Moths of Poole Harbour

Moths of Poole Harbour

Project Reports

Understanding how other parts of the harbour’s ecosystem functions is vital and offers a valuable insight into how bird populations may fare in the short and long-term. The ‘Moths of Poole Harbour’ (MoPH) project was set up in 2017 to gain knowledge of moth species occurring in Poole Harbour, Dorset, their distribution, abundance and to some extent, their habitat requirements. Browse the extensive reports from the project below.

Moths on Arne Moors 2018 – 2020 | PDF

The RSPB Arne complex is known to be extremely rich for moths with regular recording going back to the 1970’s. However comparatively little trapping work has been undertaken on Arne moors and so the Moths of Poole Harbour (MoPH) project has undertaken weekly trapping throughout 2018 and 2019 and in June to August in 2020. One of the drivers for this work is the saltmarsh managed realignment project proposed for the site.

Moths on Ballard 2018 – 2020 | PDF

The site comprises grassland and scrub surrounded by arable farmland with a network of interconnecting hedgerows. It is unusual to find such a large area of scrub in Dorset and it has been supplemented by tree planting over the years.

Box–tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis Survey 2019 – 2020 | PDF

In the 2019 Dorset Moths report it was stated that Box-tree moths were reported 27 times, mainly from the east of the county with evidence the species is now resident. In addition, a PhD student from Royal Holloway, University of London, was studying the 3 colour morph variations and sex ratio of the species. To this end details on morphs and sex was recorded and the results are summarised here.

Moths on Brownsea Island 1962-2017 | PDF

Brownsea Island, the largest of the five main Islands in Poole Harbour, owned by the National Trust, comprises a variety of habitats which give rise to a large and interesting moth fauna. The strategic location of the site also means the Island attracts a lot of migrants as well as species associated with the rich habitats nearby in Poole Harbour. The moth fauna of Brownsea is strikingly rich, a feature shared with some other orders, notably Beetles and Plant-bugs. Over 900 species of Macro and Micro-moths have been identified and this reflects the wide variety of vegetation on the island.

Moths on Carey Estate 2019 – 2020 | PDF

The privately-owned Carey Estate west of Wareham along the Piddle valley is a wonderfully diverse area of some 150 acres. Habitats include riparian meadows, acid grassland, woodlands with old and specimen exotic trees, ditches and ponds. Past land use is much in evidence, the woodlands having a high component of Rhododendron and Cherry laurel and the many mature exotic conifers hinting at a 19th century model farm. There is a substantial walled garden under the process of significant restoration and a large main garden. Both of these are high in nectar sources.

Moths on Corfe River Meadow 2020 | PDF

The unimproved meadows alongside the Corfe River are owned and managed by the National Trust. The MoPH project visited twice in July 2020, plans for earlier trapping at the site were curtailed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Moths on Goathorn 2017-2019 | PDF

Goathorn sits within the Rempstone Estate which has a high level of security. The site shows a rich assemblage of mainly heathland species, though there is clear evidence that moths are typically drawn from a number of nearby habitats including woodland, gardens and the Harbour edge. Significantly, as with most sites, retaining as much variety of micro-habitat as possible will be key to invertebrate conservation management.

Moths in Hamworthy 2019-2020 | PDF

The trapping site in Hamworthy is a private house dating from the 1950’s with a large and well established garden. The garden is strategically placed to attract species from a wider area and backs onto others including a small orchard. It is within 400 metres of both the harbour shoreline and Hamworthy Park. It is also situated around half a mile from the eastern edge of Ham Common. It is apparent that this strategic location makes it an ideal site for sampling the conurbation moth population.

Moths on Holton Lee 2017 – 2020 | PDF

The ‘Livability Centre’ at Holton Lee comprises a range of habitats located on the southern side of Lytchett Bay. Open dry heath grades down to the extensively reed-fringed harbour edge through a belt of mixed secondary woodland containing a number of mature deciduous trees. An area of carr woodland is present. The ‘Flourish Garden’ contains a good source of nectaring plants.

Leaf-mines 2020 | PDF

A number of micro-moths spend the larval stage inside the top and bottom surfaces of a single leaf, eating their way
through the ‘flesh’ in a recognisable fashion. The patterns created in the leaf are often diagnostic.

Lesser Butterfly Orchids and Moths on Hartland Moor 2018-2019 | PDF

As part of the ‘Back from the Brink’ project for Lesser Butterfly Orchid Platanthera bifolia, Moths of Poole Harbour (MoPH) was asked to run moth traps around the known remaining Dorset colony on Hartland Moor to try to determine which species of moth may be involved in pollinating the orchids.

Clearwing Moth Pheromone Study 2020 | PDF

The MoPH project was primarily aimed at nocturnal species using light traps running overnight in locations around Poole Harbour. It is possible to attract some day-flying species of moth using pheromone lures and the MoPH project used this method for a limited time during the project. A set of pheromone attractant lures, aimed primarily at Clearwing moths was used in June and July 2020 to look for species across the Poole Harbour recording area.

Moths on Slepe Heath 2017 – 2020 | PDF

Slepe Heath is a large expanse of lowland heathland contiguous with Hartland Moor and forming an integral part of the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve established in 2020. This site is the known stronghold for the seriously declined Speckled Footman, which became a target species for the project. One of the target species for the Plantlife led ‘Back from the Brink’ Project is the Purbeck Mason Wasp whose larvae feed on the micro-moth Acleris hyemana larvae. MoPH targeted the adult moth in early spring 2018 and 2019 in two of the known sites for Purbeck Mason Wasp on Slepe Heath.

Southern Chestnut Agrochola heamatidea in Poole Harbour 2017-2019 | PDF

The Southern Chestnut was discovered in the UK, in West Sussex in 1990. It was known from a single site until 1996 when it was found in the north-west of the New Forest and since then has become known from the East Dorset Heaths especially around Hurn. The species is classified as Red Data Book 2. There is general consideration that the species may in fact be a long-overlooked resident rather than a recent addition to the fauna of Britain.

Moths in Poole Harbour 2017 – 2020 | PDF

This report presents an overall summary of the Moths of Poole Harbour (MoPH) project. In addition, a number of the sites have their own more specifically detailed reports and there are excel spreadsheets with full numbers available for each site.

Moths of Poole Harbour Species List | PDF

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