WATCH: Mammoth moths set to invade the south

Britain's Indian summer will draw an influx of massive MOTHS to the south - with some as big as a human HAND.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th October 2017, 3:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:15 am
A humming bee moth
A humming bee moth

Britain's Indian summer will draw an influx of massive MOTHS to the UK - with some as big as a human HAND.

Experts say a mini heatwave in the coming days will see the massive moths heading to our shores.

Wildlife lovers are being encouraged to take a 'torchlight safari' after dark over the rest of this week and look out for some of the giant moths currently on the wing.

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A humming bee moth

Some of the striking autumn moths that have been spotted across the UK this week include the Silver-striped Hawk-moth, the beaked Hummingbird Hawk-moth, and the Convolvulus Hawk-moth - which has a wing span of over 10cm.

And according to the Butterfly Conservation, the influx of rare moths from continental Europe this year are being drawn to the UK by unusually warm weather expected from the south.

"We get a small migration of rare moth species each year," said Liam Creedon, Head of Media at Butterfly Conservation.

"But with warm winds coming in from the south in the next couple of days, there is the potential for a lot more rarities to be spotted."

A humming bee moth

The Conservation's Head of Recording, Richard Fox, added that the various species of massive moths are expected to be found near patches of flowering ivy plants.

The plants flower late in the year and therefore provide a 'lifeline' to moth, butterflies and other pollinators when other sources of nectar are no longer available.

"A quick check of ivy blossom on a sunny autumn day will reveal bees, butterflies and other insects making the most of this seasonal bonanza of nectar," said Mr Fox.

He said that among the many moth species that feed on ivy plants, migrant species may also be spotted, stocking up on nectar to power their flights southward to warmer climates.

Mr Fox said: "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."

Moth Night, an annual UK-wide event to record moths, will run this year from October 12 to 14, and will include moth-trapping events across the UK.