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Nature in Shetland

Recording nature in Shetland since 1996

Winner of a Shetland Environment Award 2004


Shetland Entomological Group



2006 Insect Archive

Tuesday 12th December 2006

This 14-spot Ladybird was found indoors at Gutcher on Yell. It had, however, probably been brought in with material brought in from the garden earlier in the day, and so was probably a migrant which was looking to hibernate. There are no previous record for Shetland.

photo Andy Gear

This diving beetle was found at North-a-voe, Yell, in October 2005 and it appears closes to Cybister laterimarginalis but comments on the identity are welcome.

photo Andy Gear

Monday 30th October 2006

A Rusty-dot Pearl was at a lighted window at Ocraquoy.

Saturday 28th October 2006

A Red Sword Grass was at a lighted window at Ocraquoy.

Tuesday 24th October 2006

There are 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths at Hoswick.

Sunday 15th October 2006

Red Admirals have been prominent all month, unusually being recorded almost daily. In bright sun today there were at least 35 seen on Unst and at least 20 on Yell.

Thursday 12th October 2006

Large Wainscot at Baltasound - Paul Cook

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is on Foula along with 20 Red Admirals. A Peacock and a Large Wainscot were seen at Voesgarth, Baltasound.

Sunday 8th October 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Norwick.

Sunday 1st October 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is in Scalloway and a scatter of Red Admirals are still being reported.

Friday 29th September 2006

Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Hoswick - Jim Nicolson (2 photos); Dave Hall

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Hoswick.

Thursday 28th September 2006

There were 17 Angle Shades, 4 Bricks, 22 Dark Swordgrasses, a Gem, a Lesser Yellow Underwing, 5 Pearly Underwings, 4 Turnips, 40 Silver Ys, a Satellite, and 774 Rush Veneers at Eswick.

Wednesday 27th September 2006

On Foula there were 4 Rush Veneers and 2 Red Admirals.

Belated news of a first for Shetland, a Swallow-tailed Moth found at Wester Quarff on 7th July.

Swallow-tailed Moth at Wester Quarff in July - Russ Haywood

Tuesday 26th September 2006


Vestal at Eswick - Jim Nicolson; Birch Shieldbug at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson; Herald at Ocraquoy - George Petrie

There are 12 Red Admirals, 11 Rush Veneers and a Diamond-back Moth on Foula.

Birch Shieldbugs continue to turn up, with reports from Baltasound, Sullom Voe, Lerwick and Cunningsburgh over the last few days.

A Vestal was trapped at Eswick, just the second for Shetland. Also at Eswick there were 12 Angle Shades, 66 Brindled Ochres ,5 Bricks, 47 Dark Swordgrasses, 4 Pearly Underwings, 2 Large Wainscots, 2 Red-green Carpets, 2 Scarce Bordered Straws, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 72 Silver Ys, 14 Turnip Moths, 4 Small Mottled Willows, 4 Rusty-dot Pearls and 1326 Rush Veneers.

On sugar at Ocraquoy there were 3 Rush Veneers, a Turnip, 3 Red Swordgrasses, a Satellite, a Scarce Bordered Straw and a Herald.

Monday 25th September 2006

Pearly Underwing at Walls - Peter Duncan

There are 5 Red Admirals and 5 Rush Veneers on Foula.

A Pearly Underwing was trapped at Leeans, Walls.

At Eswick, moths included 5 Angle Shades, 5 Bricks, a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, 3 Dark Swordgrasses, 3 Large Wainscots, 2 Scarce Bordered Straws, 67 Silver Ys, a Rusty-dot Pearl and 208 Rush Veneers.

Sunday 24th September 2006

White-tailed Bumblebee at Burrafirth - Wendy Dickson

Bumblebees have been unusually abundant on this fine late autumn weekend.

There were still about 60 Red Admirals on Out Skerries.

Saturday 23rd September 2006

Brindled Ochres at Burrafirth - Wendy Dickson

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found on a wall at Ulsta on Yell and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Hoswick. There was a Red Admiral, 2 Rush Veneers and a Diamondback Moth on Foula. There were estimated to be about 60 Red Admirals on Out Skerries, along with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Another 4 Red Admirals were at Sandside, Firth.

