Last year in late April I was trapping with actinics in Pen wood right on our border with Dorset in the south of the County. I recorded all in the trap and noted down a large Noctuid which looked like Great Prominent but was not quite right. So I boxed it up to take home to check. At that time I had a lot on my plate not all dealing with moths and the moth resided in the top of my fridge along with many more 'don't knows'
The taking of specimens is regarded by the proffessionals as essential to prove the veracity of the specimen caught. However most of us are enthusiastic amateurs and do not wish to decimate the already dwindling moth population(according to the latest moth surveys). As recorder I must have proof of specimens caught andf moths last and incredible time in the fridge without harm. Time enough to take a pictuere and send it to me or let me know so I can see the moth itself so it can be relased. BUT if it is really very rare I might have to retain the moth as a voucher specimen.
To continue the story. I enveigled my friend James across to Chard to check out some slides and moths I had taken to verify their identity. We came to this moth covered in grease looking like nothing I had ever seen before. When I realised where it had come from depsite the lack of information on the box it all fell into place. James thought it was a Brindled ochre. Needless to say I was somewhat nonplussed by this news. Such a moth is very rare and the last record was from 1962, we later learnt. I took a picture of the moth and later sent it to James and having set the moth he was able to confirm that it was a Brindled Ochre.
The moral of this story in recording terms is quite clear. If in doubt keep the moth, photogragh it, send the picture to me. If the situation requires it I will come to you to collect the specimen.
That's it for now. Lets hope it goes warm again at night