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Nature in Shetland

Recording nature in Shetland since 1996

Winner of a Shetland Environment Award 2004


Shetland Entomological Group



Insect Archive 2003

Send  in your news - these records will be entered into the SEG and BRC databases

Wednesday 12th November 2003

Terry Rogers had a Gem, a rare migrant from the south, and 2 Mottled Umbers. a very local resident, at Eswick.

John Laurenson caught 2 Satellites at Toft.

Friday 17th October 2003

There are 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths on Out Skerries.

Thursday 2nd October 2003

A Red Admiral is at Scousburgh.

Sunday 28th September 2003

There were 3 Painted Ladies at Norwick and one at Skaw, Unst, as well one at Brettabister, North Nesting.

Saturday 20th September 2003

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is on Out Skerries.

Thursday 18th September 2003

A Pearly Underwing, a Dark Sword Grass and 4 Angle Shades were on sugar at Baltasound.

Tuesday 16th September 2003

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth is on Whalsay.

A White Speck came to sugar at Quendale Schoolhouse.

Saturday 13th September 2003

The Bedstraw Hawkmoth caterpillar, which was actually found by eight year old Ian Sandison, is still munching away at Fuchsia leaves and getting larger by the minute.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is on Fair Isle along with yet another Convolvulus Hawkmoth.

Thursday 11th September 2003

There were at least 3, probably 4, Convolvulus Hawkmoths at North-a-Voe, Mid Yell and another in Mid Yell.

Wednesday 10th September 2003

This Double-striped Pug, caught at a lighted window at Fair Isle Observatory, constitutes the first record of this species for Shetland.

Double-striped Pug - photo Glen Tyler

Kenny and Mimie Hughson,  found a Convolvulus Hawkmoth in their garden at Peerie Leagarth, Fetlar.

A Painted Lady and several Red Admirals were at MidYell.

Tuesday 9th September 2003

On sugar at Virkie there were 10 Dark Sword Grasses, 8 Angle Shades and 4 Bricks. At Eswick there were 24 Angle Shades, 12 Dark Sword Grasses, 2 Red Sword Grasses and a Brick on sugar and Shetland's second Grey Pine Carpet at light.

Monday 8th September 2003

Bobby Sandison found this Bedstraw Hawkmoth larva feeding on Fuchsia at Symbister, Whalsay. On the same day, Steve Fordyce, a fireman at Sumburgh airport, reported another  Bedstraw Hawkmoth caterpillar which crawled backwards and forwards across the Sumburgh airport runway, presumably looking for a pupation site.

Bedstraw Hawkmoth larva - photo Bobby Sandison

These are only the second  and third breeding records for Shetland (a full-grown larva was found on Fetlar in 1992) and apparently the first record of the species feeding on Fuchsia in the wild.

There were 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths in the trap at Everland, Fetlar, at least one of which was new.

A Herald was caught at Aith where 7 Red Admirals were watched emerging from pupae in one garden.

Sunday 7th September 2003

Hordes of butterflies - 48 Red Admirals in Dunrossness and 20 in north-east Unst along with a Painted Lady, while a Large White was at Uyeasound.

A Rush Veneer was trapped at Ocraquoy.

Saturday 6th September 2003

There were 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths and an Angle Shades in a trap at Everland, Fetlar.

Friday 5th September 2003

A Red Admiral and 6 Large Whites are in Lerwick.

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton trapped a Dark Swordgrass and a Silver Y.

Thursday 4th September 2003

A Painted Lady and 15 Red Admirals are at Eswick and another Painted Lady is at Baltasound.

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton trapped a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, a Dark Swordgrass and a Northern Rustic.

Tuesday 2nd September 2003

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton trapped a Brindled Ochre and a Flame Shoulder.

Monday 1st September 2003

The Eswick traps contained a Lesser Yellow Underwing and a Common Wainscot.

Wednesday 27th August 2003

Geoff and Donna Atherton had a Convolvulus Hawkmoths in their garden at ham on Foula.

Tuesday 26th August 2003

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton trapped 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths and a Flame Shoulder.

Monday 25th August 2003

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton trapped 8 Rosy Rustics and a Dark Marbled Carpet.

Friday 22nd August 2003

Another Convolvulus Hawkmoth has been caught by Rena and Willie Henderson at Haroldswick on Unst.

Wednesday 20th August 2003

Terry Rogers caught a Barred Chestnut at light at Eswick. It is the first confirmed record for Shetland.

Monday 18th August 2003

This Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found by Willy and Hazel Laurenson outside their house at Norwick and another was found at Urafirth.

The Norwick Convolvulus Hawkmoth - photo by Micky Maher

Sunday 17th August 2003

Another Convolvulus Hawkmoth has been found at Sands of Sound, Lerwick, and a Pink-barred Sallow was in the Eswick trap.

Saturday 16th August 2003

At Eswick, Terry Rogers caught a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, a Bedstraw Hawkmoth, a Rush Veneer, a Setaceous Hebrew Character, an Ear sp. and 2 Crescents.

Friday 15th August 2003

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth has been reported from Muckle Roe and a dead Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found at Sandveien, Lerwick.

Wednesday 13th August 2003

Robin Ditchburn reports that a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found during the day sitting on a fence at the houses at Kirkadale, Walls. Another was found in the Burrafirth trap overnight.

The Burrafirth Convolvulus Hawkmoth - photo by Micky Maher

Minnie Mouat has found a Painted Lady caterpillar at Norwick, not surprising given the good numbers that were around this spring.

Tuesday 12th August 2003

The Burrafirth trap produced Shetland's fourth record of Scarce Bordered Straw along with a Saltern Ear.

Scarce Bordered Straw - photo by Micky Maher

Of interest, the first Striped Hawkmoth for Faroe was recorded on 5th August.

The Faroese Striped Hawk - photo by Jens-Kjeld Jensen courtesy of Hans Eli Sivertsen

Saturday 9th August 2003

Amazingly, another Honeysuckle Moth was disturbed from a bush at Kergord in the evening. In addition, a new site for Manchester Treble-bar was found at the Burn of Tactigill, Tresta.

Friday 8th August 2003

Traps set and examined on the Saturday as part of the SBRC Moths course produced a new moth for Shetland: about 12 Honeysuckle Moths Ypsolopha dentella at Lea Gardens, Tresta along with the 5th-8th Dotted Clays for Shetland (the 3rd and 4th both having been caught in the last few weeks). The highlight in the traps at Eswick was a Convolvulus Hawkmoth.

Honeysuckle Moth and Dotted Clay - photos Micky Maher


July Highflier, Manchester Treble-bar, Dark Marbled Carpet, Crescent, Dotted Clay, Honeysuckle Moth, all caught on the moth course - photos Wendy Dickson

A Bedstraw Hawkmoth was seen near Uyeasound.

Thursday 7th August 2003

Terry Rogers trapped this Euchromius ocellea at Eswick. It is the second Shetland record for what is a very rare migrant in Scotland.

Euchromias ocellea - Micky Maher

Wednesday 5th August 2003

Hugh Harrop trapped this Rosy Rustic (left) and Square Spot Rustic (right) at Maywick.

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton had 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths and 2 Ear moth sp.,

Tuesday 4th August 2003

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton had a Painted Lady, a Manchester Treble-bar, a Convolvulus Hawkmoth feeding on honeysuckle, a Dark Marbled Carpet,  2 True Lover's Knots, 2 Common Plume Moths, 3 Northern Rustics, 4 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 4 Ear moth sp., a Smoky Wainscot and a Crescent.

Saturday 3rd August 2003

Hugh Harrop trapped this The Confused at Maywick.

Thursday 1st August 2003

Paul Harvey trapped this The Crescent at Virkie - photo Hugh Harrop.

Geoff and Donna Atherton netted a Convolvulus Hawkmoth at honeysuckle at Ham, Foula.

Wednesday 31st July 2003

Paul Harvey trapped this Blood Vein at Virkie. It is only the 5th Shetland record following the previous four in 1996 - photos Hugh Harrop.

Tuesday 30th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Rhigognostis annulatella x2, Plutella xylostella x2, Dark marbled carpet x1, Tinea pallescentella x1, Rosy rustic x1, The crescent x1.

Monday 28th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - True lovers knot x1.

Friday 25th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Lesser/common rustic x1, Painted lady x1, Garden tiger x1, The confused x1.

Thursday 24th July 2003

This Gold Spot was at Maywick - photo Hugh Harrop.