National Moth Night results reported so far were as follows:

Burrafirth (MV): Square Spot Rustic 3, Brindled Ochre 2, Small Wainscot 1

Haroldswick (MV): Square Spot Rustic 2, Brindled Ochre 1

Baltasound (MV): Large Yellow Underwing 1, Small Wainscot 3, Silver Y 1

Leeans, Walls (MV): Brindled Ochre 8, Rosy Rustic 2, Silver Y 1, Small Wainscot 1

Lea Gardens, Tresta (MV): Rush Veneer 2, Garden Rose Tortrix 110, Dark Swordgrass 2, Brick 1, Large Wainscot 1, Silver Y 2

Brettabister, Nesting (MV): Brindled Ochre 7, Small Wainscot 1

Eswick (MV and by day): Red Admiral 1, Turnip 2, Dark Swordgrass 1, Satellite 1,  Angle Shades 8 (highlights only)

Setter, Sandwick (actinic) Brindled Ochre  5, Large Yellow Underwing 2, Rosy Rustic  2

Ocraquoy (MV, sugar and Buddleia): Garden Rose Tortrix 3, Turnip 4, Dark Swordgrass 1, Large Yellow Underwing 3, Square Spot Rustic 1, Brindled Ochre 1, Red Swordgrass 2, Angle Shades 8, Rosy Rustic 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1, Haworth's Minor, Silver Y 4

Virkie (MV and sugar): Turnip 1, Large Yellow Underwing 2, Dark Sword Grass 3, Square Spot Rustic 6, Brick 1, Sword Grass 1, Angle Shades 2, Rosy Rustic 6, Silver Y 2

Friday 22nd September 2006

There were 40 Red Admirals and 2 Painted Ladies at Eswick, At least 7 Red Admirals were reported in various parts of Lerwick in the morning. They have been regularly sighted all month.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen at Swinister and another was on Fetlar.

A Sword Grass was on sugar at Virkie.

A specimen of Euchromias ocellea was in the Ocraquoy trap.

At Eswick there were 3 Convolvulus Hawkmoths, 3 Bricks, 7 Dark Swordgrasses, 3 Pearly Underwings, a Small Mottled Willow and a Turnip.

Wednesday 20th September 2006

Birch Shieldbugs are turning up all over the place - this one was photographed by Gordon Waddell at Gremista in Lerwick.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Northdale, Unst.

Tuesday 19th September 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Norwick in the morning and another was at Cunningsburgh.

There are Red Admirals in Lerwick and on Noss.

Monday 18th September 2006

Birch Shieldbug - Mike Pennington

This shieldbug was caught on a boat off Baltasound. It, and almost certainly all the other shieldbugs seen over the last few days, is a Birch Shieldbug, not previously recorded from Shetland. Another 2 were seen at Burrafirth.

A Large Wainscot was in the Baltasound trap.

A Satellite and a Scarce Bordered Straw were at sugar at Ocraquoy.

Sunday 17th September 2006

Dark Spinach at Virkie, Blood-vein and Scarce Bordered Straw at Virkie - Jim Nicolson; Brindled Ochre at Walls - Peter Duncan

Another Clifden Non-pareil was trapped at Virkie, along with a Scarce Bordered Straw, a Blood-vein at light and a Satellite at sugar.

A Dark Spinach at Virkie is the second for Shetland and a Scarce Bordered Straw and a Turnip were also trapped there.

In the Eswick traps there were 25 Bricks, 36 Dark Sword Grasses, 6 Large Wainscots, 34 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, a Clifden Non-pareil, 2 Red Sword Grasses, a Herald, a Small Mottled Willow, 6 Dioryctria abietella, 23 Rush Veneers and a Rusty-dot Pearl.

A Convolvulous Hawkmoth, 2 Large Wainscots and a Dioryctria abietella were in the Ocraquoy trap.

Saturday 16th September 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Toab.

In the Eswick traps there was a Scarce Bordered Straw along with Blood-vein, an Autumn-green Carpet, and a Common Wainscot, while 5 shieldbugs were found.

