Study

Successes in conserving the barberry carpet moth Pareulype berberata (D. & S.) (Geometridae) in England

  • Published source details Waring P. (2004) Successes in conserving the barberry carpet moth Pareulype berberata (D. & S.) (Geometridae) in England. Journal of Insect Conservation, 8, 167-171.

Summary

The barberry carpet moth Pareulype berberata is protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, having declined to only one site in Suffolk in the 1980s. Its caterpillars feed on common barberry Berberis vulgaris. Until the 1970s, farmers were advised to grub out barberry because it was a secondary host for wheat-rust, a practice that continued into the 1990s. This paper reports attempts to re-establish populations of the barberry carpet moth.

Captive-bred barberry carpet moths were released at ten sites in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk . No details of the captive breeding process are given, except that each individual project started with a small number of adults or larvae from a source population.

Hundreds of captive-bred larvae were released, in several batches, at two sites in Suffolk and Northampton with relatively small stands of common barberry. Several thousand larvae were released, also in batches, at a site in Lincolnshire with overgrown common barberry bushes, and at extensive urban amenity plantings of cultivated barberry species (Berberis thunbergii and B. ottawensis, both acceptable to the moth in captivity) in the city of Peterborough. At a site in Wiltshire with a large amount of barberry, both larvae and adults were released.

Three of the ten sites - in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire and Suffolk - established self-maintaining populations. The new population in Wiltshire had already survived for five years. There was no obvious connection between the number of barberry bushes, or the number of larvae released, and the chance of success.

At the Lincolnshire site where thousands of larvae were released, some subsequent breeding took place on the site but the population died out after three generations. The author suggested the bushes need to be trimmed to generate new growth.
 
 
Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, the abstract of which can be viewed at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/p44674q988g1k5r6/
 

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