Monday 3 May 2021

An Enquiry about running moth nights at Cromwell Bottom LNR

 I was contacted recently by Anthony Arak who is about my age and was a member of the Halifax Scientific Society as a teenager, long before I joined. He has or has had a career in Ecology. I knew his name because his project, along with another teenage member, to reintroduce Emperor Moths onto Norland Moor in the 1960s is written about by Clifford Lees in one of our publications, ("The Natural History of Norland Moor.")

He refound the HSS via me on Facebook. What luck he did that when we are still called HSS! (I hope we always are.)

He has been introducing us to the delights the Emperor Moth as I told him we had never seen one, only the caterpillars. So now we've seen them on Wadsworth Moor (above Hebden Bridge,) Whirlaw Common (above Todmorden,) and Stiperden Moor (above the Long Causeway - the Burnley Old Rd -  above Todmorden.) We used an artificial pheremone lure briefly. It is very effective! If the weather is warm enough and there is a light breeze the males, which are day fliers, arrive very quickly! Now we just have to be lucky and find a female, as they sit still, pumping out their pheremone, and wait for the males to arrive.

Anthony would like to resume his great interest in moths. He has asked me by email if he needs permission to run moth evenings at Cromwell Bottom. I've said I will put him in touch with the various people already involved in this.

He says he would like to try, apart from a light trap, sugaring, wine ropes and "mad moth netting by torchlight."

I have mentioned the CBWG enthusiasts who already do moth nights. Is Robin Dalton still involved for the Council? I was going to ask about how Graham Haigh is but just remembered I might be able to find out on Facebook.

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