Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dotted Border Wave

Back in 1979, Tony White found what he thought was a Dotted Border Wave in Neath town centre. 25 years later myself, Barry and Jake took the decision to remove the species from the county list as without a specimen or photograph there was not enough evidence to support the species' presence in the county, and the fact that it had not been spotted during the 'golden years' of mothing in the county the record had to be treated with suspicion.

In March, I received a batch of data from Ian Wallace, formerly of Liverpool Museum from the cliff face Malaise traps that they operated on the Gower cliffs in 2004. These were the traps that added L-album Wainscot to the county list. What I did not spot until a couple of weeks ago was that this data set also contained a record of Dotted Border Wave. As Malaise traps are not particularly kind to moths, these are invariably dissected and Ian has confirmed that a female was taken at Fall Bay. He has not been able to send me a photograph of the slide as yet but will do so in due course.

In addition, Paul Brown of the Natural History Museum included it in a list from Bishopston - no precise date, but at some point since 2004. Whilst Paul is not a Lepidopterist by trade he knows enough about moths for the record to be respected.

Next year we will have to make a concerted effort to re-find this species on Gower. We have sites to look at and I'm sure we can galvanise enough interest to have a good crack at it.

And where does this leave Tony's 1979 record? Well, I think that the two recent records gives us enough evidence to reconsider it, which would be a nice gift to Tony as he prepares to leave Glamorgan.

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