Light Crimson Underwing - Peter Maton

A rare moth has been spotted in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, in what is thought to be the first sighting since c.1900. The adult Light Crimson Underwing (Catocala promissa) was sighted by butterfly and moth experts David Green and Dr Susan Clarke while undertaking surveys for Butterfly Conservation, on behalf of Forestry England.

David Green of Butterfly Conservation, said: "The Light Crimson Underwing is an extremely scarce moth that requires plenty of large mature - or preferably veteran - Pedunculate oak. This particular specimen was found taking moisture from the edge of a muddy puddle and is a very significant record for this rare species."

Forestry England Ecologist, Sam Pegler, said: "The re-discovery of an absent species is always exciting, but the 120 year gap since the last sighting of a Light Crimson Underwing moth in Savernake Forest makes this particularly unusual. The moth's presence highlights the great importance of the veteran trees, which we work to protect and preserve, as well as nurturing trees that will become the veterans of the future. This Butterfly Conservation survey also identified areas of potential breeding habitat for the Light Crimson Underwing. It's early to speculate, but it is possible that our ongoing efforts might support the moth to return to the forest in greater numbers."

Read more about the Light Crimson Underwing here: