Adrian Spalding
British Wildlife 34.8 August 2023

The Sandhill Rustic moth in Britain and Ireland

The Sandhill Rustic is a unique moth and consists of four endemic subspecies in Britain and Ireland. Here, Adrian Spalding provides an account of these subspecies, covering their larval ecology, population dynamics, threats, and their incredible solutions to survival in challenging coastal environments.

I have been fascinated by the Sandhill Rustic Luperina nickerlii for over thirty years. You would think that by this time I would know everything about it, but I do not – there is always more to learn. This intriguing species has a disjunct distribution in Britain and Ireland, with widely separated  populations, all coastal, forming four distinct endemic subspecies, three of which survive on the very edge of the sea and, indeed, can survive for a short time under water. 

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