Mike Prior reported 2 Painted Lady butterflies at the reservoir end of the Skerries runway.

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Painted lady x1, Haworths minor x19, Rhigognostis senilella x3, Agriphila tristella, Smoky wainscot x1, Lesser/common rustic x1, Nicrophilius investigator x1 at actinic light,

Wednesday 23rd July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Painted Lady x2, Scrobipalpa samadensis, Haworths minor x7.

A Garden Tiger was reported by Arthur Spence at Uyeasound.

Monday 21st July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Painted Lady x2

Sunday 20th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Haworths minor x1.

Saturday 19th July 2003

This Garden Tiger was at Virkie - photo Hugh Harrop.

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Manchester treble bar x10, Rush veneer x1, Red admiral x1, Painted lady x1, Plutella xylostella abundant, Tinea pallescentella x1

Friday 18th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported - Northern spinach x1, True lovers knot x3, Bedstraw hawkmoths x2, Smoky wainscot, Common wainscot, Small Dotted Buff.

Wednesday 16th July 2003

This Bedstraw Hawkmoth was retrapped on Fair Isle during the night; it was first caught a couple of nights ago.

Bedstraw Hawkmoth on Fair Isle - photo Deryk Shaw

Tuesday 15th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff Atherton reported a Bright line Brown eye.

Sunday 13th July 2003

Hugh Harrop trapped the following at Maywick - 1 Magpie Moth, 1 Northern Rustic, 3 Small Square Spots, 9 Antler Moths, 7 Dark Arches and 4 Red Carpets.

Monday 7th July 2003

Helen Moncrieff reported a Magpie Moth at Sumburgh Head.

Tuesday 2nd July 2003

Dawn and Harry Thomson had a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in their garden at Burravoe, along with 3 Painted Ladies.

Monday 1st July 2003

Three traps at Eswick produced 87 of 18 species including a Dark Sword Grass, a Large Yellow Underwing, a Northern Rustic and a Red Carpet.

A Magpie Moth was along Milldale, Hermaness.

A Flame Shoulder was caught recently on Bressay. 

Sunday 30th June 2003

A Dark Sword Grass was in the Virkie trap.

A single Scaeva pyrastri, a migrant hoverfly, was at Veensgarth.

Saturday 28th June 2003

A bright sunny day and butterflies are everywhere. It is one of the largest influxes on record, with Red Admirals outnumbering Painted Ladies by about 5:1. Two Large Whites at Baltasound where only the third record for the year there, in contrast to the numbers on Mainland. Large numbers of Silver Ys are also around.

Thursday 26th June 2003

Reports of butterflies continue to flood in - interestingly Red Admirals are mainly in gardens and around crofts, with a few scattered elsewhere, Painted Ladies are mainly on hills or other open area, and Large Whites are nearly all on Mainland.

A possible Meadow Brown reported at Toolie, Hermaness is a very unusual record - it will be the second for Shetland if confirmed.

Wednesday 25th June 2003

Terry Rogers caught a Hedya sp. in his garden at Eswick. It is a tortrid micromoth which is camouflaged as a bird-dropping and there are only 2 previous records for Shetland.

Single Magpie Moths were seen by day on the north side of Tonga, Hermaness and at the Hermaness car park at Burrafirth. The Cuckoo on Foula was reported to be eating Magpie Moths - this species does appear to be colonising Shetland but details of all records are still welcome.

Red Admirals included 15 at Norwick, 12 on Hermaness and 5 at Baltasound, while there were 3 Painted Ladies on Hermaness. There were also plenty of both species on Mainland while Silver Ys are widely distributed.

Tuesday 24th June 2003

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Symbister, Whalsay.

Monday 23rd June 2003

Plenty of Red Admirals around, with 15 at Eswick, 7 at Fladdabister, 8 on Hermaness 5 at Norwick and 3 at Baltasound. There were also 3 Painted Ladies on Hermaness.

Sunday 22nd June 2003

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was feeding at Red Campion in Brian and Linda Marshall's garden at Marrister, Whalsay.

There were 2 Red Admirals at Baltasound.

Saturday 21st June 2003

A Red Admiral was at Dales Voe, Lerwick.

Monday 16th June 2003

Singles of Red Admiral and Painted Lady were at Baltasound. A Red Admiral, a Painted Lady and many Large Whites were at Scousburgh.

