Individual study: Turf stripping restores belted beauty Lycia zonaria habitat at Meols Common, Merseyside, England; translocation experiments at Kinmel Dunes, Conwy, Wales.
Howe M.A., Hinde D., Bennett D. & Palmer S. (2004) The conservation of the belted beauty Lycia zonaria britannica (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) in the United Kingdom. Journal of Insect Conservation, 8, 159-166
The belted beauty moth Lycia zonaria lives in dry coastal grassland. In England and Wales, it is restricted to three small remnant populations and threatened by coastal development and coastal protection activity. The species has wingless females, which cannot disperse far. The larvae feed on herbs such as bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus, usually in sparse, early successional grassland with patches of bare sand where it pupates. This paper describes efforts to restore habitat for the belted beauty at Meols Common, Merseyside, England and to translocate the moth from Morfa Conwy, Caernarvonshire to Kinmel Dunes Local Nature Reserve, Conwy, Wales.
At Meols Common, a 4 x 3 m plot of densely covered grassland was treated with 30 gallons of seawater in October 2001, to emulate a storm surge.
Treatment with seawater had little impact on the suitability of dune grassland for belted beauty, although two females were found on the treated plot in spring 2002.