A species of Cucullia was taken by Tony Bryant at Tramore, Co. Waterford (grid reference S577013), on 25 December 2018 at the beginning of a period of unseasonable immigrant activity on the Waterford coast emanating from the Iberian Peninsula and Western France. Migrants trapped at the time included a Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella (L.), Small Mottled Willow Spodoptera exigua (Hb.) and Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon (Hufn.) on 27 and 28 December, while on 30 December another Small Mottled Willow was recorded, with further migrant activity reported along the Waterford and Cork coasts. The moth was identified as a Marigold Shark Cucullia calendulae with reference to Barron, S. Zilli, A. & Tunmore, M. (2018. The First British Record of Marigold Shark Cucullia calendulae Treitschke, 1835. Atropos 62: 51-62) and www.lepiforum.de, but to rule out a similar resident species, the Chamomile Shark Cucullia chamomillae ([D. & S.]), it was passed to KGMB who later set, dissected and confirmed the moth as a male Cucullia calendulae Treitschke, 1835 Marigold Shark and new to Ireland.
Known from the Canary Islands, Iberian Peninsula, France, the Mediterranean and further afield C. calendulae is on the wing from October to April, with the moth overwintering and its larvae feeding from February through to June on members of the Asteraceae family, including Marigold (Calendula spp.).
The specimen will be lodged with the National Museum of Ireland, Natural History, Dublin.
Tony Bryant and Ken Bond
Bryant, T. & Bond, K.G.M., 2019. Marigold Shark Cucullia calendulae Treitschke, 1835 (Lep.: Noctuidae), a migrant new to Ireland. Entomologist’s Record & Journal of Variation 131: 64-65.