IT is hairy, stripy and has been found in Scotland for the first time.

Nature chiefs are hailing the discovery of a moth has been recorded in Scotland for the first time.

But anyone seeking to spot it should be warned – blink and you might miss the tiny creature.

The black and orange alder signal moth – scientific name Stathmopoda pedella – was discovered at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth by Claire Martin, a ranger with the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT).

With a wingspan measuring little more than one centimetre, it is described as easily overlooked.

Fairly common in the south of England, it has never been documented in Scotland before.

The find was made in July last year using a specialised trap at the former railway siding, which was converted into a nature haven by SWT in the 1990s.

The discovery has now been confirmed by scientists.

Martin commented: “It’s very exciting to have recorded the first alder signal moth in Scotland, it shows there’s still so much we have to learn about Scotland’s amazing wildlife.

“Micromoths are tiny, often overlooked and under-recorded. While this is the first time we’ve seen this species, it is likely to have been around for some time.

“I only started to try to identify the micromoths found in moth traps on the reserve in 2019.

“There is every chance there are still other significant species here, just waiting to be discovered.”

The news came as it emerged that Scotland’s Climate Change Plan update will no longer be published at the end of the month.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the postponement was due to the coronavirus disruption.

In a statement yesterday, she commented: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to tackling the global climate emergency and to updating the Climate Change Plan to reflect our ambitious net zero targets.

“However, in face of the unprecedented health and economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic we have come to the view that publishing the Climate Change Plan update by the end of April is no longer feasible or appropriate.

“This does not mean that work on our ambitious plan will pause – indeed it will continue – but it is recognition that we are operating in a changed landscape.

“It is vitally important that our actions in the coming weeks and months, even those in response to other major global issues such as climate change, reflect the worldwide situation and support our national response.

“I have written to the Committee on Climate Change to request its independent expert advice on the best way forward in these unprecedented circumstances and how the Climate Change update can contribute, in due course, to a green recovery for Scotland.”

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