Friday 15th September 2006

Clifden Non-pareil at Virkie - Jim Nicolson; Setaceous Hebrew Character, Smoky Wainscot and Large Wainscot at Burrafirth - Wendy Dickson

A Flame moth caught at Eswick is the first for Shetland. Also there were 2 Heralds and 2 Satellites on sugar and the traps contained a Rusty-dot Pearl, a Dioryctria abietella, 12 Rush Veneers, 6 Dark Swordgrasses, a Gem, 4 Large Wainscots, a Pearly Underwing, 27 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, a Crescent and a Scarce Bordered Straw.

A Clifden Non-pareil in the Virkie trap is the 6th for Shetland.

In the Burrafirth trap there were 3 Large Wainscots, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters and a Smoky Wainscot. Another 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters were in the Baltasound trap.

Two Birch Shieldbugs were found during the day at Norwick. There are just a handful of previous records in Shetland and, unlikely though it may seem, the species appears to be a migrant.

Wednesday 13th September 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Levenwick.

Sunday 3rd September 2006

A Rusty-dot Pearl was in the trap at Baltasound.

Thursday 31st August 2006

There are Red Admirals at Skaw and Norwick and a scatter of further Large Whites.

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth was in the trap at Ocraquoy.

This cranefly Pedicia rivosa was found on Muckla Moor in central Mainland. Photo - Dave Hall.

Monday 28th August 2006

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth was in the trap at Voehead, Bressay.

Sunday 27th August 2006

Convolvulus Hawkmoth at Baltasound - Mike Pennington (one photo); Micky Maher (three photos); two different individuals Mike Pennington (two photos)

On Unst, a Painted Lady and a Red Admiral are at Norwick, with another 2 Red Admirals at Lund and one at Easting while 2-3 Large Whites are at both Baltasound and Norwick. Another Painted Lady was on Out Skerries.

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth was flying round the Baltasound trap at night and there were 2 in the trap the following morning.

Saturday 26th August 2006

At least 8 Large Whites (2 at Baltasound and 6 at Norwick) have suddenly appeared on Unst. There were 8 Red Admirals in one garden at Wester Quarff.

A Crescent was in the trap at Haroldswick.

A Convolvulus Hawkmoth was in the traps at Eswick.

Friday 25th August 2006

A Red Admiral was at Norwick and a Painted Lady at Haroldswick.

A Bedstraw Hawkmoth was caught in the traps at Eswick.

Thursday 24th August 2006

A Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing was in the trap at Voehead, Bressay, along with a Crescent.

Wednesday 23rd August 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Grutness during the day.

A Lesser Yellow Underwing in the Baltasound trap is the first for Unst.

There were 2 Crescents in the Eswick traps, following singles there on 9th and 13th.

Monday 21st August 2006

There were 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths in the traps at Eswick.

Sunday 20th August 2006

Convolvulus Hawkmoths and Lesser Yellow Underwing at Ocraquoy - George Petrie; Chevron at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson

During the day a Painted Lady was at Skaw, Unst.

There were 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths and a Lesser Yellow Underwing in the trap at Ocraquoy. A Bird-cherry Ermine was trapped at Baltasound.

A Juniper Pug was trapped at Cunningsburgh.

There has been a Suspected, a Dotted Clay and 2 Great Brocades in the Virkie trap in the last week.

A Hawthorn Shieldbug was trapped at Eswick; this appears to be a migrant in Shetland.

Saturday 19th August 2006

Crescent and both forms of Autumnal Rustic at Baltasound - Mike Pennington

A Red-green Carpet and a Scarce Silver Y were in the Eswick traps.

Friday 18th August 2006

Great Brocade at Baltasound - Mike Pennington; Currant Pug at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson

A Great Brocade was in the trap at Baltasound.

Thursday 17th August 2006

A Scarce Silver Y and a Crescent were in the trap at Baltasound.

Tuesday 15th August 2006

A Scarce Silver Y was in the trap at Virkie.

Friday 11th August 2006

Great Brocade at Baltasound - Mike Pennington; plume moth sp. at Ocraquoy - George Petrie

Tuesday 8th August 2006

A Double-lobed in the Eswick traps is only about the 6th for Shetland.

Monday 7th August 2006

A Great Brocade was in the Eswick traps.

