Rare moth not extinct, just hiding under cover of night

Photo: Ben Sale via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Ben Sale via Wikimedia Commons

A rare moth experts thought extinct has been spotted near Biervliet in Zeeland, 50 years after the last sighting.

Landscape preservation organisation Het Zeeuwse Landschap was sent a picture of the moth, a Dusky Sallow, on Facebook by a member of the public. ‘Two experts then went to the spot and found at least 30,’ spokesman Marcel Klootwijk told local broadcaster Omroep Zeeland.

The organisation will keep an eye on the population to see if the congregation of moths is a fluke or whether the species is here to stay. If caterpillars appear at the end of the season, it means the animals are procreating.

If that is the case it may well mean the experts were hasty to declare the Dusky Sallow extinct. ‘People were probably just not looking for them. They are nocturnal after all,’ Klootwijk said.

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