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

Monday, 9 January 2017

A change of heart

Switching to the 40w Actinic last night as it was expected to get cooler (whether Actinic works better in cooler weather I am not sure)
This morning there were only 2 moths, but the 4th species of the year was a Winter Moth.

The weather is set to turn midweek and by the end of the week we could be seeing -5 again so this maybe my last post for awhile!

Catch Report - 08/01/17 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Winter Moth 1 [NFY]
Mottled Umber 1 
 
Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Winter Moth












Mottled Umber

Sunday, 8 January 2017

And the year starts!

Welcome all to 2017 and even more imporant, welcome to the moths of the new year.
Last night after quite a dull and wet day I decided that as the temperature rose to 10 degrees and expected night-time temperature wasn't supposed to get lower than 7, I thought it might be worth a punt in trying for my first moth records of 2017.
Expecting nothing at all (Which is pretty standard for my garden during the winter months) I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 moths in the trap and one on the alighted fence nearby.
3 species were observed as follows.


Catch Report - 07/01/17 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Mottled Umber 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 1 [NFY]
Epiphyas postvittana 1 [NFY]
 
Acleris schalleriana













Mottled Umber










Epiphyas postvittana
 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Welcome to 2017! + Final moth round-up from November

Happy New Year to all of my bloggers and followers, lets hope this year is great for recording whatever wildlife you can find :)
Here is a brief summary of catches from November.
Highlights were a few Sprawlers, always a pleasure to see these extremely streaky moths and I was lucky to see three different specimens in November.
Other notables were my latest record of Barred Sallow on the 14th of November.


Catch Report - 10/11/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Sprawler 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - 12/11/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

None Recorded!

Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla 1

Catch Report - 14/11/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Barred Sallow 1
December Moth 1
Feathered Thorn 2
Sprawler 1

Micro Moths

Acleris sparsana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 1

Catch Report - 15/11/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

November Moth 2
Sprawler 1

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 1
Epiphyas postvittana 2

Sprawler











Emmelina monodactyla


Sunday, 1 January 2017

My Notable Moth records from Hertfordshire in 2016

My Notable Moth records from Hertfordshire in 2016, recently featured and edited from this list for the contribution to the Entomological Record.
Here are my highlights from the year in the garden and further afield.


[2235] Tawny Pinion Lithophane semibrunnea
1 to light on the 12/04/16 at Roughdown Common (Hemel Hempstead). A moth that is still considered scarce in the County at time of writing. Pale Pinion use to be the rare moth in the County but both species have gone through a drastic role reversal and Pale Pinion is regular in most locations within the County up to and including 2016.

[1881] Early Tooth-striped Trichopteryx carpinata
1 to a 40w Actinic Skinner trap set in amongst the wooded area of Bovingdon Brickworks (Hemel Hempstead) on 08/05/16 was a superb and very unexpected record of this moth that is practically unheard of in the County.

[1254] Cydia strobilella
3 examples to both the 40w Actinic Skinner trap and 125w MV Robinson trap were recorded on 08/05/16 at Bovingdon Brickworks during a period of possible dispersion and/or migrant activity from this attractive Spruce feeder. Many new records were added to the Hertfordshire database over the space of a few weeks and in other neighbouring Counties too.

[0129] Incurvaria pectinea
On the 08/05/16 another uncommon moth for the County was potted up from the Robinson Trap that was opened up at packing up time. pectinea is one of the more uncommon of the Incurvaridae family. A first for me and the Boxmoor Trust land.

[2159] Dog’s Tooth Lacanobia suasa
1 adult to light on the 26/05/16 at Braughing Friars Farm was quite a nice surprise. A moth that seems to be very sporadic in the County and has very few records. Predominantly a coastal species but also inhabiting rough unmanaged waste-ground.

[1142] Epinotia tedella
A very pale example of this tiny Epinotia was recorded on our Herts Moth Group field trip to Balls Wood on 11/06/16. Scarce in the County and a first for many of us on the night.

