If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

11 March, 2016

Chimney Sweeper: black beauty

Many of the most successful species in nature thrive because they can cope in a variety of habitats and conditions, others have much more specific requirements and can only be found where those conditions are met. The chimney sweeper moth (Odezia atrata) has some pretty specific requirements! It likes chalk grassland, limestone hills and damp grassy meadows and at Corfe Common the chalk of the Purbeck Ridge to the north and the limestone Purbeck Hills to the south meet in the damp, grassy conditions that exist on the common. As a result, on sunny days this is a place to find this little moth in June and July. 
One look at the photo shows why it is called the chimney sweeper, it is a dusty black colour all over. It may be plain black but it is an unusual colour for a moth and I think it is quite beautiful.
This is a local and uncommon species in the south of England but, because the habitat is right, it is quite common on Corfe Common!
Chimney Sweeper: black beauty