Tuesday, 5 October 2021

The Clearwing Year.

 This was my 3rd year of hunting the rarely seen Clearwing moths. With 15 species in the UK I was pleased to see two thirds of the species this year.

I may one day get over to the West of the country to see the Welsh and the Thrift and just maybe one day I will see the extremely rare Fiery and scarce Hornet Clearwing. The other one I didn't see this year was the Sallow Clearwing which is only regularly seen on even years, as the lifecycle is over 2 years and this is the first year that any have been found on an odd year as far as I know.

It's only a few months of the year when these special moths are found, and the only way to see them easily is with a pheromone lure that imitates virgin females. 

My first Clearwing of the year was the 6th June when I saw both the White-barred Clearwing and the Large Red-belted Clearwing, and my last of the year was the 12th August with the Raspberry Clearwing. Of the 10 seen the only new ones to me were the Currant Clearwing, that I caught in my garden and was the first Seaford record since the 1990s and the Orange-tailed Clearwing, that was also my favourite species and gave me my best photograph of a Clearwing this year.

White-barred Clearwing.

Large Red-belted Clearwing.

Currant Clearwing.

Yellow-legged Clearwing.

Six-belted Clearwing (showing variable sizes).

Six-belted Clearwing.

Orange-tailed Clearwing.

Red-tipped Clearwing.

Red-belted Clearwing.

Lunar Hornet Clearwing.

Raspberry Clearwing.

Three of these were caught in the garden which without the pheromone lures I would never have known I had these insects so close to home.

I would also like to thank Derek Barber and Dave Palmer for their help and encouragement in the searches for them all.

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