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

Friday, 27 March 2020

Another early record!

And by 5 days, I thought it was mega early but I usually start seeing them in the first week of April.

Nut-tree Tussock headed a catch comprising of 12 moths of 6 species last night to the actinic trap here in Stevenage, North Herts... an incredible catch considering it was just 1c.

Still cold at nights and fairly uninspiring, but with beautiful warm and sunny days, which is set to change after tomorrow.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 27.

Nut-tree Tussock

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Emperor Moth on day 2 of trying = Result!

Once again, it was nice to get a bit of fresh air in the garden this afternoon, and with light warm winds once more, the Emperor Moth lure was popped out for only 30 minutes and one lively Male appeared from over the fence (3:31pm) and was quickly netted, potted up and cooled down in the fridge, an hour later and after photographs he was released and whizzed back over the neighbouring gardens.

This is my earliest record by 25 days! with all previous records between 19th and 29th of April.

The lure is now packed away in the freezer until next year now.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Mompha jurassicella to EMP lure!

Today, I popped the EMP lure out for the Emperor Moth... a little early, but with light warmish winds and the warmest day of the year here at 17 degrees I thought I may as well try.

Nothing unfortunately, but there was what looked like a fly flitting about the lure in the sunshine. As I got nearer, it was clear that is was a moth from the way that it was flying.
It was to be a year first Mompha jurassicella, a recent colonist in my garden here in Stevenage and previously quite rare in the County.
I have now recorded it four years in a row, usually in the daytime as it seldom comes to light here. 

The trap last night yielded just 3 moths, 1 each of Hebrew Character, Common Quaker & Clouded Drab.

The trap is on again tonight, but the temperature has alreasy dropped again sadly.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 25.

Clouded Drab

Common Quaker

Mompha jurassicella

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Two new species for the year from the garden trap

On Monday night (16/03/20) it was a bit cold, there were only 8 moths in and around the trap. 
The only moth of note wasn't anywhere near the trap, it was flying around the kitchen, no doubt blown in from the garden from me going in and out to check on the trap.

Last night (17/03/20) it was about the same, made up mainly by 8 Hebrew Characters. A single Early Grey was good to see at the bottom of the trap and was the 24th moth species for the year here in Stevenage, North Herts

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 24.

Double-striped Pug

Early Grey

Bramfield Woods - Field Trip

A debut session in the woods at Bramfield recently, was well worth it to add some early season records to the site list.
I need to tote the site list up properly at some point.
Best moths this week were at least 8 Lead-coloured Drabs, Oak Nycteoline and a female Diurnea fagella in copulation on a tree.

The weather has been mild during the day peaking at around 14c and only dropping to around 8-10c, but with a persistent South-west breeze and that shaved a few degrees of that temperature.

Below is the list that we managed on the trips.

Catch Report - Bramfield Woods - Central Herts - 6 traps - 1x 125w MV Trap, 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap, 1x 250w MV Trap, 1x 160w MBT Trap, Led Skinner Trap and 40w u-tube + twin 20w Wemlite + 15w Actinic tube & 15w Synergetic tube Trap

Macro Moths

Brindled Pug 6
Chestnut 6
Clouded Drab 5
Common Quaker 15
Early Thorn 1 
Engrailed 12
Hebrew Character 4
Lead-coloured Drab 8
Oak Beauty 4
Oak Nycteoline 1 
March Moth 25
Satellite 2
Shoulder-stripe 3
Small Brindled Beauty 2
Small Quaker 50+
Twin-spotted Quaker 8
Yellow Horned 21

Micro Moths

Acleris notana/ferrugana 1
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1 
Agonopterix heracliana 1
Diurnea fagella 50+
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella 1 
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Eriocrania sp pos sangii/semipurpurella 

Diurnea fagella in copulation

Diunea fagella


Eriocrania sp TBC

Lead-coloured Drab


Small Brindled Beauty

Yellow Horned

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Latest from the garden moth trap in March

Well, the storms seems to have finally eased. We have had three solid weeks of either high winds or heavy rain, and in most instances, both at the same time!

Therefore trapping has been sporadic and unsuccesful on certain attempts on warm nights.

From the 23rd of February until the 10th of March, I attempted 3 times, 2 were blanks and the other I managed just two Common Quakers.

