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

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Cold and slow

Back to cool weather for now, and so the trap won't on as much for the time being.

4 moths on the 24th, the pick being Udea ferrugalis and one of my latest records (Though it's got a long way to beat the other common migrant, Plutella xylostella as my latest possible migrant...yep I trapped one on the 31st of December in 2018).

Udea ferrugalis


Thursday, 12 November 2020

Unseasonal temperatures, migrants and a shockingly early record

Some really good catches here in my Stevenage garden this week, owing to subliminal temperatures for this time of year (16 degrees daytime and minimums overnight of 12 is quite ridiculous for November).

The trend is set to continue for another week it seems.

Over 2 nights I managed 3 new for years and 2 new for garden. I finally got my finger out and went through 8 Epirrita species this afternoon with a hand lens, a steady hand and patience, 2 I fudged up and couldn't work out what I was looking at (tricky through a x10 hand lens), the 3rd correlated exactly to a November Moth, then the 4th the same.. then the 5th a Pale which was pleasing, 6th another November and then the 7th BINGO, a tenatative initial ID of Autumnal Moth was correct! The 8th, yep... another November Moth. Very pleased.

Of other significance, 08/11/20 was to be my earliest Common Quaker, and probably the earliest for Hertfordshire.

And on the migrant front, a Vestal on Tuesday night was only my third garden record since 2012 (2 last seen in 2013).

Although i'm pleased with these records, it's also rather worrying that i've been working outside in a t-shirt all week!

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

09/11/20 - 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

31 moths of 13 species

Macro Moths

Dark Chestnut 1 [NFY]
Scarce Umber 1 [NFY]
Brick 1
November Moth 5
Red-green Carpet 1
Satellite 1
Silver-Y 5
Sprawler 1
Yellow-line Quaker 3

Micro Moths

Carcina quercana 1
Epiphyas postvittana 4
Plutella xylostella 4
Tachystola acroxantha 2

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

10/11/20 - 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

29 moths of 13 species

Macro Moths

Autumnal Moth 1 [NFG] - Dissected
Pale November Moth 1 [NFG] - Dissected
Vestal 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 3
Feathered Thorn 4
November Moth 6
Satellite 1
Scarce Umber 2
Sprawler 4
Yellow-line Quaker 1 

Micro Moths

Acleris sparsana 3
Epiphyas postvittana 1
Ypsolopha ustella 1

Autumnal Moth

Common Quaker

Dark Chestnut

Feathered Thorn

Pale November Moth

Scarce Umber


Ypsolopha ustella

Monday, 9 November 2020

Spring has sprung... err what?

So the clocks went backwards at the end of October, just over a week later they have sprung forward it seems! Spring has officially sprung in my Stevenage garden. Common Quaker amongst 11 species last night. Probably the earliest County record. 08/11/20.

Common Quaker

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Garden goes a bit quiet

Always this time of year, it's pretty rubbish in my garden to say the least, and the least said about it the better sometimes!

There were however 7 moths of 5 species this morning to my Actinic trap.

Moth no.492 of 2020 was to be the Sprawler, with probably one more likely species to make an appearance yet, the Winter Moth.

Happy Mothing!

Sunday, 25 October 2020

The odd goodie

Still ticking along nicely in my garden, a huge deluge of rain last night here in North Herts, the patio was flooded, and I luckily managed to rescue a male December Moth from a puddle of water, species no. 491 for the year.

A rather nicely marked Mottled Umber was also observed.

Most numerous were 14 November Moth sp and 9 Yellow-line Quakers.

Pick of the night had to go to a pair of pristine Acleris notana/ferrugana, the male (smaller) featuring a distinct peach flush to the centre of the forewings.

I used my Raynox DCR-250 attached to my 90mm Tamron f2.8 1:1 macro lens to try and achieve a better focus, with such a narrow field of view, the only option is to shoot manual on a tripod at f/11, I was pretty happy with the results of my budget setup.

