A rare moth discovered at Lydford Gorge

Our Ranger at Lydford Gorge, Steve Phillips found a really rare moth on Tuesday at the bottom of the White Lady Water Fall. The moth is called a clouded magpie. The caterpillars feed on various species of elm and has always been very local in Devon.

The Clouded Magpie – photo by Steve Phillips

Clouded magpieThere are a few records from the 1880s and early 1900s but there a very few recent sightings. There are a couple of records from the Lyd Valley more recently. It is really good to know that the clouded magpie survives at Lydford Gorge. The species must have had a very difficult time as a result of Dutch Elm Disease but fortunately Wych Elm which is found at Lydford Gorge has fared better than the smaller leaved elms in the East of the country.

A great find by Ranger Steve – well worth keeping your eyes open – you never know what you might find next.

Lydford Gorge is well worth a visit at this time of year – it is a magical place swathed in green from the sessile oaks and bubbling with noises from the River Lyd. For details on how to visit Lydford Gorge – see here.

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