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, 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
3x
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
 
1x
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
2x
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
 
1x
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

Coronet












Broken-barred Carpet












Seraphim












Yellow-barred Brindle











Lime-speck Pug











Caloptilia semifascia

Monday, 11 May 2015

An improvement at last.

Last night I tried again in the garden, and after a lovely warm and sunny day the sky clouded over...the breeze dropped and temperatures stayed well about double figures.
By 5am this morning it was nearly light and a quick check of the thermometer revealed 10c.

The catch wasn't huge but it didn't have to be, with several new species added to the year list I was more than happy with 14 moths of 12 species.
Both Least Black Arches and a Pammene (which needs to be checked) were new moths for the garden, Macro no.270 and Micro no.227

Pammene confirmed as Pammene argyrana, a new species for me.


Catch Report -  10/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Least Black Arches [NFG]
2x Waved Umber [NFY]
1x Cinnabar [NFY]
1x Buff-tip [NFY]
1x Bright-line Brown-eye [NFY]
1x V-Pug 
1x Brindled Pug


Micro Moths

1x Pyrausta aurata [NFY]
1x Pammene argyrana [NEW!]
1x Elachista apicipunctella
1x Endrosis sarcitrella
2x Epiphyas postvittana

Pammene argyrana











Waved Umber










Cinnabar










Buff-tip











Least Black Arches

Sunday, 10 May 2015

GMS night 08-05-15

Awful, just awful here on Friday....I hope tonight is a lot better than my spectacular catch of 3 moths.
I did get a second Silver-Y of the year which I suppose is an indication of continued migration.
Looking forward to hopefully getting back out in the field next week...stay tuned!


Catch Report -  08/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Silver-Y
1x Flame Shoulder

Micro Moths

1x Emmelina monodactyla

Friday, 8 May 2015

Getting better slowly but surely

Hello all.
Well the night time temperatures certainly have swung in favour for a good bit of moth trapping....finally! with mins of 9 degrees this morning, it looks set to warm up considerably by next week.
Firstly the Stigmella I found on our patio door on Monday night will be sent to John Langmaid to be verified. It is either Stigmella lemniscella, or Stigmella hybnerella, both of which would be new for me.
Yesterday morning I was also lucky to find another moth on or patio door, an Esperia sulphurella, which was new for the garden and my first new Micro moth for the garden this year bringing my list up to 226 species.

The trap was quite empty this morning unfortunately but it did hold a few surprises.
A Mullein was a new record for the garden being my 4th new Macro moth this year and bringing the running total to 269 species.
Other new for years were a single Adela reamurella on the bush I found them last year, Shuttle-shaped Dart and Lesser Swallow Prominent, my first taste of Prominent action.


Catch Report -  07/05/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Mullein [NFG]
1x Lesser Swallow Prominent [NFY]
1x Shuttle-shaped Dart [NFY]
1x Nut-tree Tussock

Micro Moths

1x Esperia sulphurella [NFG] - Found daytime 07/05/15
1x Adela reamurella [NFY]
1x Ambylptilia acanthadactyla
1x Emmelina monodactyla
2x Epiphyas postvittana

Mullein










Shuttle-shaped Dart













Adela reamurella