Initial thought were that this species might be a Small Grass Emerald but further investigations with attention to the shape of the antemedian and postmedian white cross lines considered the possibility that this moth was in fact a European species Microloxia herbaria. These white lines were consistent with populations from Italy eastwards through Europe whilst populations from Corsica,Balearics and Iberian Peninsula had weak or absent white fasciae. (See Photo)
The moth is a Mediterranean species from southern Portugal,southern France,Italy,Balkans,nearly all Mediterranean Islands,Turkey,Cyprus,northern Iran eastwards to central Asia.
The larva feeds on various herbs and shrubs like Apple mint,Felty Germander etc
The moth is not migratory so how did it get there?
Further investigations by M.C found they were in the vicinity of a local Garden Centre where further investigation highlighted a recent shipment of Palms from the Italian Island of Sardinia. It is thought to be an adventive species (Appendix A) and has been given the vernacular name of Herb Emerald.
In consultation with authors of the new British Checklist (Agassiz. Et al., 2013) the checklist number is 70.3075
A second record of this species followed the above on 6 August 2016 (Scott & Holman,2016) in Prestbury,Gloucestershire.
So another moth species for the recorders to look out for in 2017