Dotted Carpet moth in Lochinver Mission

August 3rd 2013

One of Assynt’s rarer moths was spotted by Ian Evans inside the Mission at Lochinver on Friday, 2nd August. An unfamiliar small geometer, with delicate dark markings on a white background, it proved to be a Dotted Carpet Alcis jubata, whose caterpillars feed on the young growth of beard lichen Usnea spp.

There have only been three previous records from Assynt; single examples were light-trapped by Ian M. Evans at Nedd on 6th August 2003 and 28th July 2008 and by Jeff Waddell at Achmelvich on 30th July 2005.

The species is found mainly in wooded areas in the north and west of the British Isles, where beard lichens are more abundant. It is most likely that this individual has therefore been attracted out of the Culag Wood by the lights of the Mission. It was released unharmed after being identified.

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