The ‘Unrivalled’ …

This year see’s the 20th anniversary of National Moth Night, a celebration of all the things we love and enjoy about this hobby of ours. One of the themes is Clifden Nonpareil (Catocola fraxini) - aka the ‘Blue Underwing’. Despite a much welcome resurgence of this species across the southern counties of the UK it is a species I have only been lucky enough to see on four previous occasions. My first two were courtesy of a moth twitch Matthew and I made to Stiffkey, Norfolk in Sept’ 2001. I then had to wait almost twelve years to the day before seeing one in Kent. My last was back in August 2017, from Hen Reed-beds. The thought of actual catching my own, and in the garden, seemed more fiction than fact but this morning was one of those rare moments when the moth gods finally decided to smile on my trap once again. As I type this post I’m not ashamed to admit that l’m still  buzzing from the excitement of turning over the egg tray and seeing this large pale grey/brown moth sat there, and then the panic that sets in when you think don’t fly before I can pot you up. It’s also interesting to note that the nearest poplar plantation I can think of is approx. 4km due south of me (near Rattlesden) !!

And don’t forget to check out:

C.fraxini (Woolpit) 30 Aug 2019

C.fraxini (Woolpit) 30 Aug 2019




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4 Responses to The ‘Unrivalled’ …

  1. keith says:

    What a lovely example!

  2. paulb says:

    Thanks Keith. Not a scale out of place so wondering if it freshly emerged.

  3. Raymond Watson says:

    Brilliant Paul. They are now resident in the county but I have yet to see one. They do seem to be being reported more around the country. Well done!

  4. Neil says:

    Some of you will already be aware through a post on Twitter that I too got lucky with a specimen of this fantastic species at IGC the night before Paul’s (my second record following a worn one last October, have seen around 10 in my life both in the UK and at various European countries). Others have been noted at Minsmere too for the second year running and yes, I am of the opinion that it is currently colonizing Suffolk so may well grace other people’s traps before the end of the autumn!

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