Friday 29 December 2023

The Lace Border Year.

 Since finding the beautiful, and rare Lace Border on my patch back in 2020 I seem to have taken on the role of monitoring them, almost like they are my own offspring!!

It has certainly been rather interesting and very rewarding though, with some astonishing results that point towards the probability that on my local site I get 3 broods. All the books I have say that there are only 2 broods, and although I cannot say for absolute certainty that I get 3 broods, the evidence certainly points to that.

The other colony on the edge of Friston Forest is not quite so clear, but each year the flight season does extend to a similar time to my colony, so the 3rd brood is also a distinct possibility there too.

The first flight season started with 4 moths being seen on May 21st at my local site. The peak in number came on June 12th when 22 were counted by myself and Neil Hulme.

21/5/2023. The first Sussex sighting for the year.

 A much darker marked individual, the only one I have seen that was different to the normal.

One of the 22 counted. 

Unfortunately for me, I had to leave Neil during the count for a Dr's appointment, when I left, Neil and I were approaching double figures, but I was still amazed with the final tally of 22 that Neil reached.

The 2nd brood started on the 14th July, so 55 days after the 1st brood starting. This brood then peaked with 24 moths on the 27th July. 

The 2nd peak of the supposed 2nd brood was actually the highest count of the entire year, on September 11th, with an amazing 30 moths. This was 58 days after the 2nd brood started, so actually longer than the gap between the start of the 1st and 2nd brood and bearing in mind that the life cycle in the summer is likely to be faster than that of the spring, due to temperature, a 3rd brood is actually quite likely if conditions allow. The numbers between those two peaks also reduced to low single figures before that massive spike.




The gaps between the 3 peaks are 45 days and then 46 days, once again that seems to indicate a probability of a 3rd brood.

So with 3 peaks throughout the year, I feel that my colony at least is producing 3 broods. I did feel the same in 2022, but with that year I did wonder if the weather conditions were to blame for the 2nd brood  fading away, and then returning with a flourish, after the long hot and dry summer period. I guess to prove it I need more data over a longer time period.

My personal count, over both sites were 143 sightings, consisting of at least 121 different moths. 

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