Welcome

My Blog's aim is to promote and encourage others to participate in the wonderful hobby that is Moth-trapping.
So why do we do it? well for some people it is to get an insight into the world of Moths, for others it is to build a list of species much like 'Twitching' in the Bird world.
The reason I do it....you never know what you might find when you open up that trap!
I hope to show what different species inhabit our Country by getting people aware of what is out there.
On this Blog you will find up-to-date records and pictures.
I run a trap regularly in my garden in Hertfordshire and enjoy doing field trips to various localities within Hertfordshire and Essex

Please also check out the links in the sidebar to the right for other people's Blogs and informative Websites.

Thanks for looking & happy Mothing!

KEY

NFY = New Species For The Year
NFG = New Species For The Garden
NEW! = New Species For My Records

Any Species highlighted in RED signifies a totally new species for my records.

If you have any questions or enquiries then please feel free to email me
Contact Email : bensale@rocketmail.com
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Moths are on the move again despite torrential rain

Hi all.
I have run the trap on Sunday night and Tuesday night and hopefully will run it again tonight.
On Sunday night the weather was quite cool and clear and so 5 moths was the only return for a lengthy spell of Mercury Vapor light.
But...things changed mid-week and instead of clear skies we got cloudy ones but then came the rain. Undeterred by this I still braved the trap up against the house with just a few eggs trays around it, as predicted by the morning everything was drenched.
28 moths of 17 species was a surprise indeed.
Highlights were 7 Plutella xylostella's (these are having a good year in my garden) a seldom seen Brick which I missed out on last year, a year first Sprawler and November Moth and two more cryptically patterned Acleris schalleriana.
Satellite was also a season first with one Orange Satellite and one White Satellite on each wing.

Catch Report -  12/10/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Blair's Shoulder-knot
1x Barred Sallow

Micro Moths

1x Amblyptila acanthadactyla
1x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Plutella xylostella

Catch Report - 14/10/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Brick [NFY]
1x Sprawler [NFY]
1x November Moth sp [NFY]
1x Lesser Yellow Underwing
1x Satellite
2x Yellow-line Quaker
2x Green-brindled Crescent
1x Snout
1x Common Marbled Carpet
1x Pink-barred Sallow
1x Grey Shoulder-knot

Micro Moths

2x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
1x Epiphyas postvittana
2x Acleris schalleriana
7x Plutella xylostella
2x Acleris sparsana

Sprawler










Satellite












Brick











Pair of Shoulder-knots











Acleris schalleriana

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A week passes with little to report

Well we are firmly into the slow part of the year now, with flash floods, cool breezes and clear nights, but it has been mild enough to run the trap on just two occasions this past week.

On Sunday night it was mild but clear and the trap went on as usual, but waking up to find five moths in 10 hours of light trapping (1 moth every 2 hours) was solely depressing to put it bluntly, with nothing new for the year, still I expected this after such a high a few weeks back.

Ho hum, I had to wait until Thursday for another favourable night, well it chucked it down for two hours solid at around 4pm, but then it turned to light drizzle and it seemed a tad warmer, so the egg trays were lined in the trap, collar on, funnel and bulb on and away we go again, this time with a better return than Sunday night, with 8 moths of 7 species.
Still no Merveille du Jour or Brick (I didn't get any last year) or Dark Chestnut, and still getting Carcina quercana!
Results are below.

Catch Report - 05/10/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125x MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Common Wainscot
1x Red-line Quaker
1x Sallow
1x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Brown-spot Pinion

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - 09/10/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125x MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Lesser Yellow Underwing
1x Angle Shades

Micro Moths

1x Acleris schalleriana
1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
2x Emmelina monodactyla
1x Carcina quercana

Acleris schalleriana


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Westbrook Hay - Hemel Hempstead - Field - 02/10/14

Bit late with this post as I have had a busy week writing other bits and bobs and sorting through my yearly records has been no easy feat.
Last week I was joined by David and Roger for our final field trip of the year, mainly because the weather is probably sooner or later (has) going to turn awful, and as the nights draw in now I would be fighting with the rush hour traffic out of Stevenage and on the A1.
The night was pretty much perfect to start with, very warm for the time of year at about 20 degrees at sundown, although the promised cloud dissipated and we were left with a cool clear sky with a bright moon.

A few hours is all we trapped for as the moths just stopped flying by about 11pm and it was time to pack up.

We packed the three traps running off of the generator first, and found nothing much of interest apart from very late examples of Marbled White-spot, Beautiful Hook-tip and Straw Dot, highlight was a year first Merveille du Jour.

