A tiny moth has been found in Scotland for the first time.
The alder signal moth Stathmopoda pedella is black and orange with striped legs and a wingspan of just over a centimetre. It was recorded at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth by the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Falkirk Ranger Claire Martin.
Claire said: “It’s very exciting to have recorded the first alder signal moth in Scotland, it shows there’s still so much we have to learn about Scotland’s amazing wildlife.
“It’s very exciting to have recorded the first alder signal moth in Scotland, it shows there’s still so much we have to learn about Scotland’s amazing wildlife.
Claire Martin, Falkirk Ranger
“Micro-moths are tiny, often overlooked and under-recorded. While this is the first time we’ve seen this species it is likely to have been around for some time.
“I only started to try to identify the micro-moths found in moth traps on the reserve in 2019. There is every chance there are still other significant species here, just waiting to be discovered.”
The alder signal moth is relatively common in the south of England with scattered populations further north.
The one found at Jupiter was detected in a moth trap last July, when many adult moths are in flight.
The record has since been confirmed by Martin Culshaw, the local vice county moth recorder and fellow moth expert Dr Mark Young.
Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is in the heart of industrial Grangemouth. It was transformed from a disused railway siding to a flourishing wildlife reserve by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which opened to the public in 1992.
This is not the first time a new Scottish species has been found at Jupiter. In 2018 an endangered leaf beetle Bromius obscurus was found on the reserve during a bioblitz event.