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!


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

Friday, 29 May 2015

Adela (Cauchas) fibulella - 13th County Record

At Hexton the other day I was very lucky to find quite a scarce moth for Hertfordshire.
Adela (Cauchas) fibulella is a moth of the Adelidae family and is pretty minute to say the least. It is probably one of the least commonest from the family.
The moth feeds on Germander Speedwell which in itself is a common weed in most places. The first moth I observed was flying gently above its food plant settling intermittently during warm sunny spells.
I didn't just find one, once you got your eye in there were quite a few around the bottom end of the reserve but upon walking into the adjacent set-aside field I found even more Germander Speedwell and it was more common here with a count of 25 in total, a fantastic result!

Other moths of note included a few more Small Purple-barred (an even scarcer moth),15+ Glyphipterix simpliciella's, 5 Pyrausta nigrata, 8 Burnet Companions, 2 Mother Shiptons, 1 Grapholita compositella, 1 Grass Rivulet
Other expected moths that I disturbed during the day are below

1x Silver-ground Carpet
10+ Celypha lacunana
5x Anthophila fabriciana
1x Silver-Y
1x Marbled White Spot
1x Green Carpet
1x Grey Pug
1x Epiblema sp
1x Psyche casta

Needless to say after finding the moth in profusion at Hexton, I will be searching elsewhere for other large patches of the foodplant.

Adela (Cauchas) fibulella

Germander Speedwell

Burnet Companion

Small Purple-barred

Pyrausta nigrata

Grapholita compositella

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A few more

Another short post as I am not very well at present and really struggled to get up this morning.
Three new for year moths made it worthwhile I suppose, but this lull is going on longer than usual....

Catch Report -  27/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

2x Peppered Moth [NFY]
1x Pebble Prominent [NFY]
1x Common Swift
1x Vine's Rustic
1x Brimstone Moth

1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1x Heart & Dart

Micro Moths

1x Epiblema cynosbatella [NFY]
1x Epiphyas postvittana

Pebble Prominent

Peppered Moth

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

There's LIGHT at the end of the tunnel!

Another night and not bad at all, the numbers are struggling slightly but with seven new for year I wasn't in any right place to start complaining!
The temperature remained at around 8 degrees and plenty of cloud cover obscured the moon.

Lovely to see Light Brocade again, after missing out on a garden individual last year.
Sorry but with nothing new or spectacular this is a short post with just a few photos.

Catch Report -  25/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Scalloped Hazel [NFY]
1x Light Brocade [NFY]
1x Iron Prominent [NFY]
1x Common Swift [NFY]
1x Brown Rustic [NFY]
1x Vine's Rustic
3x Brimstone Moth
Garden Carpet
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
2x Rustic Shoulder-knot

Micro Moths

1x Cochylis atricapitana [NFY]
1x Epiphyas postvittana

Iron Prominent

Light Brocade

Monday, 25 May 2015

Day-flying bonanza on a single patch of Daisies

Hello all.
Today in the garden whilst having a trim and a de-weed I noticed that a small patch of around 12 Daisies were out in full bloom in the middle of the lawn.
On closer inspection I counted two Adela rufimitrella's feeding from them and so these 'weeds' suddenly evaded my clippers....so I continued to weed around the edges and I thought, I wonder if they are still there.
They were indeed and now accompanied by up to 12 other individuals, they were dancing around this small patch of Daisies, courting and eventually mating! It was fascinating to watch that I had to try a bit of dodgy filming.

Naturally I didn't have the heart to mow the lawn!

That's not all, on two more Daisies I found the a new moth for the garden, well two Glyphipterix simpliciella's sitting there merrily and nectaring away.

Hoping to run the trap tonight.

Daytime - 25/05/15

2x Glyphipterix simpliciella [NFG]
14x Adela rufimitrella

Adela rufimitrella

Glyphipterix simpliciella

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Happy times at Hexton

Well, finally after two previous attempts at Hexton Chalk Pit not going particularly well by this time of year standards we came up trumps.
The conditions were pretty much perfect. We did get a little rain and we did get some breezy periods but the ambient temperature didn't drop below 13 degrees up until the time we left at 3am!

We ran four traps spread out at various altitudes of the chalk pit to cover as much of the habitat as possible.
Some lovely moths were observed during the night and in reasonable numbers as well with several species breaking the 25+ examples recorded.
For me it was a real treat seeing both Small Purple-barred and Pyrausta nigrata, both pretty uncommon moths in the County, what a stunner the former is!
Other good species included 2 Alder Moths, Epinotia nanana, Sandy Carpet, Dwarf Pug and Agonopterix pallorella.