Sunday 6th August 2006

Another Scarce Silver Y was in the Eswick traps.

Saturday 5th August 2006

A Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and a Scarce Silver Y were in the Eswick traps.

Friday 4th August 2006

Large Yellow Underwing at Bigton - John Quirk

Thursday 3rd August 2006

Scarce Silver Y and Large Yellow Underwings (male, left, and female) at Baltasound - Mike Pennington

A Scarce Silver Y was in the Baltasound trap.

Tuesday 1st August 2006

Bird Cherry Ermine at Scalloway - Peter Duncan; Rosy Rustic at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

This Bird Cherry Ermine was caught by day at Scalloway. It is a scarce migrant in Shetland.

At night, the Rosy Rustic caught at Haroldswick is an unusually early (and brightly-coloured) individual.

Saturday 29th July 2006


 Scarce Silver Y at Ocraquoy - Jim Nicolson; Sexton Beetle at Lunning - Roger Ford

 A Scarce Silver Y has been caught in the trap at Ocraquoy, Fladdabister.

Friday 28th July 2006

Possible Small Clouded Brindle at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson; Burnished Brass at Walls - Peter Duncan

A Mesapamea sp. which looks most like Small Clouded Brindle was photographed at Cunningsburgh was not retained - unfortunately, had it been confirmed it would have been the first for Shetland. A Burnished Brass was caught at Walls. This species is a likely colonist. It colonised Orkney in the 1960s and was first recorded in Shetland on Fair Isle in 1997, but there have been several in the last few years.

Thursday 27th July 2006

Six Gold Spots at Walls - Peter Duncan

Wednesday 26th July 2006

Over 400 moths were in a trap set at Walls including Dark Arches (396), Antler (23), Map-winged Swift (1), Red Carpet (8), Ingrailed Clay (5), Magpie (1), Small Square Spot (2), Clouded-bordered Brindle (7), Beautiful Golden Y (19) and a Common Wainscot (1).

Tuesday 25th July 2006

Beautiful Golden Y at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Sunday 23rd July 2006

Gold Spot at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Friday 21st July 2006

A Green Arches at Eswick is only the third Shetland record.

A Chestnut-coloured Carpet was seen near the cemetery in Muckle Roe.

Monday 17th July 2006

Uresiphita polygonalis from Bressay - Glen Tyler

This specimen of Uresiphita polygonalis was found indoors on Bressay. It is new to Shetland, even if its origins are uncertain.

Sunday 16th July 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Scatness.

Saturday 15th July 2006

Magpie Moth at Jarlshof - David Anderson

Thursday 6th July 2006

Common Carpet at Ocraquoy - George Petrie; Dark Swordgrass at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

The Common Carpet is only the second for Shetland. The only previous record was at Eswick in 1996.

Wednesday 5th July 2006

A female northern form Bordered White and a Mother of Pearl were among moths flushed during strimming at Eswick. The former is only the third Shetland record.

A Peacock butterfly was at the north end of Cunningsburgh.

At Kergord, as well as the common Epinotia caprana, Winter Moth and July Highflier larvae, 2 Mottled Umber larvae were found, the first seen there for a few years. One Red Admiral was present and the hoverfly Sericomyia silentis was common.

Monday 3rd July 2006

Scaeva pyrastri, Syrphus sp. and Large White - Mike Pennington

Several migrant hoverflies at Baltasound, including Scaeva pyrastri, Syrphus sp. and Episyrphus balteatus, along with several Large Whites and a Red Admiral.

Wednesday 28th June 2006

Large Red Damselflies at Sandgarth - Tony & Beth Gerrard

There were 3 pairs of Large Red Damselflies and several singles at Sandgarth, Voe.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Scatness.

Another Hummingbird Hawkmoth and a Painted Lady are at Eswick.

Tuesday 27th June 2006

Ghost Moth at Garderhouse - Julie Redpath

Monday 26th June 2006

Angle Shades at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Saturday 24th June 2006

Silver-ground Carpet and Clouded-bordered Brindle at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Friday 23rd June 2006

There were 2 pairs of  Large Red Damselflies ovipositing at Sandgarth, Voe.

