Another new species for Ireland is found

Allen and Mellon Environmental have once again been involved in the discovery of a species new to Ireland.  Clive Mellon trapped a specimen of the micro-moth Cochylidia implicitana during a bioblitz at Copeland Bird Observatory on 11th June 2016.  Clive was on Lighthouse Island to record moths over a two-day period along with John O'Boyle, Chair of Butterfly Conservation NI.  The moth was in a heath trap with 6W actinic bulb which had been set near the shoreline.  It was not familiar to Clive and so the specimen was retained.  The identification of the moth was confirmed in the past few days after it was dissected by the Northern Ireland micro-moth recorder John McClean. 

By Donald Hobern - Flickr: Cochylidia implicitana, CC BY 2.0

By Donald Hobern - Flickr: Cochylidia implicitana, CC BY 2.0

The confirmation was particularly timely as it brought the Irish micro-moth list to the landmark total of 900 species, with 673 of these recorded in Northern Ireland.  In the UK, the species occurs mainly in southern England where it is associated with waste ground and roadside verges.  Its main larval food plant is mayweed (either Matricaria or Tripleurospermum) and sea mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum) was common where it was taken.  This plant is common around our coasts, raising the possibility that the moth may be more widespread.

Cochylidia implicitana habitat at Copeland Bird Observatory

Cochylidia implicitana habitat at Copeland Bird Observatory

Dissection plate of Cochylidia implicitana by John McClean

Dissection plate of Cochylidia implicitana by John McClean