Lasiocampidae : Poecilocampinae
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Similar Herts & Middlesex Species: None
 
Pale Eggar
Trichiura crataegi

(Linnaeus, 1758) 1632 / 66.002

General comments:
Declining species. Extremely rare or extinct in Hertfordshire.
HERTFORDSHIRE ENDANGERED.

Hertfordshire Notes:
Notes from Plant (2008)
According to volume 7, part 2, of The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, published in 1991, the Pale Eggar is widespread and locally common in the south-east of England. This is not our experience. Nationally the moth has suffered a population decline of 75 per cent during the past 25 years and now qualifies as 'Vulnerable' under the IUCN criteria. For Essex, to our east, Goodey (2004) gives this species as 'resident, scarce'. His map shows 32 ten-kilometre squares with records in the period 1960 to 1989 and a further 12 with records prior to 1960, but of these 44 squares, only 12 have also recorded the moth since 1989. The moth has apparently been lost from 32 ten-kilometre squares (although it has also been recorded post-1989 in two previously blank squares). In Bedfordshire, to our north-west, Arnold et al (1997) note that Pale Eggar is 'well distributed, but never recorded in large numbers'. Their maps reflect ten-kilometre squares only so it is not possible to interpret that statement; nevertheless, it begins to look as if this is in fact a moth that has vanished from many of the places where it was found fifty or more years ago. Our earliest record of this moth in Hertfordshire is from the Sandridge area (Griffith, 1884) and it was evidently widely distributed in both the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the open circles on the distribution map indicate. In the period since Foster's 1937 list it was noted in a garden light trap in Tring in 1945 (A. L. Goodson) and in 1947 at Bishops Stortford (Craufurd). There were 8 in the Harpenden light trap during 1952 (Bell, 1954), but there are no more records until Jim Reid recorded it at Bramfield Wood on 4th September 1970, Bayfordbury on 9th September 1971 and Meesdenhall Wood on 14th September 1974. It was common in Geoff Senior's garden in Much Hadham in the 1970s, but vanished from the list after 1979. Charles Watson recorded one at light in his garden in Bishops Stortford on 11th September 1979 and again on 18th September 1985, Jim Fish and Julian Reeves trapped one at the light trap in their adjacent gardens in another part of Bishops Stortford on 6th September 1993, Elizabeth Goodyear had one in Ware on 28th August 2002 and Jim Reid took one at light in Scales Park on 29th September 2002. There is circumstantial evidence of a resident population at Cuffley, where Alan Bolitho recorded adults in his garden on 30th August 1999, 25th and 27th August 2002 and then 30th August 2005 - our most recent records.

Notes from Plant (2016)
Apparently lost from known county sites and there are only three records, from a single site, since 2006; perhaps now extinct in Hertfordshire.

New notes, composed in 2023:
Not recorded in the county since 2020. Of the 71 records in the database, only 8 relate to the present millennium. Might possibly be hanging on at Ashridge in the west and further east in the Broxbourne Woods NNR.

Middlesex Notes:
Absent/extinct. Nineteenth century records are from Mill Hill and Pinner and the third is from Potters Bar in 1964.

Recorded in 20 (49%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1887.
Last Recorded in 2020.
Additional Stats

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List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
15/09/2020120TL21 - Welwyn Garden City
05/09/2020120SP91 - Tring
26/08/2020120SP91 - Tring
01/09/2014120TL31 - Hertford
2011120SP81 - Astrope / Long Marston
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Pale Eggar
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VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 14-17mm
Flight: August - September
Foodplant:   Birches, Blackthorn, Hawthorns
Red List: Vulnerable (VU)
GB Status: Common
BAP Status: Declining (Research only)
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
© hertsmiddxmoths.uk 2024 NOLA®; Database using MapMate® Digital Maps © Bartholomew 2010. Design © Jim Wheeler 2024
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