British moth discovered, new to science

Ectoedemia heckfordi male and male hindwing

From the BBC:

New British moth found in Hembury Woods is world first

By Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News

A moth new to science and found nowhere else in the world has been formally recognised as living in the UK.

The 3mm-long micro moth, which lives in Hembury Woods in Devon, was recognised as a new species this year.

This week, the biologist who discovered it is presenting the Natural History Museum of London with one of the first known specimens.

The receipt of this “type” specimen will mark the official acceptance of the moth’s existence in the country.

The tiny micro moth, which has a wingspan of just 6mm, was first spotted in 2004.

Hembury Woods: home to the moth

At that time, amateur naturalist Bob Heckford sighted the unusual bright green caterpillars of this tiny leaf-mining moth on oak saplings within Hembury Woods, a site managed by the National Trust.

In January this year, the moth was officially recognised in the journal Zookeys as a new species, named Ectoedemia heckfordi after its discoverer.

It is not known to live outside of the UK. …

Caterpillars of the new species are found mostly on oak saplings and low growth of oak in the shade.

The mines they make are quite dark and the caterpillars are bright green which is quite unusual for micro moths.

The adults lay their eggs on the underside of the leaf.

See also here.

UK moth numbers have fallen by a third in the past 40 years: here.

Special care for some of Wales’ rarest butterflies and moths: here.

Elusive Little Thorn moth reappears after 150 years: here.

July 2010. A very rare moth from Madeira has been identified at WWT Martin Mere in Lancashire. Marsh Dowd (Blastobasis rebeli) is a first for the reserve, and it is believed that this is the only time this species has been recorded in the UK away from Hampshire and West Sussex. The moth was identified by the micro recorder for Lancashire: here.

Sussex Emerald caterpillars signal new colony of rare moth in Kent: here.

1 thought on “British moth discovered, new to science

  1. Pingback: Over 1,000 moth species in English treetops | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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