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4:25PM

Rye Harbour Moths

I've been off for a week so Saturday/Sunday was the first chance I've had to run the moth trap for a while. Moths were surprisingly thin on the ground (I didn't actually open it until a moth event at 10am) though the catch did include a couple of pale grass eggar, crescent striped and rosy streaked knothorn. A little group of micros which I couldn't immediately identify and which were photographed and studied at leisure later on included a marbled piercer (not uncommon but few Rye Harbour records) and saltmarsh knothorn (below, rather uncommon and only a single record on the reserve in the last 10 years).

Towards the end of the event we noticed a large beetle scuttling around in the bottom of the trap. I expected it to be great silver water beetle, a common enough trappee, but instead it turned out to be one of the diving beetles, Dytiscus circumcinctus, a nationally scarce species which has not been recorded on the reserve before. The large pads on the front legs identify this individual as a male and are used to grab on to the female during mating.

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