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 here in Hertfordshire and enjoy doing field trips to various localities within Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

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

Herts Recent Notables and Rarities Reported

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Another 'Monstrous May' catch by my garden standards!

An incredible night on Wednesday here in Stevenage, with a warm and muggy day it was perfect for moths, until the sky cleared a bit, but there was some cloud and a moonless night with not a hint of breeze so it ticked most boxes!

Highlight of the night had to be only my second garden record of Obscure Wainscot, and 3 weeks earlier than my previous one near the end of June in 2017. 
It was also a rather large female, it wasn't in the trap, or on the wall of fences...but sitting on top of a spiders web near the outside tap! A lucky find before I rushed off for work.

The second species of Hawk was also found, a mint Poplar.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 112.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 125w MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

Common Wainscot 3 [NFY]
Large Nutmeg 1 [NFY]
Oak Hook-tip 1 [NFY]
Obscure Wainscot 1 [NFY]
Orange Footman 1 [NFY]
Poplar Hawk-moth 1 [NFY]
Treble Lines 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 4
Chocolate-tip 1
Common Swift 2
Garden Carpet 1
Heart & Dart 7 
Lesser Swallow Prominent 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 10
Toadflax Brocade 2 
Turnip Moth 2
Vine's Rustic 1

Micro Moths

Ephestia sp 2 [NFY]
Eulia ministrana 1 [NFY]
Mompha subbistrigella 1 [NFY]
Teleiodes luculella 1 [NFY]
Endrosis sarcitrella 1
Epiphyas postvittana 4
Syndemis musculana 1 
Tinea trinotella 1 

Common Wainscot

Eulia ministrana

Large Nutmeg

Mompha subbistrigella

Obscure Wainscot

Poplar Hawk-moth

Teleiodes luculella

Treble Lines

Friday, 24 May 2019

Variety from the garden trap

On Tuesday night it was really nice seeing a great deal of variety in the garden trap, upon opening it on Wednesday morning.

Highlights from the large side of moths, were two cracking fresh species that aren't always annual here.
Toadflax Brocade is increasing here and I now get both generations (I now have 3 records so far this year at time of going to blog).
Even better was a really fresh Figure of Eighty, with a lovely purple sheen behind the head, something i've never noticed it having before.

Micro moths are still few and far between, but the most interesting one was also the smallest and was whisked over to Graeme Smith to be looked at, it was a tiny metallic Stigmella which turns out to be Stigmella samiatella, an Oak mining species and probably the product of the mature Oaks at the rear of our garden.
It is a new species for my UK list and the 342nd Micro species for the year.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 101.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 125w MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

Common Swift 2 [NFY]
Figure of Eighty 1 [NFY]
Red Twin-spot Carpet 1 [NFY]
Toadflax Brocade 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 4
Garden Carpet 1
Heart & Dart 5
Shuttle-shaped Dart 8
Turnip Moth 2
Vine's Rustic 4

Micro Moths

Notocelia cynosbatella 2 [NFY]
Stigmella samiatella 1 [NEW]
Tachystola acroxantha 1 [NFY] 
Epiphyas postvittana 2
Aphomia sociella 1

Syndemis musculana 1 

Common Swift

Figure of Eighty

Notocelia cynosbatella

Red Twin-spot Carpet

Stigmella samiatella

Toadflax Brocade

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Field Trip - Bramfield Woods - 20/05/19 - Hertfordshire

We decided to plump for Monday night this week to do our weekly visit to Bramfield Woods.

The weather had been just perfect with a warm muggy and cloudy day, and even on the way to the reserve the cloud was still around which was unexpected.
It didn't last long unfortunately, and in the time that it took to set up all of the traps, it had all but disappeared which was a shame.
We were left with clear skies and a falling temperature though not as drastic as last weeks 5 degrees by midnight (in fact it was still around 10c at the same time).
The temperature did hold and with little or no breeze we did pretty damn well for just past mid-May.

The moths were slow to respond to the lights as it took a lot longer than expected for it to go completely dark, well past 10pm!

Small White Waves were observed in their droves at dusk, with 30 or so counted, maybe more. 

With the increase in temperature, the smaller Micro-Moths were in more profusion which was great to see. 
The larger Macro Moths featured expected species for this time of year, but the Micro Moths had a few real gems amongst them once more.
Best moth of the night was Epinotia rubiginosana, of which two examples were trapped, this is once again another Pine feeder and reflects the perfect habitat for Coniferous feeding moths.

We also managed several of the rather striking Beech feeder Ancylis mitterbacheriana.

An incredible 42 species were added to the site list which is great.
57 Macro and 31 Micro species recorded.

There are still a few species pending (TBC) and numbers below are approximate.

Total : 88 species

42 species were added to the site list which now stands at 109 species for 2019.

