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

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Healthy haul headed by a migrant

Another warm nights mothing was to be had on the night of 05th of October where the MV attracted 17 species which is pretty good for my garden.
The best moth of the night was only the 4th yearly record of the migrant Nomophila noctuella despite some reports of people catching them in their 10's in a single trap this year.

Yellow-line Quaker was new for year and it was nice to get a comparison shot between the Male and Female Shuttle-shaped Darts (You can just make out the more feathered antennae on the Male).

Catch Report - 05/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Yellow-line Quaker 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 3
Barred Sallow 2
Beaded Chestnut 1
Common Marbled Carpet 2
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Large Yellow Underwing 5
Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
Satellite 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 4
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanhdactyla 1
Blastyobasis lacticolella 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Nomophila noctuella 1
Plutella xylostella 3

Angle Shades













Yellow-line Quaker












Nomophila noctuella













Shuttle-shaped Dart pair













Beaded Chestnut

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Mellow with a Mallow

Into October and a warm night for the beginning of the month yielded quite a nice catch.
Both Green-brindled Crescent and Mallow were new for year. The Mallow is always a super moth with it's angular but curved wing shape despite it's boring brown ground-colour.

A few more catch reports to come!

Catch Report - 03/10/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Green-brinded Crescent 1 [NFY]
Mallow 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 2
Common Marblec Carpet 1
Garden Carpet 1
Large Ranunculus 1
Large Yellow Underwing 4
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Lunar Underwing 1
Red-green Carpet 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 3
Square-spot Rustic 1

Micro Moths

Epiphyas postvittana 5

Lunar Underwing














Shuttle-shaped Dart











Mallow

Herts Moth Group Field Trip to Gadesprings - Hemel Hempstead

The Herts Moth Group assembled at Gadesprings Watercress Beds for the final trapping session of the year and as it goes with pre-planning trips months in advance, we quite nearly froze to death from the cold conditions and heavy dew.
We ran about 12 lights at the reserve, running adjacent to the nearby Grand Union Canal and in a field the other side of the reserve. 
We were in high anticipation of at least some moths turning up but expectations weren't high but we did manage to show people some specimens.

The list below is just from the 5 traps that I ran on the night with help from guys setting everything up with me.

Catch Report - 25/09/16 - Gadesprings Watercress Beds - Hemel Hempstead - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap 1x 80w Actinic Briefcase Trap & 1x 40w Actinic/26w BLB Trap

Macro Moths - 16 Species

Barred Sallow 3
Brown-spot Pinion 1
Bulrush Wainscot 1
Garden Carpet 1
Large Ranunculus 1
Large Yellow Underwing 5
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Lunar Underwing 6
Merveille du Jour 1
Mouse  Moth 1
Red-green Carpet 1
Rosy Rustic 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Small Square-spot 1
Snout 1
Square-spot Rustic 1

Micro Moths - 1 Species


Epiphyas postvittana 3

Rosy Rustic














Mouse Moth


Thursday, 10 November 2016

The end of September and a drop in numbers

At the end of September, numbers of moths typically drop off and it was exactly the case again this year. Pleasingly though I was rewarded with some new moths for the year.
The weather was a reasonably mild after Sunday night's ridiculously cold conditions that we braved whilst out on a field trip!
Lovely to get my first Merveille du Jour of the year and a Deep-brown-dart which is seldom seen in my garden.

A distinct lack of smaller moths to the trap was noticed and the best garden count of Angle Shades in one night of 6 individuals.

Catch Report - 28/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Deep-brown Dart 1 [NFY]
Merveille du Jour 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 2
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Garden Carpet 1
Large Ranunculus 1
Silver-Y 1

Micro Moths

Epiphyas postvittana 5

Catch Report - 29/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Beaded Chestnut 1 [NFY]
Blair's Shoulder-knot 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 6
Chestnut 1
Large Yellow Underwing 15
Lesser Yellow Underwing 3
Lunar Underwing 12

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Beaded Chestnut














Blair's Shoulder-knot












Chestnut
















Merveille du Jour















Deep-brown Dart

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Two back to back Garden catches

Two catches from my garden back to back from the 3rd quarter of September and not bad considering the time of year for my garden. Warm days and quite mild evenings at 15 degrees minimum has certainly helped.
Best species for me were a single Vapourer, only my second of the year (1st one was end of August on my parents farm), and a fresh Ypsolopha sylvella.
A few more Large Ranunculus were nice to see and a few late second brood micros in the form of Scrobipalpa costella and Carcina quercana.