The 10th of March faired much better with a day-time mean temperature of 14c and a low of 8c at night, it seemed a good idea to fire up the trap once more.
A modest catch of 17 moths of 7 species was still very pleasing for here.
The biggest surprise was my earliest Epermenia chaerophyllella, by 28 days, a regular here in my garden with both broods usually turning up.

Last night I ran it again and was pleasantly surprised to record 4 new for year species, Twin-spotted Quaker the best, a rare moth here.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 22.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

10/03/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Common Quaker 4
Small Quaker 1  
Hebrew Character 7
March Moth 2
Oak Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Epermenia chaerophyllella 1 [NFY]
Emmelina monodactyla 1

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

14/03/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Clouded Drab 3 [NFY]

Twin-spotted Quaker 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 6  
Hebrew Character 10  
March Moth 3 
Oak Beauty 3
Small Quaker 3

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 [NFY]
Diurnea fagella 1 [NFY]

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Clouded Drab

Clouded Drab

Diurnea fagella

Epermenia chaerophyllella

Twin-spotted Quaker

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Slim pickings even in suitable habitat

Possibly the warmest night of the year last night, and just 4 moths to my garden 125w MV trap, pretty dire and nothing to get excited about, 2 each of March Moth & Common Quaker.

Further afield I ran three traps where I work at a Cressbeds.
Being surrounded by water it does get rather chilly at times, even during clear Summer evenings.

The night had been mild, but far too windy and with a deluge happening at some point during the night, this really did hamper the catch.

Below are my results.

Pick of the bunch was a nice fresh Early Thorn.

Also, a single caddis was in my MV trap, I can't recall ever recording one this early before, I am unsure of the species so any help appreciated.

Next Tuesday I will hopefully get in the 'warmer' woods and try again.

Catch Report - 07/03/20 - Gadesprings Watercress Beds - West Herts

40w Actinic

Common Quaker 1
March Moth 1

40w Actinic + 2x 20w Wemlite

Common Quaker 2
Early Thorn 1
Hebrew Character 1
March Moth 1
Small Quaker 1

125w MV Robinson Trap

Hebrew Character 5
March Moth 2
Caddis sp

Early Thorn

Monday, 24 February 2020

Species no.17 - Small Quaker

Considering it was 8c minimum last night here in Stevenage, I expected a few more judging by other people's catches
Then I looked back and reminded myself that, at 17 species for the year at the end of February, this is my best start to the year list since I started my first full year in 2013, so all isn't bad really!

The first Small Quaker of the year turned up in the trap along with a Hebrew Character. The remaining two moths were March Moths (Which rarely go into the trap).

Once again, the wind is causing problems again, this has been the norm for over 2 weeks now.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 17.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

23/02/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Small Quaker 1 [NFY]
Hebrew Character 1
March Moth 2

Small Quaker

March Moth

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Wind wind and more wind

It literally hasn't stopped... although it's been fairly mild with it, the moths just haven't been inclined to show themselves much this past week (I don't blame them).

I trapped twice last week on Wednesday and just last night (Friday) and managed 5 moths over the two sessions with two new for year species.

One was a lucky find last night. As I opened the french doors going out onto the patio to take something to the bin, an really grubby looking Agonopterix heracliana flew in, it being a first for 2020, with that I popped the trap on out of chance and was rewarded with 3 moths in it come this morning.

Both Wednesday's new for year Common Quaker and last nights example, were clearly different moths!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 16.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

19/02/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Common Quaker 1 [NFY]

21/02/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Common Quaker 1
Hebrew Character 1

Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 1 [NFY]
Tortricodes alternella

Agonopterix heracliana

Common Quaker

Common Quaker

Hebrew Character

Monday, 10 February 2020

Ciara blows one in...

And not to the trap! To the lit kitchen window during excessive winds of probably 50mph.. how on earth it managed to fly and cling on is beyond me.
The March Moth makes it species no.14 for the year.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 14.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

09/02/20 - Lit kitchen window

Macro Moths

March Moth 1 [NFY]

Sunday, 2 February 2020

1st of Feb and earliest Hebrew Character by 20 days!

Last night I popped the Actinic on just in case anything decided to get blown in. It was a good job I did, as I recorded my earliest Hebrew Character since starting moth trapping in 2006, and by 20 days! The previous earliest was last year on the 21st of February.
The sign of things to come maybe in 15 years time where certain species, like Europe, have an extended flight period (I have records of Hebrew Character from the first week of May).