There are still some species to clear up on with identifications which will be done in due course.

Catch Report -  22/05/15 - Hexton Chalk Pit - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap & 1x 80w Actinic + 26w CFL Suitcase Trap

Macro Moths

2x Alder Moth
1x Angle Shades
1x Beautiful Golden-Y
8x Brimstone Moth

2x Brown Rustic
1x Chinese Character
1x Clouded Border
1x Clouded Silver
1x Common Carpet
1x Common Pug
15x Common Swift
2x Common Wave

2x Flame
15x Flame Shoulder
30+ Green Carpet

1x Green Silver-lines
1x Grey-pine Carpet
6x Grey Pug

1x Heart & Dart
1x Iron Prominent
4x Latticed Heath
6x Light Brocade

1x Lime-speck Pug
4x Marbled Minor
10x Marbled White Spot
3x Mottled Pug
2x Mottled Rustic
2x Nut-tree Tussock

1x Oak Hook-tip
1x Oak Nycteoline
3x Oak-tree Pug
15x Orange Footman

2x Pale Oak Beauty
1x Pale Prominent
5x Pale Tussock
4x Pebble Prominent

1x Peppered Moth
1x Purple Bar

3x Red Twin-spot Carpet
1x Rustic Shoulder-knot
1x Sandy Carpet
4x Scalloped Hazel
1x Scorched Carpet
1x Scorched Wing
2x Setaceous Hebrew Character
4x Shaded Pug
8x Shears
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1x Silver-ground Carpet
1x Small Elephant Hawk-moth
1x Small Phoenix
2x Small Purple-barred [NEW!]
1x Small Square-spot
3x Small Waved Umber
1x Straw Dot
3x Treble Lines
1x Treble-bar
4x Waved Umber
12x White Ermine
6x Yellow-barred Brindle

Micro Moths
Agapeta hamana
30+ Cochylimorpha straminea
20+ Scoparia ambigualis
1x Nematopogon swammerdamella
2x Nematopogon schwarziellus
2x Elachista argentella
3x Epiblema cynosbatella
1x Aspilapteryx tringipennella
1x Agonopterix pallorella
1x Agonopterix arenella
1x Pyrausta nigrata [NEW!]
1x Pyrausta sp
1x pos Aroga velocella
1x Epintia nanana
3x Monopis weaverella 
1x Pseudoswammerdamia combinella
3x Celypha lacunana
1x Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
1x Caloptilia syringella
1x Acleris cristana
1x Metzneria metzneriella
1x Glyphipterix simpliciella
1x Crambus lathoniellus
2x Cochylis atricapitana
1x Mompha raschkiella
1x Cameraria ohridella
1x Elachista atricomella 

Small Purple-barred

Pyrausta nigrata

Small Purple-barred

Elachista atricomella

Red Twin-spot Carpet

Scoparia ambigualis

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana

Glyphipterix simpliciella

Epinotia nanana

Dwarf Pug

Agonopterix pallorella

Cochylimorpha straminea variation

Aroga velocella?

A reasonable gathering

I decided to run my trap on Thursday night for my GMS contribution as I went out last night trapping in the field.
The night was mildish but clear to start, clouding over sometime during the small hours.
Prior to this I recorded 4 longhorn moths in the garden, 3 Adela rufimitrella's and 1 Adela reamurella.
An ok catch with a garden first in the shape of a Mompha raschkiella, which is a Rosebay Wiilowherb feeder, a plant that I let grow in my garden last year.

Friday night was nearly upon us....could this be the best mothing night of the year so far!
(He says as he frantically types up last nights report)

Catch Report -  22/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

2x Rustic Shoulder-knot [NFY]
1x Orange Footman [NFY]
1x Heart & Dart [NFY]
1x Vine's Rustic
3x Brimstone Moth
Garden Carpet
1x Early Grey
1x Bright-line Brown-eye

Micro Moths

1x Mompha raschkiella [NFG]
1x Cacoecimorpha pronubana [NFY]
3x Adela rufimitrella
1x Adela reamurella 

Orange Footman

Mompha raschkiella

Cacoecimorpha pronubana

Monday, 18 May 2015

New Noctuids

Last night I ran the trap again, after a pretty poor catch of 4 moths on Friday, I was (after reading many other people's reports) hopeful of some new species for the year.
The numbers are still pretty low but as long as different species keep putting in an appearance it seems to boost morale.
Four moths were newbies this morning, all Macro moths.
Conditions have been far from perfect with wind, rain and cool nights, last night was quite calm considering and the rain did hold off until 5.45am just as I had finished sorting through the catch.