We trundled back to the old barn where we were running two more traps from the electricity power points, it was starting to feel very chill indeed and coats were done up to the chin and hats adorned.
In the second to last trap it became apparent that our efforts were all worth it. A stunning Cypress Pug was sitting on the outside egg trays around the 160w MBT Trap.
A great record and a first for all three of us, indeed it is a scarce moth that is slowly spreading from the West and South.
Full catch below, from 5 traps.

Catch Report - 02/10/14 - Westbrook Hay - Hemel Hempstead - 2x 125w MV Robinson Traps, 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap, 1x40w Lucent Suitcase Trap & 1x80w Actinic/26w CFL Suitcase Trap.

Macro Moths


1x Cypress Pug [NEW!]
5x Beaded Chestnut
1x Beautiful Hook-tip
1x Brimstone Moth
1x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
1x Brown-spot Pinion
2x Common Marbled Carpet
1x Grey-pine Carpet
2x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Lesser Yellow Underwing
11x Lunar Underwing
1x Marbled White-spot
2x Merveille du Jour
1x Orange Sallow
2x Pink-barred Sallow
1x Red-green Carpet
2x Sallow
3x Setaceous Hebrew Character
1x Snout
3x Square-spot Rustic
1x Straw Dot

Micro Moths

1x Acleris sparsana
1x Agriphila geniculea
1x Carcina quercana
5x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Agonopterix heracliana
1x Pandemis heparana
1x Plutella xylostella
1x Aleimma loeflingiana
5x Acleris rhombana

Cypress Pug









Merveille du Jour












Pandemis heparana





Saturday, 4 October 2014

Fall Webworm Moth - New to Britain

The Herts County moth recorder Colin Plant confirmed the strange Ermine moth today using various literature at his house and the two Male specimens he had in his collection. My specimen was also compared with spotless White Ermine, pale Buff Ermine and Water Ermine.

It is a first for Britain, a male Fall Webworm Moth Hyphantria cunea distinguished by antennae, all white abdomen with no dorsal spots, no spots on the hindwing, and spines on the tibiae, something the genus Spilosoma doesn't have.

It has been recorded in North America from Canada to Mexico, introduced accidently in Europe in the 1940's and spreading Eastwards into Central Asia, also in Japan in 1945.

The nearest record to here is known from South-West France!

Chuffed to say the least, need to write an article now for the Entomologist record.


Fall Webworm Moth








A great start to October

The trap was out on Wednesday anticipating some more Autumn moths, and come the morning the trap was not as busy as it has been but the lack of moths was made up by new moths for the year and seasonal firsts, by seasonal firsts I mean the moths that I had trapped in the Spring, namely Grey Shoulder-knot ( Last seen 29/03/14), Chestnut (31/03/14) and Acleris schalleriana (17/02/14).

Firsts for the year included Blair's Shoulder-knot, Red-line Quaker and Acleris sparsana.

Catch Report - 01/10/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Blair's Shoulder-knot [NFY]
1x Red-line Quaker [NFY]
1x Grey Shoulder-knot
4x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1x Yellow-line Quaker
2x Snout
1x Rosy Rustic
7x Lunar Underwing
1x Common Marbled Carpet
1x Grey-pine Carpet
1x Vine's Rustic
5x Lesser Yellow Underwing
5x Large Yellow Underwing

Micro Moths

1x Acleris sparsana [NFY]
1x Acleris variegana
2x Acleris schalleriana
1x Clepsis consimilana
1x Archips podana
2x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Acleris sparsana













Blair's Shoulder-knot










Chestnut











Red-line Quaker













Grey Shoulder-knot

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A tricky Ermine

Hello everybody.

On Monday night I trapped in the garden as usual. 
Conditions were quite favourable with overcast skies and little wind, although we had had a downpour in the afternoon at some point this didn't dampen my spirits.
The catch wasn't bad at all with no less than 25 species.

Emmetia marginea was a new Micro moth for the garden, a Bramble feeder.

Yellow-line Quaker was the only moth new for the year, and like the Black Rustic a species that I missed out on last year...will I get a Brick to complete the trio of 'The Lost Moths of 2012?' 

It was also nice to get the stunning form of Sallow f.flavescens, a different Beaded Chestnut and a much darker form of Barred Sallow.