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 13.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

01/02/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Hebrew Character 1 [NFY]

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Elachista bisulcella - 2nd for Herts

With thanks to Graeme Smith @britainsbirder for dissecting this beauty of an Elachista, and confirming it as Elachista bisulcella. A second record for Herts and trapped at Ashwell Quarry in the far North of Herts in 2017.
This is a new moth for me. 

Two new for year species over two nights

Things are still very slow here in my garden in North Herts, despite the warm nights it just has been far too windy.
Nevertheless it's been worth popping the trap out and chancing my arm to see what might brave the blustery conditions.

There was just one moth in the Actinic trap on Wednesday night, but at least it was something different, the typical late Winter micro that is Tortricodes alternella.
A night later and I added three more and a couple of Macros.

Last night looked to be the pick of the nights temperature-wise, but scuppered by winds once again.

3 species were found in anf around the trap, and included a year first Oak Beauty.

That was January and my god it's dragged!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 12.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage

29/01/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Tortricodes alternella 1 [NFY]

30/01/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Pale Brindled Beauty 1

Micro Moths 

Tortricodes alternella 3

31/01/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Oak Beauty 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1
Pale Brindled Beauty 1


Oak Beauty

Pale Brindled Beauty

Tortricodes alternella

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Dotted Border and a rather smart Acleris

I ran my trap on Thursday night here in Stevenage and was rewarded by a year first Dotted Border and two other moths, a Spring Usher and Pale Brindled Beauty, during quite mild conditions initially and then it got cold and misty.
Last night I ran the same Actinic trap again and was pleased to see a few more moths, 3 again! singles of Pale Brindled Beauty, Chestnut (The only moth in the trap for some weeks now) and a really smart looking Acleris notana/ferrugana.

Acleris notana/ferrugana are fairly regular in my garden from late August until April and come in a few forms, this being my favourite.

I get both the Birch and Oak feeders here from previous dissections, so I tend to lump them together now for the yearly tally.

The next few nights could still be worth switching on here with minimums of around 6c.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 10.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage

23/01/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Dotted Border 1 [NFY]
Pale Brindled Beauty 1
Spring Usher 1

24/01/20 - 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Pale Brindled Beauty 1

Micro Moths 

Acleris notana/ferrugana 1

Acleris notana ferrugana

Dotted Border

Saturday, 18 January 2020

A week goes by of wet and windy weather

Well, a week ago I trapped my last moth, it seems longer.

I suppose because even though it's been really mild at nights, the wind has been so strong that nothing has been willing to fly.

On Tuesday night, again it was wet and windy, but luckily there was one moth come the morning, and it was even in the trap this time! A tiny Acleris species clinging to the underneath of the perspex collar.
I get both species of Acleris (notana/ferrugana), the latter is commoner, owing to the nearest preferable habitat, so I usually lump them together in my yearly records now as they require dissection.

The weather has turned and now feels like a proper January, sunny and cold all day and frosts at night.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 9.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage

14/01/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Micro Moths

Acleris notana/ferrugana 1 [NFY]

Acleris notana/ferrugana

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Best Micro Moths of 2019

It's taken a while and it was extremely hard to narrow them all down (I managed to record over 60 new micro species last year alone bringing me just over 1600 species for the UK).

Last year was incredible for rare micros and probably one of the best years for sheer diversity.

Below is the short-list (although rather long i've had to split them over 3 seperate photo collages!

1. Paracrania chrysolepidella (25/03/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Confirmed by dissection by Graeme Smith. A rather primitive looking little moth almost the missing link between a Lacewing and a moth.

2. Eriocrania salopiella (10/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Beauties glistening in the sunshine was how to describe the early Eriocrania species on the wing in April.
Eriocrania salopiella was new to me and found frequently on sunny days at Bramfield Woods

3. Heliozela sericiella (16/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Not one but 3 of these tiny moths were netted during sunny intervals. Not a common moth in Herts.

4. Mompha langiella (16/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - 4 new moths in 2 days was pretty special for day flying forays so early on in the moth season. Presumed to be diminishing and with very few post 2010 records, we were surprised how abundant this little moth was across the whole of Bramfield Woods, even recording it as a second generation later on.

5. Gravitarmata margoratana (18/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - This was a bit of a shock finding this species. Previously there were only 12 UK records from 5 Counties of this rare Pine feeding species. 3 examples were trapped on the very first field trip of the year, but better was still to come. On the 23rd of April we recorded no less than 16! Hitting it's peak flight period. 19 records over two sessions was unprecedented for a new County moth.

