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GOLD SPANGLE ( P L U S I A BRACTEA, FABR.), A NOCTUID MOTH NEW TO SUFFOLK: A NOTE ON ITS RECENT EXTENSION OF RANGE IN THE BRITISH ISLES BARON DE W O R M S T H A T grand noctuid moth the Gold Spangle with its shimmering splash of gold leaf on its forewings was taken by Mr. H. E. Chipperfield on 8th August, 1966, at his house at Walberswick. So far as I know this is not only a new moth for Suffolk, but also for the entire Eastern Counties, since this insect has its main home in the northern and western regions of the British Isles, Scotland, and Ireland are its chief headquarters. It is, in fact, quite a widespread and common species, especially in the Highlands and also throughout most of Ireland right to the south of that country. But its status in England and Wales is not so well defined. When I took a specimen at Formby, Lancs., in July, 1939, it was considered of great moment, as this moth had hardly ever been noted from there, though Barrett (vi. 106) mentions its occurrence in Cheshire and occasionally in Shropshire and from west Yorkshire. However, in the past twenty-five years, there is no doubt that this insect has been spreading and extending its ränge considerably over the mainland. At one time it was quite scarce in the Lake District, but now it is abundant in that region and also fairly common round York where I first took it in 1958. In Wales, too, where it used to be by no means numerous, it is now quite plentiful over the northern counties there and has been found in the southern ones too, even into Herefordshire, but it still seems to shun the southern and eastern areas of England where apart from this recent record, there have been very few instances of its occurrence. In fact the the only one so far for the London area was a specimen taken by Mr. R. I. Lorimer on 22nd July, 1957 at Totteridge, just in Herts. I think there can be little doubt that these stray records from the normal ränge of the moth are genuine instances of migration from the north and not any suggestion that they may have been introduced by artificial means. Perhaps in the not so distant future this superb moth may be gracing our traps frequently in the Eastern Counties.

The Gold Spangle Plusia bractea New to Suffolk: recent extension of range in the British Isles  
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