[0923] Phtheochroa sodaliana
1 to light at Ashwell Quarry during a Herts Moth Group field trip in the far north of the County on the 18/06/16 was a good record of a local moth, new to me and nearly everybody on the night. Very few previous records.

[2171] Marbled Coronet Hadena confuse
An adult was found in the trap over-looking the bare chalk escarpment in the South-Eastern side of Ashwell Quarry on the 18/06/16. A local and uncommon species resident in very low densities within the County.

[0633] Cosmiotes/Elachista stabilella
On the 07/07/16 whilst surveying Braughing Friars farmland I potted up a tiny specimen that resembled an Elachistidae of somekind but was rather on the small side at 4mm. The moth was photographed (just!) and retained for further inspection. It turned out to be the scarce Cosmiotes/Elachista stabilella with very few previous records. On a return trip on the 19th of July, I recorded another specimen that resembled this moth.

[0857] Peach Twig Borer Anarsia lineatella
On both the 07/07/16 and 19/07/16 I recorded two examples of this adventive species on different dates, both on farmland at Braughing Friars in the same trap and unbelievably positioned in the same location! Other records were made in the County at a similar time including Graeme Smith’s garden first on the same night (07/07/16) and taking a joint County 2nd record.

[1462] Delplanqueia dilutella
Several examples of this moth were taken at light during the trip to Hexton Chalk Pit on the 09/07/16. It is a scarce Pyralid in the County and was a first for me and most of the other attendees on the night.

[0678] Depresaria sordidatella
2nd County record. Trapped at Braughing Friars on the 17th of July and which came to the 160w Blended Bulb Robinson Trap and didn’t look quite right for any other obvious Scoparids so the moth was retained.

[0962] Cochylis roseana
Another scarce moth in the County was recorded at Braughing Friars farmland on the 19th of July. There are quite a few records for this moth in the County but it was worth mentioning as we trapped a further two examples on the 23/07/16 at Bovingdon Brickworks during a Herts Moth Group outing. Noteworthy because this was the first year that I have ever seen one since 2006.

[0803] Gelechia muscosella
New to Herts, Gelechia muscosella was trapped at Braughing Friars on farmland on the 19/07/16
Rare and found in marshes, fens, river-banks and other damp areas. In recent years, it has been recorded only from Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, Dungeness and Whitstable, east Kent and at Blacktofts Sands Nature Reserve, south-west Yorkshire in 1998. The larva feed on catkins of Sallow.

[1138a] Epinotia cinereana
This record from 19/07/16 and taken at Braughing Friars is included dubiously as I only have photographic evidence of this species that was recently split from nisella and recognised as a separate species.

[0801] Gelechia scotinella
This record from 22/07/16 and caught in my back garden in Stenage is still pending.

[0757] Recurvaria nanella
A first for me on the 30th of July to the garden trap here in Stevenage.

[0806] Gelechia nigra
My second garden record of this very local Gelechiidae was recorded on the 02/08/16 in Stevenage. Mt first garden record was recorded on the 21/08/13. A very non-descript but distinct elongated dark Gelechia species that represent both 2nd and 3rd County records.

[1323] Pediasia contaminella
New to me on the 03/08/16 and trapped at Braughing Friars on farmland. Initially the record was shunned by many online opinions saying that it was ‘just Agriphila tristella’ and that Pediasia contaminella always sits with a head-down posture. Graeme Smith proved that my hunch was correct when the moth was dissected and did indeed turn out to be Pediasia contaminella. A second example was caught on 06/08/16 at Rye Meads Nature Reserve.

[1409a] Cydalima perspectalis
An increasing adventive species in the County and my first encounter with one was on the Herts Moth Group field outing to Rye Meads on the 06th of August to the 22w Actinic homemade trap along the hedgerow boundary of the reserve.

[2057] Garden Tiger Arctia caja
A slightly tatty example came to a light positioned over-looking long grass and reedbeds at Rye Meads on the 06/08/16 and was the only one of the night. Unfortunately a steadily declining species.

