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Micro Moth records for Northamptonshire (VC32)

In the early 1990's I was asked by the editors of MBGBI (The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, published by Harley Books) to help collate all known records of the microlepidoptera for Northamptonshire.

The purpose of this was to ensure that the county distribution maps for each species were as complete as possible for forthcoming volumes.

The earliest record is that of Caloptilia hemidactylella, an extremely rare species, in Whittlebury Forest (Stainton, H.T., 1864, The Natural History of the Tineina, 8).

The first county list to be produced was by E.F. Wallis. The Lepidoptera of Northamptonshire appeared in parts in the Journal of the Northamptonshire Natural History Society, Vol.XV, in 1908-1910. The original diaries from which this was prepared are now with the Kettering & District  Natural History Society (KDNS).

Wallis was later a member of the KDNS, and their secretary maintained an index-card system of noting members' records annually, from 1917 to 1956. All these records have now been added to the mapping program for the county list.

John Ward has passed on to me many more recent papers containing local lists which include the micro-moths.

From 1992 I have been actively working on the micro-moths in the county, mainly in Yardley Chase (SP85), and identifying catches from Fineshade (SP99) and Pitsford NR (SP77). The remainder of the county is largely un-recorded, so wherever you live you can easily add to the known distribution of even the commonest species.

If you have un-named species in your collections I am happy to look at them and attempt to name them. I am often sent digital photos by e-mail, and this is becoming a reliable way of naming many, but not all, micro-moths.

There are currently about 830 species of micro-moths recorded in the county.

You can contact me via the Bedfordshire Natural History Society, at micromoths@bnhs.org.uk

David Manning


County Micro Moth Recorder - David Manning
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