Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 25 October 2021

First Date

Whilst searching through photos for something else amongst my oldest images I found the following ....

It is far from the best photo I've ever taken, but then again it is from July 2001 when I was using my first digital camera - a Sony Cybershot DSC-S50 (which produced a massive 1600x1200pixel image at 72dpi before any processing ....).

I double-checked the record date (22/07/2001), and I had a vague recollection that this was more interesting than just being a new moth for me and the garden (which back then would have included many species). So I checked the VC55 records and, as I thought, it was indeed a first VC55 record of Agonopterix conterminella (or at least the first post-VCH record: Vol. 1 of the Victoria County History of Leicester that includes a Natural History section was published in 1907, and includes a simple list of species known to have been recorded within Leicestershire, although there are no detailed records included. The VCH for Rutland was published in 1906 and is even more sparse).

This got me thinking: over the last 20 years or so I have added a fair number of moth species to the VC55 list, and in more recent years a few species in other orders too. As time has gone on many of these (like this Agonopterix) will have slipped out of my mind although the records exist for posterity. So I'm going to spend a bit of time over the next few weeks trying to compile a list of the firsts and any other significant records that I am associated with. I'll primarily focus on records that are solely mine, but also detail important records where others were involved (essentially these will be moths that I caught or identified but as part of a group effort). Once I've got a reasonable list as a starting point I'll set up a new page tab and update accordingly. It might seem a bit of a vanity project. Yeah, I suppose it is. And?

Aside from that revelation, this particular species also falls into the 'Overdue' category for my garden moth records. I had one further individual on 10/07/2007 but not a sniff of one since. However it has only been recorded from four other sites in VC55, and seems to have a patchy distribution despite the main foodplants being sallow.

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