6. Phyllonorycter tenerella (18/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A common moth in the County of Herts and abundant on the Hornbeams but one I never got round to actually finding, so it was nice to find an adult sitting on vacated mines. In the weeks after the moths were emerging anywhere near Hornbeam and were profuse in some areas.

7. Schreckensteinia festaliella (27/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another week and another new moth for my records, this is an unusual species, the only one in it's genus represented here in the UK and only one of 5 species worldwide. We found several over the coming months and well into August proving a second generation. With only 5 previous Herts records, it was great to note 3 in total for 2019.

8. Cedestis subfasciella (14/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another new Pine feeding moth was trapped at Bramfield Woods once again. It was a bit worn but luckily I trapped another a few weeks later in much fresher condition. A good addition and complete the Cedestis set here in the UK.

9. Lampronia fuscatella (14/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - Another County first from this new wood! Swept from Gorse. An extremely local and rare moth and my first species of the Lamproniinae group.

10. Hysterophora maculosana (13/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Over 20 examples spotted and netted over Bluebells in a lovely sunny glade on the edge of this fantastic woodland in central Herts.

11. Phyllonorycter lautella (13/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - The second new species for my records in the same day, a beauty of a Phyllo. A fairly uncommon species here in Herts.

12. Elachista humilis (17/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A rather non-descript but nevertheless different looking Elachsta was swept during the daytime on the 17th of May. The moth was dissected by Graeme Smith and turned out to be the 4th Herts record.

13. Stigmella samiatella (21/05/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - Another dissection job yielded a new species of Stigmella for myself and the garden list. A fairly local resident with feeds from Oak.

14. Glyphipterix fuscoviridella (23/05/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - I caught two of these in 2019, the first for me was at Bramfield during a sweeping session and the second was a new addition to the garden list taken at light.

15. Roeslerstammia erxlebella (23/05/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - Almost an identical situation to the previous species, except I saw one more on another sweeping session. This moth was added to my garden list in August. A cracking metallic micro.

16. Coleophora amethystinella (22/05/19) - A10 Ermine Street verge - New to me and 1st site in Herts - An area of scrubland that was formed when a new A-road was dug out 15 years ago in 2004 has been left to flourish. When the highways agency replanted the area between the new A10 and the old A10 (Ermine Street) they clearly didn't skimp. I came across this site two years ago. At roughly 5 acres it is a susbstantial plot of mixed deciduous trees including Oak, Elm, Cherry, Apple, Hawthorn, Sloe and Dog-Rose, it is also home to a wide variety of flora including Trefoils, Knapweeds, Ox-eye Daisies, Thistles, Tares, Speedwells to name only but a few.
John Chainey and Jenny Spence added Coleophora amethystinella to the Herts list, a few days before I found at least 10 individuals flying in the sunshine around Smooth Tare, which seems prolific at the site. The distinct Orange eyebrows on this moth are diagnostic.

17. Orthotaenia undulana (22/05/19) - A10 Ermine Street verge - New to me - A corking tort this one and one I've taken a long time to see, it isn't by any means uncommon either but nice all the same to find several on this site.

18. Agrotera nemoralis (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - A huge shock trapping this in the exposed 250w clear Robinson Trap, there was a bit of early season migration going on so I didn't want to miss the boat! The evening was warm and cloudy and just perfect. The migrant Agrotera nemoralis had me fumbling around for a pot! To add 3 new species to the Herts list by June at a new site was phenomenal.

19. Cydia conicolana (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - With the huge amount of Pine here, it was no surprise that we may bump into some of the associated Torts, which ones.. I could not predict. The first one was conicolana, a species that I had found evidence of last December, with holes in Spruce cones.

20. Pammene ochsenheimeriana (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - The second interesting Pine tort was this mouthful! A really tiny moth and so delicately marked with flecks of silver. It was to be only the 5th Herts county record.

21. Brachmia inornatella (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - I had an invite to go to Chippenham Fen during mid June and we had a fairly good night ahead weather-wise, although clear skies prevailed, it was a little on the cool side. This was an opportunity to pick up some new species, and it didn't disappoint. With Brachmia blandella a familiar site it was nice to add the brother inornatella.

