Magnificent moths … brilliant blogs

When the BBC rang asking to use the Magnificent Moths photos they’d seen on our Loch Leven NNR blog, to produce an In pictures feature for their own website, we were delighted.

Marveille du Jour, Craig Nisbet/SNH

Marveille du Jour, Craig Nisbet/SNH

For the past three summers our staff at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve (NNR) have been working closely with local moth recorder, Tim Brain, to develop a comprehensive understanding of moth diversity in the area.  This has included weekly trappings near the Kinross reserve office, as well as a series of moth-trapping evenings for ardent enthusiasts (known as mothers), at various locations around the NNR.

Moth-trapping evening at Loch Leven NNR

Moth-trapping evening at Loch Leven NNR

Moth diversity nationally is astounding with over 800 species of so-called macro-moths recorded, and Loch Leven is a fantastic location to find a good selection of these. Our colleagues at RSPB Loch Leven had a fantastic find this summer; a stunning bedstraw hawkmoth which we think is the first record for the Loch Leven NNR.

Bedstraw-hawkmoth, courtesy of Brian Innes/RSPB

Bedstraw-hawkmoth, courtesy of Brian Innes/RSPB

Tim’s lifelong passion for ‘mothing’ is evident in his excellent identification skills, and his help in recording our catches has helped us to develop a better understanding of seasonal changes in moths, which can act as excellent biological indicators for unusual climatic, or seasonal changes.

 

China mark, Craig Nisbet/SNH

China mark, Craig Nisbet/SNH

The blog maintained by our Loch Leven NNR staff is a fascinating and entertaining insight into the range of work they carry out managing and promoting this special place.  Packed with great photos, it also provides a window on the wonderful range of wildlife they encounter during their daily, and sometimes nightly, work. We highly recommend that you follow the BBC’s lead and keep an eye on this brilliant blog.

Eventually identified as a grey chi, Craig Nisbet/SNH

Eventually identified as a grey chi, Craig Nisbet/SNH

We also have blogs maintained by our staff working at the Isle of May, Muir of Dinnet and Argyle National Nature reserves.

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