Sunday 15th June 2003

There were 3 Painted Ladies at Quendale.

Saturday 14th June 2003

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Toolie on Hermaness this morning. At Norwick, there were 3 Red Admirals and 4 Painted Ladies at Valyie.

There were 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Large Whites and 4 Silver Ys in George Petrie's garden at Ocraquoy and 14 Large Whites and 5 Silver Ys along the roadside in Fladdabister.

Friday 13th June 2003

At least 7 Red Admirals and 7 Painted Ladies were at Baltasound.

There are reasonable numbers of Silver Ys and Diamondback Moths around, both migrant species.

Thursday 12th June 2003

There are 2 Red Admirals and 2 Painted Ladies at Baltasound. A Painted Lady was at Ocraquoy.

The first Ghost and Clouded-bordered Brindle were in the trap at Virkie along with 3 Lychnis and an Angle Shades.

Monday 9th June 2003

There were Painted Ladies on Hermaness, Foula and at Loch of Spiggie.

Saturday 7th June 2003

A Painted Lady is on Foula and another was on St Ninian's Isle. Several Large Whites were at Baltasound.

Thursday 5th June 2003

A Painted Lady is at the Sletts, Lerwick, and another is on Foula. A Red Admiral and a number of Large Whites are at Scousburgh.

The migrant hoverfly Eristalis pertinax was at Baltasound; it is a migrant on Unst, although it is resident on Mainland.

Wednesday 4th June 2003

An Angle Shades, a Glaucous Shears and 2 Dark Brocades were in the trap at Ocraquoy.

Tuesday 3rd June 2003

At least 8 Painted Ladies are on Foula. There were 2 Painted Ladies in Commercial St, Lerwick, with a Red Admiral and a Large White also in Lerwick. A Red Admiral is on Fetlar and several Large Whites at Voe, central Mainland, and Burravoe, Yell. Several Diamondback Moths were seen flying by day on Unst.

Sunday 1st June 2003

A Painted Lady is at Norwick and a Large White is at Uyeasound.

Saturday 31st May 2003

The first of the migrant hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus was at Eswick.

Friday 30th May 2003

The first Map-winged Swift of the year was in the Foula trap along with 2 Dark Sword Grass and a Flame Shoulder.

Thursday 29th May 2003

In the Eswick traps, migrants included 3 Angle Shades, 2 Silver Ys and a Rush Veneer.

Just 3 moths in the Foula trap, a Flame Shoulder, a Dark Brocade and a White-shouldered Housemoth.

The first Lychnis of the year was in the Baltasound trap.

Wednesday 28th May 2003

In 3 MV traps at Eswick there were  55 Shears, 6 Garden Carpets, 4 Diamondback Moths, 3 Rush Veneers, 2 Dark Brocades, an Angles Shades, a Glaucous Shears, one Eudonia alpina, a Satyr Pug and a Currant Pug.

On Foula. the trap caught an Angle Shades, 4 Flame Shoulders (at its only regular Shetland site), 2 Shears, a Dark Brocade and a single Crambus lathoniellus.

There were 2 Glaucous Shears in the Baltasound trap.

Glaucous Shears at Baltasound - Mike Pennington

There were 3 Large Whites in Lerwick.

Monday 26th May 2003

The first of the common resident hoverfly Rhingia campestris were at Eswick.

Sunday 25th May 2003

A Red Admiral is at Baltasound.

Moths trapped in the Maywick trap included Shears and Marbled Coronet.

Saturday 24th May 2003

A Silver Y was in the Eswick trap along with a Rush Veneer and a Dark Sword Grass. There are also 2 Large Whites there.

An Angle Shades was in the Baltasound trap.

Thursday 22nd May 2003

There were 2 Silver Ys in the Eswick trap along with a Rush Veneer. There are also 3 Large Whites there.

Wednesday 21st May 2003

A Large White is at Baltasound and another at Eswick.

A specimen of the micromoth Caloptilia syringella was caught at Eswick and a tiny larva of Mottled Umber was also found there and a Dark Sword Grass was trapped.

The first Platycheirus manicatus hoverfly was seen at Eswick.