22. Mompha terminella (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - From Chippenham Fen also was two examples of this rather petite but pretty little Mompha. A new one for me.

23. Argyresthia pygmaeella (23/06/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - This was a very lucky find amongst the 10's of goedartella, it just about stood out enough to be noticed and quickly potted. Not a common moth and the 8th County record and only the 3rd since 2010.

24. Pseudosciaphila branderiana (23/06/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - 5th County record for Herts of this chunky plain Tortrix, although unicolorous in appearance, it was absolutely mint. This is a Nationally Scarce B species that is only found amongst Aspen woodland.

25. Triaxomasia caprimulgella (29/06/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to Herts & me - A shock new record for Herts at the end of June, was in my trap here in Stevenage. I was pretty confident on the identification, but it needed to be dissected to confirm as it is such a rare moth nationwide.

26. Batrachedra pinicolella (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - We had our first holiday in Dorset with our then one year old son. Staying in a cottage not far from a nature reserve allowed me to do a few walks in the evening with a torch and net. The results were great. This moth was new to me, but I was lucky to see it again at Chippenham Fen in Cambridgeshire later on in the season.

27. Bucculatrix frangutella (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - Another new micro whilst on holiday. I have nearly seen all of the Bucculatrix species in the this Country apart from one now. This species is confined to the North in the County of Herts.

28. Grapholita lobarzewskii (05/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - This little moth seems to be on the increase. Not far from me in East Bedfordshire it appears well established. So it was great to finally spot one amongst the hordes of janthinana!

29. Coleophora binderella 05/07/19 - Stevenage Garden - New to me - (7th County record and only the 4th modern record (post 2000). This was dissected by Graeme Smith

30. Acleris logiana (09/07/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - A long time coming this Tortrix. I had seen the very similar kochiella many times before, but never this one, so it was great to find one on the top of the trap nearest a Birch stand.

31. Agonopterix assimilella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - The site is full of Broom, Gorse and Dyer's Greenweed, and the moths trapped represented the habitat in front of us. This was one species of Agonopterix that was on the list of possibles. We trapped 3 in all over 6 traps.

32. Caryocolum fraternella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A rather pretty looking Gelechid and one I’ve never come across before, an uncommon moth here in Herts and seems to be confined along the southern border with Middlesex.

33. Leucoptera spartifoliella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A Broom specialist, this is particularly scarce in Herts, probably owing to the absence of plentiful areas of the foodplant. Nationally it is a frequent little moth.

34. Sophronia semicostella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A beauty of a moth and fairly common on the night at Croxley Moor, there were only 3 previous sites for this species and barely any records so it was great to get 4!

35. Trifurcula immundella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - To get 5 new species for my records, especially in Herts is pretty special and on such a cool and windy night, it just goes to show that habitat is key! This tiny little moth is the only modern record since 2000!

36. Coleophora saturatella (12/07/19) - Stevenage Garden (3rd County record and only the 2nd modern record), the most interesting of the Coleophora recorded in my garden, the fact that it's associated with Broom and there is none to my knowledge nearby, it must have blown in.

37. Agonopterix angelicella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A beautiful pink-flushed Agonopterix and typical of this area with plentiful foodplant, it was one of 6 new species for my Moth records and part of a blooming good 289 species after dissections.

38. Evergestis pallidata - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A Pyralid as pretty as can be with extremely ornate wings, this species is present in Herts but I’ve never come across it. It was nice to trap two here and then a month later one at Home Wood in Bedfordshire.

39. Cosmopterix scribaiella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - An extremely rare moth and not discovered in the UK until 1996, we trapped two in the trap amongst the dense vegetation. There are very few records of this moth Nationally.

40. Gelechia muscosella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - Another good’un, this was my second ever of this rare species. I trapped the first for Hertfordshire a few years back, this one was in much better condition.

41. Vitula biviella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - This seems to be fairly regular in East Anglia but it was new to me on a warm and wet evening at Chippenham Fen. Unfortunately it was deceased by the time I got round to photographing it.

42. Dichomeris alacella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - This is a rather nice Gelechid that I first came across in France, it’s not a common moth by any means and was great to net an example whilst standing over one of the traps.

43. Acrocercops brongniardella - (23/07/19) - Home Wood - New to me - This was a great little moth and extremely hard to photograph, as it just wouldn’t sit still for me. It was amongst a catch of 156 species and did include several other micro moths that could be also new to me (pending gen dets).

