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Lunar Yellow Underwing Flickr Ben Sale

The hunt is on at the wildlife-rich coastal forest of Tentsmuir this August, as staff from Forestry and Land Scotland and Butterfly Conservation Scotland team up to track down the elusive and endangered Lunar Yellow Underwing moth.

Over the past decade, the Lunar Yellow Underwing has become exceptionally scarce in Scotland. As far as our experts are aware, Tentsmuir is the moth's sole surviving site in Scotland. However, despite previous searches, it has not been seen at the site (or indeed elsewhere in the country) since 2007. 

The hunt begins

The moth is associated with grassy areas on heathland and dunes, which makes Tentsmuir the ideal spot to see one of these nocturnal insects. Over two nights, amateur lepidopterists are invited to join us as we set moth traps across the site, in areas of suitable habitat.

Given the quality and variety of habitats at Tentsmuir, our experts expect to catch over 100 different species of moth over the two dates. Ideal conditions for capturing moths would be a calm, warm, muggy night with no rain.

A night among the dunes

Our experts will be keeping a close look out for several other scarce sand dune species too, like the Portland Moth. Whether you join the expedition at night to help with the trap-setting, or just attend the following morning, this event is a wonderful opportunity to come and see some of the huge variety of species that call Tentsmuir home. All moths will, of course, be released unharmed after they have been catalogued.

Visit the Events listings on our Tentsmuir page to find out how you can get involved - there's no booking necessary and the event is free for all. Butterfly Conservation Scotland's Tom Prescott is hoping for a good turnout of seasoned moth enthusiasts and curious beginners: "Just bring stout walking shoes and a good sense of humour!"

Main image: Ben Sale/Flickr 

 

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