Now..there is a bit of confusion at the moment as to what Ermine I have caught. 
As I went out to the In the dark at 6am in the morning I suspected that it was a very late (my latest) Yellow-tail...I potted it up and then noticed it was too elongate for this and Brown-tail, plus it had neither yellow or brown on the end of its abdomen.
This could only mean either White Ermine (for which it initially looked nothing like) or Water Ermine! Which hasn't been recorded since the 1940's!
The moth was checked for the spotted hindwing markings that White Ermine has, this moth does not appear to have any markings, it is pure silky white and not worn either.
But then there is the antennae question, in White Ermine the pectinations of the antennae are uneven and longer one side than the other, in Water Ermine these are pretty much symmetrical.
My moth is asymmetrical so I am really baffled at present! See what you all think.

For starters the wing shape looks too slim and rounded for White Ermine.

I will get this dissected to be sure.



Catch Report - 29/09/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Yellow-line Quaker [NFY]
1x Ermine sp?
3x Brimstone Moth
5x Lunar Underwing
2x Common Marbled Carpet
2x Willow Beauty
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1x Sallow (f.flavescens)
3x Lesser Yellow Underwing
1x Large Ranunculus
1x Engrailed
1x Angle Shades
3x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
1x Beaded Chestnut
1x Setaceous Hebrew Character
2x Snout
1x Burnished Brass
2x Barred Sallow
2x Common Wainscot

Micro Moths

1x Emmetia marginea [NFG]
1x Clepsis consimilana
1x Mompha subbistrigella
1x Plutella xylostella
1x Blastobasis lacticolella
1x Ambylptilia acanthadactyla

Ermine sp












Beaded Chestnut











Barred Sallow












Yellow-line Quaker









 
Common Marbled Carpet













Emmetia marginea




Sunday, 28 September 2014

The dark side, returns!

On Thursday night I ran the garden trap once more and attracted various visitors to the lamp.
Large Yellow Underwing were back on the top and Large Ranunculus increased in numbers to 5 individuals.

Black Rustic was the only new species for the year, looking back at my garden records I missed out on this species completely last year, so it was nice to see it appear again.

Still getting a few end of Summer visitors and I seem to be getting a Hornet each time I trap! They are certainly having a good year as I have seen plenty about as opposed to Wasps where I have hardly seen any!

Catch Report - 25/09/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Black Rustic [NFY]
2x Barred Sallow
5x Large Ranunculus
2x Lunar Underwing
1x Grey-pine Carpet
3x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
5x Lesser Yellow Underwing
1x Setaceous Hebrew Character
19x Large Yellow Underwing
2x Pale Mottled Willow
1x Common Marbled Carpet
1x Sallow
1x Snout
1x Silver-Y
1x Square-spot Rustic
2x Vine's Rustic
1x Burnished Brass
1x Brimstone

Micro Moths

1x Carcina quercana
1x Ypsolopha sequella
1x Epinotia nisella
1x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Cydia splendana
1x Celypha lacunana

Black Rustic



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Back to the garden for some Autumnal moths

I set the trap up last night as it needed a little warmer than Sunday and Monday night, it even clouded over later on and at some point during the night we had rain as the egg trays were soaked.

Some nice additions to the garden year list with Beaded Chestnut and Green-brindled Crescent in the trap.
Pink-barred Sallow was on the fence and new for the garden, Macro No.260 since I started recording in August 2012.

Other than that it was standard fare with Lunar Underwing taking top spot and Large Ranunculus picking up in numbers.

The weather stays unsettled this week, but Thursday night is looking nice and mild on the forecast.

Catch Report - 23/09/14 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Pink-barred Sallow [NFG]
1x Beaded Chestnut [NFY]
1x Green-brindled Cresecent [NFY]
1x Red-green Carpet
2x Willow Beauty
2x Common Marbled Carpet
2x Pale Mottled Willow
6x Lesser Yellow Underwing
7x Lunar Underwing
1x Common Wainscot
6x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Vine's Rustic
2x Shuttle-shaped Dart
2x Barred Sallow
2x Setaceous Hebrew Character
3x Large Ranunculus
1x Sallow
2x Angle Shades
1x Rosy Rustic

Micro Moths

1x Carcina quercana
5x Epiphyas postvittana
2x Plutella xylostella
1x Celypha lacunana
1x Acleris variegana

Carcina quercana













Red-green Carpet













Beaded Chestnut













Large Ranunculus & Green-brindled Crescent











Pink-barred Sallow



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Bovingdon Brickworks - Hemel Hempstead - Field Trip - 18/09/14

I enjoyed a trip over to Hemel Hempstead once again and I was joined by David, Roger and Steve.

We decided to trap at Bovingdon Brickworks in the small village of Bovingdon to the South-West of Hemel Hempstead and owned by the Boxmoor Trust.
This site is very important for wildlife and moths are no exception! The unimproved grassland and mixed woodland intersecting the previously excavated pits offers a unique habitat and trapping experience.