[2290] Reed Dagger Simyra albovenosa
A pristine specimen of Reed Dagger was trapped on our trip to Rye Meads Nature Reserve on the 06/08/16. Reed Dagger is a scarce moth in the County but is probably more frequent than records would suggest? At present it is only know from this one site here in Hertfordshire. It was great to find that it is still present at the reserve although maybe still at very low density.

[1171] Gypsonoma minutana
On the 24/08/16 whilst trapping on Braughing Friars farmland, I potted up an unfamiliar Tortrix moth. The moth turned out to be the very scarce Gypsonoma minutana.

[1215] Thaumatotibia leucotreta
A single specimen of this species was found at the bottom of my trap on the 27/08/16. It represents a first record for the County and is an extremely rare imported pest species that seems to turn up sporadically and with no warning.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Stepping back in time...an October round-up

Yep...it's time to pull my finger out and finally update my blog for the year with catches from both October and November and a few from December still to write up I feel I might be some time!

I will leave it brief and literally just list the catch results.

Here is October, and we follow on from the first catch of October (a few blog posts back) and with a low catch of just 7 moths, this theme would continue through the month.
On the 07th the big surprise was my latest ever record of Hypsopygia costalis and a nice rarely recorded second brood example and also another 2 new for year moths, Red-line Quaker and Feathered Thorn.

On the 13th I had a great catch of 22 moths due to the mild night and I also recorded my 12th Caloptilia semifascia of the year which is a massive boom on previous years of 1's and 2's. Another migrant Nomophila noctuella was also nice to see and a different example than the one on the 7th.

On the 16th it all went pear-shaped and the weather was very cool at night time, and feeling more and more Autumnal. Switching to the 40w Actinic it yielded just 2 moths! On the plus side the November Moth was new for the year and yet another Nomophila noctuella and again a different moth.

On the 18th it was back to the MV and another meagre catch but with a pristine Merveille du Jour I wasn't complaining. This was almost a month after my first record this year on the 28th of September!

Two days later on the 20th was more of the same.

With 6 nights off and back to trapping on the 26th it was a much better catch with 12 moths of 7 species and a welcome splash of colour from another Merveille du Jour.

With mild nights abound I ran the trap on 3 consecutive nights and I was rewarded with lots of moths. Best of all were year firsts of Ypsolopha alpella and Brick on the 28th.


Catch Report - 07/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Feathered Thorn 1 [NFY] 
Red-line Quaker 1 [NFY]
Common Marbled Carpet 2
Double-striped Pug 1
Red-green Carpet 1

Micro Moths

Hypsopygia costalis

Catch Report - 13/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Common Marbled Carpet 2
Green-brindled Crescent 3
Large Yellow Underwing 5
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Red-line Quaker 2
Satellite 1
Yellow-line Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Caloptilia semifascia 1 
Emmelina monodactyla 2
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Nomophila noctuella 1

Catch Report - 16/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

November Moth 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Nomophila noctuella 1


Catch Report - 18/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Merveille du Jour 1
November Moth 1 
Red-line Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Epiphyas postvittana 1

Catch Report - 20/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Double-striped Pug 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
November Moth 4

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1

Catch Report - 26/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Barred Sallow 1
Lunar Underwing 1
Merveille du Jour 1
November Moth 4 
Silver-Y 1

Micro Moths

Acleris schallariana 2
Epiphyas postvittana 2


Catch Report - 27/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Barred Sallow 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Lunar Underwing 1
November Moth 10
Yellow-line Quaker 1

Micro Moths
 
Acleris sparsana 2
Ambluptilia acanthadactyla 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1

Catch Report - 28/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Brick 1 [NFY] 
Beaded Chestnut 1
Feathered Thorn 1
Large Ranunculus 1
Large Yellow Underwing 3
Merveille du Jour 3
Red-green Carpet 1


Micro Moths
 
Ypsolopha alpella 1 [NFY]
Acleris sparsana 5
Epiphyas postvittana 5

Satellite












Feathered Thorn











Acleris schalleriana










November Moth sp











November Moth sp










 
Caloptilia semifascia