"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it"  Confucius (551 - 479 BCE)

Welcome to the Moths of Caithness website


The purpose of this website is to make available information about the status and distribution of moths in Caithness so as to encourage greater interest in the recording of moths in the County. It is meant to be a working tool and so will always be a work in progress.

While it cannot boast the diversity of species found in the south of the UK, Caithness offers habitats for species that are scarce elsewhere and supports high populations of some species that are now rare in areas of greater agricultural intensity.

Each macro moth species has a dedicated page giving details of status, flight periods recorded in Caithness, a map of recorded distribution and an image of the moth taken in Caithness where one is available. These pages can be accessed by clicking on the Macro Alphabet List link to the left.

Micro moth species, a group which has been little studied in Caithness, have a separate section which can be accessed by clicking on the Micro Alphabet List link to the left.

Most maps on the species pages are to 2km (tetrad) resolution but these maps will not show historical records that do not have site locations to this detail.
A complete list of species recorded in each 10km square can be seen by clicking on the link on the left.

The last detailed assessment of the moths of Caithness was made by J H Rosie in 1976. Rosie divided the County in to five regions and details of these can be found on the Past Recording page by clicking on the link to the left.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the County Moth Recorder.


Throughout the website reference is made to:
Randle, Z., Evans-Hill, L.J., Parsons, M.S., Tyner, A., Bourn, N.A.D., Davis, A.M., Dennis, E.B., O'Donnell M., Prescott, T., Tordoff, G.M., & Fox, R. (2019)
Atlas of Britain & Ireland's Larger Moths. Pisces Publications, Newbury.

Other references used:
Waring, Paul, Townsend, Martin Lewington, Richard (2017) Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Bloomsbury Publishing. London

Sterling, Phil, Parsons, Mark, Lewington, Richard(2012) Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Bloomsbury Publishing, London

Langmaid,J.R., Palmer,S.M., Young,M.R. (2018) A Field Guide to the Smaller Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. The British Entomoloogical Society, Reading

Website: Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland: Distribution Atlas  


Thanks to the many observers who have provided records over the years to make this website possible. Also to Roy Leverton for his advice and for providing a copy of J H Rosie's 1976 article. Thanks also go to Mark Young & Nigel Richards for their help with micro moth species and to Ian Wallace for help with caddis flies.

Maps are based on MapMate and thanks to Mark Yeates at MapMate for technical advice on reproducing maps from that data base.

The topography of Caithness