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

Saturday, 18 April 2015


Just 6 moths in the trap last night which was pretty disappointing and the only saving grace was a new for year micro moth in the form of a single Argyrotaenia ljungiana.
Cool and a bit breezy this morning and with a clear sky it was ideal mothing conditions.

Catch Report -  17/04/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

2x Common Quaker
1x Clouded Drab
2x Hebrew Character

Micro Moths

1x Argyrotaenia ljungiana [NFY]

Argyrotaenia ljungiana

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Field Trip - Hay Wood - Hemel Hempstead - 15/04/15

We made the first field trip of the year on the Boxmoor Trusts land last night, and after a scorching warm 25 degrees of a day we were hoping for a mild and still night and lots and lots of moths!
The target species for me was to see my first ever Brindled Beauty, a moth that has avoided me like the plague despite making concerted efforts during Springtime to trap in various locations across Herts and Essex.
Tell a lie I did see one....a dead one that Roger had brought with him and had found in his garden that a spider had been feasting on.
The anticipation of finding one tonight was even higher now!

We set up 1 trap at the old barn running from the electrics and then with the other 3 traps we ventured into Hay Wood to set the remaining 3 traps up.

About 30 minutes into darkness the wind got up quite significantly at times and coming from the North-East and with a clear sky things weren't looking too good and so we decided to pack up at around 11pm, nearly 4 hours was quite enough to sample a good selection of typical spring species.
Pick of the bunch was a pristine Frosted Green and the uncommon micro Semioscopis steinkellneriana.
Good numbers of Water Carpet (12) was also nice to see.
I really did expect to see Small Quaker, Brindled Beauty, Streamer, Yellow Horned and Shoulder-stripe (and less so Early Grey) all of which were absent on the night, but had we continued to trap through the night we may have added some of these to our list.
All in all a pleasing start to the 2015 field trips.

Catch Report -  15/04/15 - Hay Wood - Hemel Hempstead - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap and 1x 40w Actinic/26w CFL Suitcase Trap

Macro Moths

10x Engrailed
2x Double-striped Pug
12x Water Carpet
6x Brindled Pug
3x Clouded Drab
22x Common Quaker
7x Hebrew Character 
4x Chestnut
2x Nut-tree Tussock
4x Red-green Carpet
1x Frosted Green
1x Purple Thorn
2x Early Thorn

Micro Moths

1x Semioscopis steinkellneriana
4x Diurnea fagella
2x Agonopterix arenella
3x Dyseriocrania subpurpurella

Frosted Green

Semioscopis steinkellneriana

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Warm weather keeps them coming

I trapped again last night after a sweltering top temperature of 22 degrees was reached by mid-afternoon.
It was rather windy whilst I was setting up the trap at 7.30pm but by 8.30pm the wind had died down luckily.
This morning it was still 10 degrees.
A very pleasing haul with 3 new for year, 1 being an overdue new garden record...a Powdered Quaker.

Catch Report -  14/04/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Powdered Quaker [NFG]
1x Early Thorn [NFY]
1x Herald [NFY]
3x Brindled Pug
2x Double-striped Pug
17x Common Quaker
3x Small Quaker
3x Clouded Drab
6x Hebrew Character

2x Early Grey

Micro Moths

1x Epiphyas postvittana
2x Emmelina monodactyla
1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 

Powdered Quaker


Saturday, 11 April 2015

The garden species list goes up..

With the new addition of a Shoulder-stripe turning up last night for the 5th GMS night of the year.
Moth species for the garden are at a very impressive 492 species after 2 years and 8 months trapping from the date we bought our house.
I would really like to aim for 500 species this year as a sort of target to set my sights on, but it becomes increasingly tricky as all of the common moths are featured on the list.

Waffle over, the catch last night was pretty good by my garden standards for early April and the best catch so far this year, in total 82 moths of 14 species were noted.

It is best to note that all the previous moths that I have caught (because of how tiny our garden is) on previous sessions were transported to our local wood about 1/4 mile away in hope of not re-trapping the same moths over and over again, it also seems to ease bird predation in the garden.

Highlights were the garden first Shoulder-stripe and a year first Pine Beauty (what beautiful moths these are)
The night stayed relatively warm with temperatures still sitting at 9c this morning.
The weather is set to change over the weekend which is a shame, but...it may look brighter by mid-week fingers crossed where I will be once again venturing out with the Boxmoor Trust guys and surveying the land once more.