Catch Report - 23/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Angle Shades 1
Brimstone Moth 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Copper Underwing 1
Large Ranunculus 1
Large Yellow Underwing 7
Lesser Yellow Underwing 3
Lunar Underwing 7
Sallow 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 3
Shuttle-shaped Dart 3
Snout 1
Square-spot Rustic 1
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Acleris variegana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1

Catch Report - 24/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Vapourer 1 [NFY]
Barred Sallow 4
Garden Carpet 1
Large Ranunculus 2
Large Yellow Underwing 15
Lesser Yellow Underwing 5
Lunar Underwing 5
Sallow 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 3
Willow Beauty 2

Micro Moths

Ypsolopha sylvella 1 [NFY]
Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
Blastobasis lacticolella 1
Carcina quercana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 7
Plutella xylostella 1

Scrobipalpa costella 1

Blastobasis lacticolella














Vapourer













Ypsolopha sylvella

Autumn Carpets

Still catching up.
This was a rather small catch from the 17th of September and featured not many moths at all (All a fair few more than I am getting now!)
Year firsts of Barred Sallow, Red-green Carpet and Orange Sallow and a seasonal first Grey-pine Carpet were the best of a mediocre bunch as the temperature dropped under clear skies.

Catch Report - 17/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Barred Sallow 1 [NFY]
Orange Sallow 1 [NFY]
Red-green Carpet 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 1
Common Wainscot 1
Copper Underwing 1
Grey-pine Carpet 2
Large Yellow Underwing 2
Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Snout 1
Square-spot Rustic 1
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Epiphyas postvittana 8
Plutella xylostella 1

Red-green Carpet












Orange Sallow













Grey-pine Carpet

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Red Underwing is new for the garden!

It had been 4 years since I last saw a Red Underwing, unbelievable really considering 'the guides' say common. Far from it for me!
And the moth gods could have blessed me a pristine example surely for waiting this long? Nope...I get a tatty damaged one :D 
Never mind, still a fabulous moth and I forgot how big they were. 
Apart from that a season first Spruce Carpet (3 examples) and a year first Brown-spot Pinion was noted and also an impressive 9 Amblyptilia Acanthadactyla.
Still catching up but i'm getting there!

Catch Report - 14/09/16 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Red Underwing 1 [NFG]
Brown-spot Pinion 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 1
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Garden Carpet 1
Large Yellow Underwing 5
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Pale Mottled Willow 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 5
Snout 1
Spruce Carpet 3
Vine's Rustic 1
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 9
Bucculatrix ulmella 1
Emmelina monodactyla 4
Epiphyas postvittana 10
Pandemis corylana 1
Plutella xylostella 1

Bucculatrix ulmella












Red Underwing














Spruce Carpet

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Final frolics on the farm

The last trapping effort of the year at my parent's farm resulted in me picking up a couple of nice species.
The weather was good if a tad windy but mild all the same and come the morning it was once again challenging going through the traps as Wasps and Hornets were everywhere.
Pick of the bunch was a stunning Dusky-lemon Sallow, the only one I have seen this year there. Some years I have done very well for this species. I put it down to not regularly trapping there at the right time of year, as when I use to live there I would trap sometimes 4 times a week.

Bulrush Wainscot was also a nice surprise, a species I have recorded on the farm before as well as Webb's, Large, Southern and Fen amongst the less common Wainscot species. This must be to do with the fact that there is a large moat with a couple of ditches about a 1/4 of a mile directly North of the farm.
Other than that, numbers were down in general, apart from Setaceous Hebrew Character of which I counted 600 over 2 traps! Surely migrants boosting the local populations.

Also before all of the mothy action took place, my Dad showed me a Longhorn Beetle he had found earlier. I was pretty sure that it didn't belong to the family Cerambycidae, swinging more to Cantharidae. I was wrong too! It was from the family Lycidae And it is one of just two species in the family that are represented here in the UK. 
Quite a scarce Beetle too and one that I had never encountered before.

Catch Report - 13/09/16 - Farmland - Braughing Friars - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap 1x 80w Actinic Briefcase Trap & 1x 40w Actinic/26w BLB Trap

Macro Moths - 34 Species

Angle Shades
Barred Sallow
Black Rustic
Blood-vein
Brimstone Moth
Brindled Green
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Brown-spot Pinion
Bulrush Wainscot
Burnished Brass
Centre-barred Sallow
Common Marbled Carpet
Common Wainscot
Copper Underwing
Double-striped Pug
Dusky-lemon Sallow
Dusky Thorn
Flame Shoulder
Garden Carpet
Green Carpet
Large Yellow Underwing
Latticed Heath
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Light Emerald
Lunar Underwing
Mouse Moth
Rosy Rustic
Sallow
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Silver-Y
Small Square-spot
Snout
Vine's Rustic
Willow Beauty

Micro Moths - 31 Species

Acleris forsskaleana
Acleris sparsana
Acleris variegana
Agapeta hamana
Anthophila fabriciana
Archips podana
Argyresthia semifusca
Blastobasis adustella
Caloptilia alchimiella/robustella
Cameraria ohridella
Celypha lacunana
Cochylis hybridella
Enarmonia formosana
Epinotia ramella
Epinotia tenerana
Epiphyas postvittana
Eudonia angustea
Eudonia pallida
Hofmannophila pseudospretella
Mompha epilobiella
Mompha subbistrigella
Monopis weaverella
Nephopteryx angustella
Nomophila noctuella
Plutella xylostella
Prays fraxinella
Tinea semifulvella
Udea ferrugalis
Ypsolopha parenthesella
Ypsolopha scabrella
Ypsolopha sequella

Sallow f.flavescens














Dusky-lemon Sallow














Bulrush Wainscot










Lunar Underwing














Epinotia tenerana











Enarmonia formosana











Platycis minutus




Defensive posture of a Satellite Moth

I was just photographing a Satellite moth when I went to pick it up with my fingers and it went into this, what I can only assume is an extreme form of defensive posture! I wish I had recorded it on film but I never expected it to happen. It stayed like it for a few minutes and then went back to normal with wings beating and finally flew off.
I felt very privileged to observe it in this strange guise.
 