Catch Report - 20/05/19 - Hertfordshire - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap, 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap, 1x twin 20w Wemite Actinic & 40w Actinic Trap & 1x 160w Mercury Blended Robinson Trap - 5 traps in total + 3 extra traps provided by Trevor

Macro Moths

Angle Shades 1
Barred Hook-tip 1
Brimstone Moth 3
Brindled Pug 1
Brown Silver-lines 10
Buff tip 1
Cinnabar 1
Clouded Border 1
Common Carpet 2
Common Marbled Carpet 2
Common Swift 3
Common Wave 2
Common White Wave 4
Coxcomb Prominent 1
Cream Wave 5
Dwarf Pug 10
Flame Shoulder 3
Green Carpet 4
Iron Prominent 2
Latticed Heath 1
Least Black Arches 1
Light Emerald 3
Lime Hawk-moth 3
Lobster Moth 1
Maiden's Blush 5
Mottled Pug 1
Nut-tree Tussock 2
Oak Hook-tip 2
Oak-tree Pug 1
Ochreous Pug 4
Orange Footman 10
Pale Oak Beauty 5
Pale Prominent 1
Pale Tussock 8
Peacock Moth 1
Pebble Hook-tip 4
Peppered Moth 1
Pine Hawk-moth 1
Poplar Hawk-moth 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
Rustic Shoulder-knot 2
Scalloped Hazel 6
Scalloped Hook-tip 4
Scorched Carpet 1
Scorched Wing 2
Seraphim 5
Setaceous Hebrew Character 4
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Silver Y 1
Small White Wave 30+
Spruce Carpet 2
Swallow Prominent 1
Tawny-barred Angle 1
Treble Lines 2
Waved Umber 2
White Ermine 2

Micro Moths

Aphomia sociella 1
Aproaerema anthyllidella 1
Ancylis mitterbacheriana 3
Caloptilia alchimiella/robustella 2
Capua vulgana 1
Celypha lacunana 2
Cnephasia sp 5
Coleophora sp 5

Coptotriche marginea 2
Elachista argentella 1
Epinotia immundana 1
Epinotia rubiginosana 2
Epinotia tetraquetrana 2
Eudonia mercurella 1
Eulia ministrana 2
Evergestis forficalis 1

Incurvaria oehlmanniella 1
Lathronympha strigana 1
Lobesia reliquana 1
Monopis weaverella 5
Nemapogon cloacella 1 (GEN DET GJS)
Notocelia cynosbatella 2
Nematopogon swammerdamella 3
Parornix 2
Phyllonorycter harisella 4
Phyllonorycter quercifoliella 1
Plutella xylostella 6
Scoparia ambigualis 1
Stigmella sp TBC 2
Syndemis musculana 4
Teleoides luculella 1

Ancylis mitterbacheriana

Epinotia rubiginosana

Eulia ministrana

Incurvaria oehlmanniella

Lathronympha strigana

Monopis weaverella

Nemapogon cloacella (GEN DET GJS)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Another load of year-listers! 19-05-19 - Stevenage

A very pleasing catch on Sunday night here in Stevenage, with 9 new species added to the garden for 2019.
All expected species, and aonce again all mainly singletons (My garden has a habitat of this).

Best moth for me was Phtheochroa rugosana, only my second garden record with the previous one on the 12th of July 2016.

Days continue to be warm with highs of around 20 degrees, but with little or no cloud by lighting up time, the temperature isn't holding up much which is a shame. 

Still, at least we've got rid of that dreadfully large moon that had plagued us before, being so bright and high in the sky for much of the night.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 94.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

Common Pug 2 [NFY]
Flame Shoulder 1 [NFY]
Maiden's Blush 1 [NFY]
Pale Tussock 1 [NFY]
Pebble Proninent 1 [NFY]
Peppered Moth 1 [NFY]
Yellow-barred Brindle 1 [NFY]
Bright-line Brown-eye 1
Brimstone Moth 3
Garden Carpet 2
Iron Prominent 1
Maiden's Blush
Shuttle-shaped Dart 4
Turnip Moth 1
Vine's Rustic 2
Waved Umber 1

Micro Moths

Aphomia sociella 1 [NFY]
Phtheochroa rugosana 1 [NFY]
Argyresthia trifasciata 1
Tineas trinotella 1

Aphomia sociella

Argyresthia trifasciata

Pale Tussock

Pebble Prominent

Peppered Moth

Phtheochroa rugosana

More Bramfield Finds - 17/05/19

A few more finds from the 17th at Bramfield Woods, Central Herts.
Including the darkest ever Bucculatrix ulmella i've ever seen!

Bucculaterix ulmella 1
Hysterophora maculosana 10
Plutella xylostella 2
Silver-ground Carpet 1

Also a mine emerged from Rowan colected last year, Phyllonorycter sorbi which emerged on the 18th of May.

