Wednesday 26th June 2019, 12:30am-4:00pm

Balephetrish Hill, Tiree


  • Tom Prescott
  • Email: Tel: 01540 661469. Mob: 07979 785665

56.523889973455, -6.8591943227539


Periclepsis cinctana is a small colourful day-flying moth with a wingspan of 14-18mm.  It formerly occurred in the UK in Kent but has not been seen there since around 1950 and is now believed to be extinct.  Remarkably in 1984 it was found on Tiree and the island remains its sole location in the UK.  However, the moth has not been seen on the island since 2007.

Is it still present? - We need your help to find out.

Despite its small size the moth is distinctive being creamy white with a contrasting brown head, shoulders and band across the wing.  The caterpillars have never been found in the wild in Britain but probably live within a silken tube or tent and feed on Kidney Vetch, Bird’s-foot Trefoil and other low-growing plants.  It is also thought to be associated with Hornblende, a mineral that is found in some of the rocks on the island, that these more calcareous loving plants favour.

The adult moths are on the wing from around mid-June to mid-July, whilst it is a caterpillar from around September to the following June.

Meeting place and timings

We will meet at the car park at Balephetrish Bay (Grid reference NM012474) at 12.30, where we will search for the moth on/near the adjacent Balephetrish Hill until around 4pm.

You are welcome to come and join the search whenever is convenient and for as long or as little as you like.  Just come and find us on the hill

Travel and Directions

For those travelling for the day from Oban the Calmac ferry leaves Oban at 07.15 arriving on Tiree at 11:05.  The return ferry leaves Tiree at 17:40 arriving in Oban at 21.30.  It is advisable that all foot passengers are on board 30 minutes before sailing. 

Directions to the Parking Area for Balephetrish Hill which lies at the east end of Balephetrish Bay

  • If you are approaching from the east (Gott Bay and the ferry terminal), follow the road toward Balephetrish Bay for ca. 4 miles and look out for two houses with bright blue roof tiles.  Take a small (and very easily missed!) right-hand turn ca. 500m after you pass them.  Follow that smaller road out toward a row of white houses (one of which has a large number of fishing floats on its garden wall) and keep left.  This will bring you around their left-hand side, into a signposted parking area.
  • If you are approaching from the west head east along Balephetrish Bay, to the very end of the bay.  Look to your left for a row of white houses, set well back from the road.  One has a large number of fishing floats on its garden wall.  Take the small left-hand turning out toward those houses, and keep left. This will bring you around their left-hand side, into a signposted parking area.

What’s needed

Plenty of sunshine, packed lunch, stout walking shoes and a good sense of humour!


Please let us know if you intend to come over for the day on the ferry to help us arrange transport on the island.  It is not necessary to book if you plan to join us at Balephetrish Hill.

For more information contact

Tom Prescott Butterfly Conservation Scotland Email: @email Tel: 01540 661469.  Mob: 07979 785665


Stephanie Cope, Tiree Ranger, Tiree Community Development Trust Email: @email

Tel: 01879 220 074.  Mob: 07724791 192 or 07765 449487