Southbourne and Chichester harbour

Been to Southbourne in West Sussex, went to the Chichester Harbour nature reserve near Thorney Island.


I know about this place from back in 2007, when John Langmaid, a prominent British lepidopterist, led a field meeting there. Nine years had to pass until I got there again.

Most of the saltmarsh is now fenced off, probably due to various birds nesting there. The flagship of the place though, lives not on the saltmarsh but nearby: it is a casebearer moth Coleophora (Multicoloria) vibicella, which feeds upon Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria), a rare plant in Britain by itself. Both are common at Chichester Harbour, though.

I had collected a number of C. vibicella cases back in 2007 — got shitloads of parasites from them, but no moths!
I’ve collected some today — and all I need now is sheer luck, I suppose…

The case is huge for a Coleophora (about 20mm long), and conveniently resembles its foodplant’s seed pod:


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