Tuesday 20th May 2003

The catch at Eswick, in 3 MV traps, reached exactly 100, comprising 66 Shears, 12 Diamondback Moths, 5 Garden Carpets, 3 Rush Veneers, 8 Eudonia alpina, 5 Glaucous Shears, 2 Rhigognostis senillella and a Marbled Coronets.

The first Large White was seen at Veensgarth during the day.

Even the Baltasound trap was cranked into action, catching a Glaucous Shears, along with 6 Shears, a Garden Carpet and a Eudonia alpina.

Monday 19th May 2003

The catch at Eswick comprised one Shears on sugar while 3 MV traps caught 20 Shears, 2 Garden Carpets, a Rush Veneer, 6 Diamondback Moths and a Marbled Coronet.

A Eudonia alpina was in the trap at Burrafirth along with 3 Marbled Coronets and 2 Garden Carpets.

Marbled Coronets - Wendy Dickson

Sunday 18th May 2003

A Silver Y  was in the Eswick trap.

Friday 16th May 2003

A Marbled Coronet was in the Eswick trap.

The migrant hoverfly Eupeodes corollae was recorded at Eswick during the day.

Monday 12th May 2003

The first Silver Y of the year was in the Eswick trap.

Sunday 11th May 2003

A Marbled Coronet was in the Eswick trap.

Saturday 10th May 2003

The first of the resident hoverfly Eristalis pertinax was at Eswick today.

Wednesday 7th May 2003

The first of the resident hoverfly Platycheirus albimanus was at Eswick today - an early date.

Monday 5th May 2003

Single Red Admirals were on Unst, at Baltasound and Norwick, and another was on Fetlar at Leagarth.

Wednesday 30th April 2003

A Clouded Drab was in the Eswick trap, the second Shetland record.

Sunday 27th April 2003

Another Glaucous Shears was in the Eswick trap.

Thursday 24th April 2003

A Glaucous Shears was in the Eswick trap. This species is believed to be a scarce resident in Shetland, with most records from central Mainland, and none from any other islands.

Tuesday 22nd April 2003

Only two moths on the Eswick traps, but one of them was the first record of Clouded Drab for Shetland. It is one of the commonest early season moths in many parts of Britain, so its occurrence in Shetland is not entirely unexpected.

Sunday 20th April 2003

The first Shears of the year was trapped at Eswick.

Friday 18th April 2003

A Red Admiral on Whalsay is the earliest ever recorded in Shetland.

Thursday 17th April 2003

An Angle Shades was caught at Eswick.

Monday 14th April 2003

A very early brown lacewing (Wesmaelius or Hemerobius sp.), a scarce migrant in Shetland, was in an actinic trap at Eswick.

Saturday 12th April 2003

It was National Moth Night - and there was actually some good weather. Just a shame it was April. The Baltasound trap kept tripping the mains, so the only record was of 2 Agonopterix heracliana. The Burrafirth trap produced 3 Brindled Ochres and a Hebrew Character. Two traps at Eswick produced 6 Hebrew Characters and a single Rhigognostis senilella. One trap at Voehead, Bressay produced no less than 42 Hebrew Characters.

If you have any results for  National Moth Night, send them in and they will be posted here.

Wednesday 9th April 2003

An exceptionally early Garden Carpet was caught at Eswick, a month earlier than the previous earliest Shetland record.

Sunday 6th April 2003

There were 8 Bombus magnus at Maywick today and a single Bombus muscorum - easily the earliest Shetland record. A single Bombus magnus was at Baltasound (the earliest for the island).

Bombus muscorum at Maywick - photo Hugh Harrop

Terry Rogers had a hoverfly at Eswick today - easily the earliest ever in Shetland - but it evaded capture and, hence, identification.

Some old insect news included an Angle Shades at Eswick in January and the first Hebrew Characters there in February (the first for the month). A few Dark Sword Grasses were recorded at both Eswick and Foula in late March and there was a Red Sword Grass on Foula about a week ago.

Friday 4th April 2003

Hugh Harrop reports the first bumblebee of the year, a single Bombus magnus at Bigton.

Monday 17th March 2003

Not surprisingly, Hebrew Characters are abundant in the unusually mild weather, with 48 in the Burrafirth trap.

Thursday 13th March 2003

Two Hebrew Characters at a lighted window at Baltasound and another in a trap at Maywick were, characteristically, the first macromoths of the year.

Hebrew Character - photo Hugh Harrop


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