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BID TO ATTRACT MASSIVE MOTH TO THE ISLAND

stcatherineslighthouseBack gardens across the Isle of Wight will be baited with alcohol and sugar this week as part of a cunning bid to lure in a massive continental moth whose tongue is longer than its body.

Moth-lovers across the Island are hoping to attract the palm-sized Convolvulus Hawk-moth into their gardens as part of Moth Night, an annual 3-day event led by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation.

With a 12cm wingspan, the Convolvulus is one of the largest moths found in Europe and migrates from North Africa, yet it is capable of pin-point precision flight as it hovers to drink nectar from deep tubular Nicotiana flowers using its amazingly long 7.5 cm proboscis.

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A chance to see this impressive moth and a number of other species is taking place on Friday 11th September at St Catherine’s Point on the south of the Island. People are being asked to bring warm clothing and a torch and to meet at the National Trust car park off Blackgang Road for19:00. Visit www.butterfly-conservation.org/IOWmothnight for more details.

Moth night is all about raising awareness of the UK’s moth species, many of which have suffered huge declines during the last 40 years, with three species becoming extinct in the last decade.

This year the theme is on migrant species like the Convolvulus, as sightings will help build a clearer picture of moth migration into the UK and the effects of climate change on UK moth populations

Butterfly Conservation’s Head of Recording, Richard Fox, said:

“It has already been an amazing year for moth immigration and such activity usually peaks in early autumn. With migrants such as the massive Convolvulus Hawk-moth mixing with beautiful home-grown autumnal species, Moth Night is a great opportunity to discover the hidden wonders of our nocturnal wildlife at a public event or even in your own back garden.”

Other spectacular immigrants to look out for include Death’s-Head Hawk-moth and Crimson Speckled along with the Vestal, which are all borne in from hotter parts of Europe and even Africa on warm winds.

 

Moth Night 2015 runs from 10-12th September and will include night time moth trapping events across the UK.

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