At a meeting of the Suffolk Moth Group it was agreed to form the Suffolk Moth Panel (SMP) to validate records received from recorders from around the county. The panel's purpose is to validate and accept/query records that are received by the County Moth Recorders. The intention behind the formation of the panel is to ensure that the Suffolk moth records we hold can be trusted as a reliable source of information. The County Moth Recorders have agreed to delegate responsibility for the validation of records to the panel. It is intended that in the normal run of things the panel will meet a couple of times in the early part of the year to validate records received over the previous year. The members of the panel do not presume to be experts in all moth matters and will consult people outside the panel for expertise and comments where required.
With the 1997 Suffolk Moth Checklist there was a degree of uncertainty about which records would be queried when submitted and how much information we would like to have received about various species. In an attempt to clarify the situation the SMP have categorised all the moth species into 4 main categories so that recorders will know the minimum amount of information we would like to receive for particular species when they submit their records. Hopefully, this will mean that the appropriate information can be captured at the time the moth is recorded and this information can then be submitted to the county moth recorders. The greater detail of recording should make the validation process by the SMP easier and will help give us a better understanding of the moths in Suffolk. The extra information will also help us to monitor localised and rare species for signs of decline or increase.
Following these guidelines may mean that preparing records for submission to the recorders may take some more time than previously. However, if you do not feel that you have the time to follow the guidelines then please continue to submit records as you currently do. We would rather have abbreviated records than no records at all. Alternatively if you wish to submit detailed records for all your moth recording then feel free to do so.
With the latest version of the checklist recorders should be aware of which records are likely to be queried and should preferably retain voucher specimens of the species where required.
outlines the categories that have been set up with some explanation of
the category. Records of moth species falling into categories 1 and 2 will
normally be accepted without validation by the SMP whereas records of moth
species falling into categories 3 and 4 will be vetted by the SMP at their
annual meeting and confirmation of these records may be sought.
species is listed with a category where ‘G’ has been appended to a category
number then this indicates that we would prefer to have adult records of
these species confirmed by examination of the genitalia. Using the example
given before the Dark Dagger would be listed with a category 3G and the
genitalia should preferably be examined to confirm a record of the adult
of this species.