Leicestershire and Rutland Moth Group

    This information describes the work of the Leicestershire and Rutland Moth Group in recording moths in VC55. The VC55 status information we have used for moths has been compiled by the LRMG and a full description of the A,B,C and D ratings can be read below. All moth records submitted to NatureSpot will be made available to the LRMG so it is not necessary to send them again. If you would like to find out more about the LRMG, why not join the LRMG Yahoo Group.

    Moth Recording in VC55

    All data collected by the Leicestershire and Rutland Moth Group is forwarded to the Leicestershire Lepidoptera Recording Scheme and then submitted to the National Biodiversity Network. It is essential that the records are a reliable source of information, and this is especially important where the information may be utilised in support of any conservation initiatives. For this reason, VC55 moth species have been assigned a category letter (A, B, C or D) to give guidance as to the amount of detail and/or verification required for any record of that species to be acceptable. It should be noted that the micros are generally under-recorded, and as such many species fall into categories C & D although they may be common nationally.

    Records are collated by the County Recorder, and if necessary are assessed by the County Lepidoptera Panel. The panel members include some of the most experienced and well-regarded lepidopterists within the County, but where appropriate the panel will consult with outside expertise for comments and assistance.

    General record submission notes:

    • Records should be submitted to the County Recorder (all NatureSpot moth records will be passed on).

    • Dates for light trapping/nocturnal records should refer to the evening that the trapping/collecting method was started.

    • Records for species encountered during daylight should be clearly annotated as such.

    • Six-figure OS grid references for sites should be given wherever possible.

    • The term 'readily identifiable' infers that the species can usually be identified by external features/markings alone. However, the ever-applicable caveat is that the specific identification of poorly marked or worn specimens (especially the pugs, Eupithecia spp.) should be considered with care.

    Where the category is suffixed (G), this indicates that records should wherever possible be supported by confirmation that the specimen's genitalia has been examined to distinguish it from otherwise similar species. Records of such species may otherwise be accepted as aggregates only.

    If retaining/providing a specimen to obtain a subsequent identification, please ensure that all supporting detail is recorded on an attached label (date, site, trapping/collecting method).

    If you are unsure as to how much detail to provide - remember that more is far preferable to not enough!

    Category A

    • resident; common/abundant throughout VC55

    • readily identifiable (unless marked with suffix G)

    • species in this category will not require verification by the Lepidoptera Panel.

    • summary records from each site are sufficient for these species as a minimum, e.g.: Large Yellow Underwing, regularly recorded from site 'xyz' during 2001, first date, last date, max. 'n' on date. Additional comments to indicate any perceived changes in status would also be beneficial; fully detailed records of these species are, of course, welcome.

    Category B

    • scarce resident or restricted distribution in VC55

    • common/occasional migrants

    • readily identifiable (unless marked with suffix G)

    • species in this category will not usually require verification by the Lepidoptera Panel.

    • detailed records of these species are required so that any population or distribution changes, or occurrence patterns, can be readily determined. Information required includes as a minimum: site(s), date(s), number(s) and method(s) of attracting/locating (eg MV Light, sugar, dusking).

    Category C

    • very scarce residents or rarely occurring migrants

    • may not be readily identifiable; genitalia examination required where indicated

    • infrequently recorded species of micromoth

    • species in this category will usually require some verification by the Lepidoptera Panel.

    • detailed records of these species are required so that any population or distribution changes, or occurrence patterns, can be readily determined. Information required includes as a minimum: recorder, determiner, site, date, number and method of attracting/locating (eg MV Light, sugar, dusking).

    • confirmation of the record via verification by another experienced recorder, or photographic evidence, is desirable to assist the Lepidoptera Panel where necessary.

    Category D

    • species rarely recorded from VC55

    • any species which does not appear on the list is to be considered within this category

    • species in this category will require full verification by the Lepidoptera Panel.

    • records for these species should be submitted at the earliest opportunity after the occurrence.

    • unless indicated otherwise, a voucher specimen will be required in support of a fully documented record. Information supplied must include: identification determiner, site, date, number, method of attracting/locating (eg MV Light, sugar, dusking). Additional information, such as weather and temperature, is desirable.

    • pressed leaf-mines, or photographs, are required to support any category D leaf-mining species in the larval stages.

    • for nationally rare species, or species with a known conservation concern, confirmation of such species should be obtained via verification by another experienced recorder, or photographic evidence. A voucher specimen should only be taken where there is absolutely no alternative. Such species are identified by suffix (X) after the category letter.

    Non-adult Life Stages

    • for records of ovum, larvae, pupae or feeding signs, the information required includes: site(s), date(s), number(s), foodplant/host-plant and method(s) of locating (e.g. beating, sweeping, digging). Otherwise, record as per the catergories above.