24/10/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Acleris notana/ferrugana

Acleris notana/ferrugana


Mottled Umber

December Moth

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Two cracking recent garden catches

A couple of really mild nights, not dropping below 13 degrees, and with highs of 18c on Tuesday, it was no surprise that my catches shot up!

23 species on Tuesday night was an October species count record in 8 years.

Winners this year for October are, Merveille du Jour, Satellite, Red-line Quaker and Acleris schalleriana, all common with 9, 7, 11 and 31 records so far this October.

Losers include, Beaded Chestnut (just two worn records so far this year, Brown-spot Pinion (First year so far with no records).

Most notable was a single Acleris rhombana (Not seen since 2015). 

A wee bit of migration was noted, a fresh Udea ferrugalis and 2 Plutella xylostella.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 490.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

19/10/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

21 moths of 12 species

Macro Moths

Brick 2 [NFY]
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
Merveille du Jour 3
November Moth 3
Red-line Quaker 1
Satellite 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Yellow-line Quaker 3

Micro Moths

Acleris rhombana 1 [NFY]
Acleris sparsana 2
Epiphyas postvittana 1

20/10/20 - 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

58 moths of 24 species

Macro Moths

Feathered Thorn 2 [NFY]
Barred Sallow 1
Beaded Chestnut 1
Black Rustic 1
Chestnut 3
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Merveille du Jour 1
November Moth 1
Red-green Carpet 1
Red-line Quaker 2
Satellite 5
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Turnip Moth 1
Yellow-line Quaker 2

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 19
Acleris sparsana 4
Amblyptilia acanthdactyla 1
Cydalima perspectalis 2
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Hypsopygia costalis 1
Plutella xylostella 2
Tachystola acroxantha 1
Udea ferrugalis 1

Udea ferrugalis

Acleris rhombana

Beaded Chestnut


Turnip Moth

Feathered Thorn (Female)

Hypsopygia costalis

Merveille du Jour

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Much ado about the same...

Last night's catch was almost the same, but with an addition of a Spruce Carpet which failed to co-operate for a photo, and several fresher November Moth species, which also would not lay flat.

A slightly better conditioned Red-line Quaker turned up, as well as my second 2020 record of Orange Sallow which is over a month apart from the year first specimen that I took back in mid-September.

Stevenage, North Herts, VC20.

Orange Sallow

Red-line Quaker

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Latest from the garden moth trap

I continue to run my moth trap around 3 times a week here in Stevenage, North Herts.

I have mostly been using my Actinic, with pretty poor results, although night time temperatures last week did dip as low as 4c.

Last night however I ran the MV Robinson trap instead and was rewarded with 13 moths of 9 species, not a lot compared to some folk recently, but about as good as it gets here.

Highlights were two new species for the year, and 3 fresh season first Red-green Carpet, which were all differently marked.
Both new for years species were extremely washed out, not the same could be said for one of the Red-green Carpets though!

I also trapped two late micro moths, Celypha lacunana and Carcina quercana, the latter my latest record ever.

When I was potting up one of the Green-brindled Crescent's, it jumped into a defensive posture and stayed like it for quite some time, before flying off, four years ago, I experienced this defensive mechanism with a Satellite, and wrote an article in the Entomological Record & Journal of Variation.

I can only assume that it was playing dead and trying to avoid being the next snack!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 487.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

16/10/20 - 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

November Moth 2 [NFY]
Red-line Quaker 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Green-brindled Crescent 2
Red-green Carpet 3

Micro Moths

Carcina quercana 1
Celypha lacunana 1
Epiphyas postvittana 1


Green-brindled Cescent

Green-brindled Cescent

November Moth

Red-line Quaker

Red-green Carpet

Red-green Carpet

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Latest from the garden moth trap

Still quite poor here in my garden, but Thursday night was rather pleasing, with a rather diverse cast appearing to the actinic trap.

