The Narrow-Bordered Bee Hawk Moth. Picture by Ian Fletcher.
A MOTH previously thought to be extinct on the Isle of Wight has been found by two conservationists.
Moth surveyors Ian and Cath Fletcher spotted the species, identified as the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk moth, on a stalk of grass at a wildlife reserve in Cranmore.
Not seen for 60 years, it is believed the last person to record one here was Dr K G Blair, an eminent entomologist who lived in Freshwater for a number years. He had several moths named after him including Blair’s Wainscot and Blair’s Mocha.
The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk moth requires a mix of open, flower-rich grassland and scrub. The moth is nationally scarce and is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Ian Fletcher, assistant moth recorder with the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, said the recent discovery was testament to the careful management of the nature reserve by warden Jamie Marsh and his colleague Gareth Shelley, of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Mr Marsh said: "After much hard work on the site, it is great to see our management is working and we are seeing new species utilising restored habitats and improving populations of other key rare species found on the reserve."