A RECORD number of macro moth species found during a recent moth survey include a rare species in Dorset and one which was new to the UK just 17 years ago.

The rare Lappet moth and the recently arrived Splendid Brocade were among 113 different species found from six moth traps at Dorset Wildlife Trust's Kingcombe Centre.

The Splendid Brocade still has less than 150 records in the UK and is in the early stages of colonisation following migration from mainland Europe. The Lappet moth is a species in severe decline and now only very rarely seen.

"The weather was near perfect hot, humid and overcast most nights, and these finds were really sensational," said visitor experience officer Nicola Hawkins.

"Many people don’t realise that moths can be really stunning in colour, shape and size. Attending one of our moth workshops is a great chance to see the variety of moths on your doorstep, and also learn about how important they are to the ecosystem.”

Enthusiasts from all over the country attended the Dorset Butterflies and Moths course in July and were delighted to find such a diverse range of moths, including gems like Small Mottled Willows, migrants from North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Mike Cook, who attended the course said: "I really enjoyed the butterflies and moths course. The bedrooms and other facilities were excellent and the food was fantastic.

"The course included visitors from afar, but it was also nice to see local people come along and introduce them to what could become a fascinating and worthwhile hobby. As Northerners, we enjoy attending moth courses in the South of England, seeing all the species that we never see at home.”

The arrival of autumn will see a whole host of moths, with some amazing autumn camouflage colours. An Autumn Moths course with expert David Brown takes place from Friday October 2 to Tuesday October 6. To book a place visit kingcombe.org or call 01300 320684.