Yellow-line Quaker made its first appearance of the year, the 2nd Merveille du Jour of the year was nice, and a rather late and well marked Common Marbled Carpet was nice to see.

Below is Thursday night's catch

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 485.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

08/10/20 - 40w Actinic & 15w Actinic/15w Synergetic combo

Macro Moths

Yellow-line Quaker 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Garden Carpet 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Lunar Underwing 2
Merveille du Jour 1

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 1
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Epiphyas postvittana 2

Acleris schalleriana
Agonopterix alstromeriana

Common Marbled Carpet

Yellow-line Quaker

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

A couple of year-listers brightens the mood on a dark and cool morning

Just 8 moths in my Stevenage trap last night to the Actinic lights. 

1/4 were new for year (Green-brindled Crescent and Grey Shoulder-knot) and half were Plutella xylostella, funny old game this mothing lark!

Grey Shoulder-knot is a good moth for my garden, mostly annual but i've never trapped more than 1 per season!

Numbers have been very poor during extremely changeable conditions.

Below is last night's catch

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 484.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

06/10/20 - 40w Actinic & 15w Actinic/15w Synergetic combo

Macro Moths

Green-brindled Crescent 1 [NFY]
Grey Shoulder-knot 1 [NFY]
Garden Carpet 1

Micro Moths

Epiphyas postvittana 1
Plutella xylostella 4
Grey Shoulder-knot

Green-brindled Crescent

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Earliest Mottled Umber

Well, earliest season first (This was the first species of 2020, trapped on the night of the new year) On new years day it was a fairly mild 7 degrees, only a few degrees cooler than last night.

Since the beginning, for me in 2006, this is my earliest of the newly hatched specimens (Mottled Umber are on the wing all winter) by 17 days!

Other than that, just a few bits and pieces still braving the floods.

Mottled Umber

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Quiet with the MV, but a switch to Actinic does the business

The last 3 outings with my trap here in Stevenage have yielded 8, 12 and 12 respectively... not species, moths!
It has been the worst September for sheer numbers of moths since moving here in 2012.

But, quality over quantity last night with a switch from 125 watts of Mercury to a combined 70 watts of Actinic and Synergetic power.
It was rather wet last night, but rain never seems to put moths off, its the cold wind combined that always does it. Luckily last night was very calm.

Pick was of course the Merveille du Jour, easily in the top 5 most beautiful moths in the UK.

A rather orange/pinky flushed Emmelina monodactyla was a nice colour variation and made a change from the usual paler examples.

Below is last night's catch

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 482.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts

30/09/20 - 40w Actinic & 15w Actinic/15w Synergetic combo

Macro Moths

Blair's Shoulder-knot 1 [NFY]
Merveille du Jour 1 [NFY]
Sallow 1 [NFY]
Barred Sallow 1
Chestnut 2 [Season first]
Lunar Underwing 1

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 1
Cydalima perspectalis 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 2

40w Actinic & 15w Actinic/15w Synergetic Trap

Acleris schalleriana

Blair's Shoulder-knot


Emmelina monodactyla

Merveiile du Jour


Sunday, 27 September 2020

Mid-September Mothing in the garden

Extremely quiet in my Stevenage garden, so very little to report.

A Dewick's Plusia (the 4th this year) on the 22nd was most welcome, other than that, my earliest Large Ranunculus on the 13th since starting trapping in 2006 was the most notable record. 

Two different forms of Beaded Chestnut were also nice to see side by side in the trap on the 21st.

Below are all the new for year species.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 479.

Catch Reports - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts


1x Large Ranunculus


1x Eudonia angustea


1x Barred Sallow


2x Beaded Chestnut

3x Acleris sparsana

Acleris sprasana

Barred Sallow

Beaded Chestnut

Beaded Chestnut

Dewick's Plusia

Large Ranunculus

Eudonia angustea