Catch Report -  17/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Bright-line Brown-eye [NFY]
2x Ingrailed Clay [NFY]
1x Vine's Rustic [NFY]
1x Garden Carpet [NFY]
1x Waved Umber
1x Brimstone Moth
2x Shuttle-shaped Dart

1x Nut-tree Tussock

Micro Moths

1x Mompha subbistrigella

Vine's Rustic

Ingrailed Clay

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lunchtime Longhorns

Around lunchtime today two Longhorns were observed in the garden, the yearly regular Adela rufimitrella and a new one for the garden and probably equally as common, a lovely fresh Nematopogon swammerdamella, making it Micro no.230 for the garden and the 5th new Micro moth species this year.
The trap will be on tonight as it looks relatively mild and the wind is steadily dropping now.
Rain tomorrow and into next week doesn't look too promising though.

Adela rufimitrella

Nematopogon swammerdamella

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Hexton Round two

Round two at Hexton Chalk Pit, and thinking it would be a good evening for it, it was cloudy but not overly warm during the day, 13 degrees was good enough under cloudy skies.
We were all set up and then the wind picked up, a cool South Westerly hmmm, not good but maybe it won't be so bad....half hour into the session and the heavens opened and enough rain fell to a put a real dampener on the evening. The moths pretty much stopped flying after this and we packed up by 11.30pm.
That's the way mothing goes I suppose! A quite paltry selection of moths for mid-May. Best moth was a Varied Coronet.
Also not mothy related but a smart looking Horned Treehopper Centrotus cornutus caught my eye on the sheet, what a cute little thing.
Upon returning home I checked the trap that I had left running in the garden for my contribution to GMS....just 4 moths was all I could muster, Buff-tip, Brimstone Moth, Nut-tree Tussock and Epiphyas postvittana was the small list.
Never-mind there is always next time. 

Catch Report -  15/05/15 - Hexton Chalk Pit - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap & 1x 80w Actinic + 26w CFL Suitcase Trap

Macro Moths

1x Angle Shades
2x Brimstone Moth
2x Common Swift
1x Double-striped Pug
6x Flame Shoulder
15+ Green Carpet
1x Grey Pug

2x Oak-tree Pug
1x Orange Footman
1x Pale Tussock
1x Pebble Prominent
1x Purple Bar

1x Red Twin-spot Carpet
1x Shears
1x Silver-ground Carpet
1x Small Phoenix
1x Varied Coronet
1x Waved Umber
3x White Ermine
1x Yellow-barred Brindle

Micro Moths
3x Cochylimorpha straminea
1x Elachista argentella

5x Scoparia ambigualis
1x Nematopogon schwarziellus 

Centrotus cornutus

Varied Coronet

Friday, 15 May 2015

A rare moth rediscovered...181 years later!

We did another field trip this week to Hexton Chalk Pit on Wednesday night.
The evening was bright and sunny, a beautiful sight...but not a good sign for mothing. The temperature just plummeted and although as I got into my car at 12:15am it still said 8 degrees, it felt a lot cooler with a stiff breeze kicking up intermittently.
It wasn't a great night species and numbers wise, but it only takes one moth to make it all worthwhile!
That moth was an Anania fuscalis that I netted after previously netting countless Green Carpets, I could not believe it when I saw that it was a Pyralid.
This moth is practically unheard of in the County and this being the second record after 181 years!
It's certainly a good moth for Herts. However quoted from Andy King 'Up to 2012, Bucks (VC24) records had registered 102 records of it, involving 599 individuals!'

I have trapped these before in Hockley Woods near Rayleigh last year on the 3rd of July, my first encounter with them.

