Pete's Walks - Pale Shoulder

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Photo taken on 20/08/12 at Kensworth, Beds.

This is the rarest moth I've ever seen! In fact it's almost certainly the rarest bit of wildlife I've ever seen! It's the first one ever recorded in Hertfordshire, according to the County Recorder, Colin Plant (for historic reasons, Kensworth is in the Herts and Middlesex 'Vice-county' when it comes to recording wildlife). I had no idea what it was when it turned up in my moth trap, and 'GuyF' on the Wild About Britain web site had to identify it for me. Apart from its rarity value, it's a stunning little moth anyway.

This is really a Southern European moth. A few were recorded in the UK in  the 19th century, and then none were seen here for over a hundred years until, bizarrely, two appeared on the same night in August 1994 (in Kent and Dorset). Since then there have been a handful of records, mainly in July and August.

There are two generations that fly between May and August. It prefers to fly on sunny days, but the recent British records (like mine) have all been attracted to light at night. (As usual, most of this information is from the wonderful UKmoths web site).

Photo taken on 20/08/12 at Kensworth, Beds.