By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 06 September 2013 Updated: 06/09 08:50
AN UNUSUAL species has been spotted in the garden of a Matchborough East resident.
The convolvulus hawk moth, which is one of the largest moths found in Europe, was found in Maurice O’Gorman’s garden with the sighting confirmed by the West Midlands Butterfly Conservation.
Mike Williams, from the organisation and who appealed in the Standard last month for residents to look out for the brown hairstreak butterfly, said: “While brown hairstreaks are relatively small, convolvulus hawks at almost 7cm is one of the largest moths found in Europe and is a rare migrant to the UK.
“It is resident in Africa and some migrate to southern Europe most years to breed sometimes reaching coastal areas of Britain. To find one as far north as the Midlands is highly unusual and quite a find for a Redditch garden.”
He added since the butterfly appeal, there had been ‘an extremely good response’ from various parts of the town including Headless Cross, Woodrow, Winyates, Southcrest, Batchley and Church Hill.
“While there is always the chance of misidentification with those not too familiar with butterflies, all will be followed up with visits over the winter to search the vicinity for brown hairstreak eggs and we are hopeful that we will be able to confirm sightings by finding evidence of breeding. Although the eggs are tiny - no bigger than a pinhead - they are easier to spot than the adult butterfly.”
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