Short post to report on an amazing activity and promote the work of new contacts at Bournemouth Natural Science Society
Ive been talking to Entomologists of the society for a number of years about Lepidoptery, visiting when open days are on and now the museum is open every Tuesday for public visits, think of it like a mini Natural History museum- total gem of Bournemouth. For lots of reasons its ever more important that we enthuse our children about Nature and the outdoors- if you havent visited BNSS yet dont miss it this summer.
Previously I had nearly successfully raised a Deaths Head Hawk moth, and have been aware of the Largest British moth the Emporer which is day flying at this time of year, but never seen one in the wild. A field trip to one of my favourite heaths in the area at Dunyeats came around Sunday just gone- it was EPIC!
We met and went onto the Heath at 1030 Sunday, most of us with Binoculars, a net and I was asked to carry the 4 female Emporers that the locquacious Mark Spencer had raised previously at home. Now the male Emporer flies in the day and are seen flying similarly to Butterflies, whilst females fly at night. It has been said that one molecule of pheromone can attract males to females from great distance. We were luring males in by taking their mate to them- and in 70 minutes the first Male appeared!
He located the female straight away and linked, the eggs that the female produces will be raised and used to continue to provide BNSS with live specimens. These are common moths in the wild and not endangered at all- surprising to have never seen one in the wild before, but very exciting to know that in a place that I visit regularly there are these beautiful Moths in the wild, living on host plants there and reproducing year in year out.
This Moth is active for May and June of the year, and Funnily enough Birds Of Poole Harbour (another great place to visit) also tweeted a picture of one they had at the weekend, we speculated that a male could fly to Poole Quay from Studland if pheremones were strong enough and the wind was right- maybe!?? Its now peak moth time and after a slow start we should start to see more good moths so keep an eye on my twitter where I post most frequently. Thanks for reading.