Micro moths: verification

The interest in recording the approx 1250 species of British microlepidoptera is increasing rapidly.

Whilst some are easily identifiable, many can be very challenging even to the more experienced observer. In fact, there are plenty that will require detailed examination if they are to be confirmed to species level.

But don’t let this put you off, the study of micro moths can be very rewarding and many are under-recorded: give it a go.

There are now excellent resources available both online and in recent field guides (several now available as apps for various devices)

Ian Kimber’s excellent UK moths site
Mike Wall’s Hantsmoths site
Field guide to the micro moths of GB and Ireland

From April 2016, verified records of micro moths will be able to be added to the National Moth Recording Scheme for the first time. This database is used in many ways and the integrity and accuracy of data within it is of paramount importance. Butterfly Conservation have agreed a formal process around the verification of micro moth records in discussion with the leading national and regional experts in this field. This info has now been published (see links below) and will help us all to identify the level of supporting information needed in order to verify such records: for most recorders this will be business as usual.

Micro moth grading guidelines
Micro moth verification guidelines
Micro moths and the NMRS

If you think you have an interesting record please try to take good quality images and get in touch as soon as you can. You should try to retain the specimen for a short while.