We thought about positioning the traps in an area that we had not run the traps before, and so we went about setting up all four traps in a crossroads position so they were all out of site of each other.

The weather was absolutely perfect minus some cloud cover but with a minimum temperature of a sweltering 16 degrees all night, it was still 23 whilst we were arriving and there was no moon to contend with.

It did take a while after dark for moths to start turning up, all four of the traps got inundated with Crane-flies and 3 of the traps had a small Hornet presence as well.
First moths in were Brimstones, Square-spot Rustics and Lunar Underwings then some better species started coming in, Pink-barred Sallows, Sallows and Dusky Thorns.

Throughout the night we were so surprised at how late some species were still flying, and some fresh broods in the mix as well, species such as Light Emerald, Oak Hook-tip, Green Carpet, Small Phoenix, Straw Dot and Pretty Chalk Carpet and then after seeing these I commented 'We will get an Elephant Hawk-moth next!' and blow me down, on the egg tray of one of the traps was a mint example of a female.

The Macro's weren't the only highlights, the Micro's had a very good innings indeed with nearly as many species including five species of Acleris and four species of Ypsolopha making it 9 already. Late ones were also amongst these with Cochylimorpha straminea, Crambus pascuella, Pyrausta aurata and even more shocking was Pseudargyrotoza conwagana and Acleris forsskaleana.

Probably the rarest moth of the night was a fresh example of Pandemis cinnamomeana, a local moth in most parts of the Country where it is found.
Best moth for me was a Plume that Roger potted up from David's trap, it was confirmed after a little bit of scrutiny that it was indeed a Platyptilia gonodactyla, a completely new Plume for all of us, despite it listed as common in the books, but then our County database tells a different story with one record from 1900 to 2005! Though I am sure someone has seen one from then until now.

Catch below in no particular order.

More pictures to come, when it stops raining!

Catch Report - 18/09/14 - Bovingdon Brickworks - Hemel Hempstead - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap, 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap, 1x 40w Lucent Suitcase Trap & 1x 80w Actinic?26w CFL Suitcase Trap.

40 Macros & 32 Micros

Macro Moths

10x Square-spot Rustic
3x Pink-barred Sallow
5x Lunar Underwing
40+ Brimstone Moth
2x Brindled Green
4x Snout
5x Light Emerald
9x Sallow
3x Lesser Yellow Underwing
3x Flame Shoulder
4x Oak Hook-tip
6x Common Marbled Carpet
10x Dusky Thorn
6x Copper Underwing
1x Svensson's Copper Underwing
5x Large Yellow Underwing
4x Common Wainscot
1x Rosy Rustic
1x Beaded Chestnut
1x Maiden's Blush
1x Pretty Chalk Carpet
2x Barred Sallow
1x Angle Shades
1x Southern Wainscot
1x Feathered Gothic
1x Burnished Brass
1x Small Square-spot
2x Willow Beauty
1x Brown-spot Pinion
3x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
2x Small Blood-vein
2x Green Carpet
2x Suttle-shaped Dart
1x Turnip Moth
2x Straw Dot
1x Small Phoenix
2x Red-green Carpet
5x Centre-barred Sallow
2x Grey-pine Carpet
1x Elephant Hawk-moth

Micro Moth

1x Platyptilia gonodactyla [NEW!]
2x Archips podana
2x Epinotia ramella
2x Acleris rhombana
2x Acleris emargana
2x Acleris variegana
1x Acleris forsskaleana
1x Monopis laevigella
1x Cochylimorpha straminea
1x Carcina quercana
1x Crambus pascuella
10+ Epinotia nisella
1x Pandemis cinnamomeana
2x Pyrausta aurata
2x Plutella xylostella
1x Elachista sp
1x Phyllonorycter harrisella
2x Phyllonorycter messaniella
1x Cydia pomonella
1x Blastobasis adustella
2x Celypha lacunana
1x Elophila nymphaeata
2x Agonopterix arenella
1x Ypsolopha sequella
1x Ypsolopha parenthesella
1x Ypsolopha sylvella
1x Ypsolopha scabrella
8x Eudonia pallida
1x Eudonia angustea
2x Epiphyas postvittana
2x Cameraria ohridella
1x Pseudargyrotoza conwagana

Cochylimorpha straminea










Elephant Hawk-moth













Eudonia pallida











Platyptilia gonodactyla


Friday, 19 September 2014

From Small to Large in a week

Well what an odd year it is turning out to be! The amount of double-brooding and even triple-brooding is seriously all out of proportion! 