Catch Report -  10/04/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Shoulder-stripe [NFG]
1x Pine Beauty [NFY]
4x Brindled Pug
2x Double-striped Pug
27x Common Quaker
9x Small Quaker
5x Clouded Drab
17x Hebrew Character

3x Early Grey
3x Chestnut

Micro Moths

3x Diurnea fagella
1x Acleris hastiana
5x Emmelina monodactyla
1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 

Pine Beauty


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Steady as she goes

Well things have gone a bit quiet for me lately.
I trapped on Tuesday night expecting a new species for the year but I didn't get any (how spoilt does that sound!) An increase in Micro's was positive though.

I'm still missing Lead-coloured Drab and Twin-spotted Quaker from the year list....will the late Spring/early Summer species start emerging fast with this milder weather and scupper my chances of both of these species this year?
Time will tell!

Catch Report -  07/04/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

7x Common Quaker
1x Small Quaker
1x Clouded Drab
10x Hebrew Character

Micro Moths

1x Diurnea fagella
1x Emmelina monodactyla
2x Mompha subbistrigella
2x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Mompha subbistrigella

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Another Friday, another GMS night with similar shades of brown

Checked my trap at 6.30am this morning, max temp 10c at 9pm and this morning it is still a respectable 7c with none of that high wind we had last week.14 moths of 6 species was quite low but to be expected this time of year as we already shift from early to late spring (it feels like) Really pleased that 4 were new for the year though bringing the running total to 32 species for the year.

Catch Report -  03/04/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Brindled Pug [NFY]
1x Double-striped Pug [NFY]
1x Engrailed [NFY]
1x Clouded Drab
7x Hebrew Character

Micro Moths

3x Diurnea fagella [NFY]

Brindled Pug

Double-striped Pug


Diurnea fagella

Sunday, 29 March 2015

A Silver Surprise

Last night here in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
With the moths from the previous night still in tubs next to the trap I got only 4 moths last night but 50% of them were new for year.
Interestingly i recorded my earliest Silver-Y (previous earliest 05th May 2008)
I've never recorded one in April let alone March.
Must have got blown in from somewhere....

Catch Report -  28/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Silver-Y [NFY]
1x Clouded Drab
1x Common Quaker 

Micro Moths

1x Endrosis sarcitrella [NFY]


Endrosis sarcitrella

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Another similar catch

Last night was the third GMS night and I was determined to trap something new for the year.
It wasn't too be but with a healthy 17 moths of 5 species it was business as usual.
Numbers surely must increase soon.

Catch Report -  27/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

3x Small Quaker
4x Hebrew Character
1x Clouded Drab
8x Common Quaker
1x Oak Beauty

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Some wanderings

As I had a day off today I decided to try and find some Broom shrubs that are now in flower and easy to spot, the reason being behind the fact that Agonopterix assimilella using this as it's foodplant and the larval spinnings should be quite easy to spot.

Driving out from Stevenage I noticed lots of bushes in people's gardens, this looked promising and so my first stop would be at Waterford Heath.
NO, a bit at zero bushes found there, but easily distracted by the large amount of Teasels around I decided to pick some to take home to check for Endothenia larvae....more o that later.

Next stop was Panshangar Park, where this rare moth was last recorded on BROOM! So it must be here....somewhere....anywhere? All I found after 90 minutes of walking was Gorse and then I found some! Unfortunately no larval spinnings were observed.

Nevermind, a quick trip across the pond to where a large area of Bullrush were situated and a couple of quick snaps of the easy to find Limnaecia phragmitella (obvious from the huge clumps of frass exploding fro the head).

Now, back to the Teasels
I took 8 heads home, 1 had nothing in it, 5 had Endothenia gentianaeana (no anal comb and reddish head) larva inside, the other 2 had Endothenia marginana (blackish head, anal comb observed) larva inside.

All in all it was nice to get out in the fresh air for a couple of hours.

Limnaecia phragmitella Larva

Bullrush emaciated by larva

Endothenia ready for emergence

Endothenia gentianaeana larva

Endothenia marginana larva

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Back to normal for this time of year

With temperatures and conditions similar to the last time I trapped on Friday night, I surely had to get more than 4 moths.
Yes! I managed it, with two new for year's to boot as well.
Now, Satellite is a moth most of us trap in Spring and in Autumn but I had nearly feared that I had missed out on a Spring record for the first time ever!
I usually see them Jan-Feb with occasional first first records for the year in early March but the 23rd of March is particularly late.
I am not alone as a few more people either have only just added it to their year-list or haven't even seen one yet, should we be worried? Probably not as moth habits are notoriously sporadic at the best of times!
17 moths of 8 species was pleasing to record.

