Several unusual and important moth species have been recorded at Briddlesford Copse this year, demonstrating the high quality habitat that it provides for a wide range of fauna.
A study by the Isle of Wight Natural History Society in August discovered the tiny Triangle moth
(Heterogenea asella), a rare macro moth with a wingspan typically less than 20mm. The species is restricted to South East England and an unusual find even within that area. It is only the second time the species has been recorded on the Isle of Wight, the first being two days earlier on another part of the island. According to the Natural History Society’s report, this is “By far the most important find… and a testament to the quality of the habitat at Briddlesford.”
Several other species discovered during the study are rarely recorded on the Isle of Wight, including pine woodland species Pinafila bifasciana and the Small China-Mark (Cataclysta lemnata). The research also recorded species such as Mocha (Cyclophora annularia) and Kent Black Arches (Meganola albula) both of which are widespread on the island despite being Nationally Scarce across the UK as a whole.
The diversity of species recorded and the presence of some locally and nationally important moths is an indicator of the quality and variety of habitat that the managed woodland at Briddlesford provides.