Friday 8 July 2022


Earlier this evening there was a flying ant hatch, and for only the second or third time I recorded Mediterranean Gull from the garden - two adults up with the crowd of Herring Gulls. Apart from the recent visit to Culverhole, I think that's about all the action my bins have seen for at least a week! I am confident that birds will soon reassert their rightful position, but right now it is all about the moths...

The garden tally is now 157 species. Among recent additions have been creatures plain, beautiful, and downright weird. The cherry on this rich cake was provided by yet another genuinely scarce moth, three nights ago. I'll get to that in a moment, but first, a few of the new ones...

Struggled with this one. Thought it was going to be a large Tortrix moth, i.e. a 'micro'.

This recent colonist is one of the biggest so-called 'micro'-moths I've encountered. At least the size of a Small Magpie.

Always delighted to add another pug...

...or two.

A tiny and spectacularly weird little thing

So, here's the scarce one...

This is Anania stachydalis, or the Woundwort Pearl.

As far as I can tell, there have been very few records in Dorset. I could so easily have overlooked this little moth, because it looks very much like a common species which has been in the trap several times. I've never made much of an effort to photograph that one previously, so here's a pot-shot from mid-June...

Anania coronata, the Elder Pearl.

Anania coronata (Elder Pearl) has become a familiar sight, but I have been carefully checking them all just recently. This is entirely because of that morning I watched the moth traps being emptied at Mapperton. One of the moths caught was a good candidate for Anania stachydalis, and Jack Oughton pointed out why. For some reason I have remembered what he told me, and am rather pleased I did.

Top: Anania stachydalis
Bottom: Anania coronata


Right. Time to get the trap out...


  1. That's a fantastic find Gav! Can't believe you're tackling such difficult micros just a few weeks in. Strongly suspect there are many more exciting discoveries to come...
    Will be checking every flippin 'A. coronata' from now on.
    All the best. Matt

    1. Thanks Matt, I hope you're right!

      Mostly when encountering a new moth I have no clue as to its identity or status, and therefore quite how excited I should be! This one was different. As soon as I clapped eyes on it I had my suspicions, and well knew that A. stachydalis was a goody. So that's the first time a moth has given me a bit of a 'rarity buzz'. I definitely won't mind if that happens again!