PICTURE: Mega moth spotted in Northamptonshire garden

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A Northamptonshire man has photographed a mega moth after it landed in his garden.

Warm winds are carrying over massive palm-sized moths from the continent to Britain with some having a wingspan of up to 12cm.

Martyn, who lives on the Timken estate in Daventry, said: “I found it in my garden near the gate.

“I left it along and I have no idea where it is now.”

Arranged by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation, it is hoped that sightings of the giant insect across the county will help build a clear picture of moth migration into the UK on Moth Night.

With a tongue longer than its body, one way to attract the giant moth is by hanging ropes out soaked in alcohol, preferably wine, in a practice known as wine roping.

Another moth-attracting technique, known as sugaring, involves painting a mixture of sugar, syrup and beer onto a post or tree trunk.

Along with the Convolvulus Hawk-moth, 40 other species of immigrant moths have been spotted in the UK for the first time in 15 years, including the Black-Spotted Chestnut and Flame Brocade.

The apparent increase in migrant records could reveal important information about the effects of climate change on UK moth populations.

The Convolvulus Hawk-moth migrates from southern Europe with a few hundred spotted in the UK annually, mainly during late summer and early autumn.

Richard Fox, head of recording at Butterfly Conservation, said: “It has already been an amazing year for moth immigration and such activity usually peaks in early autumn.

“With migrants such as the massive Convolvulus Hawk-moth mixing with beautiful home-grown autumnal species.”

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