Catch Report -  13/05/15 - Hexton Chalk Pit - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap & 1x 80w Actinic + 26w CFL Suitcase Trap

Macro Moths

1x Angle Shades
2x Brimstone Moth
2x Common White Wave
1x Coxcomb Prominent
4x Flame Shoulder
20+ Green Carpet
1x Grey Pug

1x Knot Grass
4x Light Brocade
1x Nut-tree Tussock
1x Orange Footman
1x Pale Tussock
5x Pebble Prominent
1x Powdered Quaker
1x Purple Bar

2x Red Twin-spot Carpet
1x Red-green Carpet
1x Shears
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart
4x Small Waved Umber
2x Waved Umber
3x White Ermine

Micro Moths
Anania fuscalis
1x Cochylimorpha straminea
3x Elachista argentella

1x Scoparia ambigualis
1x Cochylis dubitana
1x Nematopogon schwarziellus 

Anania fuscalis

Scoparia ambigualis

Cochylis dubitana

Coxcomb Prominent

Cochylimorpha straminea

Scrobipalpa sp pos acuminatella

Nematopogon schwarziellus

A mini update.

I found this Bagworm on the rear of our house, I am still unsure what species it is.
If anyone can help then please let me know, thanks!

A new species confirmed for the garden by Mike Wall, thanks!

Short post, but I am in the process of writing up another field report.

Luffia ferchaultella

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Field Trip - Roughdown Common - Hemel Hempstead - 11/05/15

Last night we made our second field trip of the year to the Boxmoor Trust’s land, this time we favoured trying one of the best ‘species rich’ sites that we are lucky to be able to survey.
Roughdown Common is a mixture of chalk grassland, unimproved grassland and woodland.
The target for the night was Light Feathered Rustic, a Thyme feeder. Roger was confident that Thyme still grew here as it is on the list of plants for the site.
We possibly may have been too early for it as it didn’t, or perhaps it just wasn’t there.
Lights were on at about 8.45pm and we ran three different traps covering part of the chalk scrape, woodland and the grassland.
The weather was pretty good, a clearish sky but slowly clouding over and by about 11pm it was full cloud cover and we even felt a few spits of rain.
The breeze was Westerly and although it was quite light, it did have a bit of chill in it by midnight.

The moths were quite quick to react to the lights with oodles of Green Carpet coming in first then Red Twin-spot Carpets and then Brimstones.
Cockchafers were everywhere and sticking to our clothes, nets and one even managed to crawl up my leg, then another dropped out of my other trouser leg!

We also went back to base camp at Gadesprings to check the trap that we had left running there, it was pretty disappointing and full of midges, but a few species were new for the night.

It was really nice to see some early summer species.

Catch Report -  11/05/15 - Roughdown Common - Hemel Hempstead - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap & 1x 80w Actinic + 26w CFL Suitcase Trap

50 Species

Macro Moths

1x Blood-vein
5x Brimstone Moth
6x Brindled Pug
2x Broken-barred Carpet
1x Clouded Silver
4x Common Carpet
2x Common Pug
1x Common Quaker
4x Common Swift
3x Common White Wave
2x Coronet
1x Coxcomb Prominent
2x Double-striped Pug
1x Early Grey
6x Flame Shoulder
20+ Green Carpet
15x Least Black Arches
5x Light Brocade
1x Lime-speck Pug
5x Nut-tree Tussock
6x Oak Nycteoline
2x Oak-tree Pug
12x Orange Footman
2x Pale Prominent
2x Pale Tussock
4x Pebble Prominent
1x Purple Bar
15+ Red Twin-spot Carpet
1x Rustic Shoulder-knot
1x Scalloped Hazel
2x Seraphim
1x Setaceous Hebrew Character
1x Small Phoenix
1x Streamer
1x Treble Lines
3x V-Pug
3x Waved Umber
1x White Ermine
1x White-pinion Spotted
8x Yellow-barred Brindle

Micro Moths
3x Nematopogon swammerdamella
2x Monopis weaverella
4x Agonopterix arenella
1x Aphomia sociella
2x Tinea trinotella
2x Teleiodes luculella
3x Syndemis musculana
1x Caloptilia semifascia
1x Plutella xylostella
1x Pseudoswammerdamia combinella

Catch Report -  11/05/15 - Gadesprings - Hemel Hempstead - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

11 Species

Macro Moths

1x Green Carpet
2x Common Swift
1x Buff-tip
2x Pebble Prominent
1x Brindled Pug
1x Nut-tree Tussock
1x Pale Tussock
1x Flame Shoulder

Micro Moths

1x Mompha epilobiella
1x Aglossa pinguinalis


Broken-barred Carpet


Yellow-barred Brindle

Lime-speck Pug

Caloptilia semifascia