Irelands smallest micro moth - Enteucha acetosae on Killalish transition mire, Co. Wicklow

During the Wicklow Wetland Survey 2012 a new inland site was found which contained the micro moth Enteucha acetosae. All previous sites were coastal in their distibution (see map from Moths Ireland below).

SAM 6746

Comments on species by Ken Bond: 

This species has an unmistakeable mine, spiral, turns the leaf reddish, and found on Sorrel (Rumex acetosa and Rumex acetosella).  

This is our smallest moth species, and I believe Europe's too.  I have seen nothing to contradict the assertion that it is in fact the world's smallest moth, with a wingspan of about 3mm (in "set" posture).

enteucha acetosae male

It also has an Irish connection; the original "type locality" of the species is Howth Head (sea cliffs), where it was bred from Sorrel by Shields in 1853, and sent to Stainton who gave it its name the next year.  The mines of the species were still to be found on Howth Head when I last looked there.



Wetland Survey Ireland launches new website

Screen shot 2012-10-04 at 15.56.21

Wetland Surveys Ireland has just launched a new look website at www.WetlandSurveysIreland.com.

The site includes links to the Map of Irish Wetlands and has a number of new factfiles dealing with the value and conservation of wetlands in Ireland, and information on the main wetland habitats types found here. 

Information is also provided about the company, the services it offers and past projects, including a download section where key reports can be accessed. 

Differentiating Abia sericea and A. candens larvae !

During the course of wetland surveys in Wicklow and Kildare, and the NPWS Marsh Fritillary Survey of the Irish midlands, numerous sites were located where Sawfly larvae of the genus Abia were discovered feeding on Succisa pratensis. Two disticnt species were found which can be differentaited in their larval stage. 

Abia sericea

Larval features include a row of black dots along the dorsal midline of the larva, and a series of heart shaped black lateral markings. 

Abia sericea web

Abia candens

Larva similar to the above species, but the dorsal midline black dots are absent, and the lateral black dots are tear shaped. 

Abia candens web

Kildare Wetlands Survey

Kings Common

During September the wetlands in Kildare were the focus of survey work undertaken for Kildare Couty Council. 

A number of important sites for alkaline fen in particular were discovered including Kings Common or Bog shown here. 

Results of the survey will be available from the Kildare County Council later in the year. 


© Peter Foss 2012