP spp: 4
  • No. of Macro Records: 1420
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    Difficult Moth Gallery

    Click for bigger image
    Angle-barred Pug
    Golden-rod Pug
    Golden-rod Pug
    Carpatolechia proximella
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