New moth for Cornwall: Sombre Brocade

with No Comments
On 3 October 2011 a moth appeared in the trap that I didn’t instantly recognise. It was at a time of a large moth migratation into Cornwall so my interest in its identity was intensified by the thought it must be from the continent.

Having photographed it and done some research I decided it had to be Sombre Brocade (Dryobotodes tenebrosa), a moth not previously recorded in Cornwall and first recorded in mainland UK in 2008 in Dorset where a small population has now established itself.

However, having discussed its appearance with a national expert, who suggested there was the possibility that it wasn’t a single migrant moth and that there may be an undiscovered breeding population here in Falmouth, it was decided I wouldn’t report the record immediately.

Further trapping with a light was limited later last year due to bad weather and, despite not recording any more Sombre Brocades, I still feel there is a real chance that this species is breeding locally because of the local abundance of the larval foodplant, Holm Oak.

Having recorded several Portland Ribbon Waves (Idaea degeneraria) last summer in Falmouth, which strongly indicate the only breeding site of this moth in the country other than on Portland Bill, results of this year’s moth recording will be particularly interesting.

Thanks go to Mark Tunmore, editor of Atropos, an excellent magazine for those interested in moths, butterflies and dragonflies, who provided more information on the distribution of this species.

Other Moth Sightings

Moth Galleries

Illustrated Guide to British Moths

Leave a Reply