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Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation- Glasgow & South West Scotland Branch

Branch Moth Recording

Recording moths is an important part of Butterfly Conservation's work. There are many and varied moths throughout SW Scotland and it is well worth spending the time to study them.

The National Moth Recording Scheme was set up in 2007 to provide a national database for the macro-moths in the UK. This is a major step forward for moth recording in the UK.

We are very keen for people who record in the field to send in their moth records so they can be added to the newly formed branch moth database. This database is expanding, but there is a lot more data out there still to be processed. Below is a species density plot showing the data entered so far at 10km resolution. This comes from 6320 records and 854 species so far. The data has been entered into the MapMate® recording software.

SW Scotland Species 10Km

SW Scotland Species


This is an example of 10km resolution dot map showing records for the Large Yellow Underwing. It is not a distribution map as it only shows a few records. Many more records will be needed to start to create a distrbution map.

Large Yellow Underwing plotted at 10Km resolution

Large Yellow

Underwing plotted at 10km resolution

We are interested in all species of moth ranging from the most common to the most rare. The following moth species found in Scotland are listed in the UKBAP as Priority Species and thus have their very own UK Biodiversity Action Plan and by definition deemed to require the most urgent conservation action.

  • Argent and Sable (Rheumaptera hastate)
  • Barred Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx polycommata)
  • Cousin German (Paradiarsia sobrina)
  • Dark Bordered Beauty (Epione vespertaria)
  • Lunar Yellow Underwing (Noctua orbona)
  • Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk (Hemaris tityus)
  • Netted Mountain Moth (Macaria carbonaria)
  • New Forest Burnet (Zygaena viciae)
  • Northern Dart (Xestia alpicola)
  • Slender Scotch Burnet (Zygaena loti)
  • Square-spotted Clay (Xestia rhomboidea)
  • Sword-grass (Xylena exsoleta)

If you would like to contribute data for future conservation work then there are several ways in which data can be sent:

  • By post
  • In an email, using Word or Excel
  • Mapmate - setting the appropriate area, the taxon, to "Lepidoptera: Moths" and the records to "All Records" and sending the data to sync partner 1vk (see picture below).
Mapmate settings

Any records received will be passed onto the County Recorders for verification and also the local records centres and national recording schemes (such as the Pyralid and Plume Recording Scheme).

County Recorders

VC 72, 73 and 74 >> Dumfries-shire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire
Alison Robertson
County Moth Recorder,
Studio 1, Hillhead Mill
Dumfries & Galloway

VC75 >> Ayrshire
Gill Smart
81 Ardrossan Road
West Kilbride
KA23 9NF

VC76 >> Inverclyde and Renfrewshire
Paul Tatner
8 Burnside terrace
Easwald Bank
PA10 2EY
01505 347719 or 07796 603673

VC77 >> Lanarkshire (including Glasgow)
Richard Weddle
Glasgow Museum Resource Centre
200 Woodhead Road
South Nitshill Industrial Estate
G53 7NN

VC86 >> Stirlingshire
Martin Culshaw

VC87 >> West Perthshire
David Bryant

VC98 >> Argyll Main
Andrew Masterman
155 Quebec Drive
East Kilbride
G75 8BA

VC 99 >> Dunbartonshire
Alan Kerr
29 McGregor drive
G82 3JZ

VC100 >> Clyde Isles
Glyn Collis
Isle of Bute
PA20 9ET

VC101 >> Kintyre
Andrew Masterman
155 Quebec Drive
East Kilbride
G75 8BA

VC102 >> South Ebudes (Islay, Jura, Colonsay)
David Wood
The Oa RSPB Reserve
The Oa
Port Ellen
Isle of Islay
PA42 7AX

VC103 >> Mid Ebudes (Mull, Coll & Tiree)
Alan Skeates
Isle of Mull
PA65 6AY

Insects That Look Like A Moth

There are many insects that look like moths. You can find these by day and some come to light traps. Below are some examples of various insects that could you get confused to be moths.

Paul Tatner

Caddis Fly

Caddis flies are common insects that fly in the day time and at night. They spend most of their larval life in water. The adults are generally brown and have a weak flight. Their wings are covered in fine hairs. Their wings are held covered over their backs and their antennae are held in front of their bodies.

Green Lacewing

The bodies of Green lacewings are generally green, but sometimes brown. They hold their transparent wings over their bodies and their antennae point forwards. They are generally noctural and mostly eat aphids.

Fred Westscott

Paul Tatner


The bee fly is a spring insect that hovers or lands on flowers. It takes nectar through a proboscis. It is a small insect that has a furry body and could reaily be confused with a small hawk moth or nectaring moth.


Delicate insect with 2 or 3 long tails and long front legs. The wings are transparent and the forewings are usually much larger than the hind wings. At rest they are held vertically above the body. They fly mainly at dusk and night and are usually found near water in which they emerge as adults.

Paul Tatner

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