UK’s Largest and Rarest Moth Found at Lost Gardens of Heligan

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First a Green Heron, Now Here Comes the Moth

Clifden Nonpareil Moth Found at Heligan

...it was the size of the moth that made me think it deserved more investigation and we were delighted to have it confirmed as the Clifden Nonpareil Moth. Another rare sighting at Heligan!

It’s been an exciting few weeks at Heligan in Cornwall. Not only is a rare Green Heron still in residence (the first one spotted in Cornwall since 1889, and only the eleventh seen in the UK), but now one of the UK’s rarest Noctuid moths has been found.

Only once recorded in Cornwall 1948 and considered one of the UK’s largest and rarest Noctuid moths, the Clifden Nonpareil Moth or 'Blue Underwing' was sighted this week resting on a gardener’s shed at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

This is the second rare wildlife sighting at Heligan since the arrival of the rare Green Heron in the Lost Valley just over two weeks ago!

Once the Victorian collector’s classic all-time favourite, the ‘Blue Underwing’ is now only an immigrant species with only a handful of recorded sightings in the UK each year.

Speckly grey/brown in colour and with a wingspan of up to 10.5 cm the Clifden Nonpareil’s initially caught the attention of Heligan’s Wildlife & Estate Manager, Jim Briggs. “Although relatively well camouflaged against the gardener’s shed it was the size of the moth that made me think it deserved more investigation and we were delighted to have it confirmed as the Clifden Nonpareil Moth and another rare sighting at Heligan!”

Cornwall Moth Recorder, Tony James who confirmed the sighting also speculated the possibility that if it were a female moth she may have laid her eggs at Heligan and that we may see some baby ‘Blue Underwings’ in the Spring!

However, since the moth only lays its eggs on either Poplar and Aspen trees and Heligan only has two of either -- the Wildlife Team know where to keep a watchful eye!

For further information please contact:
Simon Whittam @ Onshore Media
on: 01752 823414 or 078 0241 6420                            
Email: simonwhittam(at)weareonshore(dot)com
Or Dawn Bebe on 07831 790416
dawnbebe(at)weareonshore(dot)com

NOTES:
Broadcast quality footage of the rare Green Heron is available, as are a selection of pictures.

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Dawn Bebe
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