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Wales Moth List 2022

Radford's Flame Shoulder, Skokholm Island
Radford's Flame Shoulder, Skokholm Island

An impressive 115 new county records were received in 2022 – the highest number since annual updates were started in 2019. This is a reflection on the hot summer weather, which resulted in excellent moth catches in light traps and several waves of moth immigration from the continent.

Among these new county records, seven moths were recorded new to the whole of Wales. The most surprising of these was Balsam Carpet in Merionethshire, well outside its normal range in south-east England. Tunbridge Wells Gem, usually a very scarce migrant to the UK, was recorded from no less than three Welsh counties in 2022. Radford's Flame Shoulder was recorded from Skokholm Island in Pembrokeshire and may well have been a migrant, although it now breeds in southern England. Three of the new micro-moths were recorded as caterpillars or leaf-mines, confirming that they are breeding in Wales. These are Phyllonorycter ulicicolella on Gorse, Lyonetia prunifoliella on Blackthorn and Selania leplastriana on Wild Cabbage. The final new species, Triaxomasia caprimulgella, was recorded in both Breconshire and Monmouthshire as ‘by catch’ to the pheromone lure designed for Lunar Hornet Moth.

Anglesey had the most new moths in 2022 with 15 species, followed by Monmouthshire and Cardiganshire with 13 new species each. The spread of Clifden Nonpareil (also known as Blue Underwing) continued and by the end of 2022 it had been recorded from 12 of the 13 Welsh counties.

Thanks, as always, to all those who recorded moths in Wales in 2022, in particular to the county recorders who supplied details of the new records for their counties.