|If 1992 was the worst season for several years then by general consensus
1993 was even worse. All recorders were reporting numbers of moths well
down on recent years throughout the season. As I was planning to be away
more than usual during the season I did not run my own trap as regularly
or as often as usual so that my own records of numbers of either moths
or species could not be compared with the recent past.
The fact that we had only just over 100 new records in the year compared with 250 in 1992 does, to some extent, reflect the poor results that everyone was reporting but it must be at least partially a reflection of "The Law of Diminishing Returns". There are now no squares with less than 200 species recorded and this means that there is much less scope for startling increases in totals.
Nevertheless, in one respect 1993 was a very good year in that we added no less than five species to our post-1960 total and so brought out species total for Cheshire past the 500 mark before we went to print with the long promised publication of a revised County List.
The first addition to our list was a Waved Carpet found by Paul Griffiths and Roger Robinson in Checkley Wood, along with a lot of other nice moths on 15th June. This is in SJ74 which is what I have called a Peripheral Square, because most of it lies outside Cheshire and that which is in our county is not worked regularly.
It is always a pleasure to welcome a new name to our recording network and particularly so when they produce anything as exciting as the Waved Black taken by David Taylor at Shavington (SJ75) in July; this little moth is a very long way from its known haunts and one can only speculate as to how it got here; the railway comes to mind as it is not the first stranger to appear in the neighbourhood of Crewe!
The next new arrival was a Square-spotted Clay in John Raines trap near Chester; this rather elusive moth certainly occurs in North Wales but is never common. Another wanderer was the male Lackey that entered John Thompson's trap in Heald Green (SJ88) in August; although common in many parts of the country this species has not been seen anywhere near here in recent times. Finally, when examining the flower-heads of Wild Angelica on the Cheshire Wildlife Trust's Nature Reserve at Swettenham Meadows I was delighted to find several larvae of the Triple-spotted Pug; I had been looking for this in various parts of the county ever since Geoff Wotherspoon and I found it at Whixall Moss, Shropshire a few years ago and only about six miles from the Cheshire boundary.
There were many other good things among the comparatively sparse catch apart from the new species and perhaps the most notable were our second Red-tipped Clearwing taken by Steve McWilliam at Woolston Eyes, and the Barred Umber taken by John Raines, this is a moth that seems much rarer in Cheshire than in many neighbouring counties, I wonder why? Then we must mention David Taylor's Annulet, our first for many years, he also took a Blackneck, only our second but in the same square as the original catch in 1986. Three new squares for the Puss Moth were very welcome as we don't see as much of this insect as we used to. The biggest increase however, was in the five new squares for the Sloe Pug, mainly as a result of beating of Blackthorn blossom for caterpillars.
Of the commonest species it was perhaps disappointing that only another five species were found in the last square of the 31 so we a re still a long way from the 100 here.
There were a small number of records fed into the system in 1993 that had originated in earlier years and which had not been brought to my notice until the preparation of the revised Cheshire List was at a fairly advanced state. These records were in a series of papers by Alan Creaser in the reports of the Lancashire and Cheshire Fauna Society between 1966 and 1979. Each included a number of records of macro-lepidoptera in Cheshire and the majority of these had either reached me directly or via Monks Wood. There were however a small number of very significant records which had not reached me and so were not included in the summary of records prepared in 1986. The fact that these records included three species not otherwise recorded in out period of recording makes there temporary loss most surprising.
C.I. Rutherford - (01625-583683) February 1994
The following new records were received for Vice-County 58 (Cheshire) in 1993: - an asterisk (*) indicates a new species for the county; the number at the extreme left is the Bradley & Fletcher code from their publication: "A Recorder's Log Book or Label List of British Butterflies and Moths" - J.D. Bradley and D.S. Fletcher (1979) :-
The records found in the reports of the Fauna Society referred to in the body text above were as follows:-