Has anybody else ever seen such contortion before? I would love to hear if so. 
 




 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Field Trip - Roughdown Common - New to Herts Jersey Mocha!

Our last visit of the year to this prolific nature reserve that always springs a surprise on us, and this night was no different.
With a warm South-westerly breeze dominating the weather forecast and lows of a comfortable 15 degrees, we once again decided to run traps on the Boxmoor Trusts land.
The hope was to turn up something unusual for the site or intercept a migrant (for which there were plenty about).
We succeeded on both accounts and star of the show had to go to a worn Maiden's Blush looking moth which Ian Bennell found in the long grass, several feet away from one of my traps.
Passing it around to everyone it just didn't look right for this species and the brain thought of other possibilities which were quickly narrowed down to either a worn Maiden's Blush (likely) a Clay Triple-lines (still quite likely) and then the absurd (Jersey Mocha).
The moth was retained and dissected the next day and I was literally on the edge of my seat awaiting the results back from Graeme Smith. When he said that it is a Jersey Mocha, that inkling to retain the moth was all worth it! Graeme had to promptly get a cup of coffee to calm down as neither myself or he could believe it, another new to Herts this year! And hat's off to Ian Bennell for spotting it and not just discarding it as a worn Maiden's Blush.

Other good species included a pair of Psoricoptera gibbosella (Only my 2nd and 3rd examples in 10 years), Hellinsia carphodactyla (Which was new to me) and Depressria badiella (Which was retained and also dissected by Graeme Smith and a great record for Herts, again NEW TO ME!)

What a fantastic night it was and thanks go out to David, Roger and Ian for helping me make the night a success and for being as eagle-eyed as ever.

Species counted but numbers not noted.
 
Catch Report - 07/09/16 - Roughdown Common - Hemel Hempstead - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap 1x 80w Actinic Briefcase Trap & 1x 40w Actinic/26w BLB Trap

Macro Moths - 40 Species

Angle Shades
Beautiful Hook-tip
Brimstone Moth
Brindled Green
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Centre-barred Sallow
Common Carpet
Common Marbled Carpet
Common Rustic
Common Wainscot
Copper Underwing
Double-striped Pug
Dun-bar
Dusky Thorn
Feathered Gothic
Flame Shoulder
Flounced Rustic
Garden Carpet
Jersey Mocha [NEW!]
Large Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Light Emerald
Lime-speck Pug
Maiden's Blush
Marbled White-spot
Pink-barred Sallow
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Silver-Y
Small Dusty Wave
Small Square-spot
Square-spot Rustic
Snout
Spectacle
Square-spot Rustic
White-point
Willow Beauty
Yellow-barred Brindle
Yellow Shell

Micro Moths - 51 Species

Acentria ephemerella
Acleris rhombana
Acleris variegana
Acrobasis advenella
Agonopterix arenella
Agonopterix laterana/comariana
Agonopterix nervosa
Agriphila geniculea
Agriphila tristella
Ancylis laetana
Archips podana
Argyresthia semifusca
Blastobasis adustella
Cameraria ohridella
Caloptilia robustella
Caloptilia syringella
Celypha lacunana
Cochylis dubitana
Cydia pomonella
Cydia splendana
Depressria badiella [NEW!]
Ectoedemia decentella
Emmelina monodactyla
Emmetia marginea
Epinotia nisella
Epinotia ramella
Epiphyas postvittana
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia pallida
Galleria mellonella
Hellinsia carphodactyla [NEW!]
Hypatima rhomboidella
Metalampra italica
Hofmannophila pseudospretella
Pandemis cinnamomeana
Pandemis corylana
Pandemis heparana
Phyllonorycter harrisella
Pleuroptya ruralis
Plutella xylostella
Prays fraxinella
Psoricoptera gibbosella
Pyrausta aurata
Rhopobota naevana
Stenolechia gemmella
Tinea semifulvella
Udea ferrugalis
Ypsolopha alpella
Ypsolopha parenthesella
Ypsolopha scabrella
Ypsolopha sequella

Agonopterix nervosa














Depressaria badiella










Ectoedemia decentella












Metalampra italica












Jersey Mocha!











Hellinsia carphodactyla












Psoricoptera gibbosella











Pink-barred Sallow














Pandemis cinnamomeana











Ypsolopha alpella