Tuesday 20th June 2006

There were 3 Large Red Damselflies at Sandgarth, Voe, including a pair mating and ovipositing. The species has a two year life-cycle, hence the absence of records last year and it seems to have established itself at the site. As no plants have been imported for 5 years, can it have established itself naturally?

Sunday 18th June 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is on Foula.

Saturday 17th June 2006

Satyr Pug and Ghost Moth at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Thursday 15th June 2006

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth is at Frakkafield, north of Lerwick.

Wednesday 14th June 2006


Red Admiral and Painted Lady at Baltasound - Mike Pennington

Tuesday 13th June 2006

An arrival of Silver Ys was noted at Sandwick, with about 50 at dusk in one garden.

Monday 12th June 2006

Netted Pug at Haroldswick - Micky Maher

Friday 9th June 2006

Large Red Damselfly at Sandgarth - Tony & Beth Gerrard

A Large Red Damselfly has been seen at Sandgarth, Voe, again.

Friday 9th June 2006

Shetland Bumblebee at Sandgarth - Tony & Beth Gerrard

Several Shetland Bumblebees at Sandgarth, Voe, were the first seen there this year.

Wednesday 7th June 2006

Painted Lady at Baltasound - Micky Maher

An influx of butterflies today with 10 Large Whites, 5 Painted Ladies and 6 Red Admirals at Eswick, 2 Large Whites, 10 Painted Ladies and 4 Red Admirals at Skellister Ness, Nesting, 6 Red Admirals and a Painted Lady at Sandgarth, Voe, 3 Red Admirals and a Painted Lady at Eshaness, a Red Admiral, a Painted Lady and a Small Tortoiseshell in one garden at Virkie and 4 Painted Ladies and 3 Red Admirals in another, and about 6 Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral in north Unst.

There were also 3 Silver Ys, 2 Diamondback Moths, a Brown Lacewing and a Syrphus sp. hoverfly at Eswick, along with the first Platycheirus albimanus, a Rush Veneer and 4 Silver Ys at Skellister Ness and a Silver Y at Haroldswick.

Tuesday 6th June 2006

There were 2 Red Admirals and 3 Painted Ladies at Kettlaness, Burra.

Sunday 4th June 2006

A Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula is at Tony & Beth Gerrard's pond at Sandgarth, Voe. The only other Shetland record was at the same site in 2004 and it seems highly unlikely that the only two vagrants should both find the same tiny pond. Perhaps there was a single arrival of a gravid female in 2004, which laid eggs and this is one of the progeny, but this also seems unlikely. So presumably the damselflies were imported with aquatic vegetation, if not to this pond then to one nearby, despite suspicions in 2004.

A few hoverflies appeared at Eswick including about 40 Eristalis pertinax and singles of the first Eristalis intricarius, Platycheirus manicatus and Helophilus pendulus. There were also 5 Large Whites.

A few Eristalis intricarius, Platycheirus manicatus and Rhingia campestris were out in the sun at Baltasound.

Saturday 3rd June 2006

It is a very poor spring for moths so far, but the first Garden Carpet was at Eswick.

Friday 2nd June 2006

The first Large White of the year was at Eswick.

Thursday 18th May 2006

Great Horntail - Glen Tyler

This Great Horntail was found at Lerwick Building Centre, presumably imported with building materials.

Wednesday 10th May 2006

A Red Admiral is at Norwick.

Tuesday 9th May 2006

There are 2 Red Admirals and a Silver Y on Noss. A Diamondback Moth is at Northdale, Unst.

Monday 8th May 2006

A Red Admiral is at Gulberwick.

A Herald was found by one of the traps at Eswick.

Sunday 7th May 2006

A Red Admiral is at Cunningsburgh.

Saturday 6th May 2006

A Red Admiral is at Ocraquoy.

Tuesday 18th April 2006

Hebrew Character at Burrafirth - Wendy Dickson

There were 33 Hebrew Characters in the Burrafirth trap.

Saturday 8th April 2006

A White-tailed Bumblebee was seen in a garden at Burgh Rd, Lerwick.

Thursday 5th January 2006

A Green Lacewing is hibernating in a shed at Sandgarth, Voe.


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