There are still Straw Dots, Mother of Pearls and Small Phoenix flying, last night I went out on a field trip and we managed some great moths including a few shockingly late species...more on that tomorrow now.

I trapped once more last week on the 17th and managed a very small catch with just one new moth for the year, a lovely Large Ranunculus after having a (rarely recorded) second brood Small Ranunculus last week.

A fresh Carcina quercana was also a shock!

I also saw my second of the year at work today which was indoors.

So here is the rather modest list.

Catch Report - 17/09/14 - Back Garden Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Large Ranunculus [NFY]
1x Willow Beauty
2x Square-spot Rustic
2x Snout
3x Lunar Underwing
5x Brimstone Moth
8x Large Yellow Underwing
4x Setaceous Hebrew Character
2x Vine's Rustic
1x Maiden's Blush
1x Lesser Yellow Underwing
2x Common Wainscot
1x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
2x Pale Mottled Willow
1x Garden Carpet
2x Straw Dot

Micro Moths

2x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Emmelina monodactyla
1x Coleophora sp
4x Plutella xylostella
1x Carcina quercana

Large Ranunculus

Monday, 15 September 2014

Various Acleris

Last night I ran the garden trap once more, this time under some nice cloudy and warm(ish) conditions.
It was rather breezy the first few hours of darkness but by this morning it was very calm indeed and the trap was shrouded by a light mist.
On inspection of the trap there wasn't the numbers that I have been use to as we are still in that nothingness shift between seasons, but there was a glimmer of things to come.

A Centre-barred Sallow was new for the year as were two Lunar Underwings of the same form.

Small Blood-vein was my latest 2nd brood record ever (generally I find these only singularly brooded during the months of June and July)
My latest previous date was on the 07th of August! So this can only be a product of such a long period of favourable weather right through summer and up until now.

3 micro's were of interest amongst the catch, a pretty metallic Coleophora which needs checking although I have narrowed it down to either alcyonipennella, frischella or deuratella although I still favour the former species.
The other two were Acleris emargana and Acleris rhombana, both garden firsts! So I am very chuffed indeed.

Catch Report - 14/09/14 - Back Garden Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Centre-barred Sallow [NFY]
2x Lunar Underwing [NFY]
1x Small Blood-vein
1x Straw Dot
1x Brimstone Moth
15x Large Yellow Underwing
9x Lesser Yellow Underwing
1x Silver-Y
2x Snout
4x Square-spot Rustic
5x Setaceous Hebrew Character
1x Vine's Rustic
   
Micro Moths

1x Acleris emargana [NFG]
1x Acleris rhombana [NFG]
1x Coleophora sp
1x Endrosis sarcitella
1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
3x Celypha lacunana
1x Plutella xylostella

Acleris emargana













Acleris rhombana













Coleophora sp - 10mm










Lunar Underwing


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Brown-spot Pinion heads up the list


Just a quick update on a few moths around the garden this last week.

Brown-spot Pinion was a nice one to get, but there has really been little else, although I have had quite an influx of Plutella xylostella's recently with 12 on the 07th and 6 on the 09th.

Only other new moth all week was a Ypsolopha sylvella.

All quiet on the Eastern front!

Hopefully next week we will get a little more cloud cover at nights.

Catch Report - 07/09/14 - Back Garden Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Brown-spot Pinion [NFY]
1x Angle Shades
2x Brimstone Moth
5x Common Wainscot
9x Square-spot Rustic
2x Silver-Y
5x Lesser Yellow Underwing 
4x Willow Beauty
1x Cabbage Moth
1x Orange Swift
1x Flame Shoulder
2x Large Yellow Undewing
1x Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
2x Double-striped Pug
1x Light Emerald
1x Oak Hook-tip
1x Engrailed
1x Common Marbled Carpet

Micro Moths

1x Agriphila geniculea
1x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Anthophila fabriciana
12x Plutella xylostella
1x Catoptria falsella

Catch Report - 09/09/14 - Back Garden Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

3x Brimstone Moth
2x Common Wainscot
3x Square-spot Rustic
4x Lesser Yellow Underwing
5x Setaceous Hebrew Character
1x Willow Beauty
12x Large Yellow Underwing
1x Double-striped Pug
3x Snout
1x Small Dusty Wave

Micro Moths

1x Ypsolopha sylvella [NFY]
1x Celypha lacunana
1x Blastobasis adustella
1x Archips podana
1x Acleris variegana
6x Plutella xylostella


Brown-spot Pinion












Ypsolopha sylvella










Archips podana