Clifden Nonpareil (Catocala fraxini)

Clifden Nonpareil - James Hunter

Clifden Nonpareil – James Hunter

Clifden Nonpareil Catocala fraxini (2451, 72.076) is an immigrant and transitory resident. They were resident in Kent during the mid 20th century.

From earliest records to 1964 they were not recorded annually and when seen were usually in single figures. The exception was 1953 when there were 18 records. There are no reports from 1965 to 1989.  As can be seen from the graph below from 1990 there were low numbers, but it did not become annual until 2008.  At least 1 has been recorded every year since then with a peak of 13 in 2010.

There has only been one record in West Kent since 1920 which was at Orpington in 2008.

Nationally exceptional years are often associated with the arrival of Camberwell Beauty butterflies, Great Brocade moths and in 1995 with Barred Warblers.  This and the national distribution suggest that the main source is eastern Europe, Scandinavia or Siberia.

They are recorded at rest by day on tree trunks and walls and are strongly attracted to sugar.  Usually only caught in light traps in small numbers.

Earliest and latest dates recorded:

East Kent VC 15 West Kent VC 16
Earliest date 26 June 1949 24 July 1920
Latest date 24 October 2015 7 September 1827