44. Dystebenna stephensi - (25/07/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another scarce species and one of two on the night at Bramfield, there were literally several hundred Blastobasis adustella and Endotricha flammealis at each trap, it was really hard to pick out anything different!

45. Monochroa cytisella - (25/07/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A target and expected species here amongst the swathes of Bracken. I noted no less than 50 across all of the traps.

46. Elachista stabilella (29/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - 1st Garden Record - Not a common moth for me, I’ve encountered this tiny moth a few times out in the field before but never in the garden, it’s a moth that you might just miss at 7mm!

47. Cydia amplana - (17/08/19) - Stevenage Garden - 2nd Garden record - Great to get another after seeing my first here in 2014. A migrant that seems to have done well in 2019 with lots of records reported.

48. Musotima nitidalis - (06/10/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - Just when I thought the year was over, this turned up in my trap after a rather windy night. Not a common moth and restricted to a few sites in East Herts. An Australian adventive species. Where it came from, who knows!

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Best Macro Moths of 2019

1. Four-dotted Footman (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A fairly common moth in the Brecks and Fens but absent from Hertfordshire. A really lovely moth and a pleasure to see and not many British Moths are blue.

2. Reed Leopard (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A known location for this species and the next one also, we trapped around 10 of these, a real treat to see.

3. Silver Barred (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - The target monitoring species for the night and unbelievably the first moth that I jotted down on my list, it was to be the only one all night to my traps, but others did trap it on the same night in different locations.

4. Pearly Underwing (20/06/19) - Stevenage Garden - New for garden - An infrequent migrant for me, with 4 Herts records now over 9 years. This was the 700th species for my garden at the time, also I struck lucky twice and trapped another one in September!

5. Beautiful Carpet (23/06/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - This site continued to deliver all year and on the 23rd of June it was no different, with 3 new moths for my records. This one had to top it all! It was one of two as well, such a pretty moth owing well to it's name.

6. Purple-bordered Gold (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - My favourite moth from the trip, what a stunner. A moth that I never expected to find but I guess I was in the right habitat for it!

7. Marsh Oblique-barred (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - More the size of a micro really, this plain little thing and similar to the common Pinion-streaked Snout, that I see here in Herts, was again a welcome moth and nice to add to my records. I spotted it flying around the Reedbeds at dusk.

8. Dotted Rustic (11/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - Only the 5th modern record (post 2000) for Herts. This was a big shock for me in the trap and one of my best garden moths of the year. This use to be a regular moth in Herts in the 70s and 80s. Could it be making a slow come back? We all hope so.

9. Beautiful Marbled (26/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - New for garden & New to Herts - The highlight of the year for me was trapping this little stunner, found on the last egg box in the Robinson Trap. It was during a week of good migration, and it turned up in a fair few other places as well Nationally.

Next... to the micros!

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Rather unsettled for moth trapping

This past week has been rather unusual for this time of year, mild..warm even but wet at times and very windy. We've also had some chilly nights.
Even when the nights have been warm (+8c), the wind has scuppered the catches and mot times i've only managed 1 moth, with 1 blank so far.

The only new species for the year this week was a Pale Brindled Beauty on Tuesday night, I expected more with a minimum of 10 degrees!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 8.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage

07/01/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Pale Brindled Beauty 1 [NFY]

Pale Brindled Beauty

Saturday, 4 January 2020

The first Moths of 2020!

Well, what a start to 2020, the weather has just about been on my side here in the South-East, and with minimums of 7c on New Year's Day, 10c on Thursday night and just 3c last night, the trap was out on all 3 occasions....luckily escaping the dreaded blank on all nights (just).

My garden is usually pretty poor in January and I rarely trap because it is just so cold and windy, when nights are warm then it's always worth a punt!

Here are my first findings of 2020

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 7.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage

01/01/20 - 1x 15w Actinic & 1x 15w Synergetic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Mottled Umber 2 [NFY]

02/01/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1 [NFY]
Dark Chestnut 1 [NFY]
Spring Usher 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla 1 [NFY]
Psyche casta 1 (Case) [NFY]

03/01/20 - 1x 15w Actinic & 1x 15w Synergetic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Early Moth 1 [NFY]

Pscyhe casta

Early Moth

Chestnut & Dark Chestnut

Emmelina monodactyla

Mottled Umber

Spring Usher