Thursday, 18 October 2018

New Zealand tree-fern muncher comes to Banstead


Meet Musotima nitidalis, a pyralid moth that should, by rights, be chomping on tree-ferns in Australia and New Zealand. But in 2009 a single was recorded in Dorset, no doubt having hitched a lift on a potted tree-fern. Since then others have appeared, mostly in Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex, but also in Essex, London and Surrey. It seems to have established a toe-hold, yet another adventive species that has happily used human intervention to colonise new parts of the world. Last night I had my first - the individual above - to the garden MV here in Banstead. Quite a striking moth, certainly one that doesn't need a degree to identify correctly.

8 comments:

Ric said...

Not much idea of moths I'll admit. But when I go to New Zealand, I find the Monarch Butterflies there a real treat. The power they have in flight is quite something.

Dave Boyle said...

I catch these here in the Chatham Islands! Maybe it was me!

Gibster said...

Only seen the larvae so far (in Dorset, not Skye) and well worth seeing it is too. Check for the distinctive feeding damage on Bracken and look for the bright green caterpillar laying on the underside of the midrib. Apparently prefers sites with a degree of humidity, mine were in shaded bracken by a pond. Maybe Blake's Pond on Epsom Common would be worth a squint? Good luck!

Steve Gale said...

I didn't realise that there were Monarchs there Ric

Steve Gale said...

Well it was wearing a Brentford scarf!

Steve Gale said...

I'll stick to the adults thanks Seth...

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Deport it!

Steve Gale said...

No, we're firm remainers here at ND&B