nomad does Arctia villica still exist in the Woolwich marshes? Or anywhere else in the U.K.? It is quite rare in Germany, since it likes warmer areas, I once saw one at the river Mosel, where also Parnassius apollo vinningiensis and Melitaea didyma occur, very nice area, extremely hot and dry in summer, the steep vinyards along the river really collect the sun, I remember being there when it was about 38 degrees at noon, and not a single butterfly was flying anymore, all were hiding in the shadows and I should have done the same.
That area in Germany sounds like a lovely area luehdorfia. In Britain Arctia villica is mainly a southern coastal species, it likes a warmer climate. The Woolwich Marshes have long since vanished, being built on but it probably occurs on the outer Essex wetlands that have survived. That is why Bond's journal is so important, its a time capsule of species that once occurred in these lost areas. I have only encountered this species a couple of times in the Isle of Wight, but I have never gone to especially look for it. I expect if you run a light trap in suitable areas on the south coast it would turn up on a regular basis. After a storm during the night on the Isle of Wight in May, I once found one resting on the south coast of the Island in 2011, looking very sorry for itself, it had lost an antennae (perhaps it has a near miss with a bat or bird), see below, my photo taken in 2011.
nomad very interesting! Yes that area in Germany is really great, it is famous for some very rare and almost extinct species, like parnassius Apollo and together with it Scolitantides orion. The areas are extremely difficult to access, and very small, the area where I knew that the Orion blue exists is only about 50 sqm and was totally overgrown by plants so probably that population is already extinct. There are small river valleys, along the Mosel that are all very steep and where you can find apollo, orion blue, apatura iris and ilia and also aporia crataegi, and arctia villica. If you ever want to go then tell me and I can give you exact locations.