Catch Report -  23/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Satellite [NFY]
1x Early Grey [NFY]  
1x Small Quaker
10x Hebrew Character
1x Chestnut
1x Common Quaker
1x Oak Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Emmelina monodactyla

Early Grey

Last gasp Satellite

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Weekly Round-up

A bit of a disappointing catch both times this week despite warmish temperatures, little wind and plenty of cloud cover.
Nothing new but at least a few moths graced the traps.
I really did expect more last night with a daytime high of 13c, down to 10c at 9pm and then this morning at 6 it was still a respectable 6c.
Just 4 moths of 2 species! .....maybe i've been spoilt a bit recently!

No pictures of moths i'm afraid...
But a very amateur picture of the Solar Eclipse at about 85% maximum (we saw it in Ware for about 15 seconds before the cloud swallowed it again!

Catch Report -  17/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Small Quaker
4x Hebrew Character
1x Oak Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Emmelina monodactyla

Catch Report -  20/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

2x Small Quaker
2x Common Quaker

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Two more confirmed records from the CR

Hello all
Today was the Herts moth group meeting, a very enjoyable afternoon was had by all. 
It was great to catch up with people I hadn't seen since August in some instances and I also got back some specimens from Colin Plant.
Most of them were Agonopterix's, being all heracliana
A really well marked Pug turned out to be a Slender Pug from a trip going back to the 12th July 2013 where we visited Roughdown Common.
More interesting was a new species of Eriocrania for me and dare say David, Roger and Steve as well.
A single example of Eriocrania sparrmannella was trapped on our first trip of the year in 2014 to Hay Wood, it seems to be a scarce moth with very few records although some records in the past may have been discounted by not being properly identified.

The pictures of both species are below.

Eriocrania sparrmannella

Slender Pug

GMS Night number 2

A bit cooler last night but still a pretty pleasing catch awaited me this morning including 5 Oak Beauties scattered around the back wall of the house and in the trap.
The only new for year was a single Clouded Drab, but it was nice to get yet another Acleris hastiana.

Catch Report -  13/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Clouded Drab [NFY]
2x Small Quaker
5x Hebrew Character
4x Common Quaker
1x Chestnut

Micro Moths

1x Acleris hastiana
2x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Oak Beauties

Acleris hastiana

New moth for the garden gets seized by a Spider AGAIN!

Hello all, excitement and disappointment (well for the moth at least) on Wednesday night, it's happened twice previously with a Large Thorn then an Eyed Hawk-moth....the damn Spiders are poised and ready again.
This year's culprit, a garden first Small Brindled Beauty.
Small Brindled Beauty is a moth of mature woodland typically and only rarely ventures into gardens and is absent of many people's garden lists.
This was backed up by three new for year Small Quaker's, infact it was a pretty pleasing catch of 20 moths of 7 species.
Lows of 5.8c this morning but it looks like it's getting cooler again...

Catch Report -  11/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Small Brindled Beauty [NFG]
3x Small Quaker [NFY]
4x Hebrew Character
4x Common Quaker
3x March Moth

Micro Moths

1x Agonopterix heracliana (Checked)
4x Emmelina monodactyla

Common Quaker

Common Quaker

Small Quaker

Agonopterix heracliana

Small Brindled Beauty

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

More Noctuid presence

Trapping again on Sunday night I managed a few more moths under cloudy and milder temperatures, the only problem was the damn cool breeze.
Nevertheless 8 moths were observed by the morning.
Some of the Hebrew Character's could have been the same specimens from Saturday night? But the Dotted Border was different.

Catch Report -  09/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Common Quaker [NFY]
1x Dotted Border
4x Hebrew Character
1x Chestnut

Micro Moths

1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Common Quaker

Sunday, 8 March 2015

A Beautiful March Pale

Well after a disaster with the trap yesterday night, I managed to fix it and run it last night instead.
I am pretty damn glad I did as it yielded another 3 new species for the year including my second Pale Pinion for the garden.
I was rather lacking on the Noctuid department until now, where I found four Hebrew Characters inside the trap.
The temperature tonight could be quite cool so I will return to trapping on Monday night all being well and with no more mishaps!

