The missed ferry and the amazing moth
Story featured in BBC News, 19 June 2013
Eveyone's heard a story about someone missing a bus, plane or train and then having some amazing piece of luck. Now this phenomenon has led to the discovery of a moth species never previously seen in Scotland. The Blomer's Rivulet, a delicately patterned grey and rusty brown moth was discovered by members of Butterfly Conservation Scotland's Highland Branch at Lochaline.
The Branch stumbled upon the moth, which is classed as nationally scarce in England and Wales, after missing a ferry over to the nearby island of Mull on Saturday 15 June.
Margaret Currie from Culbokie, said: "The ferry had already stopped for lunch so some of us were wandering about in the nearby vicinity looking for moths and butterflies. We spotted a moth low down in a hazel tree. We had no idea what it was and fortunately we took a photo. This has now been verified as Blomer's Rivulet, a new moth for Scotland".
Blomer's Rivulet, named after 18th century naturalist Charles Blomer, occurs sporadically throughout England and Wales, as far north as Cumbria, in deciduous woodland habitats and is on the wing from June to July. The caterpillars feed on wych elm. The moth's identity was confirmed from a photograph by Banff-based moth expert Roy Leverton.
Leverton, author of the award-winning Enjoying Moths said: "This is a most unlikely find. I could just about have imagined it turning up in the Borders, or even Dumfries & Galloway, but not this far north".
Paul Kirkland, Director, Butterfly Conservation Scotland said; "This is a very exciting find, and it shows that there are corners of the country where new moth colonies can still be discovered. The news will spur on our moth recorders to explore other parts of Scotland".