June 2nd - Derrygonnelly Zoology.

Zoology leaders; Pamela Thomlinson, Robert Northridge and Ralph Forbes.

After a very cold spring with very few moths and butterflies to be seen the weather started to warm up for the Field Trip based at Derrygonnelly.

Traps were set on Saturday 1st June by Catherine Bertrand and Pamela Thomlinson. Two were at the centre and Catherine took a battery 125W up to Callow farm. As always these traps have to be closed up at dawn but everyone else was able to enjoy breakfast and gather at 9.30am to watch the traps being opened. To our delight we had a good range of species. We had expected the numbers to improve as the night time temperatures had risen above 8˚C and so it was warm enough for them to become active.

The highlights of the traps were in the 125MV trap at the side of the Field Centre classrooms which had a Brimstone (Opisthograptis luteolata), 5 White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda), a Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma), 2 Early Thorns (Selenia dentaria), 2 Peppered Moths (Biston betularia), a Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata), 3 Flame Carpets (Xanthorhoe designata), 1 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) and a Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae).

11 species altogether, 21 moths in total.

Catherine’s 125 MV trap at the side of the Dorms at the Centre had an Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria), Broome moth (Ceramica pisi), 2 Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata), 2 Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae), White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) and 2 Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata).

6 species altogether, 10 moths in total.

The 125MV trap at Callow farm had a Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata), Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata), 2 Flame Carpets (Xanthorhoe designata), a Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma) and a Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina), a Common Wave (Cabera exanthemata), an Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), 2 Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli) and a Poplar Hawkmoth! (Laothoe populi).

9 species altogether, 11 moths in total.

The 3 traps had 18 species of macromoths which delighted the ‘mothers’ amongst us, who had been catching very low numbers of moths in the months before and all present enjoyed the chance to see so many beautiful moths at close range.

We then moved on to Corell Glen to meet up with all the members of the various clubs. As there were 60 of us the party was split between our leaders, Robert Northridge and Ralph Forbes. After a botanical tour, a smaller group lead by Catherine Bertrand visited a number of sites and as the temperature rose to 16˚-17˚C we hoped the weather had improved enough for butterflies to be flying.

Ian Rippey and Bob Aldwell spotted a rare moth the Argent and Sable (Rheumaptera hastata), perhaps the most exciting find of the day as this beautiful moth has only been seen in a few areas in Fermanagh.

It was an enjoyable day greatly helped by being in the company of experts who knew the sites well and often added interesting pieces of information about individual species as they were spotted.

A full list of moths and butterflies (with sites and Grid References) can be found in the archives.

The Correl Glen walk was led by botanists Robert Northridge and Ralph Forbes, responsible for the excellent Flora of Co. Fermanagh published in 2012. However for the rest of the day, those with an entomological interest were led by Catherine Bertrand, Senior Regional Officer for Butterfly Conservation in Northern Ireland. I do not at present know how many BCNI members were present, but believe that as well as Catherine Bertrand and Ian Rippey there were several members who belonged to one of either Belfast or Dublin Naturalists Field Club, etc, with the total number of people present over 60 although I did not make a count.

Weather was mainly cloudy, the wind was light and with occasional watery sunshine temperatures approached 16˚-17˚C. Slight rain was experienced briefly in late afternoon. Conditions, while not ideal, were not all that bad and a lot better than the heavy rain experienced on the 1st BCNI outing of the year at Killard Point, Co. Down, on 18th May.

Locations of sites and Grid References, in the order visited, are as follows - Correl Glen National Nature Reserve, H0754; Near entrance to Lough Navar Forest H074546; Damp upland fields near Car Park at Aghameelan View Point, Lough Navar Forest, H0855; Disused limestone quarry at Whiterocks in Lough Navar Forest H074565, Braade Bog/Glenasheevar Area of Special Scientific Interest near exit road of Lough Navar Forest H055544, all these being near Derrygonnelly; steep roadside bank at Bowara near Enniskillen H189451.

The following species were seen.


Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) - About 12 at Bowara, although it was later afternoon and the sun was not shining.

Cryptic Wood White (Leptidea juvernica) - 1 male caught in quarry at Whiterocks; possibly another on exit road not far west of Braade Bog - 3 or 4 seen at Bowara.

Green-veined White (Pieris napi) - 15 near entrance to Lough Navar Forest; estimated c. 100 near Aghameelan Viewpoint; c. 6 at Braade Bog; 2 at Bowara.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) - About 5 males near entrance to Lough Navar Forest; 2 males near Aghameelan Viewpoint, and 2 males and a female at Brackagh Bog. I know eggs were seen at at least 1 site, but suspect there would have been many near Aghameelan Viewpoint if looked for, as Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis) was very abundant there.

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) - 1 somewhat faded specimen at Braade Bog, with the green turning somewhat bluish, making it more conspicuous against the leaves of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) than a fresh specimen would have been.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) - 1 at Braade Bog and 1 at Bowara.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - 1, apparently slightly faded, at Aghameelan Viewpoint, and 1 at Braade Bog.

Had the weather been better, especially if it had been a better season, we might have seen Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) at Braade Bog, having around 30 been seen at site in Co. Down on 30th May. Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) might also have been seen at Correl Glen, and perhaps Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) or Peacock (Aglais io) seen at 1 or more sites. With it being a late season we would not have expected to see Large Heath (oenonympha tullia) at Braade Bog, and as this has been extensively burned sometime in the last year, possibly this year, its future along with the rare moths such as Clouded Buff (Diacrisia sannio), Argent and Sable (Rheumaptera hastata) and Grass Wave (Perconia strigillaria) which have been recorded there, is uncertain.


Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)- 1 in the quarry at Whiterocks in Lough Navar Forest and 1 or probably 2 at Braade Bog.

Common Heath (Ematurga atomaria) - A handful each at Correl Glen and Braade Bog.

Species taken in light traps the night before have been listed above. The Argent and Sable (Rheumaptera hastata) was see briefly but fairly closely by myself and Ian Rippey, who also spotted it among Bog Myrtle just east of the car park at the entrance to Lough Navar Forest, I tried but failed to catch it. It was also seen, though less closely, by Bob Aldwell from Dublin and Eithna Diver from Donegal. The most interesting find of the day, this beautiful moth has been seen in only a few areas in Fermanagh and at Killeter Forest in Tyrone, though could occur elsewhere. There are old records from near Tollymore Park in Co. Down in 1941 and near Aughnacloy many years ago and also in the 1960s. In Fermanagh it has been found at Lough Melvin west of Garrison, and at several spots between Belcoo and Garrison, at Braade Bog in 1998 and at Stratonagher near Derrygonnelly in 2012, as well as Lough Navar Forest in 2013. It seems to prefer Bog Myrtle, the larval foodplant, growing in scattered rather than large clumps, on somewhat sloping ground usually near coniferous forests, perhaps due to the need for cover.

Pamela Thomlinson

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Orange tip

(Anthocharis cardamines)


Brimstone (Opisthograptis luteolata)

Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma)

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

Poplar hawk moth (Laothoe populi)

Link to
Derrygonnelly BotanyDerrygonnely_Botany.html