Clifden Nonpareil Moth

Clifden Nonpareil Moth and Red Underwing MothClifden Nonpareil Moth and Red Underwing Moth

Latin name: Catocala fraxini

Also, on the right of the picture, is a Red Underwing (Catocala nupta).

Forewing length: 41-48mm.

All of the island's records of this species have been at light traps with the moths arriving on an easterly wind from Central Europe or possibly even Scandinavia, unlike most of Alderney’s rarities, which are swept up on warm winds from Africa. Its single generation flies between mid-August and mid-October, but usually seen in September with Alderney’s four records all coming in September/October. This is a species of broadleaved woodland, where its main larval food plant is aspen, so there is no chance of it colonising Alderney.

Identifying feature: With its wings closed this famous immigrant looks like a huge Red Underwing (common in Alderney) or Rosy Underwing (very rare) The violet-blue band on the hindwings, however, makes it quite unmistakeable.