Catch Report -  07/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Pale Pinion [NFY]
1x Oak Beauty [NFY]
1x Dotted Border [NFY]
4x Hebrew Character
2x March Moth

Micro Moths

2x Emmelina monodactyla

Dotted Border

Hebrew Character's

Oak Beauty

Pale Pinion

Friday, 6 March 2015

Movement in March

Yes! thinks are slowly looking up and a few moths around and in the trap last night, a high of around 10 degrees during the day and plenty of cloud cover ensued into the darkness and with a predicted minimum temperature of 6 degrees I thought I might at least get one moth.

This now brings the yearly total to a very pleasing 30 moths of 17 species.

It is GMS tonight, so for the first year I will be participating in this event.
Good luck everyone. 

Catch Report -  05/03/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Hebrew Character [NFY]
1x March Moth

Micro Moths

1x Agonopterix alstromeriana [NFY]
2x Tortricodes alternella [NFY]

Tortricodes alternella

Agonopterix alstromeriana

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Getting ready for the new season

Hello all.

With traps primed with new bulbs, white sheets washed and pots cleaned, I am nearly ready for the season to start and to get out about again trapping in a variety of habitats.

Also I just had to get the new Chris Manley book, and although at the end of the day it is just 'pretty pictures' this 2nd volume goes to a great length of featuring more micro moth pictures, in fact over 800 new species have been added to this edition.
And being hardback it will accompany me on field trips out for when I have a brain lapse about that difficult micro moth name.

The 50 egg trays (which I bought for £15.96 all in which I didn't think was too bad) are a must as a lot of my old ones are falling apart from being dried out far too much over the past few seasons!

Trap on tonight but it is wet again and the wind is getting up....

Friday, 27 February 2015

A nice haul

A pleasing first decent catch of the year yesterday night with 10 moths of 6 species gracing the trap and walls of the house.
Nothing totally unexpected and a bit lacking in the Noctuid department so far this year.

Catch Report -  25/02/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

2x March Moth
4x Pale Brindled Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Emmelina monodactyla [NFY]
1x Amblyptilia acanthadactyla [NFY]
1x Agonopterix heracliana [NFY]
1x Acleris notana/ferrugana

Emmelina monodactyla

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A mini Micro saves the night

Last night I braved the trap once more and although we did get a good soaking, the temperature remained ok and at around 6 degrees this morning I was hopeful of a few.....
Well one anyway, after searching the walls of the house and the fence, the side of the trap and all of the egg cartons, a tiny moth was observed right at the bottom of the trap.

It turned out to be a new for year Acleris notana/ferrugana, a moth that hibernates and can be caught most months of the year (although typically February to April and then again during August to October).

I will get this moth checked by the top man, because I already have a confirmed Acleris ferrugana from last year, I am hoping this is Acleris notana (the Birch feeder).
We will have to see!
On that slightly positive note and with temperatures today soaring to 10 degrees the trap is out again....but once more but it is raining, Booo!

Acleris notana/ferrugana - You decide

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Mothing in the garden : Update

Hello all.

I have been a bit lazy updating my blog as of late, partly due to not being able to photograph the moths that I have been catching as it is too dark in the morning and too dark when I return from work in the evening thus a weekly report is all I can muster at the moment!

I ran the trap on Tuesday night and last night.

On Tuesday I managed 3 moths of 3 species, and last night I did a little better with 5 moths of 4 species.
The highlight being only my second garden record of Acleris hastiana on Tuesday and last night my first Spring record of Dark Chestnut.

The Spring Usher was sporting a very similar pattern and colour to an Oak Beauty.

I am currently experimenting between using an Actinic and a Mercury Vapor trap, though last night although milder, did see the MV attracting slightly more.

I hope to run the trap a few night next week, but although the forecast is quite mild at around 8 degrees daytime, the temperatures will be suffering a bit at night so I will see how it goes.

Catch Report -  10/02/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 2x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x March Moth [NFY]
1x Pale Brindled Beauty [NFY]

Micro Moths

1x Acleris hastiana [NFY]

Catch Report -  14/02/15 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 2x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Dark Chestnut [NFY]
1x Spring Usher
2x Pale Brindled Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Epiphyas postvittana [NFY]

Acleris hastiana

Dark Chestnut

Pale Brindled Beauty

Spring Usher