Published: 00:01, 12 October 2017 |
People around the country are reporting sightings of a migrant moth.
The Clifden Nonpareil has been seen in Kent for some time but has recently been boosted by dozens of its foreign cousins from Europe.
It is thought the reason could be down to Ivy plants.
While most plants produce nectar during the summer months, Ivy is one of the rare kinds which produces nectar in the autumn months.
According to the head of recording at Butterfly Conservation, Richard Fox, this provides a lifeline to species.
"A quick check of ivy blossom on a sunny autumn day will reveal bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects, all making the most of this seasonal bonanza of nectar," he said.
Other species such as the Silver Striped Hawk Moth and Radford's Flame Shoulder are prompting conservation chiefs to call on the public to record the number of moths they see.
Mr Fox added: "After dark, the pollinator nightshift takes place and a myriad of moths come out to feed.
"Ivy is an undervalued natural resource and there is a tendency for it to be regarded as something that needs to be tidied away," Mark Tunmore
"For this year’s Moth Night, find some big patches of ivy flowers nearby and go back with a torch after the sun has set.
"It’s a fantastic and easy way to see some of the beautiful moths that are on the wing in autumn."
Wildlife lovers are being asked to take a "torchlight safari" of ivy flowers and count some of the moths that are on the wing in autumn. It runs between today and Saturday.
Atropos editor Mark Tunmore said: "Ivy is an undervalued natural resource and there is a tendency for it to be regarded as something that needs to be tidied away in the garden.
"However, Ivy offers valuable nectar for insects, shelter for bats and nesting birds, as well as a source of berries for small mammals and birds. It is also an attractive plant in its own right.
"We are encouraging people to get out over the coming days and look at what they can see on their local ivy patches.
"Some of our most attractive autumnal moths may be glimpsed, taking advantage of this rich nectar source."
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