A beautiful immigrant from Southern Europe turned up in our garden last night, attracted to the 40-Watt ultraviolet light of the scientific moth trap. At first glance, I thought it was a confusing aberration of the Silver Y, but it wasn’t quite right, the Y/gamma didn’t have the Y-shape and the other markings and overall shape were wrong. It turns out it is quite a rare vagrant visitor to the British Isles – Dewick’s Plusia, Macdunnoughia confusa (Stephens, 1850).
According to the UK Moth site, it has only occurred here a few dozen times, and is generally seen on the south and east coasts when it does hit our shores, most commonly in August but can appear any time between July and October. It’s the middle of September and we are miles from the coast. The Cambridgeshire County Moth Recorder tells me that they’re regular but not common in the county, there have been 3-4 recorded for the last three years or so.
The moth was named for A. J. Dewick who is from Bradford-on-Sea in Essex. It is found across continental Europe to Siberia and down to Lebanon and Israel, and even Japan.