This year’s Moth Night is highlighting four types of Underwing moths.
Known for displaying exceptional colours, these large moths move their beautiful, cryptic wings to expose flashes of vivid reds and pink when disturbed. This makes them convenient to spot, fascinating to research, and fantastic to photograph!
Hotter summer temperatures have impacted many organisms but the Underwing moths are thriving in Britain and Ireland (www.theguardian.com). Previously restricted to southern and central England these species are being spotted further and further north. Extremely rare species such as the Dark Crimson, Light Crimson, and Rosy Underwings have been routinely spotted in southern England and the Channel Islands, and now some species are being spotted in Wales and Scotland!
Much of the available information on moth distribution changes is currently anecdotal (although from good sources) due to a lack of data. Moth Night aims to gather more data to provide a larger comprehensive data-driven picture of moth distribution. The data feeds into ongoing efforts to create more accurate records across the UK and Ireland.
Your help is needed though. We need more information to understand how the range of different moth species is being altered by changes in climate. By banding together, we can carry out the widespread monitoring and spotting that is so important to understand changes but is very difficult for individual scientists to carry out alone. The importance of citizen research in conservation projects is starting to be recognised and valued in making vital contributions to the scientific community. It also allows everyone to help conservation efforts, even when we are unable to devote ourselves to it full time. If you care about local biodiversity, want to learn how to carry out scientific research, like a little adventure, or just want to have a bit of fun, join in with Moth Night!
Learn more about the organisations that contribute to moth monitoring and recording:
Atropos, journal, migrant reports http://atropos.info/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99&Itemid=115
Butterfly conservation (charity), Richard Fox Associate director of recording and research, https://butterfly-conservation.org/news-and-blog/moth-night-2020; https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/red-underwing
Moths-count, national database effort:
Biological records centre/UK centre for ecology and hydrology data