Apart from ulmella, the other 3 were new for the site.
Hysterophora maculosana

Phyllonorycter sorbi

Bucculatrix ulmella

Elachista humilis - A painful dissection by GJS

I netted an unfamiliar Elachista from Bramfield Woods on the 17th of May.

The moth looked right in the hand for a tentative humilis, but it would need checking.

The moth was duly sent to Graeme Smith and word came back that it wouldn't be an easy dissection! So thank you to Graeme for doing this one for me, a 4th County record for Hertfordshire and new to me.
Next time, i'll send a Stigmella (As despite the size it will be easier, apparently :/ ).

Elachista humilis

Sunday, 19 May 2019

And back to cold and misty conditions

Yep, after yesterday night's better weather, last night dipped to a chilly 5c, so there weren't many moths to my trap at all.

Argyresthia trifasciata was a good find before lighting up, not many records for my garden, unfortunately it had already bitten the dust by the time I got round to photographing it.

And I also got my earliest ever White-point which was pleasing.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 85.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

White-point 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 2
Garden Carpet 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 2

Micro Moths

Argyresthia trifasciata 1 [NFY]
Cauchas rufimitrella 2 [NFY]
Parornix sp 1 [NFY]
Epiphyas postvittana 2

In the garden this afternoon, 4x Pyrausta aurata milling about and the first Cauchas rufimitrella found nectaring in the sunshine, not easy to photograph because of the wind! 

Argyresthia trifasciata

Pyrausta aurata

Parornix sp

Cauchas rufimitrella


Saturday, 18 May 2019

Super seven new for the year!

A great catch this morning, it was actually fairly busy and although there were still some empty egg trays, there were a few species to pot for photos which is always nice.

I have some catching up with some other people around the Country, but the last two nights have been a bit of a turning point (hopefully).
I just knew that we needed that heavy rain last week!

A warm night it was with a minimum of 9c and complete cloud cover.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 81.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 125w MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

Large Yellow Underwing 1 [NFY]
Mottled Pug 1 [NFY]
Ruby Tiger 1 [NFY]
Scalloped Hazel 1 [NFY]
Silver-Y 1 [NFY]
Vine's Rustic 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 1
Rustic Shoulder-knot 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 2

Micro Moths

Celypha striana 1 [NFY]
Endrosis sarcitrella 1  
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Nematopogon swammerdamella 1

Celypha striana

Large Yellow Underwing

Mottled Pug

Ruby Tiger

Scalloped Hazel

Silver Y

Vine's Rustic

Garden Mothing - 16/05/19 - Signs of improvement!

Finally some moths! After the last four outings varying from 1 to 3 moths, to get double figures was promising indeed.
Better still, 4 were new species for the year.

Conditions were overcast and minimum 7c with little wind, but a few showers at times as it was wet come Friday morning.

Bright-line Brown-eye...Mr consistent or what. Below are the year firsts since 2013.

Bright-line Brown-eye 12/05/13 - 15/05/14 - 10/05/15 - 17/05/15 - 16/05/16 - 15/05/17 - 15/05/18 - 16/05/19

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 74.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 125w MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths

Bright-line Brown-eye 1 [NFY]
Iron Prominent 1 [NFY]
Rustic Shoulder-knot 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 3

Micro Moths

Plutella xylostella 1 [NFY]
Epiphyas postvittana 3

Bright-line Brown-eye

Iron Prominent

Rustic Shoulder-knot

Friday, 17 May 2019

Bramfield Woods recent finds - 13/05/19

A few recent finds from Bramfield woods, with 5 new species added to the site list.
A pleasant walk around in the sunshine yielded many species of moth.

Of note..

Argyresthia conjugella, two fresh examples beaten from Rowan.

Phyllonnorycter lautella, 2 specimens netted flying in the sunshine, common in mine form but scarce to see the adults in the daytime (New to me). 

Hysterophora maculosana, upto 20 specimen flying in the sunshine over Bluebells, several also swept from the foodplant (New to me).

Speckled Yellow, first UK examples with many sighted flying rapidly in sunny glades.

Site list now at 119.

Argyresthia conjugella 2
Bucculatrix albedinella 1
Bucculatrix ulmella 3
Cameraria ohridella 2
Common Carpet 2
Cydia ulicetana 5
Eulia ministrana 1
Glyphipterix simpliciella 3
Gracillaria syringella 1
Hysterophora maculosana 20
Micropterix calthella 15
Nematopogon swammerdamella 5
Parornix sp 1
Phyllonorycter harrisella 1
Phyllonorycter lautella 2
Pyrausta aurata 1
Speckled Yellow 6

Argyresthia conjugella

Argyresthia conjugella

Bucculatrix albedinella

Cydia ulicetana

Gracillaria syringella

Hysterophora maculosana

Hysterophora maculosana - Female

Phyllonorycter lautella

Speckled Yellow